Post-biological proof of concept lab experiments and genetic anomalies.

Yesterday afternoon I posted an article about synthetic nucleic acids and processing of arbitrary information from the field of synthetic biology. To recap briefly, by adding synthetic components to bioengineered bacteria researchers have been able to represent and manipulate information with XNA, a variant of DNA which involves synthetic compounds in addition to the four naturally found in DNA. One of the commenters on that post is working somewhere in that field and mentioned a few of the things that can be done with those custom-designed nucleic acids. This reminded me of another article I've had in my to-write queue …

Read more...

NASA project for the International Space Station sabotaged.

A couple of days ago it was discovered by NASA that someone had sabotaged a hardware upgrade destined for the International Space Station. Specifically, someone cut the wiring inside of a sensor package designed to monitor physical stress upon the ISS' superstructure and relay the data back to Mission Control. While being able to keep an eye on the overall status of the space station would be a good thing, it's unlikely that it would have directly placed the crew in harm's way, barring unforseen circumstances. The sabotage was first discovered in a test unit in the lab; a subsequent …

Read more...