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Archives for November, 2008

iGEM is all about synthetic biology, kids. It’s the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine competition. Each team in the IGEM competition has to make something using a kit of biological parts from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Teams of students use these parts to design, build, and operate biological systems in living cells.

Hospital cases of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have risen 33-fold during the past ten years in Washington state, yet our hospitals fail to identify or track cases in a systemic fashion (Seattle Times). The Seattle Times began a three-part investigative report today describing the rise in MRSA incidence, the consequences for patients, and the…

Last spring, in a coffee shop in Berkeley, I saw an amazing thing. It was a cup made from corn. The information on the cup says that it is made from corn, is environmentally sustainable, and 100% compostable. My fellow ScienceBloggers have written several articles lately about corn in fast food (here, here, and here),…

Poor PZ! Stranded without a working laptop in a strange town! This is the kind of situation that gives me nightmares, so I like to upload presentation materials to the web just in case. Lately, I’ve been looking at different methods for doing this to see which ones l like the best. A few days…

If you’re going to create a new life form (even if it’s only digital), Sunday Saturday seems like the best day to give it a try. Reposted from an earlier year.

Masha Gessen was faced with a terrifying choice: cut off her breasts, and possibly save herself from cancer, or use them to feed her child.

Well, I had to test Scribd with something. Why not use a document on the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry? Scribd is sort of like the YouTube of electronic paper. I found Scribd from TomJoe’s post about Life on Mars. His PowerPoint talk is really much more interesting than the life science document that I uploaded…

Is ready for reading at Submitted to a Candid World. I never thought I’d see the day when a Tangled Bank host would compare PZ Meyers to John McCain, but I admit, it was tastefully done.

What skills does a biotechnology technician need to know? This seems like a simple question, but people have been struggling to define biotech skill standards since the early 90′s. Complicating this question is that many areas of biotechnology require somewhat different skills. Antibody work requires one set, plant or animal tissue culture, another; fermentation, another;…

Worldmapper is a web site with 366 maps of the world. These maps however, are not the kinds of maps you’ve seen in school, with every country shown by size. These maps are cartograms. It’s a bit like seeing a cartoon version of a Thomas Friedman book. These maps present a whole new way of…