DNA


DNA SplitCarl Franzen writes at TPM Idea Lab:

Forget saving files to flash drives and cloud servers. Now, digital information can be stored in the DNA of living organisms, thanks to a breakthrough discovery by researchers at Stanford University in California.

A trio of scientists successfully demonstrated the ability to flip the direction of DNA molecules in sample E.coli bacteria in two directions, mimicking the “1s” and “0s” of binary code, which is at the root of all modern computer calculations.

“Essentially, if the DNA section points in one direction, it’s a zero. If it points the other way, it’s a one,” said Pakpoom Subsoontorn, a bioengineering graduate student at Stanford involved in the research, in an article on the Stanford School of Medicine website



You may still have that dinosaur virus your ancestors caught millions of years ago. David Shukman explains for BBC News: Traces of ancient viruses which infected our ancestors millions of years ago…



If you thought that those ancient cave paintings at Lascaux and elsewhere were pretty abstract, think again. AP via Fox News reports that DNA studies suggest the cave painters were actually painting…









Unraveling ancient human DNA must be like crack for anthropologists — they just can’t stop! Joe Palca reports for NPR: DNA taken from a pinkie bone at least 30,000 years old is…




Many doctors dispense Quinolones–such as Levaquin, Cipro and Aveloxl–as if they were Pez these days.  Cipro, for example, is useful against Anthrax, but some doctors have been known to prescribe it for possible infections that haven’t even shown up in tests.

But fluoroquinolones are now known to researchers to sometimes cause tendinopathy, neuropathy, and other serious adverse effects.  They work by preventing bacterial DNA from duplicating, and it seems they might sometimes harm human DNA as well.

So why haven’t the manufacturers told doctors about these risks?  And why hasn’t the FDA ordered them to?



A “DNA mist” that store employees can spray on unaware robbers: is this the future of crime-fighting? New York Times reports: Rotterdam, the Netherlands — When the McDonald’s down from City Hall…







CCTVThis week the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made it clear that he sees the expansion of the UK surveillance camera network as a vote winner in the coming general election [1]. Brown was in Reading delivering a speech on ‘crime and anti-social behaviour’, he said [2]:

CCTV and DNA are crucial.

There are of course some who think CCTV is “excessive”, but they probably don’t have to walk home or take the night bus on their own at the end of a night out. For the rest of us, for ordinary hard working, decent people, the evidence is clear: CCTV reduces the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour.

That is why this government has funded CCTV in nearly 700 town centre schemes over the last decade — and why in the coming months we are bringing in a new power for people to petition their local authority for more CCTV, with the authority having a duty to respond.

Now the opposition parties have campaigned against CCTV — our support for CCTV will be on the ballet paper at any coming election.