Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grow New Teeth

Columbia researchers have developed a method of applying stem cells to scaffolding infused with growth hormone to grow teeth in a little as nine weeks in an animal model. A major move forward here has been to growth the teeth in situ instead of in the laboratory, which improves their final shape.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

One Mutation for Every Three Cigarettes

If you need more evidence that cigarettes are tremendously unhealthy, Genentech and Complete Genomics have published the full genome sequence of a primary lung tumor from a heavy smoker in a Nature paper. The tumor had as many as 50,000 mutated genes, from which they calculated that one mutation occurred for every three cigarettes smoked.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Very Impressive Quadruped Robot

Fascinating video of a quadrupedal robot from USC's Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab that can handle novel, challenging terrain, and can learn how to make good foothold choices.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Switch to Turn on Youthful Memory

A very interesting study found that acetylation of chromatin in DNA resulted in expression changes that gave older mice the learning and memory performance of a youngster. What a great example of how critical epigenetics is to understanding the big picture, just knowing the genes isn't enough, you have to understand how they are (or are not) expressed.

New Blog Techtilis Focusing on Bio-IT Infrastructure Planning

I've started a new blog Techtilis to focus on the issues and challenges of planning IT infrastructure in support of genetics research. Mental Burdocks will continue on as a more general blog of science and technology items.