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Current Topic: Biology

New Scientist
Topic: Biology 11:20 pm EST, Feb 23, 2003

] Dolly's birth six-and-a-half years' ago caused a
] sensation around the world. But as many sheep live to
] twice this age, her death will refuel the intense debate
] over the health and life expectancy of cloned animals.

I think its interesting that Dolly died at age six. I wonder if that correlates at all to the fact that she was cloned from a cell taken from a six-year old sheep.

New Scientist

Remembering Dolly |
Topic: Biology 7:31 pm EST, Feb 16, 2003

Dolly, the first clone from a mammal, died yesterday [2/13/2003] at the age of 6 years old.

Jaron Lanier: Dolly, you were born at the most optimistic moment imaginable. ... You were both an inspiration and a challenge. ... Oh Dolly, let's hope we have many second chances, and that your legacy will recall the world as it was at the start of your life more than what it has come to be at the end of your life.

Remembering Dolly |

The super-bugs have arrived!
Topic: Biology 1:54 pm EST, Feb 11, 2003

] A bacterial infection that overpowers most antibiotics
] has escaped the confines of hospitals and is showing up
] in alarming numbers among the general public in
] California, according to health officials.

An interesting article. The thought of resistant bacteria isn't new, it has been a problem in hospitals for quite some time. Kinda scary that its starting to spread. I don't like how this article slants towards "Gay men", because the increase in the percentage of gay men who have contracted this probably has most to do with the fact that there are higher percentages of gay men in those California cities to begin with. Bacteria don't care what the sexual preference of its host is:) But still, an interesting article.

The super-bugs have arrived!

Hiccups a holdover from when we had gills
Topic: Biology 10:47 am EST, Feb  6, 2003

] But there is one group of animals in which the peculiar
] combination of the contraction of these muscles and the
] closure of the glottis does serve a clear purpose:
] primitive air breathers that still possess gills, such as
] lungfish, gar and many amphibians.

Hiccups a holdover from when we had gills - Copied cat hardly resembles original - Jan. 22, 2003
Topic: Biology 5:48 pm EST, Jan 22, 2003

] People who hope cloning will resurrect a pet will be
] disappointed, said Duane Kraemer, one of A&M's animal
] cloning experts. Experts say environment is as important
] as genes in determining a cat's personality. And as far
] as appearance, having the same DNA as another calico cat
] doesn't always produce the same coat pattern.

People are paying thousands to have their pet's DNA frozen so they can clone it when the techniques are perfected... Pet Cemetery anyone?

I think that this mostly demonstrates that people still do not understand what cloning is. I don't think this is likely to be commonplace outside of pet breeding circles.

[Actually, Wired came out with an article in the past few years about people who freeze bits of skin from their loved ones in hopes that when cloning gets big, they can have their dead loved on back. Its really sketchy, not to mention, due to different environments, the person wouldn't be an exact replica of the original. -Nanochick] - Copied cat hardly resembles original - Jan. 22, 2003

The Guardian | Yes - in 10 years we may have no bananas
Topic: Biology 11:30 am EST, Jan 17, 2003

] It is a freakish, doped-up, mutant clone which hasn't had
] sex for thousands of years - and the strain may be about
] to tell on the nation's fruitbowl favourite. Scientists
] based in France have warned that, without radical and
] swift action, in 10 years' time we really could have no
] bananas.

Bananas don't really reproduce and apparently have been maintained by human farmers for 10,000 years. They face destruction from fungus. Other stories in the news today indicate that a sequencing effort is underway.

The Guardian | Yes - in 10 years we may have no bananas

Wired News: Stem-Cell Research OK in N.J.?
Topic: Biology 11:07 pm EST, Jan 14, 2003

] Following in California's footsteps, New Jersey
] legislators are poised to approve a bill that would allow
] embryonic stem-cell research.

Wired News: Stem-Cell Research OK in N.J.?

Wired News: Scientists Map Largest Chromosome
Topic: Biology 2:48 am EST, Jan  2, 2003

] "French and American scientists have mapped chromosome
] 14, the longest sequenced to date and the site of more
] than 60 disease genes, including one linked to early
] onset Alzheimer's. "

Wired News: Scientists Map Largest Chromosome

Hacking Yeast
Topic: Biology 2:41 am EST, Dec 27, 2002

] "All over the world, molecular biologists are tinkering
] with DNA to find ways to improve the quality of wine.
] Already they can do wonders, conjuring up rare but
] desirable flavours and aromas, and adding body and
] complexity to bog-standard plonk. Gene technology can
] also eliminate the spoilage compounds that can make wine
] taste like sweaty socks, and even get rid of those
] nasties that give you a bad head in the morning."

Hacking Yeast

Purdue works to transform Ebola virus from killer to healer
Topic: Biology 2:06 pm EST, Dec 24, 2002

] "By redesigning the shell of Ebola, Purdue University
] researchers have transformed the feared virus into a
] benevolent workhorse for gene therapy."

This is very cool research going on. This is where therapy for human disease is heading...taking things such as viruses and turning them into therapies. Its definitly exciting.

Purdue works to transform Ebola virus from killer to healer

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