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Blog Archive for the ‘Genetics’ Category

Ronald and Adamchak, “Organically Grown and Genetically Engineered: The Food of the Future”

by Stewart Brand on July 29th, 02009

Engineered organic

Organic farming teacher Raoul began the joint presentation with a checklist for truly sustainable agriculture in a global context. It must:

Provide abundant safe and nutritious food…. Reduce environmentally harmful inputs…. Reduce energy use and greenhouse gases…. Foster soil fertility…. Enhance crop genetic diversity…. Maintain the economic viability of farming communities…. Protect biodiversity. . .   Read More

The resilience of life

by Kirk Citron on June 17th, 02009

The Long News: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

Life can survive at the bottom of the oceans; inside volcanic vents; in radioactive wastelands. So even if humans don’t make it through the coming centuries, it’s a good bet that in some form or. . .   Read More

FOXP2 human language gene changes mouse squeaks

by Laura Welcher on May 29th, 02009

What happens when you substitute the human FOXP2 gene for that of a mouse?  According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, not much, except this interesting result — it changes their vocalizations.

While the FOXP2 gene is important in the development of many different tissues, in humans it affects the development of. . .   Read More

10,000 Years of Beef

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on April 23rd, 02009

 The Washington Post is carrying an interesting story on the recently completed cow genome: “Cow’s DNA Sequence Reveals Mankind’s Influence Over Last 10,000 Years.” Most interesting is what was learned by looking closely at such a domesticated beast.  The scientists were able to clearly see where selective breeding has radically changed the. . .   Read More

Static Data Storage

by Heather Ryan on January 15th, 02009

Birds, long-term information storage, and poop. Two of my favorite things, and one of my not-so-favorite things are all brought together in this Genetic Archaeology piece about the valuable information retrieved from the feces of giant, extinct birds. According to the article, palaeontology researchers have been able to analyze “plant seeds, leaf. . .   Read More

The Future of Man

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 23rd, 02008

Scientific American has a nice piece on how humans may still be evolving over the next millennium.  Since we can now adapt our environment to ourselves, we often assume that evolution has basically ended.  However the article points out:
“But DNA techniques, which probe genomes both present and past, have unleashed a revolution in studying. . .   Read More

Drew Endy & Jim Thomas “Synthetic Biology Debate”

by Stewart Brand on November 18th, 02008

Terms of biocontainment

“I want to develop tools that make biology easy to engineer,” Drew Endy began. The first purpose is better understanding fundamental biological mechanisms through “learning by building.” The toolkit of Synthetic Biology starts with DNA construction and ascends through DNA parts, to devices, to standardized systems. An organism’s DNA code, and. . .   Read More

The Personal Genome Project

by Austin Brown on October 21st, 02008

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Long Now Foundation board member Esther Dyson, now is your chance to get up close and personal.  As part of the Personal Genome Project, Dyson has joined 10 volunteers, including the head of the program, geneticist George Church, and psychologist Steven Pinker, in making public their. . .   Read More

Multi-millennial seed resurrection

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 23rd, 02008

 The always cool Genetic Archaeology blog has a nifty article on a team of researchers that have managed to get some 2000 year old dates to germinate and produce a tree.  The dates were excavated from the Masada which as built 2044 years ago, and carbon dating of other seeds confirmed their age.  Not quite. . .   Read More

Craig Venter “Joining 3.5 Billion Years of Microbial Invention”

by Stewart Brand on February 26th, 02008

Decoding and recoding life

To really read DNA accurately and understand it thoroughly, you need to be able to write it from scratch and make it live, Venter explained.

His sequencing the first diploid human genome (with the genes from both parents) last year showed there is much more genetic variation between humans than first. . .   Read More