gnat + bio   163

How to Spot a Liar: Pamela Meyer - Businessweek
Nonverbal clues can be revealing because liars don’t rehearse gestures, just words. They freeze their upper body, oftentimes look down, lower their voice, slow their breathing and blink rate, slump, and then exhibit relief when the interview is over. Interrogators will often end an interview prematurely just to look for that relief—that shift in posture and relaxation.
life  bio 
may 2012 by gnat
Shakespeare's Chancre: Did the Bard Have Syphilis?
Syphilis was more severe in the 15th and 16th centuries than it is today [9–11]. Gruesome clinical descriptions of primary, secondary, and gummatous syphilis quickly appeared. Quétel, in History of Syphilis, notes that all the works which appeared before 1514 agree on the principal characteristics of the new disease: its contagiousness and ability to spread quickly...its multiplicity of cutaneous manifestations, and the intensity of pains in the head and bones...most authors mention the primary chancre and its induration...followed by a reddish rash...after a brief respite...large rounded tumors [gummas] start to appear at random in muscles or bones, eating away cavities within them...they ulcerate the body extensively, exposing the bones and eating away at the nose, the lips, the palate, the larynx, and the genitals. [11, pp. 26–7]

By Shakespeare's time, syphilis was less explosive in onset, perhaps because of attenuated virulence or improved population immunity, nutrition, and hygiene, with decreased bacterial superinfection. Use of the term “syphilis” was not common until the 19th century [10]. Shakespeare refers to syphilis as the pox, the malady of France, the infinite malady, the incurable bone-ache, the hoar leprosy, and most oddly as “the good-year” (a corruption of the French term “goujere,” from “gouge,” meaning prostitute) [15, 16].

There are no certain references to genital chancres in Shakespeare's writings, although the “embossed sores” in As You Like It (act 2, scene 7) and the “canker” in Sonnet 95 associated with “vice” and “” are suggestive [7]. A catalog of the secondary and tertiary manifestations of syphilis in Troilus and Cressida (act 5, scene 1) includes “raw eyes” (syphilitic episcleritis, iritis, or uveitis), “bone-ache” (syphilitic periostitis), and “limekilns in the palm” (the papulosquamous, palmar rash of secondary syphilis).
medicine  bio  history  lit  books 
november 2011 by gnat
Introduced plants 'becoming Australian'
A number of introduced plant species have become more like natives, suggesting rapid evolution could happen far more frequently than previously thought, according to new research from UNSW.
On the upside, the result suggests plants may be able to adapt to climate change. On the downside, it means that invasive plants will become even more problematic over time.
Using pressed plant specimens from NSW dating back around 150 years, researchers found that the majority of introduced herbaceous plants -- such as clover and wild geranium -- showed significant change since being introduced to Australia.
science  bio  gardening 
february 2011 by gnat
EteRNA, an Online Game, Helps Build a New RNA Warehouse -
RNA folding, foldit with a twist: Stanford scientists synthesize some entries each week to see if they really do fold that way. building a library of RNA useful in nanotech, they hope
crowdsourcing  science  bio 
january 2011 by gnat
Leigh Van Valen, Evolutionary Biologist, Dies at 76 -
he started his own journal to publish the paper that became a new law in evolution (the Red Queen hypothesis)
bio  evolution  science  bio_  evolution_  science_  from delicious
november 2010 by gnat
Drawing inspiration from nature to build a better radio - MIT News Office
Sarpeshkar and his students describe their new chip, which they have dubbed the "radio frequency (RF) cochlea," in a paper to be published in the June issue of the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. They have also filed for a patent to incorporate the RF cochlea in a universal or software radio architecture that is designed to efficiently process a broad spectrum of signals including cellular phone, wireless Internet, FM, and other signals.
radio  power  hardware  electronics  mit  design  bio 
june 2009 by gnat
Indian health care | Lessons from a frugal innovator | The Economist
That is why Stanford’s Dr Yock wants to turn innovation upside down. He has extended his bio-design programme to India, in part to instil an understanding of the benefits of frugality in his students.
bio  medicine  healthcare  innovation  startups 
april 2009 by gnat
Biotech in North Carolina | Pipettes at the ready | The Economist
The state has invested more than $1.2 billion in biotechnology in the past ten years, between facilities, research, training programmes and incentives for companies. Those efforts have paid off. North Carolina now has more than 54,000 people working for some 500 biotech companies.
