09 February 2007

News Briefs

Human DNA varies from person to person by up to 10% of genes, by Copy Number Variation (CNV). Scientists are just now learning how to detect the DNA differences that make a difference.

UWMadison researchers have devised chips with "nano-slots" sized perfectly for holding DNA strands for detailed study.

Human mental abilities can be influenced by gene variants. One version of a gene that influences brain development offers certain advantages--and certain risks. Some of the population differences in intelligence and demeanor will eventually be tracked to gene variant affecting neural development.

Evolution is a powerful conceptual tool for studying and understanding biology. So it should not be surprising that our understanding of Evolution is itself evolving.

When fighting cancer, biomedical science is willing to use whatever works. The generally harmless reovirus seems to be particularly useful, since it not only kills cancer cells, the virus leaves the cells vulnerable to attack, even after the virus particles are gone.

This research in machine vision is particularly interesting, due to closer modeling of biological vision. Just as nanotechnology needs to learn from biological nano-assembly, so does machine sensory intelligence need to learn from biological sensory intelligence.


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