21st Century brutes will crave escargot, eschew dairy
With the whole world gone mad (again) for everything cryptid (the Boston Phoenix attributes this to our pressing need for Great Depression 2.0 distractions), New Scientist has cooked up a list of DNA-sequenced species to be raised from the dead.
Neanderthals, naturally, top the list of humanoid species.
Harvard archaeologists, meanwhile, believe they know what might have killed-off the Neanderthal in the first place: lactose intolerance. The Harvard folks also suggested the Neanderthal enjoyed many different kinds of food, including escargot.
To revive a long-dead species scientists would have to recover enough DNA from a well-preserved specimen and find a suitable surrogate species similar to that of the extinct animal in which to grow the new baby from an embryo.
“It’s hard to say that something will never ever be possible,”said Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who is sequencing the Neanderthal genome.
“But it would require technologies so far removed from what we currently have that I cannot imagine how it would be done.”
(Do-gooders? Rice University Bioengineering Lab. Photo: CC Ed Schipul)
The engineering professional association IEEE reports that engineers are fairing well.
Good for them.
But to say they are “doing well by doing good” is laughable, generally speaking.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers cites technologists working on “solar energy and search engines, cellphones and fuel cells, DNA sequencing and Hollywood blockbusters,” as fairly pathetic examples of do-gooding.
The IEEE goes on in this bit (below) to admit that aerospace and defense, and consumer electronics, are actually the industries keeping engineers in good stead.
IEEE Spectrum: Engineers Are Doing Well by Doing Good
This rise in starting salaries would be even higher were companies not able to get young talent from such places as India, China, and Romania. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that over the next decade, EE employment will grow much more slowly than other engineering areas, because of the job outflux to other countries.
Parallelnormal is back on-line after a recent “health scare.” Please keep your comments and feedback coming! — mb
Scientists in authoritarian-ruled Singapore say they’ve developed a DNA identification assay-on-a-chip that also preps a drop of blood for sampling. This means any one of us might be just a pinprick away from being instantly Identified as a threat. (The watch, below, is one possible form-factor for the DNA tester.)
…a rapid test for genetic diagnosis that combines the preparation of biological samples with a polymerase chain reaction PCR on one chip. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the “laboratory device” for all steps in this system is a single drop containing magnetic nanoparticles, which is moved across the chip by a magnetic field.
Stuck on you. DNA double helices with identical nucleotide sequences draw together, spontaneously.
Bits of identical DNA, separated by water only, will draw together–but only if they are the same, according to chemists at the Imperial College of London.
The ICL chemists do not know how the identical double helices recognize each other. They suggest that the curvature of the helices, being a match, might stress the medium between them in a way that brings them together.
Electrostatic charges might also be responsible for this DNA “telepathy.”
DNA Double Helices Recognize Mutual Sequence Homology in a Protein Free Environment
We have observed spontaneous segregation of the two kinds of DNA within each spherulite, which reveals that nucleotide sequence recognition occurs between double helices separated by water in the absence of proteins, consistent with our earlier theoretical hypothesis. We thus report experimental evidence and discuss possible mechanisms for the recognition of homologous DNAs from a distance.