Sunday, November 23, 2008

The DNA Network

The DNA Network

Paradigm Shifts..... [The Gene Sherpa: Personalized Medicine and You]

Posted: 23 Nov 2008 07:16 PM CST

I am busily preparing for the Coriell ICOB meeting in Philadelphia coming up shortly. We are set to examine a whole host of new SNPs and their relevance to disease. I also am ramping up our practices...

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A Beautiful Example of Science for the Masses [The Daily Transcript]

Posted: 23 Nov 2008 07:14 PM CST

Awesome. This is the type of video that got me hooked on biology.

A Sea Biscuit's Life from Bruno Vellutini on Vimeo.

From Bruno's Vimeo page:

This video shows the life cycle of the sea biscuit Clypeaster subdepressus and is part of my master's thesis project at the Biosciences Institute of University of São Paulo.

We collected adults from sand beds of São Sebastião Channel (São Sebastião, SP, Brazil) and induced gamete release (eggs and sperm). We did the fertilization in vitro and followed the embryonic development in the laboratory, under light microscopy. Embryos become swimming larvae, approximately 0.2 mm wide, which we fed with microalgae until metamorphosis. A diminute sea biscuit grows inside the larva. When the minuscule podia and spines are formed the larva sinks and undergoes metamorphosis. The juvenile sea biscuit resorbs the larval tissue and begins to explore its new habitat, between sand grains.

We did the footage in the Marine Biology Center of University of São Paulo (CEBIMar-USP), located in São Sebastião, SP, Brazil, northern shore of State of São Paulo.

You can find more information about this project in the website.

Download the soundtrack from the netlabel AEROTONE.

This video is under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license.

Read the comments on this post...

Are You Smarter Than A Politician? [adaptivecomplexity's blog]

Posted: 22 Nov 2008 11:28 PM CST

OK, this isn't strictly science, but take this U.S. civics quiz and then see if you do better than your average US government official.

Is it really surprising that government officials did worse than the average in this survey?

I got 31 out of 33 - how did you all do?

read more

ETC Group: Direct-to-Consumer DNA Testing and the Myth of Personalized Medicine: Spit Kits, SNP Chips and Human Genomics [Think Gene]

Posted: 22 Nov 2008 09:39 PM CST

Complete Paper

Through clever (and often misleading) marketing, some companies are persuading consumers to pay for storage of genetic data and health information, which the companies intend to use (e.g., sell to the pharmaceutical industry) for research and drug development. While DNA testing is currently expensive, risky (e.g., it can result in privacy violations and discrimination) and provides information with extremely limited usefulness, it is being marketed as the next cutting-edge, must-have accessory – the iPod of the medical world.

I don’t disagree with anything in this paper, but it’s unclear to me why some marketing must be humbly honest while other marketing can be arbitarily deceitful within the flexible bounds of enforced law. Don’t misconstrue this statement as permission on my behalf for the DTC genomics industry to exist as it is.

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