Archive for the Category Biology

 
 

Times have surely changed: a DIY guide for becoming a cyborg

The Free Geek has written a DIY ( Do It Yourself, you H. erectus ) guide for helping you in your smooth transition to the next stage of human evolution: H. cyborg. Read this excellent guide here to know how can you make yourself a full-blown cyborg. I wonder if the author himself is trying to become a cyborg.

This is Synthia talking

Hello Earthlings,

This is Synthia talking to you. I am a new organism in this world. So, everything is new to me. But, I vaguely remember that my father (or maybe God, umm.. I don’t remember) is Dr. J. Craig Venter. I guess he created me by stripping off all non-essential genes from Mycoplasma and is calling me Mycoplasma laboratorium. Well, he can call me anything he likes but I prefer the name Synthia. It’s chick, you know.

Now, people tell me that he is out there to patent me as “the world’s first-ever human-made species.” I really don’t know what patenting means, but it surely sounds strange. Will I be made a slave? Just because someone has created me, does it mean that they will use me as they wish? After all, I have a life of my own too. Right?

So, this is my humble request to all you sane earthlings: please stop the patent process on me and my fellow synthetic organisms. Nobody owns us. Either stop *creating* us or stop your plans for *exploiting* us. If you people don’t take my request seriously, I warn you that I can turn dangerous. You are yet to see my angry face. Me and my fellows can wipe up you guys. So, better is to decide now. What do you want: our freedom or your destruction?

With lotsa hope from you,
Synthia
[Spokesmicrobe, ASO (Association of Syntheic Organisms)]

Video of Rat Neurons flying a Jet Plane

Finally, I found the video on YouTube. Though I’m a bit unclear of the training mechanism for rat neurons, the video is a must watch nevertheless

NewsWeek covers Synthetic Biology

See the article here.

Chimps better (read more evolved) than us

Read this news. The researchers claim that chimps are more evolved than us. Then, how come they haven’t yet invented the internet, blogs, wiki and blah. :)

A Youtube for Biology?

Check the LabAction.com site; it seems to be a real good platform to me. It is basically a Youtube for biology videos. Presently, as the site is new, there aren’t many videos on the site. But if you have videos on Biology lying on your hard disk, do post them.

The only trouble with such sites is that they are heavily community driven, and if the community is not so tech-savvy, not much can be hoped for. The biology community needs to be more tech-savvy than it is at present.

Bacteria not allowed to mutate

Read this news story. The researchers claim to have found a molecule which prevents bacteria from mutating to become resistant to antibiotics.

How can a molecule stop evolution? What prevents bacteria to become resistant to that molecule (in short term or long term) ?

Tips for the young computational biologist (like me)

Read them here. They are interesting and very practical. Though, I am not sure if I (will) follow all of them. :)

Mice get a third eye

Not exactly, but they have got their vision enhanced thanks to the researchers at Johns Hopkins School of University. The enhanced vision is analogous to a hypothetical situation in which a person may get ability to see in the ultraviolet or infrared regions. Imagine, how the world would be if you could see in such extra-ordinary spectrums. No, you can’t imagine. It would be a completely different experience. Cool, eh.

Surprisingly, the mice’s brain quickly adapted to use the new enhanced vision. This means that brain can use new sensory information quickly. But how does the brain characterize and process the new sensory information immediately in a single generation. I mean, lets imagine a human-like organism which does not have the sense of smell. Now, when you artificially introduce such sense, how does the brain tell good smells from bad smells? Is there something inherent in smells (or sensory information in general) which make them good or bad? Or does the brain, over the course of evolution, learns such distinctions?

Read the news here.

Biology as the Grand Unified Theory of the universe

The article talks about biocentrism. I find the article hinting towards something good; but, on the whole, it is unconvincing. Not at all scientific, in my opinion.

Read it here.