Archive for August, 2012
Have you ever seen a sick boa constrictor? All of a sudden they start shedding, develop head tremors and secondary infections, twisting up into knots and wasting away. These poor animals may have acquired a fatal infectious disease called inclusion body disease (IBD). The disease can rapidly progress to the nervous system, with behavioral abnormalities such as disorientation, corkscrewing of the head and neck, holding the head in unnatural positions, or rolling onto the back. Affected snakes either die quickly or starve slowly over several years. The disease was first observed in captive snakes More >
Lying dormant in our genomes are millions of jumping genes. Originally discovered by Barbara McClintock, transposons are DNA sequences that can move from one location to another in our DNA. Transposons cause mutations when they jump to new locations, so keeping them from jumping is important. However, although transposons are largely silent, every person probably has a few “rare” sites, found in only a few people in the world, where a transposon has jumped to a new location.
The most expensive bowl of soup I have ever had in my life was a $15 bowl of ramen in the NYC restaurant Ippudo. And this was no ordinary “ramen” you would eat at home as a cash-strapped college student. This was an authentic bowl nuanced with so many rich and hearty flavors of Japanese cuisine.
Little did I know that $15 soup was considered “cheap” compared to other soups that sell for at least $100 a bowl. One such soup is shark fin soup, which is traditionally served in Chinese cuisine during special occasions. One is apt to eat this More >
How often do you moisturize your skin? Every day? Once a month? Well researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago have given a moisturizer the ability to perform RNA interference and regulate genes.
Topical treatments are common for skin cancers like melanoma, as they can be applied directly to the affected cells. But our skin is very effective at blocking toxins getting into our bodies so the challenge was how to cross that barrier.
Again, enter the realm of nanotechnology, a topic I post about regularly.