business  bio  technology  usa  economics  government 
april 2009 by gnat
Rise of the garage genome hackers - life - 07 January 2009 - New Scientist
story about diybio, glowing yogurt, math bugs, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria
bio  hacks  make 
january 2009 by gnat
Health: North-South fight on IP, Benefit Sharing issues in influenza talks
An interesting take on IP and medicine. Countries with bird flu are having their arms twisted to share samples of the viruses their inhabitants are infected with, but the Western pharma getting the samples are under no obligation to share the cure. "Give us your disease so we can sell you a cure" almost sounds okay, but it fails when the alternative is "how about we keep our disease and cure it ourselves?" or "we charge you for our disease so you can sell us a cure" (which would be perfectly capitalist and in line with IP maximality).
medicine  bio  health  ip 
january 2009 by gnat
Technology Review: Spinning Silk into Sensors
"In the devices that ­Omenetto and Kaplan are developing, proteins embedded in the optical material efficiently bind to a target such as oxygen or a bacterial protein; when they do, the light transmitted by the sensor changes color."
bio  sensors  scifoo 
january 2009 by gnat
A history of “Gray's Anatomy” | Fearfully and wonderfully made | The Economist
story behind the original book, Gray's Anatomy, and the dead people whose bodies were drawn for it.
history  medicine  bio 
november 2008 by gnat
Genes, disease and evolution | Bad old genes | The Economist
Genes that cause disease when they misfunction are old, "were present in single-celled organisms and the rest arose when multicellular creatores began to evolve". Are they inescapable, therefore?
genomics  bio  medicine  health  history 
november 2008 by gnat
Leading geneticist Steve Jones says human evolution is over - Times Online
Evolution slowing because: younger fathers have fewer mutations; natural selection weakened as more kids survive; and the loss of small isolated populations.
evolution  bio 
october 2008 by gnat
Why rats can't vomit
Fascinating! Rats have differently wired stomachs, and also lack the complex neural connections to coordinate the activity.
science  bio  via:mjd  fun 
september 2008 by gnat
Mind Hacks: Strip Club Hunter, or the attractions of anatomy
Fascinating stories for illustratin points. For example, on incentives--there was a loophole in 1930s British law about nudity such that if the naked girls stood still, they weren't acting and therefore not subject to legislation banning nude actors; decades of "living statue" shows followed. And on the use of bodies for scientific investigation, they were often purchased from people who robbed graves. "On one horrific occasion in 1784, the physician John Sheldon, proprietor of the Blenheim Street School of Anatomy, was presented with his recently deceased sister by one of the school's regular suppliers."
bio  history  medicine  sex 
august 2008 by gnat
MIT engineers work toward cell-sized batteries - MIT News Office
They lay down tiny posts, and viruses "preferentially self-assemble atop the polymer layers on the posts, ultimately forming the anode". The scientists "altered the virus's genes so it makes protein coats that collect molecules of cobalt oxide to form ultrathin wires -- together, the anode."
bio  science  energy 
august 2008 by gnat
Physiognomy | The shape of your face betrays how aggressive you are--if you're a man
In a paper just published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, two Canadian scientists have concluded that one's predisposition to aggression is signalled by the ratio of width to height of the male face, whose proportions are shaped in puberty by the (among other things) aggression-inducing testosterone. This works for men (tested in hockey players and undergraduates) but not women (undergraduates). Other findings not in this paper: women can predict a man's interest in children from his face, and both trustworthiness and dominance also show up.
bio  psychology  research 
august 2008 by gnat
H. pylori as symbiont rather than parasite
H. pylori is a bacterium in the human gut, the one implicated in stomach ulcers and cancers. It also has a role in appetite regulation, stomach acid regulation, and there's a correlation (unsure causation) with asthma. Dr Martin Blaser of NY School of Medicine, suspects we've coevolved with H. pylori and its eradication reduces the effectiveness of our immune systems and opens the door to asthma, obesity, and acid reflux.
medicine  bio  evolution 
august 2008 by gnat
Peak Energy: The Turning Of The Worm
a table with a worm farm built in, and even a cctv that lets you spy on the worms' activity in the top 9 inches of compost. Worms are harmed by white light, so the tv has to show infrared. no mention of whether you want rotting waste in your living room.
