Monday, August 11, 2008

New Scientist Snippets

The following is a list of some important items taken from the New Scientist edition of July 12-18 2008.

1. It is now possible to grow sperm from tooth stem cells - talk about putting your money where you mouth is.

2. Lawyers, surgeons and ethicists from 78 countries are calling for a ban on the international trade of organs (such as kidneys) - why it took them so long is anyone's guess (organ trading is a disgusting practice that targets the most poor in society).

3. Flatfish caught evolving due to its roving eye - looks like another missing link has been found.

4. Men who have sex more often less likely to develop erectile dysfunction

5. Chelation heart trials creates furor.

6. Freezing embryos for IVF does more good then harm - apparently the stronger one's survive producing a fitness benefit.

7. Lamarckian inheritance is back in vogue - environmental factors can cause change in 'junk' DNA which can then be passed on and expressed in offspring (under a mechanism of gene control). I never liked the term 'junk' DNA anyway (I figured it was a scientific cop out).This new realization - aka transgenerational epigenetic Inheritance - looks as though it may force us to re-write some of the biology textbooks.

8. A fully bevy of lunar missions are scheduled from 2008-2020. The US, Europe, Russia, Japan, China, UK and India will be the key drivers. Being a space zealot myself this move to return to our trusted natural satellite can only be viewed in a positive light. Its about time........

9. Breast Milk still trumps formula in almost every health measurement (risk for diabetes, obesity, respiratory and urinary tract infections, middle ear problems etc) but formula companies are working diligently at improving their product. Several human milk proteins have already been produced in GM food crops - rice in particular.

Post a Comment