Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Epigenetics: Actors in the cell reprogramming drama

"The transformation of skin cells into stem cells is a fascinating but poorly understood process. At last, the molecular characters underlying the initial steps have been revealed." Full article @ Nature

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Sunday, August 26, 2012


The brainmaker

Very Blade Runner! "Yoshiki Sasai has grown an eye and parts of a brain in a dish [from stem cells]." Full news feature @ Nature News

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Thursday, August 23, 2012


Using phylogeny methods to study the history of the Indo-European Language Family

"There are two competing hypotheses for the origin of the Indo-European language family. The conventional view places the homeland in the Pontic steppes about 6000 years ago. An alternative hypothesis claims that the languages spread from Anatolia with the expansion of farming 8000 to 9500 years ago. We used Bayesian phylogeographic approaches, together with basic vocabulary data from 103 ancient and contemporary Indo-European languages, to explicitly model the expansion of the family and test these hypotheses. We found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin. Both the inferred timing and root location of the Indo-European language trees fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago. These results highlight the critical role that phylogeographic inference can play in resolving debates about human prehistory." See Article:

Bouckaert et al [2012]. "Mapping the Origins and Expansion of the Indo-European Language Family". Science. 337 (6097), 957-960.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012


A Whole-Cell Computational Model

"An entire organism is modeled in terms of its molecular components. Complex phenotypes can be modeled by integrating cell processes into a single model. Phenotype from Genotype, in a computational model." Full article @ Cell

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Friday, August 17, 2012


Bio-engineered Jellyfish Swim

Researchers create a swimming jellyfish mimic by reverse-engineering the creature’s pumping action, paving the way for new methods of engineering replacement organs. Full news piece @ The Scientist

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Camouflage robot changes colour for disguise

"A robot that can change colour to either blend in with or stand out from its surroundings has been created by scientists." News piece at BBC News


Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA

"Digital information is accumulating at an astounding rate, straining our ability to store and archive it. DNA is among the most dense and stable information media known. The development of new technologies in both DNA synthesis and sequencing make DNA an increasingly feasible digital storage medium. Here, we develop a strategy to encode arbitrary digital information in DNA, write a 5.27-megabit book using DNA microchips, and read the book using next-generation DNA sequencing."Full paper @ Science.

Citation: George M. Church, Yuan Gao, and Sriram Kosuri [2012]. "Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA". Science 1226355.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Living Cities

Carlos Gershenson: Bringing urban technology to life with realtime feedback

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