Making the Mind.
"The general outlines of how genes build the brain are finally becoming clear, and we are also starting to see how, in forming the brain, genes make room for the environment’s essential role. While vast amounts of work remain to be done, it is becoming equally clear that understanding the coordination of nature and nurture will require letting go of some long-held beliefs."
posted by homunculus
on Jan 17, 2004 -
A new brand of incest.
"You're 40, happily married - and then you meet your long-lost brother and fall passionately in love. This isn't fiction; in the age of the sperm donor, it's a growing reality: 50% of reunions between siblings, or parents and offspring, separated at birth result in obsessive emotions. Last month, a former police officer was convicted of incest with his half-sister - but should we criminalise a bond hardwired into our psychology?"
posted by Hildegarde
on Jan 12, 2004 -
New form of mousepox developed.
A scientist has created an extremely deadly form of mousepox (a relative of smallpox) through genetic engineering. The new virus kills mice even if they have been given antiviral drugs as well as a vaccine that would normally protect them.
posted by Irontom
on Oct 30, 2003 -
. "If your parents kept on having children, they’d have to visit the maternity hospital another million billion times to stand a chance of producing another child with your genes" (unless you're an identical twin of course).
posted by lola
on Sep 19, 2003 -
Today the British government
released a major report
on the safety of genetically modified foods. According to New Scientist
, "existing genetically modified crops and foods pose a 'very low' risk to human health and are 'very unlikely' to rampage through the British countryside", but others
posted by turbodog
on Jul 21, 2003 -
When humans faced extinction:
A new study suggests that around 70,000 years ago there may have been as few as 2,000 individual humans, meaning that we could have been wiped out before we even got started. Related article here
posted by 40 Watt
on Jun 18, 2003 -
I yearn for your tasty flesh
[ Gene Study Finds Cannibal Pattern ] - "Deep in the recesses of the human heart, lurking guiltily beneath the threshold of consciousness, there may lie a depraved craving — for the forbidden taste of human flesh.
The basis for this morbid accusation, made by a team of researchers in London, is a genetic signature, found almost worldwide, that points to a long history of cannibalism" (NYT)
posted by troutfishing
on Apr 11, 2003 -
Those crazy scientists have discovered
a gene that determines how sensitive somebody is to pain. The gene comes in two forms, and you get one from each parent, so a quarter of the people end up tough, half end up in the middle, and the other quarter comprise of wusses. Interesting stuff.
posted by zeoslap
on Feb 21, 2003 -
Dolly is dead.
"The type of lung disease Dolly developed is most common in older sheep. And in January 2002, it was revealed that Dolly had developed arthritis prematurely. She was cloned using a cell taken from a healthy six-year-old sheep, and was born on 5 July 1996 at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland."
posted by 111
on Feb 14, 2003 -
The only fruit to ever appear on a Velvet Underground album cover (not to mention the title of a J. D. Salinger short story) may be on its way to extinction. Facts: I) total disappearance could occur within a decade; II) bananas are the staple diet for half a billion people and III) current genetic tampering mean that, even if the fruit doesn't quite disappear, it will taste and look
different (Guardian article here
). Feeling nostalgic already? Visit the stylish Banana Museum
or give someone you love the Enchanted Banana of Happiness
(not what you're thinking). first link via Fark
posted by 111
on Jan 15, 2003 -
Gene Prevents 'Brains Everywhere'
The human version of the gene probably is not involved in keeping the human brain inside the skull, but likely plays some other role in nervous system development in human embryos, says Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, a developmental biologist at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
posted by Grod
on Oct 11, 2002 -
Since Genetically Modified Organisms are a big no-no in Europe, some scientists
are now focusing their efforts on TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes), a novel technology for rapid selection of a mutation in any gene from mutant plant, through the use of a mutagen, Ethyl Methanesulfonate (EMS)
Will this method be seen as less dangerous than Genetic Engineering à la Monsanto?
During my search on this topic, I stumbled on this entertaining story about DIY genegeneering
posted by titboy
on Oct 9, 2002 -
Need a user's manual for your DNA?
Sure that there's some bug in there you could fix if you knew how to? Here are the tools you'll need. I know the web isn't relly about one-to-many publishing, but just sometimes it does it wonderfully well.
posted by alloneword
on Sep 16, 2002 -
They're farther along than I thought...
