"Read this carefully so that you understand it.
When you come home we will show you the model. Lots of love, Daddy." In 1953 Francis Crick, sat down to write his twelve-year-old son Michael a letter explaining his brand-new discovery: the double-helix structure of DNA. Now you can read the original, seven-page hand-written letter, complete with an interactive feature that lets you click for details, context and explanations. Courtesy of the Smithsonian. [more inside]
posted by evilmomlady
on Sep 13, 2013 -
They came from test tubes. They came pale as ghosts with eyes as blue-white as glacier ice. They came first out of Korea. N-Words
- a science fiction short story by Ted Kosmatka
. Audio version
posted by Artw
on Jul 9, 2013 -
Full opinion (dissent at page 33):
In what is arguably the most important criminal procedure case the Supreme Court has decided in decades, the Court today announced its 5-4 holding in Maryland v. King.
The majority opinion, authored by Justice Kennedy, held that the 4th Amendment allows states to collect and analyze DNA from people arrested (but not convicted) of serious crimes.
posted by eenagy
on Jun 3, 2013 -
In Iceland, with a population of around a third of a million, the danger exists of that heady one-night stand ending up as an intimate encounter between near-relatives, as nearly happened to the friend of Elin Edda
. No longer, due to the launch of an android app
("Bump the app before you bump in bed") which easily tells a budding couple how related they are. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Apr 16, 2013 -
The Hidden Life Of the Cell (57:24)
There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection - the battle for the cell. This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself - from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations.
You may be familiar with molecular movies from my two previous megaposts collecting them, but this extended documentary uses original animation that is collected into a coherent educational narrative and is just so fucking gorgeous. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Mar 24, 2013 -
November 24, 2012: analysis of extensive DNA sequencing of 'a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch” ... suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.
' The press release claimed that the research was "currently under peer-review," except that no scientific journal would publish the research, until now: DeNovo
, an open access scientific journal. But DeNovo isn't really open access, as it costs $30 to view the article, the paper itself is brand new, the domain was recently purchased
, and the website features generic stock photos. Ars Technica digs deeper
, summarizing some of the "open access" article, and providing a link to a particularly insightful clip on YouTube
, with an odd water mark. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 18, 2013 -
began with the computer files from some notable cultural highlights: an audio recording of MLK Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and, appropriately, a copy of Watson and Crick’s original research paper describing DNA’s double helix structure. On a hard drive, these files are stored as a series of zeros and ones. The researchers worked out a system to translate the binary code into one with four characters instead: A, C, G and T. They used this genetic code to synthesize actual strands of DNA with the content embedded in its very structure.
The ouput was actually pretty unimpressive: just a smidgeon of stuff barely visible at the bottom of a test tube. The wow factor arose when they reversed the process. The researchers sequenced the genome of the data-laden DNA and translated it back into zeros and ones. The result was a re-creation of the original content without a single error, according to the results published in Nature
posted by SpacemanStix
on Jan 26, 2013 -
Scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute successfully encoded several different file formats onto strands of synthetic DNA
, which were then sent to an American lab and sequenced to extract the data. Selections included Shakespeare, audio of Dr. Martin Luther King, and photos of their lab. If the idea sounds vaguely familiar, you've probably been reading Dresden Codak.
posted by BZArcher
on Jan 24, 2013 -
Hacking the President’s DNA.
"The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 26, 2012 -
... in 2023, the Grid knows who you are and where you go at all times. A short near future sci-fi movie (15 min).
posted by crunchland
on Oct 4, 2012 -
In 2001, we learned the sequence of our genome; now, we have amassed a vast amount of knowledge about what those sequences actually do
. Yesterday, the data from the ENCODE
project went live. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F.
on Sep 6, 2012 -
'In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered
by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery
a woman identified only as Jane Doe No. 1 stepped forward to report decades of sexual abuse, welfare fraud and violence by the bakery's leader, Yusuf Bey Sr. She was prepared to hand over to Oakland police DNA from her three children -- evidence that Bey had impregnated her, the first time when she was 12. This was a risky move, but the woman had powerful motivation: her daughter, then 18, had alerted her that Bey was trying to abuse her -- his own child. Now, Jane Doe No. 1 has decided she no longer wants to be nameless. Her name is Kowana Banks and she is the first of Bey's victims to speak publicly
.' Video interview
. Transcript. (Via) This post recounts experiences of rape and sexual abuse. Topics may be disturbing to some readers. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 9, 2012 -
Ernestina Herrera de Noble
heads up The Clarin Group and the Clarin
newspaper (in Spanish), the largest in Argentina. She is the mother of two adopted children, Felipe and Marcela, heirs to the Clarin Group fortune.
She has been a controversial figure for much of her life. Currently, her paper stands in staunch opposition to the administration of President Cristina Kirchner, who in 2009 successfully pushed through legislation forcing the Clarin group to sell off some of its holdings. President Kirchner recently announced she will be seeking a second term
However, Mrs. Herrera de Noble's legacy will probably rest on the suit brought against her by the Grandmothers of the Plaza del Mayo
, forcing her children to submit DNA samples
to ascertain whether they are the children of detainees killed by the military during Argentina’s “Dirty War
”. The siblings and their mother have fought to avoid DNA testing, claiming it is a violation of their privacy, but there are families who claim that Felipe and Marcela are the natural born children of women pregnant when they were detained and subsequently disappeared
. Ernestina insists that the adoptions were “legal”, and her children stand by her side. If a genetic link is proven to former detainees, Mrs. Herrera de Noble may face a criminal investigation.
posted by msali
on Jun 22, 2011 -
The Lazarus File. "In 1986, a young nurse named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in Los Angeles. Police pinned down no suspects, and the case gradually went cold. It took 23 years—and revolutionary breakthroughs in forensic science—before LAPD detectives could finally assemble the pieces of the puzzle. When they did, they found themselves facing one of the unlikeliest murder suspects in the city’s history." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 14, 2011 -
The Xenotext Experiment
is Christian Bök
],"nine-year long attempt to create an example of “living poetry.” I have been striving to write a short verse about language and genetics, whereupon I use a “chemical alphabet” to translate this poem into a sequence of DNA for subsequent implantation into the genome of a bacterium (in this case, a microbe called Deinococcus radiodurans—an extremophile, capable of surviving, without mutation, in even the most hostile milieus, including the vacuum of outer space)." [Via] [more inside]
posted by Fizz
on Apr 4, 2011 -
The Someone You're Not: "Our packed prisons are starting to disgorge hundreds of mostly African-American men who, over the last few decades, we wrongly convicted of violent crimes. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn't do. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years as someone you aren't. And for Ray Towler, this is what it's like to be free." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 25, 2011 -
: DNA Profiling for Pets; "... designed to help communities enforce their pooper scooper rules and give the pet owner tools that help them build a better relationship with their dog." [more inside]
posted by bwg
on Jan 3, 2011 -