art  bio  gardening  hardware  hacks 
august 2008 by gnat
Face value | Triple therapy |
Very interesting article about GlaxoSmithKline's new CEO, Andrew Witty. Insider who spent a year in a biotech startup, completely comfortable changing their business model. Wants reliable pipeline with much less blockbuster focus. Expanding into developing nations generics. Working with customers (e.g., NHS) to keep the drug offerings matched with what they want.
bio  business  medicine 
august 2008 by gnat
Natural History: Inside the code: our DNA contains layers of "extra" information that constrains the direction evolution can take
nice readable introduction to DNA, mRNA, tRNA, codons, exons, introns and varying rates of mutations
august 2008 by gnat
Contagious cancer: The evolution of a killer—By David Quammen (Harper's Magazine)
fascinating story about the fact that cancerous cells evolve from regular ones through Darwinian selection. Plenty of amazing stories of transmissible cancers (19yo lab asst stabbed herself with syringe and grew colon cancer on her hand).
evolution  bio  science  medicine  australia 
august 2008 by gnat
open...: A New Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation
"Sir John Sulston...won a Nobel Prize for his work on nematode worms/apoptosis, and seems certain to share another for his work on the Human Genome Project...lead the forces that kept the human genome free/unpatented think of him as the RMS of the genome"
open  bio  opensource  people 
july 2008 by gnat
Gene Testing Questioned By Regulators - New York Times
Regulators are cracking down on companies that sell genetic tests directly to consumers, threatening to crimp the growth of one of the hottest sectors of the biotechnology industry.
bio  personal  genomics 
july 2008 by gnat
Inter Research » MEPS » v135 » p57-67
"These predictions are tested by describing the spatial patterns found for a range of scales (5 to 33 cm and 33 cm to 6 m)... to incorporate environmental variation, patterns were studied at 2 sites of different sediment grain size and hydrodynamic ..."
cockles  bio  science  research 
june 2008 by gnat
Lifeblog: Kevin Kelly and the New Rules of the New Biology
"I think those with strong digital sensibilities will have a hard time embracing the uncertainty and variability so common in biological systems."
bio  science  biology 
june 2008 by gnat
Cognitive enhancement | All on the mind |
round-up of brain performance-enhancing drugs. Still don't get why it's okay to take ritalin (speed) but not okay to take steroids.
drugs  culture  medicine  bio 
may 2008 by gnat
Developing Intelligence : Time Distortion Due to Visual Flicker
"against the use of a central "brain clock" and instead support a more distributed and explicit encoding of time" ... like bees! (cf bees wind tunnel black/white)
bio  brain  time 
may 2008 by gnat
The Drug Resurrector | Popular Science
"The Johns Hopkins Clinical Compound Screening Initiative is an open-source effort to collect and index more than 10,000 known medications and determine which of them are also effective against hundreds of low-profile, Third World killers, such as Chagas
science  bio  opensource 
may 2008 by gnat
Learning and longevity | Critical thinking |
Arthur C. Clarke said it first and best: "it is yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value".
bio  evolution  intelligence 
may 2008 by gnat
Biomimetics - National Geographic Magazine
many labs around the world trying to reengineer natural objects or abilities, but complexity is nature's strength and man's achille's heel.
science  bio 
april 2008 by gnat
Psychology | Sugaring the decision |
mental fatigue is often just low blood sugar
brain  bio  health 
april 2008 by gnat
DNA Paternity Testing Kits On Sale Over the Counter - Boing Boing Gadgets
tech again shakes up culture: false paternity rates estimated between 3 and 13% (between 1 in 8 and 1 in 30, which is still high!).
culture  usa  genomics  bio 
march 2008 by gnat
Pester power | Sob story |
rather a daring and unwise extrapolation from banded mongooses to humans. "Over-fussy" has many causes (e.g., not getting enough milk from breast, colic, gas pains, reflux) and it's never that infants are gaming their parents. Irritating!
parenting  bio  kids  psychology 
march 2008 by gnat
Brain Scanner Can Tell What You're Looking At
machine learned from fMRIs to be able to predict what you are looking at from your fMRI scans
brain  cv  bio 
march 2008 by gnat
Scientists Create See-Through Fish, Watch Cancer Grow | LiveScience
Scientists are breeding zebrafish with see-through bodies in order to make studying disease processes easier, including the spread of cancer.
bio  fish  science 
february 2008 by gnat
Health care | The bleeding edge |
Hardware is the new pill. "Perhaps surprisingly, considering the grousing usually heard from drugs giants about European regulators, his firm has often found it faster and easier to launch new products in the Europe than in America."
