Stop eating your pet's food

Apparently people are eating their pet's food, and they're getting salmonella poisoning in return...

A scientific reference manual for US judges

Science and our legal system intersect frequently and everywhere - climate, health care, intellectual...

Rainbow connection

On the way to work this morning, I noticed people pointing out the train window and smiling. From...

Neutrinos on espresso

Maybe they stopped by Starbucks for a little faster-than-the-speed-of-light pick me up....

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Becky JungbauerRSS Feed of this column.

A scientist and journalist by training, I enjoy all things science, especially science-related humor. My column title is a throwback to Jane Austen's famous first line in Pride and Prejudice

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Although genetic sequencing sounded exciting - I'll send you a tube full of spit, you tell me what diseases I'm going to get - the reality was less thrilling, and less useful. There are diseases with very specific and even single mutations, but the big 'uns - cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes - are more tangled and complicated than trying to find a redeeming quality in a Kardashian. 
Even with the ethical dilemmas involved and murky predictability, I still think the potential is fascinating. A story on the whole genome of a family of four, and how the research predicted the daughter's risk of blood clots and a warning against possible preventive pharmacological intervention, caught my eye.


Sep 08 2011 | comment(s)

I was meandering around the internet during the holiday weekend, catching up on RSS feeds and the like, and found this comic by David Coverly:

Facebook made an interesting move this week when it reversed its policy to allow drug companies to maintain pages closed to comments, and I am really curious how this will play out in the near and far future.
This is one time you don't want to be in the fast lane...

We've all heard that that the population of whites in the U.S. will be surpassed by non-white minorities in the not-so-distant future.1 Advertisers have adjusted to the demographic growth and shift by creating multicultural campaigns, and that's great - if you're targeting a particular group. 
But what about when we reach the tipping point, when Hispanics and Asians and African-Americans and Caucasians and all sorts of folks make up the population without one being so dominant - there's a 'general' marketplace? Do you continue to market to each ethnic group separately, or do you just make one big ad that appeals across the board? 
I was catching up on chemistry news over the lunch hour and discovered this little gelatinous gem:
New Strategy for Expression of Recombinant Hydroxylated Human-Derived Gelatin in Pichia pastoris KM71
You're wiggling and jiggling with excitement, right? 

For those staring blankly at the title, wondering what caught my eye, it's the "human-derived gelatin" part. A quick search turned up a blogosphere all aflutter at the news of a human-based bowl of Jello in our snack-pack future.

Mmm, ground-up animal-derived collagen for my afternoon snack