July 15, 2013 |
People living at some of the world's highest elevations seem to have evolved to cope with the thinner air, according to a new study. A team led by Rasmus Nielsen and Emilia Huerta-Sanchez of UC Berkeley have pinpointed a gene, BHLHE41, that appears responsible for high-altitude Ethiopians' ability to adapt to low-oxygen environments. Anyone who has climbed Half Dome or played baseball in Colorado knows that high elevation causes shortness of breath and other symptoms of “hypobaric hypoxia,” due to low pressure and oxygen.
December 23, 1987 |
Geneticists have discovered a gene that determines the sex of a human embryo, a finding that offers an unprecedented window into the earliest stages of development. The gene appears to start a complex chain reaction of hormones that eventually leads to the development of a male. Without the gene, the embryo begins a different pathway and grows into a female. The gene is located on the Y chromosome, which is part of the inborn genetic code of men but not women.
February 24, 1995 |
Call them "Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity," or LTSEWH, for short. I swear they're true. Only the names have been omitted to protect the imbecilic. * LTSEWH 1: I don't find a lot of peace in each day, but a morning cup of coffee at a local Starbucks doesn't disagree with me. I gnaw on a low-fat six-grain scone and read what I can stomach of the paper.
July 21, 1997 |
Computerdom's most sophisticated artificial life form is the Norn, a cute, bug-eyed virtual pet with floppy ears and a Mickey Mouse-like falsetto voice, currently being bred and nurtured--and traded, via the Web and e-mail--by 150,000 users in Europe and Australia. The Norn's home is a CD-ROM called "Creatures," developed by CyberLife Technology Ltd. of Cambridge, England.
July 15, 2013 |
If you have a little kid, you know the drill. Your child develops a nasty fever, but no one's really sure what's making him sick. Most likely, he has a virus that will run its course. He may have a scary bacterial infection that requires treatment, but results of tests to confirm this won't come back for a day or so. So to be safe, your pediatrician prescribes antibiotics -- even though they won't help fight a virus and even though overuse of antibiotic drugs has led to the evolution of drug-resistant superbugs.
May 1, 2012 |
Resveratrol, the plant compound found in red wine and reputed to have anti-aging effects, including protection against cancer and diabetes, has just had a "told-you-so" moment. Resveratrol 's discoverer, the embattled Harvard professor who hopes it will point the way to new anti-aging drugs, long argued that the phytonutrient worked its magic by "turning on" the SIRT1 gene. The SIRT1 gene, one of a family of genes, the Sirtuins, is believed to control the good function and longevity of cells and, in turn, of their host.