hardware  bio  medicine 
february 2008 by gnat
The DNA database | Big, bigger, biggest |
the criminals you can catch from holding DNA are not useful arguments for holding it. You could apply the same argument to simply shooting everyone--you'd kill all the criminals! The question is false positives: how many innocent people are harmed?
economics  bio  privacy 
february 2008 by gnat
So You Want to Know Your Genome
He is having his genome sequenced by Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genome Project, is writing a book about personal genomics and blogs at This article originally appeared in the News & Observer.
personal  genomics  bio 
february 2008 by gnat
NIST working on "Deathalyzer" | Community
potentially a fast low-cost way of screening for disease
health  bio  trends 
february 2008 by gnat
Grand Challenges for Engineering
National Academy of Engineering's grand chall
science  research  future  bio  education  energy  environment  ui 
february 2008 by gnat
Artificial letters added to life's alphabet - tech - 30 January 2008 - New Scientist Tech
new bases close enough that the polymerase enzymes copied them, but they'll have new properties
bio  research  future  trends 
january 2008 by gnat
IEEE Spectrum: Sensitive Synthetic Skin in the Works for Prosthetic Arms
By combining carbon nanotubes with a specially designed polymer, researchers are making a material that looks, feels, and functions like human skin
bio  future  trends 
january 2008 by gnat
Life from Scratch: Science News Online, Jan. 12, 2008
creating life by piecing together small molecules that themselves are not alive
bio  hacks  future 
january 2008 by gnat
Evolutionary Conditions for the Emergence of Communication in Robots
"communication readily established system of communication constrains the evolution of more efficient systems...visual signals => deceptive communication strategies
ai  bio  evolution 
january 2008 by gnat
The Methuselah mouse | Eyes on the prize |
Methuselah mice challenge (X-Prize for aging), can't draw firm conclusions from mice, winner so far is stunted and small but lives a long time. Is that the long life we want?
january 2008 by gnat
primatologist responsible for "low-ranking baboons have the stress-related diseases" rethinks. dominance has less to do with winning fights than with social intelligence and impulse control. health has more to do with personality and social affiliation.
health  bio  psychology  culture  science 
january 2008 by gnat
Pregnancy becomes latest job outsourced to India -
surrogate mothers are paid ~$4500 (four years' income) and there's medical supervision and care.
bio  india 
january 2008 by gnat
The DNA Age - Parents Whose Children Share Genetic Mutations Seek Each Other for Support - New York Times
personal genetics may not offer solutions, merely Google-like tight matching for support groups
personal  bio 
january 2008 by gnat
The plastic killing fields - Environment -
more on the North Pacific subtropical gyre, the windless nutrientless part of the ocean between california and hawaii, where plastic accumulates. floating garbage patch twice the size of Britain.
bio  pacific  pollution  environment 
january 2008 by gnat
Grape genetics | Vine times |
all fun and games until we discover the antifungal gene we're splicing into pinot noir also produces assfactin, a protein that makes the grapes tastes like shit. it's a complex system that wasn't designed, dickwit. god doesn't exist, why try to play him?
evolution  bio  food 
december 2007 by gnat
Genetically modified wine | Unleash the war on terroir |
transgenic wine. "Alas, those working on transgenic vines have failed to heed the lessons of earlier GM-food fiascos. They are creating what the producers want (disease-resistant grapevines) rather than making tweaks that also appeal to consumers."
bio  food 
december 2007 by gnat
Lice in Fish Farms Endanger Wild Salmon, Study Says - New York Times
Just as mankind got cholera and dysentery when first clustered together in cities, fish farming creates high densities of fish that breeds new forms of disease and parasites. Cure is not medicated feed.
fish  bio 
december 2007 by gnat
Human evolution | Darwin's children |
rate of new mutations selected for by evolution has increased rapidly over last 80k years
evolution  bio 
december 2007 by gnat
Telltale Food Wrapping - New York Times
inkjet printing e-coli detectors into paper. in future, may be able to have gas masks that tell you when you're exposed, etc.
bio  research 
december 2007 by gnat
Starch Made Us Human - New York Times
gene amylase 1 linked to protein in saliva that turns starch into glucose, aka brain fuel. groups with high starch diets have more copies of the gene. starch as transitional food, between fruit and meat, perhaps fuelled growth in brain size in humans.
bio  evolution  food 
december 2007 by gnat
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