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 -
Monsanto wins case against Canadian farmer
. Percy Schmeiser
, who has attained folk-hero status, was held liable for growing genetically modified canola without paying the royalty. The decision in a federal court in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was a significant setback for farmers who fear they will be held liable if pollen from neighboring farms blows onto their fields, transmitting patented genes to their crops without their knowledge or consent.
posted by gimli
on Mar 30, 2001 -
Gould, earthworms and you:
Stephen Jay Gould discusses the recent discovery that the human body has only about 1/4th of the DNA originally estimated. NYTimes op-ed piece.
One of the best results of this discovery is that it sounds death knell of reductionist biology; as usual, the human body turns out to be more complicated than anyone could have imagined. ("Gee, we haven't explained life, the universe and everything? Gosh darnit!")
I have always thought it was silly to ascribe artistic talent, criminal behaviour, musical aptitude or computer savvy to the foibles of some single gene. Now here's independent confirmation of that opinion...
So once again we find that we ourselves
, and not our parents or our grandparents, are responsible for who we are and what we become...
posted by hanseugene
on Feb 19, 2001 -
A rather interesting article
on how scientists how found that people with the same surname usually share some common DNA. This could soon be used to track down the original founder of your last name.
posted by Mark
on Apr 5, 2000 -
Why the Future Doesn't Need Us
is the cover story in this month's 'Wired'. It was written by Bill Joy, chief scientist at Sun. In it he makes a very convincing case for strict regulation of genetics, nanotech, and robotics, given that any of these could cause the extinction of the human species in the next 30 years. What do you think?
posted by Sean Meade
on Mar 22, 2000 -