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Seafloor to bench top

By | October 1, 2007

A digital model of two of the "synaptic" proteins Kosik and his team found in a sponge's genome. Credit: Courtesy of The Public Library of Science (PLoS)" />A digital model of two of the "synaptic" proteins Kosik and his team found in a sponge's genome. Credit: Courtesy of The Public Library of Science (PLoS) Three years ago, Ken Kosik, a Harvard Medical School neurologist who studies Alzheimer disease, packed up files and equipment from his lab in Cambridge and moved 5,000 kilomete

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CSI: My cat

By | September 1, 2007

A lab technician looks for blood and saliva on the sweatshirt of a child attacked by a dog. Credit: Courtesy of Gordy Slack" />A lab technician looks for blood and saliva on the sweatshirt of a child attacked by a dog. Credit: Courtesy of Gordy Slack The forensic unit of the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is housed in a small cluster of run-down, double-wide trailers surrounded by silos and fields. The day I visited, director Elizabeth Wictum and her t

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Meat, in vitro?

By | September 1, 2007

Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University" />Turkey muscle grown in vitro Credit: Courtesy of Douglas McFarland / South Dakota State University In late 1998, bioengineer Morris Benjaminson and his colleagues at Touro College in New York decided to do some cooking. They dipped fillets of goldfish muscle tissue in olive oil flavored with lemon, garlic, and pepper, and fried them. It was appetizing work. "They looked and smelled ju

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Sequencing the survivors

By | September 1, 2007

Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo Di Baia" />Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo

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Shark Rx

By | September 1, 2007

For biologist Jim Gelsleichter, a good day at work is one when he hooks enough bull sharks that his arms are covered in "shark burns" - rashes caused by rubbing elbows, so to speak, with the feisty rough-skinned fish. Fortunately, he and his team are catching juveniles, typically just a few weeks old, and around two feet in length. While one researcher holds down the squirming baby, another can safely collect 5mL of blood and insert a small nylon dart tag in the base of the dorsal fi

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Txting 4 fsh

By | September 1, 2007

Fish wardens in Batangas. Credit: Courtesy of Jesiderio De Los Reyes" />Fish wardens in Batangas. Credit: Courtesy of Jesiderio De Los Reyes A large fishing vessel stealthily slides into protected waters off the province of Batangas, in the Philippines. Fish warden Jesiderio De Los Reyes, who lives in the local village, spots the ship and punches a text message into his cell phone. The message, roughly translated, reads: "Commercial fishing boat in Pagapas Bay. Net already in use. Boa

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A summer of statues

By | August 1, 2007

The stone statues of Easter Island Credit: Courtesy of Terry Hunt" />The stone statues of Easter Island Credit: Courtesy of Terry Hunt Related: Slideshow: Solving the Easter Island mysteries On one side of a quarry roughly two-thirds the size of a football field is "El Gigante," a half-finished stone statue seven stories tall, and weighing almost 300 tons. Prehistoric tools lie scattered nearby. Whoever made these head-and-torso statues, kno

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Have science, can't travel

By | August 1, 2007

Mohammad Sajid Credit: Courtesy of UCSF" />Mohammad Sajid Credit: Courtesy of UCSF Last July, a British biologist strolled into the US embassy in London to get his temporary (J-1) visa stamped so he could return to his California lab. He wasn't worried, even after he learned he needed to undergo a background check. The last time he left London for the United States, a mere 15 months earlier, a background check delayed him for six months. He was told any later checks would be mu

10 Comments

Rock the Monkey

By | August 1, 2007

Monkeys react to a throw Credit: Courtesy of David Glynn" />Monkeys react to a throw Credit: Courtesy of David Glynn For a couple of months last summer, neuroscientist Justin Wood filmed himself aiming rocks at monkeys. Technically, he was only pretending to hit the monkeys. He just wanted to see how they'd react, in a bid to pin down the neurologic underpinnings of a uniquely human trait: throwing. Early every morning, under a sky streaked with the colors of dawn, the H

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Selling the self-evident

By | August 1, 2007

You don't have to be smart to be rich, study finds," reads a press release from Ohio State University released on April 24th, 2007. This study determined that people with below-average intelligence are just as wealthy as those with higher IQs, and being smart doesn't prevent you from having financial troubles.Starving PhD students might not be all that shocked. Want to know the elusive secret about how to quiet a screaming baby? Throw away that subscription to

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