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Archives for November, 2008

Brian Switek, from Laelaps, could probably tell you. And, if you vote for him in the 3rd Annual College Blogger Scholarship competition, he just might. He’ll tell you why should you vote for him, too, and I agree. And below the fold, is an inspirational cartoon.

It was a wet and rainy day yesterday, and we have a dissecting microscope, so I decided to see if I could find some tardigrades. Tardigrade photo by nebarnix Reposted from Nov. 2006

but the red berries are RNA. Picture below the fold.

Over 55,000 people die each year from rabies, a disease that is 100% preventable, according to Dr. Guy Palmer, who spoke last night at the University of Washington. Dr. Palmer is from the School for Global Animal Health, a group that works towards improving global health through advancing preventative care for both humans and animals.…

Before mammals, before dinosaurs, before bacteria, or plants, there was something else; a protocell containing RNA. The Exploring Origins Project has excellent animations of protocells, a timeline of life’s evolution, and best of all- fantastic animations of the RNA world. You can see how RNA folds, ribozymes (RNA that catalyzes chemical reactions), and learn about…

What kind of dead animals are in your freezer? I used to be skeptical about the whole notion of cloning wooly mammoths. But this recent article in PNAS (1), makes the whole idea seem less far fetched. Wakayamaa et. al. describe an amazing technical advance where scientists in Japan were able to derive clones from…

There are tears of joy and relief in my eyes. It’s like the most emotional New Year’s Eve in my life. My neighbors are even shooting off fireworks! Mr. McCain’s speech was wonderful. Let’s move forward! Update: I am watching Mr. Obama now on TV with tears in my eyes. I have never been so…

This quarter, I’m using a wiki with my bioinformatics class and posting sometimes about the things that I learn. Two things I’ve been experimenting with are: Setting up pages for individual students so they can take notes while they’re working. Embedding a Google form into one of my wiki pages for student assessment.

Want to learn more about Parkinson’s disease? See why a single nucleotide mutation messes up the function of a protein? I have a short activity that uses Cn3D (a molecular viewing program from the NCBI) to look at a protein that seems to be involved in a rare form of Parkinson’s disease and I could…

I heard some intriguing presentations this week about education in Second Life, but I happen know that there is an open-source, free (?) alternative called “Croquet.” Do any of you have experience with Croquet vs. Second Life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.