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Current Topic: Biology

Wired News: Prions: When Proteins Attack
Topic: Biology 1:10 am EST, Jan 19, 2004

] Once prion diseases infect a body, the proteins change
] shape and, with a kiss of death, turn their neighbors
] into clones of themselves. Clumps of misshapen proteins
] form, overwhelming neurons and poking holes in the brain.
] Death is inevitable.

Wired News: Prions: When Proteins Attack

News in Science - Push to free up biotech tools for all - 01/12/2003
Topic: Biology 7:39 pm EST, Dec  1, 2003

] Scientists anywhere in the world, including developing
] nations, should have free access to the scientific tools
] of modern biology and genetics, says an Australian
] geneticist.

Open Source Biotech? Do we have concerns about easing access for terrorists? Or can they already get this stuff? Would the benefits outweigh the risks. I think in OSS the answer is a clear yes... is biotech different?

News in Science - Push to free up biotech tools for all - 01/12/2003

China deploys SARS vaccine
Topic: Biology 2:59 pm EST, Dec  1, 2003

And a little too early according to many...

China deploys SARS vaccine

Ensembl Genome Browser
Topic: Biology 4:30 pm EST, Nov  5, 2003

] Ensembl presents up-to-date sequence data and the best
] possible annotation for metazoan genomes. Available now
] are human, mouse, rat, fugu, zebrafish, mosquito,
] Drosophila, C. elegans, and C. briggsae, Others will be
] added soon.

Surf the human genome!

[Surf's up dude:) - Nano]

Ensembl Genome Browser

Wired News: DNA, Now in XXX-Large
Topic: Biology 2:43 pm EST, Oct 31, 2003

] Stanford University researchers seeking better-looking
] DNA have created XDNA, extra-large DNA molecules that
] glow.

Wired News: DNA, Now in XXX-Large

RE: BBC NEWS | Health | Foetus with three parents created
Topic: Biology 2:04 pm EDT, Oct 14, 2003

inignoct wrote:
] ]] A controversial IVF technique could see babies
] ]] being born with three parents, scientists have suggested.
] ]]
] ]] Experts in China say they have created embryos using eggs
] ]] from two women and sperm from one man...
] ]
] ]Marie, should this be legal or not?
] i have no problem with this. they're just using a healthy
] woman's egg cell as a carrier, right? there shouldn't be any
] of the donors DNA left to complicate the fertilization.
] it's like, one lady had a cracked mixing bowl, so she borrowed
] her neighbors bowl in order to mix up the ingredients for some
] cookies. as long as the neighbors bowl wasn't still caked
] with paprika and chili powder from her own cooking, the
] cookies should be fine, untainted by her neighbors recipe.
] seems like calling it three-parent is misleading if the donor
] of the "blank egg" has no genetic effect. does the cytoplasm
] have more to do with embryonic development than i think it
] does? a genetic or mechanical influence?

I am not sure that this should be legal. Seems to me, and it states in the article as well, that this is getting a tad too close to human cloning for my tastes. Yes, there is genetic material found in the cytoplasm of a cell, namely the DNA found in the mitochondria. So basically, they are mixing DNA from three different adults. The mixing bowl analogy would be better suited when there is a surrogate mother that sense, the mixing bowl would be the womb, and nothing else.
This procedure causes an child to be born with three differnt kinds of DNA, which could cause problems scientists have never even run into. It raises an interesting scientific question about what would happen, though. As of now, your nuclear DNA is a mix of your parents DNA, while mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from your mother. Seems to me, that due to the fact that you can only inherit it from your mother, cellular machinery may rely on that assumption in some way.
Either way, its too close to human cloning, which is shady as hell:)

RE: BBC NEWS | Health | Foetus with three parents created - Cell research wins Nobel Prize - Oct. 8, 2003
Topic: Biology 4:35 pm EDT, Oct  8, 2003

] Two Americans have won the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry
] "for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes,"
] the Nobel Foundation announced Wednesday from its
] headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. - Cell research wins Nobel Prize - Oct. 8, 2003

Wired 11.10: How Ravenous Soviet Viruses Will Save the World
Topic: Biology 12:02 pm EDT, Sep 18, 2003

] To gather new strains, Sulakvelidze need only drop a
] bucket into Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The waters of the
] Chesapeake Bay, of which the harbor is an inlet, have
] enough exchange with the Atlantic that he can find a
] phage for almost any species of bacteria, he says. If one
] doesn't work, he simply refills his bucket and looks for
] another that does.
] "This upgradability is one of the unique qualities of
] phages," Sulakvelidze adds. "Developing a new antibiotic
] takes 10 years and God knows how many millions of
] dollars."
] As he puts it, "Mother Nature runs the best genetic
] engineering lab out there. No institution or company can
] match it."

Wired 11.10: How Ravenous Soviet Viruses Will Save the World

New Scientist - Modified yeast produces fully human proteins
Topic: Biology 6:38 pm EDT, Sep  1, 2003

] A cheap way to produce human proteins for therapeutic use
] may finally be possible thanks to a genetically modified
] yeast. The "humanised" yeast should lead to greater
] availability of treatments relying on, for example,
] antibodies and human growth hormone, as well as new
] treatments.


New Scientist - Modified yeast produces fully human proteins

RE: Enzymes Found to Delay Aging Process
Topic: Biology 1:33 am EDT, Aug 25, 2003

abaddon wrote:
] ] Scientists have found for the first time a way to rev up a
] potent
] ] "anti-aging" enzyme in living cells, an advance they said
] could
] ] speed the development of drugs to extend human life span and
] ] prevent a wide range of geriatric diseases.
] hmmm, it says they help cells survive damage, but would that
] avoid the increase in cancer rates that other anti-aging
] tricks have?...can anyone help me out on that one?...
] oh, also anyone with a subscription to nature care to comment
] on the article this is about?...

Well, I think this is too vauge to comment on whether ir would avoid the increase in cancer rates. Like someone quoted in the article said, aging is a complex process, and increasing the production of this enzyme may itself cause cancer. Aging is tricky, with lots of processes going on....I don't think drugs that extend human life will be a good thing until after aging is understood much more clearly than it is right now.

RE: Enzymes Found to Delay Aging Process

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