PLoS Genetics: Identification of Widespread Ultra-Edited Human RNAs

“The traditional view of mRNA as a pure intermediate between DNA and protein has changed in the last decades since the discovery of numerous RNA processing pathways. A frequent RNA modification is A-to-I editing, or the conversion of adenosine (A) to inosine (I).” Hah. One more inflection point in the complexity of molecular biology. I […]

Philips – Design Probes – Microbial Home

“The Microbial Home Probe consists of a domestic ecosystem that challenges conventional design solutions to energy, cleaning, food preservation, lighting, human waste and healthy lifestyle.” Very cool. And mentions of a Post Electronic Age, too. Read this article… Images from Philips – more at Microbial Home  

Philips unveils an elegant ‘Microbial Home’ concept | SmartPlanet

“Although these appliances won’t be manufactured any time soon, lifelike models of the concepts are currently on view at the Piet Hein Eek gallery during Dutch Design Week (which opened on October 22 and runs through October 30) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. While the thought of cooking dinner with gas harvested from bathroom waste might […]

The Guts of Dietary Habits

“There is a multimillion-dollar industry based on the concept that introducing beneficial bacteria into the human intestines will improve our health. The trillions of symbionts in the large intestine profoundly affect our metabolism and immunity. Accordingly, abnormal bacterial communities have been identified in several human diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (1–3), colon cancer (4, […]

Host response: Probiotic ingestion alters mood : Nature Reviews Microbiology

“There is growing evidence that the intestinal microbiota interacts with the host central nervous system (CNS) to modify stress responses and anxiety behaviour; this is the so-called gut–brain axis. Bravo et al.Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 can alter the transcript level for receptors of the neurotransmitter GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) in the CNS in a region-dependent manner.” Yet […]

PLoS ONE: Barcoded Pyrosequencing Reveals That Consumption of Galactooligosaccharides Results in a Highly Specific Bifidogenic Response in Humans

“Prebiotics are selectively fermented ingredients that allow specific changes in the gastrointestinal microbiota that confer health benefits to the host. However, the effects of prebiotics on the human gut microbiota are incomplete as most studies have relied on methods that fail to cover the breadth of the bacterial community. The goal of this research was […]

A “shucks” followed by a “yay” and the some: SXSW 2012 panels announced

No, my panel on DIYbio was not chosen. That’s the “shucks”. The great news is that Christina Agapakis’ panel “Designing Living Things” did get selected! She’s got a great crowd on her panel: Patrick Boyle, Daisy Ginsberg, Jason Kelly, and Sri Kosuri. A veritable who’s-who in synthetic bio and synthetic aesthetics. It’s a great follow-on […]

An eye for success: Jobs tribute from thankful scientists

“The use of computers in science now may bring images of data-crunching parallel processing and Unix-inspired open-source collaborations, but there was a time when the cutting edge — at least for molecular scientists — was being able to draw a benzene ring digitally on screen. Jobs and Apple gave scientists the power to do that, […]

Rediscovering Bits of 1890s

“”Laurie Cox, a graduate student who works in the lab, held up the test tube with the 100-year-old bacterium. She explained that they can determine if the spores are alive by their growth, which should be visible within 24 hours. “I think it’s really interesting and amazing to be able to culture bacteria that’s over […]

Outbreak Detectives Embrace the Genome Era: Science

“Genomic epidemiologists say, it’s time to use the technique to track microbial movements on a global scale. By routinely sequencing bacterial samples—perhaps up to a billion a year—scientists could pinpoint the sources of new outbreaks faster, determine whether a bug is resistant to antibiotics, and investigate how public policies or the use of certain drugs […]