Tag: genetics

  1. Genetically engineered 'queen' cancer cells.

    16 August 2007

    Geneticists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new cell culturing medium that does something amazing: It allows human cells to transform into so-called 'queen' cancer cells, cancer cells that reproduce rapidly and produce mutants that become the actual tumours. Think of them as stem cells that specialize in producing cancers as we normally think of them. Not all malignant cells are capable of doing this, most just sit there and use up resources and oxygen and reproduce, but don't actually break off and spread to other parts of the body. This germ line of cells came about …

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  2. It's only fitting that his genome was first.

    01 June 2007

    The genome of Dr. James Watson, who figured out the structure of DNA with Francis Crick, was the first genome to be completely sequenced from start to finish (the results of the Human Genome Project are actually composited from a number of anonymous humans - thank you, HIPAA), which means that each pair of nucleotides in his genetic structure was determined, mapped to a gene, and placed in its proper place in the DNA strand. You can think of it as reverse engineering human DNA because they figured out what everything in there is supposed to do... a copy of his …

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  3. I guess they couldn't wait..

    23 May 2007

    Marine biologists at the Queen's University of Belfast have made an interesting discovery: Hammerhead sharks will reproduce parthogenically under the right conditions. One of a number of female hammerhead sharks kept in captivity back in 2001 (yes, it took them this long to finish their research and publish) was reportedly able to produce young without the presence of a male hammerhead, which lead to some consternation. The original hypothesis was that the female in question had stored sperm from an earlier mating, so they took DNA samples from the sharks in the tank and the young and diff'd them to …

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  4. For some reason, this reminds me of a filk song...

    27 March 2007

    Geneticists at the University of Nevada have spent the past seven calendar years working on producing viable chimaerae, hybrid organisms of human and nonhuman natures. The project's most remarkable success to date was announced yesterday: A sheep that is 15% human by cell count. That's right - one tenth of its cellular makeup is from an unknown specimen of homo sapiens sapiens. During gestation, cells from an adult human were injected into the peritoneum of a sheep fetus, which allowed the cells to be integrated through the course of foetal development.

    The purpose behind these experiments are the eventual development of …

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