A whirlwind recap of the links that piled up in my blogfodder folder.

Medical doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that hydrogen sulfide gas can cause the metabolic processes of mammalian cells to drop drastically, thus approximating a state of suspended animation. By breathing a low concentration of the gas the heart rates of experimental animals plummeted rapidly without a corresponding drop in blood pressure or the need for refrigeration; moreover, the state appears to be reversible. This means that the organism requires less oxygen in the depressed state, which means that cells remain viable much longer. The surgical applications should be obvious.

The Internet Storm Center reported not too long ago …

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Biological mechanism that controls regeneration in zebrafish isolated.

At the Duke University Medical Center, biologists have been working with zebrafish, a common aquarium fish with unusual properties, namely, they can regenerate damaged limbs and organs, including fully functional eyes and hearts. They can re-grow an entire fin in approximately two weeks' time assuming that the fish is otherwise healthy. As it turns out, very small pieces of RNA (ribonucleic acid, which is involved in the synthesis of proteins, as well as controlling the state of certain genes) control whether or not the regeneration mechanism is active or not. If a particular micro-RNA strand, designated miR-133, has a low …

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