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Current Topic: Biology

Lice genes date first human clothes
Topic: Biology 10:36 pm EDT, Aug 20, 2003

] We started wearing clothes about 70,000 years ago - at least
] according to our lice genes.

] At that time the body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus) evolved
] from the head louse (P. humanus capitis), say Mark Stoneking and
] his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
] Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The split should correspond to
] the time when the body louse's habitat - clothes - became
] widespread.

Lice genes date first human clothes

New Scientist - Human-rabbit embryos intensify stem cell debate
Topic: Biology 10:21 am EDT, Aug 17, 2003

] But the immediate reception of Sheng's paper suggests it
] is unlikely to calm the fierce debate. It has already
] been hailed as an important advance, questioned for its
] scientific rigour and sensationalised as a bizarre mixing
] of human and animal parts.

More on the human-rabbit embryos.

New Scientist - Human-rabbit embryos intensify stem cell debate

New Scientist
Topic: Biology 6:25 pm EDT, Aug 14, 2003

] The upper temperature limit at which life can exist has
] been extended to 121°C, 8°C higher than the previous
] record holder. The hardy organism, given the preliminary
] name Strain 121, was found at a "black smoker"
] hydrothermal vent on the floor of the northeast Pacific
] Ocean.

This is cool. Its amazing to think that there is an organism out there whose DNA doesn't degrade at such temperatures, and whos proteins stay folded correctly. It will be neat to see what comes out of this research, as proteins found in organisms such as this can be put to use creatively in biotech.

New Scientist

West Nile vaccine
Topic: Biology 11:16 pm EDT, Aug 12, 2003

] A vaccine using a harmless relative of the West Nile
] virus could offer a way to protect people against the
] disease, researchers in Australia said on Monday.

West Nile vaccine

Freedom to Tinker: Why Aren't Virus Attacks Worse?
Topic: Biology 9:54 am EDT, Jul 28, 2003

] This reminds me of a series of conversations I had a few
] years ago with a hotshot mo-bio professor, about the
] national-security implications of bio-attacks versus
] cyber-attacks. I started out convinced that the
] cyber-attack threat, while real, was overstated; but
] bio-attacks terrified me. He had the converse view, that
] bio-attacks were possible but overhyped, while
] cyber-attacks were the real nightmare scenario. Each of
] us tried to reassure the other that really large-scale
] malicious attacks of the type we knew best (cyber- for
] me, bio- for him) were harder to carry out, and less
] likely, than commonly believed.

Freedom to Tinker: Why Aren't Virus Attacks Worse?

Wired 11.08: The End of Cancer (As we Know it)
Topic: Biology 10:35 pm EDT, Jul 14, 2003

] It's one thing to battle in the dark, believing the fight
] is roughly equal. Now, the genome age has shined a light
] on what was once an elusive enemy. Finally, we can see
] the armies massed against us, a foe of almost
] impenetrable diversity, and virtually anyone would agree
] that it doesn't look good. Yet strangely, now that the
] battle has been joined, cancer researchers have grown
] almost euphoric. The National Cancer Institute is boldly
] promising, if not a cure, at least "the elimination of
] suffering and death due to cancer" by 2015; of more than
] 20 researchers I spoke with, all believed that the next
] decade would bring a revolution in cancer medicine.
] At the root of this newfound optimism lie the very
] developments that revealed cancer's true nature in the
] first place: the sequencing of the human genome and the
] associated proliferation of new technologies - ranging
] from DNA chips to high-throughput gene-knockout
] techniques like RNA interference. (See "5 New Tools for
] Fighting Cancer," page 104.) Armed with these new
] weapons, researchers have begun an engagement that will
] more closely resemble the hunt for elusive al Qaeda
] operatives than a monolithic Cold War standoff.

An interesting look at where some cancer research is heading now that the Human Genome is available.

Wired 11.08: The End of Cancer (As we Know it)

Wired News: Male Chromosome Seriously Weird
Topic: Biology 11:28 pm EDT, Jul 13, 2003

] The Y chromosome is probably the weirdest chromosome in
] the human genome

Wired News: Male Chromosome Seriously Weird

Project Will Seek to Uncover Genetic Roots of Major Diseases
Topic: Biology 7:27 pm EDT, May 29, 2003

] Physicians at Duke's medical center plan to draw up lists
] of human genes considered likely to play a role in
] diseases of interest, like the 100 or so genes that may,
] when mutated, play a role in coronary artery disease. Dr.
] Venter's center would sequence the full DNA of these 100
] genes from large numbers of patients, looking for the
] mutations that seemed to be linked to the disease. These
] mutations could then be used to assess the risk for
] coronary artery disease in the population at large.
] The collaboration, to be called the Genomic-Based
] Prospective Medicine project, will focus first on heart
] disease, a form of cancer yet to be selected and aspects
] of infectious disease. Dr. Venter said that all findings
] would be published in the scientific literature, and that
] other universities were welcome to join.

Project Will Seek to Uncover Genetic Roots of Major Diseases

Welcome to GIANTmicrobes!
Topic: Biology 5:16 pm EDT, May 19, 2003

] We make stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes...
] Now available: The Common Cold, The Flu, Sore Throat, and
] Stomach Ache.

These are fucking leet as hell, but my only question is, where is the coronavirus?!?!? I WANT PLUSH SARS damnit:) - Nano

Welcome to GIANTmicrobes!

The Fourth International Georgia Tech Conference on Bioinformatics
Topic: Biology 11:16 pm EDT, May 15, 2003

The fourth bi-annual International Bioinformatics conference, to be held November 13-16, 2003, in Atlanta, GA, brings together researchers working at the cutting edge of contemporary "genome-based" biological science. Three previous conferences attracted participants from both Academia and Industry worldwide.

Speakers include Albert-Lásló Barabási, professor at Notre Dame and author of "Linked".

[Wow.....I really really really really really wanna go to this - Nano]

The Fourth International Georgia Tech Conference on Bioinformatics

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