Science can be rather disheartening.
You sidle up to a potential lover and you're told there's no chemistry. You want to make yourself beautiful for the next potential lover and physics makes your eyes resemble pig buttocks.
And yet, just occasionally, scientific exploration of our biology can turn up a helpful hint that lifts us from our daily pall.
Indeed, my all-too-rare reading of Science magazine has turned up something that for you will be peace of mind and for Amazon will surely be the next great business segment.
For instead of shoving your data onto a hard … Read more
Geek fashion isn't always subtle. There are Boba Fett winter hats, Game Boy dresses, and eye-screaming Marty McFly hats. And then there's this set of Helix Stockings. Subtle, tasteful Helix Stockings.
For the science lady who has everything, these $17.99 stockings are off-black and made from nylon and spandex with a velvet-like DNA helix design running nearly a foot long on the side.… Read more
After the H1N1 "swine flu" virus jumped from pigs to human in 2009, more than 18,000 people died and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called it the first global pandemic in more than 40 years.
Today, biomedical engineers out of Brown University and Memorial Hospital in Rhode Island hope that their prototype flu detector biochip will help contain the next major flu outbreak by enabling the quickest, most accurate, and most affordable diagnosis possible.
All too often when these claims are investigated, though, they turn up a gorilla costume and a couple of rogues.
However, someone is finally bringing scientific credibility to the search not only for Yetis, but also the Loch Ness Monster and, for all I know, unicorns.
During the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009, which spread across more than 200 countries and killed more than 18,000 people, it became clear that flu diagnosis was often taking too long and resulting in frequent false negatives.
Today, researchers from Boston University, Harvard, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are reporting in the journal PLoS ONE that they have built a microfluidic chip that rivals in accuracy the gold-standard diagnostic test known as RT-PCR but is faster, cheaper, and disposable.
For their four-year study, which involved 146 patients with flu-like symptoms and was funded by the National Institutes … Read more
SUNNYVALE, CALIF., - When it comes to splicing genes and replicating DNA, backrooms and basements are not the most ideal labs. The next wave of home hacking appears to be in biotech, and around the country, a handful of collectives have sprung up in the past few years to accommodate these biohackers.
As the members of a loose-knit biohacking group in the San Francisco Bay Area saw the passion for their homebrew hackers club growing rapidly, they decided it was time to expand. What they eventually built opened late last year as BioCurious, the Bay Area's first hackerspace for … Read more
Engineers at Cornell are building a handheld pathogen detector that will help health care workers around the world test for pathogens such as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and HIV and get results in as little as 30 minutes, instead of waiting days.Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering, has been using synthetic DNA to amplify tiny samples of pathogen DNA, RNA, or proteins. Because of $25 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenge to 12 teams developing point-of-care diagnostics, Luo will be combining forces with Edwin Kan, a Cornell professor of electrical and computer engineering, who has built a computer chip that can respond quickly to those amplified samples.
The engineers describe their novel device as something akin to a molecular-level Lego builder.… Read more
Unipro's Ugene is a free bioinformatics modeling and visualization tool. You can use it to visualize, analyze, and annotate DNA and protein sequences. It's widely compatible with a variety of platforms, tools, and methods and includes an integrated Muscle alignment tool, integrated Hmmer2 package, an OpenGL viewer for PDB macromolecular structures, and a custom workflow designer.
Ugene isn't difficult to set up, though much of what it does depends on access to other files and tools. Ugene's functions are based around Projects, Tasks, and Logs. Under Application Settings, we could configure everything from system resource allocation … Read more
It's been a good year for video gamers--and not just the epic legions of Call of Duty fans enjoying Modern Warfare 3.
A few months after Foldit players helped decode the structure of a protein key to the way HIV multiplies, another group of gamers taking on DNA sequencing in the game Phylo have contributed more than 350,000 solutions, the game's designers at McGill University report.
When University of Washington researchers unveiled Foldit in 2008, it wasn't clear whether the protein-folding game would be a one hit wonder. But one-year-old Phylo, already averaging 1,000 eureka … Read more