You may have heard about Nexia Biotechnology, who have put spider genes into goats to get milk with spider silk protein in it. I thought it was still in the research phase, but Nexia have apparently gone to market
with the stuff. They've signed agreements with several manufacturers to produce spider silk protein-based products such as lightweight ballistic armor (like Kevlar, only lighter and non-toxic to produce) for the armed forces and super-strong sutures and prosthetic ligaments for medical supply companies.
posted by RylandDotNet
on Jul 21, 2002 -
Turning on a single gene
makes mouse brains grow huge, and fold in the skull similarly to human brains. Fancy discussing Derida over tea with a rodent? more inside...
posted by daver
on Jul 18, 2002 -
Are heart disease, cancer and schizophrenia caused by pathogens?
The logic basically goes that a genetic disease cannot have a very high rate of occurrence as natural selection would prevent that gene from surviving (leaving the few occurrences of the disease that are caused by random mutation). Also: how to make diseases more benign by altering the parameters to their natural selection.
posted by fvw
on Jun 10, 2002 -
Attack of the Hollywood Clones
Flametracker investigates how some actors are being cloned so that they can work on twice as many projects. See also Julia Roberts and Monica Potter, Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman, Robert Redford and Brad Pitt ...
posted by feelinglistless
on Apr 25, 2002 -
I don't know what kind of dog it is (and I thought I was a dog-knowing expert) but I want one. If anyone can help me out with the breed (if it isn't a bizarre dog-panda hybrid) I would be really quite grateful...
posted by rikabel
on Apr 5, 2002 -
NYT: Cousin Marriage A'OK, Says Study
A new article in the Journal of Genetic Counseling
reviewing recent studies on incidence of birth defects among children of cousins finds that the increaed risk is so slight as to not warrant discouraging cousin marriage. Discouraging marriage and conception between first cousins is common in the US although in many societies, the first (cross) cousin is the preferred spouse. (1
posted by rschram
on Apr 3, 2002 -
Scientists in Australia have discovered a new gene.
Called BRCA3, this genetic mutation causes up to 10% of the breast cancer cases which run within families. This breakthrough completes the search for the trilogy of gene mutations. The first two gene mutation markers were discovered in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
posted by lucien
on Feb 8, 2002 -
'If you want to know what Utopia is like, just look around - this is it,'
the article asks is human evolution over? Two interesting "facts?" "points?"
1) the blending of our genes which will soon produce a uniformly brown-skinned population. Apart from that, there will be little change in the species.
2) Just consider Aids, and then look at chimpanzees,' says Jones. 'You find they all carry a version of HIV but are unaffected by it. Something very similar could soon happen to humans. In a thousand years...
Link via www.cursor.org
posted by bittennails
on Feb 4, 2002 -
Surely Pork and Apple?
The leader of a maverick team of biotechnicians has created Pigs with an implant of spinach genes. Lambs are to have mint sauce implant in the near future?
posted by Spoon
on Jan 31, 2002 -
This gene encodes for a protein on T cells that allows HIV to enter and replicate. It's also another reason why AIDS has less of an effect on European populations - 10-15% of Northern Europeans carry a defect that doesn't allow the attachment, so 1% or so is homozygous for the 'faulty' gene and appears to be completely resistant to HIV/AIDS.
posted by phoenix enflamed
on Dec 1, 2001 -
Glowing Pig News
Great to take to parties.....
(Hurrah for my first ever link that hasn't been found in previous threads...)
posted by Spoon
on Oct 12, 2001 -
A major advance in genetically modified foods.
Developed with government funding, and intended eventually to be given away to farmers, there has been a major success in the use of salt water to irrigate crops. They've developed a tomato which grows fine in salt water or on salty soil. Thousands of lives will be saved in parts of the world where fresh water for irrigation is scarce, including up to one third of the arable land in India where salt has been accumulating. Interestingly, these tomatoes are so good at what they do that they remove salt from the soil, improving it. The genetic modification which was done to these tomatoes should be possible with many other crops, including especially rice (on which major effort in Egypt is underway now).
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Jul 30, 2001 -
Scientists are making DNA that uses letters other than AGCT
Underlying the chemicals is a code. DNA is composed of pairs of four types of proteins. This project at Scripps Research Institute is attempting to design a DNA which uses different proteins to convey genetic information. The ultimate goal would be to have a functioning organism with a genetic code that uses a different "alphabet" to "communicate" the same "message" You know what this means? If they can get it to work, language wins! The world will truly be proven to be a "discursive" formation. (The language metaphor comes courtesy of the NYT
, but I believe it is more than apt.)
posted by rschram
on Jul 23, 2001 -
A success for gene therapy
to help hemophiliacs is announced. This is a first, but only time will tell if the treatment has a lasting effect and can be repeated. So far it's worked for only four of the six patients in the trial. The NY Times
explains the research.
posted by caraig
on Jun 7, 2001 -