Based on Timothy Erickson's thoughts, I decided to start a new blog carnival on genes and gene-related diseases. Our plan is to cover the whole genome before 2082 (it means 14-15 genes every two weeks).

Please take a look at the "official" page of the carnival. (Suggestions are most welcome!)

The first issue will be hosted by Scienceroll on the 17th of February. The second will be hosted by Sciencesque two weeks later. Let me know if you would like to host one!

sonichedgehog.jpgI planned to make a good start for Gene Genie but my first gene related post is about a farewell. Sonic Hedgehog, one of the most famous genes, will lose his name. According to the Discover article:

This post goes into that age old category of ‘learn something everyday’.  As regular readers of this blog know, I believe that we must do everything we can to both find alternative sources of energy and slow down the accelerating global warming trend. One of the key ways to accomplish both of these is through technological innovation.

Expectant parent' desire to see images of their unborn children has given rise to commercial companies offering keepsake ultrasound scans without medical supervision, often referred to as "boutique ultrasonography."

In a special report in this week's British Medical Journal, journalist Geoff Watts considers whether this non-medical use of the technique can be justified.

Improvements in ultrasound technology have transformed antenatal scans from two dimensional black and white images to 3D, 4D and even moving pictures of the unborn child.

The time is ripe for scientific organizations to adopt codes of ethics, according to a scientist and bioethicist from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the current issue of Science and Engineering Ethics.

"Medical practice and human subject research is influenced by the Hippocratic tradition," said Nancy L. Jones, Ph.D., "but no similar code of ethics has been formalized for the life and biomedical sciences.

Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history, according to the first detailed laboratory analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks.

Scientists have theorized for years that high concentrations of greenhouse gases could have helped Earth avoid global freezing in its youth by allowing the atmosphere to retain more heat than it lost.

A novel experiment conducted by Carnegie Mellon University Professor George Loewenstein and colleagues may explain why people try a drug, such as heroin, for the first time despite ample evidence that it is addictive. The results of the study, which are being published in the Journal of Health Economics, reveal that even longtime addicts underestimate the influence that drug cravings have over their behavior.

Almost all drugs produce a craving in their users. Loewenstein and his colleagues hypothesized that people experiment with drugs that they know are addictive in part because they can't appreciate the intensity of drug cravings, and thus underestimate the likelihood that they will become addicted.

A novel experiment conducted by Carnegie Mellon University Professor George Loewenstein and colleagues may explain why people try a drug, such as heroin, for the first time despite ample evidence that it is addictive. The results of the study, which are being published in the Journal of Health Economics, reveal that even longtime addicts underestimate the influence that drug cravings have over their behavior.

Almost all drugs produce a craving in their users. Loewenstein and his colleagues hypothesized that people experiment with drugs that they know are addictive in part because they can't appreciate the intensity of drug cravings, and thus underestimate the likelihood that they will become addicted.

Most parents cannot recognize that their child is overweight, a Deakin University study has revealed, with a majority believing their overweight child is of normal weight.

Researchers with Deakin's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research surveyed more than 1200 families to find out if parents had concerns about their children's weight and if they took any preventative action to avoid obesity in their children.