"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, August 11, 2006

Foreign Genes 

British researchers seem to have made a truly shocking discovery about a canine cancer: it's sexually transmitted and not as a virus but as living cells! Canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT) seems to be a result of a 250-1000 year-old tumor line, likely begun in an 'old Asian' or arctic breed, cells of which are passed between dogs to establish new tumors in new hosts. A parasitic tumor...scary!

But there's good news. American researchers have found that an old primate gene product, a theta-defensin, which 'higher' primates such as chimps and humans do not produce, may be helpful in combating HIV. It seems that the protein, retrocyclin, defends against HIV by affecting multiple sites on both the virus and target cells, vastly decreasing the speed at which the virus can develop a resistance. This is potentially very good news!

Also, at Duke University, researchers say that they have successfully shrunk mouse prostate tumors by half using a targeted RNA-interference technique. With no apparent side-effects. This is fantastically cool!

And today, the movers will come and take much of my stuff to Atlanta. I am so not ready to move!

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