Daily Archives: May 28, 2008

“US government gene guru to resign”

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Photograph of Francis S. Collins
Just passing along the details from Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is losing its gene guru: Dr. Francis Collins, who helped lead the breakthrough unraveling of the human genetic code — and found common ground between the belief in God and science — is resigning.Collins, arguably the nation’s most influential geneticist, announced Wednesday that he will leave the National Institutes of Health this summer, to write a book and explore other opportunities.The folksy geneticist helped translate the complexities of DNA into everyday vernacular. Collins led the Human Genome Project that, along with a competing private company, mapped the genetic code — or “the book of human life,” as he famously called it…..

Read the rest here.Here is part of an email from Collins: Continue reading “US government gene guru to resign”

Ghostly Ring Found in Outer Space

This just in from NASA:

This image shows a ghostly ring extending seven light-years across around the corpse of a massive star. The collapsed star, called a magnetar, is located at the exact center of this image. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope imaged the mysterious ring around magnetar SGR 1900+14 in infrared light. The magnetar itself is not visible in this image, as it has not been detected at infrared wavelengths (it has been seen in X-ray light).

i-7750d488cdd2afe095c26d0df04c0e37-231303main_magnetar-516.jpgPersonally, I think what we’ve got here is one of these: Continue reading Ghostly Ring Found in Outer Space

The Earth Is Being Eaten By Bacteria!

… But don’t panic. Apparently, this is normal.It turns out that bacteria living at the bottom of the sea are far more abundant and diverse than scientists had previously thought. These bacteria appear to be consuming the planet’s oceanic crust. This raises several interesting questions regarding the interaction and co evolution of life on Earth and the Earth itself.[UPDATED] Continue reading The Earth Is Being Eaten By Bacteria!

Early Exposure To Lead May Be a Factor in Adulthood Criminal Arrest Rates

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Lead
What causes some individuals to be more violent than others? Obviously, being male is a risk factor for violence and more broadly for criminal behavior. The behavior of one’s parents or other adult caretakers, as one is growing up, has been implicated in some studies as well. Poverty is an indirect factor as it can be associated with more direct risk factors.A new study in PLoS looks specifically at one of several possible environmental factors linked to arrest patterns in general and arrest for violent crimes in particular: Exposure to lead. Continue reading Early Exposure To Lead May Be a Factor in Adulthood Criminal Arrest Rates