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Blog Archive for the ‘Genetics’ Category

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

Blue eyed Adam

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 4th, 02008

Genetic Archeology (very cool site in its own right) is reporting new research that suggests that all blue eyed people stem from a common ancestor 6-10,000 years ago.
“They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA” says Professor Eiberg.  Brown-eyed individuals, by contrast, have considerable. . .   Read More

Man made life progresses…

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on January 24th, 02008

Wired and Reuters are reporting on the latest work by Craig Venter published in Science this week. Venter’s synthetic life program completed the second of three steps in creating a synthetic organism.
“We consider this the second in our three-step process to create the first synthetic organism,” said J. Craig Venter, president of. . .   Read More

DNA Driven World

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 20th, 02007

This BBC lecture was posted by Edge.org and I thought it would be a good preparation for our upcoming February 25th talk by Craig Venter. Some excerpts:
To begin the process of change we need to start with our children by teaching them in place of memorization, to explore, challenge, and problem solve in. . .   Read More

We are those mutants.

by Austin Brown on December 10th, 02007

The Human Exemptionalism (or sometimes ‘Exceptionalism’) Paradigm is the idea that humans are somehow separate from nature or that we have transcended it in some way through spirituality, technology or consciousness. It is a paradigm that is shared between many of the religious ideologies of the world as well as many devotees of science and. . .   Read More

Whole Earth Comes Into Focus

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 7th, 02007

 Our own Stewart Brand has an essay in the current issue of Nature (subscription required) on integrating two disparate disciplines in order to solve our worlds largest problems.

To understand how our planet uses energy, we must integrate genetic data from microbial studies with satellite views of our planet.
Two vastly different but complementary projects. . .   Read More