Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bioscience News Roundup: 08-13-07

Here are a few interesting bioscience bits from the past week:

First off, start with the blog carnivals:
Wired Science is reporting from the 3rd International Conference on Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the Biopolis research park in Singapore.

Universe Today reports that Professor John Parnell at the University of Aberdeen has devised an experiment to examine what happens to microbes in a rock that's bolted to a spacecraft. Will they survive liftoff, 12 days of microgravity and vacuum and return to the earth? Survival would give support to the plausibility of the Panspermia hypothesis: that life on Earth was seeded from space. (via Posthuman Blues)

Michael Feld and colleagues at the MIT George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory have created the first 3D images of a living cell. Check out the rotating 3D image of a cancer cell (link in the upper right corner).

Deep Sea News looks at "lighted whoopie in the sea" - sex and bioluminescence.

Nina Munteanu takes a look at the science of real-life neural implants. She also has an interesting post about "cooperation & aggressive symbiosis." Read it to find out what acacia trees, squirrel monkeys and Europeans have in common.

Science Daily reports on research by Markus Grompe and colleagues at the Oregon Health & Science University that figured out how to get mice to grow human liver cells.
In fact, the human liver cells from the repopulated mouse livers are indistinguishable from normal human liver cells, according to the study. "The healthy human liver cells take over and replace the sick mouse liver cells," Grompe said. "You end up with a healthy mouse that makes human blood clotting factors, all the proteins the liver makes, human bile, everything."
Human liver cells are used by pharmaceutical companies to test the metabolism and toxicity of drugs.

Finally, registration is open for Singularity Summit 2007, " a major two-day event bringing together 17 outstanding thinkers to examine a historical moment in humanity's history – a window of opportunity to shape how we develop advanced artificial intelligence." It will be held September 8-9 in San Francisco. If you are at all interested check out their web site for speaker interviews and videos.

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