"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Spotty Mice, Toxic Cleansers, and a New Penis 

French researchers have found what seems to be the first identified instance of paramutation in animals. Mice bred to have spotty tails (a heterozygous state) have offspring that, even when homozygous, have spotty tails. The answer seems to be RNA transmission. RNA produced by the mutant gene seems to accumulate in the semen, get into the egg, and affect phenotype.

US researchers have successfully auto-transplanted new penises to rabbits. They grew the tissue (taken from the "patient") in a matrix, and then integrated it back onto the rabbit whose penis had been damaged/destroyed and, within a month, they were happily again doing what bunnies are known for. This is a pretty big breakthrough, as it could lead to treatments not only for erectile disfunction, but for penises lost to accidents or cancer. I'm fairly sure that dubious internet-based companies will be offering, uhm, other services, based on this technique very soon.

The bad news is that a study has found that many household cleaning products react with ozone to form a number of toxins, including formaldehyde. So cleaning just got dangerous. D'oh!

Also, happy Towel Day.

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