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Current Topic: Science

In Battling Cancer, a Genome Project Is Proposed
Topic: Science 7:12 pm EST, Mar 28, 2005

It's the 21st century version of "guns or butter?"

The project would determine the sequence of the DNA in at least 12,500 tumor samples, 250 samples from each of 50 major types of cancer. By comparing the order of the letters of the genetic code in the tumor samples with one another and with sequences in healthy tissue, it should be possible to pinpoint mutations responsible for cancer.

But the proposition is extremely daunting. In general, each tumor cell holds a full panoply of human DNA, a string of three billion letters of the genetic code. So determining the full sequence of all the tumors would be the equivalent of 12,500 human genome projects. At a cost of many millions of dollars for one genome, the full project would be out of the question for now.

So the cancer proposal for now is to sequence only the active genes in tumors, which make up 1 percent to 2 percent of the DNA. Even that would require at least 100 times as much sequencing as the Human Genome Project.

In Battling Cancer, a Genome Project Is Proposed

Startling Scientists, Plant Fixes Its Flawed Gene
Topic: Science 9:56 pm EST, Mar 23, 2005

In a startling discovery, geneticists at Purdue University say they have found plants that possess a corrected version of a defective gene inherited from both their parents, as if some handy backup copy with the right version had been made in the grandparents' generation or earlier.

The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity. If confirmed, it would represent an unprecedented exception to the laws of inheritance discovered by Gregor Mendel in the 19th century. Equally surprising, the cryptic genome appears not to be made of DNA, the standard hereditary material.

The discovery also raises interesting biological questions -- including whether it gets in the way of evolution, which depends on mutations changing an organism rather than being put right by a backup system.

Startling Scientists, Plant Fixes Its Flawed Gene

Bacteria turn toxin into plastic
Topic: Science 1:53 pm EDT, Sep 10, 2004

This is pretty neat. Scientists have isolated a bacterium that turns a toxin into a plastic...very useful:)

Bacteria turn toxin into plastic

Wired 12.08: Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species
Topic: Science 5:46 pm EDT, Jul 28, 2004

What happens when you are a scientist with alot of money, and nobody to work for but yourself? You become a nude beachcomber who's primary goal is to travel around the world on a boat, collecting samples of bacteria in order to "See who the fuck is living out there".

Interesting aricle on Craig Venter

Wired 12.08: Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species

Teleportation breakthrough made
Topic: Science 8:57 pm EDT, Jun 23, 2004

Scientists have performed successful teleportation on atoms for the first time, the journal Nature reports.

Teleportation breakthrough made

Only you can prevent Gray Goo
Topic: Science 6:26 pm EDT, Jun 16, 2004

A must-have for mad science laboratories everywhere.

Only you can prevent Gray Goo

Telegraph | News
Topic: Science 12:16 pm EDT, May 24, 2004

] The discovery was made by chance by two biochemists
] conducting research into drugs for cancer and Alzheimer's
] in a medical laboratory at Vanderbilt University,
] Nashville, Tennessee.

Thought this was neat that two guys at vandy in nashville may have found a way to make a blue rose.

Telegraph | News

Wired News: Designer Virus Stalks HIV
Topic: Science 11:54 pm EDT, May 18, 2004

] It took Adam Arkin and David Schaffer just $200,000 and a
] grad student to develop a potential treatment for AIDS.
] And that scares them.
] That's because the therapy itself is a virus. The
] Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory assistant
] professors created a virus altered to latch onto HIV and
] mute its ability to become AIDS. They've tested the
] theory in a computer model, and in cells in a dish. The
] results have been promising, and if they continue in that
] vein, the researchers could begin animal testing by the
] end of this year

Amazing....great idea. Of course, this has the potential to go horribly wrong once it hits a real mammalian system...but the fact that it worked on cultured cells is a start. Of course, this is gene therapy using a retrovirus...something that is *really* not supported at this time after the whole SCIDS fiasco. There was a SCIDS gene therapy using a retrovirus a few years back that made it to human trials - unfortunately, they found that althought the SCIDS (bubble boy syndrome) cleared up, the patients subsequently contracted leukemia due to the retrovirus affecting the expression of an oncogene. Needless to say, gene therapy using retroviruses is unfortunately, risky buisness.

Wired News: Designer Virus Stalks HIV

Grow-your-own to replace false teeth
Topic: Science 11:37 pm EDT, May  3, 2004

] The British institution of dentures sitting in a glass of
] water beside the bed could be rendered obsolete by
] scientists who are confident that people will soon be
] able to replace lost teeth by growing new ones.


riiiiiiiiiiiiight:) Interesting - Nano

Grow-your-own to replace false teeth

Richard Dawkins, on Language and Writing
Topic: Science 3:54 pm EDT, May  2, 2004

You cannot write unless you love reading.

If you're too aware of your own technique you may dissect it to destruction.

Prick your reader's imagination with a stunning fact, or a fresh metaphor, or by turning a familiar fact dizzyingly upside down, or by filtering it through the alien lens of a Martian eye. However useful science may be, and however relevant to everyday life, that is the least important thing about it. Science is, above all, wonderful.

You may write to inform. You should write to inspire.

Richard Dawkins, on Language and Writing

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