Tag: biology

Rust never sleeps

From nuclear terrorism to Earth-killing asteroids, avian flu and global warming, these days you can choose to set aside every hour of the day for a specific worry and never repeat yourself. To insure it stays that way, I’d like to introduce you to Ug99. Ug99 is a strain of black stem rust that attacks …

Continue reading

"The purple, purple grass of home…"

I blogged briefly a couple of posts ago about the fact the early Earth might have been purple, not green. This means, of course, that other planets could even now be predominantly orange or purple rather than green, and still have organisms drawing their energy from the sun just as green plants do here. John …

Continue reading

Mrs. Beeton’s Ad of the Day

I can’t find out much about this–it mostly shows up on Google in the form of vintage bottles of ink being sold to collectors (I didn’t know there were vintage-ink-bottle collectors until now!), but I did find an interesting mention in an old scientific paper online, called Herring Investigations at Plymouth, written by E. Ford, …

Continue reading

The early Earth may have been purple…

…not green. Chlorophyll, it seems, may have been a relative latecomer.

"The Spider-Goat Clones of Montreal," revisited

Every day or two I check the SiteMeter stats for edwardwillett.com, and today I noticed my visits were around 200 higher than I would expect (I usually get 350 to 450 visitors each day, but today I’m up over 600). A check revealed that the extra traffic is coming from people searching for “spider goat” …

Continue reading

Made-to-order DNA…

…is about to get a lot easier to create: Installing one of those prefab, snap-together wood-flooring kits is a lot easier than shaping and sanding rough planks. Adapting a similar construction strategy, a biotech startup called Codon Devices, based in Cambridge, MA, aims to streamline genetic engineering. It makes made-to-order DNA strands, freeing scientists from …

Continue reading

Plugging computer memory into the brain

Researchers have created computer chips that can talk to the brain, chips which could revolutionize the way we think about thinking, and how we treat various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s: “It’s the type of science that can change the world,” says Richard H. Granger, Jr., a professor of brain sciences who leads the Neukom Institute …

Continue reading

Universal blood

Blood is always in demand, and not just by vampires. Blood transfusions mean the difference between life and death when people suffer traumatic injuries, or undergo major surgery. But there’s always been a problem with transfusions: people don’t all have the same blood type, and giving someone the wrong blood type is worse than giving …

Continue reading

Sour things taste sweet…

…thanks to this miraculous berry: People who eat the berry say that lemon juice tastes like lemonade and stout beer seems more like a milkshake. They add that after consuming Synsepalum dulcificum, rhubarb tastes like a sugar stick and strawberries taste like candy.Work is underway to commercialize the “miraculin” protein that causes this effect, so …

Continue reading

Universal red blood cells?

This sounds promising: An international team of academic and industry scientists has come up with a feasible way of making universal red blood cells that are stripped of their blood type. The hope is that it can be developed into a viable way of relieving blood bank shortages.(Via Austin Bay Blog.)

This sounds promising…

“UBC Researchers Find New Superbug Weapon for Near-empty Antibiotics Arsenal“:The team found that a peptide, or chain of amino acids, they have dubbed innate defense regulator peptide (IDR-1), can increase innate immunity without triggering harmful inflammation, and offer protection both before and after infection is present. *** “Antibiotics are now under threat because of the …

Continue reading

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home…

…you’re stinking up my wine: Ladybugs may look pretty but they also have a dark side. In some places, the polka-dotted insects have become a nuisance by invading homes and crops, including some vineyards. To make matters worse, the bugs produce a foul-smelling liquid that, besides irritating homeowners, can be inadvertently processed along with grapes …

Continue reading

Easy AdSense Pro by Unreal