A new "genomic zoo" has launched, with the goal of sequencing the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species. The project aims to help researchers understand recent and rapid adaptive changes among the species. It could also allow predictions of how certain species might respond to climate change, pollution, new diseases and competitors.
The Genome 10K Project will scour zoos, museums and universities worldwide for thousands of specimens. An international coalition of more than 68 scientists has outlined their plans in a paper that will appear tomorrow in the Journal of Heredity.
Using special techniques developed to sequence RNA, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have published the first complete genome of HIV. Laying bare the complete genetic make up of the virus opens up a new era of research, drastically widens the possible experiments that scientists can perform on the virus, and may significantly accelerate our understanding of how HIV infects humans and evades our immune system.
Nip off the leg of this little axolotl salamander, and he grows it right back. The beasts' regenerative powers extend to their limbs, skin, jaws, those feathery antler-gills on its head, and even parts of its nervous system and brain. Now the U.S. Department of Defense has allocated $6.25 million to research how it does its thing, and whether we can do the same.
At-home personal genomics kits are available and affordable, but how relevant are the results?
By Devanshu Patel Posted 02.23.2009 at 1:08 pm 2 Comments
In Gattaca's opening scene, a doctor predicts, at the time of Ethan Hawke's character Vincent's birth, the likelihood that Vincent will suffer from a variety of diseases ("Manic depression: 42% probability…Heart disorder: 99% probability"), and determines his life expectancy to be 30.2 years.
While monthly flights to the moon and dating Uma Thurman remain science fiction (or science fantasy) for most, this type of genetic palm reading is now entering the realm of modern-day reality. You can get "sequenced" on the cheap, and at home, with personal genomics – retailed kits that provide users, after they've sent a saliva sample back to the company for analysis, with a range of personal genetic information.
But, as in Gattaca, where Vincent beats the odds of his genetic "fate," a question remains: How useful and predictive are the results of these personal genome tests? Some doctors say the results are not as relevant as one might think.
Energetic, original thinker needed immediately for long-term project. Unique opportunity. Salary: modest, with chance of $1-million Nobel Prize supplement
By JR MinkelPosted 08.27.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Every branch of science has at some point been confronted by a daunting question that stumps progress for years, even decades. How did the continents form? What causes fever? Is there intelligent life beyond Earth? Solutions may accrue incrementally or arrive in a flash of inspiration. Sometimes it seems they are destined never to come at all. Here are four disciplines in need of a modern-day Einstein.