Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Discover Magazine blogs...

All excellent blogs, and below just a round-up from what I found interesting this morning.

HIV vaccine?

"“Mother Nature has allowed us a few breaks, in that we know that in a very few cases, people who have been infected for a very long time have been able to naturally develop antibodies that neutralize a lot of the circulating virus,” he said. “So, we thought perhaps we could take the genes that represent these antibodies ‘off the shelf,’ so to speak” [Forbes]. The researchers engineered a piece of DNA that triggers the creation of artificial antibodies called immunoadhesins ... In the study, published in Nature Medicine, researchers found that none of the immunized monkeys developed AIDS and only three showed any indication of SIV infection. Even a year later they had high concentrations of the protective antibodies in the blood [AP]."


When exactly did humans break off the evolutionary chain from monkeys, apes, lemurs... or did they break off our chain?

"The new research adds to an argument over which of two groups of ancient primates was the evolutionary jumping off point for apes and humans: Was it the tarsidae group, which gave rise to the big-eyed tarsiers found in southeast Asia, or the adapidae group, the precursors of the lemurs found in Madagascar?"


I remember being taught that once an egg is fertilized, no other eggs could be (umm, within a given female's single cycle). Apparently that is all wrong, although quite rare.

"Despite the fact that they were born at the same time to the same mother, Justin and Jordan look nothing like twins, besides having the same skin color. In fact, they look so different that James Harrison, the supposed father, decided to request a paternity test. Turns out, his instincts were right: One of the infants is his child, and the other is not."


Apparently there is a gender divide in people's acceptance of global warmin'. Is this more of the "be a man!" syndrome, political inclination, or something else?

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