"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!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hard Wires, Fur Coats, New Uses 

See what the lib'ruls have done?!? They let tell us to stop beating our pets and flaying our research animals, and next thing you know, mice are becoming more human! Empathy is supposed to be a human trait, but now we've got mice doing it! Damn you, PETA!!! Seriously though, this research is very interesting: mice who see other mice in pain exhibit heightened pain responses, which looks like empathy. Cool.

Ever wonder why your team's colors are so compelling? Well, research suggests that color grouping is just a naturally very good way to keep track of large numbers of items. Humans can generally subitize - instantly enumerate - up to about four items, but that doesn't help in a melee or on the hunt. Color grouping talents could have been very helpful, in evolutionary terms, and become hard wired. Interesting.

Speaking of colors from the past, geneticists have gone a bit JurassicPleistocene Park on us, extracting and analyzing DNA from frozen woolly mammoths. What did they find? Among other things, that the mammoths seem to have had variable fur colors, similar to modern mammals, coming probably in yellow and brown or black varieties.

And, some good news for Hepatitis C sufferers, and also for Novartis: the drug fluvastatin (Lescol) seems to be a potent inhibitor of HCV replication. Besides being a strange finding, it's very good news for HCV patients, many of whom have no treatment options at all and the rest of whom are stuck with ribaverin and its nasty side effects.

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