"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!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Good Way to Start the Week 

I was awakened this morning by a loud knock at my door. This being something that doesn't happen - none of my neighbors are the cup-of-sugar-borrowing type and it was way too early for friends to be stopping by - I nearly leaped out of bed to see what was up. It was the FedEx guy. I would have been more annoyed, except that he was delivering a very precious package: my college statistics notebooks.

My current crop of biostats classes are so based in the underlying mathematics that I feel I'm losing sight of what it's all used for...my college courses didn't suffer this problem, as they were almost all applied classes. Hopefully now the semester will get easier!

After that, there's of course good science news. An international coalition of researchers has identified a possible Autism gene: neuregulin 1, on chromosome 11p appears to be altered in autistics. Neuregulin plays a key role in interneural communication, so its involvement in autism is not a great shock. The discovery raises hopes for future targeted treatments for the condition, but almost certainly doesn't represent a complete etiologic profile. There must be more genes and environmental factors out there that play a role.

Lost a tooth? Nasty cavities? Well, a Japanese team may have a solution for you: they successfully grew mesenchymal and epithelial cells, first in culture and then in situ, into replacement teeth for mice. The procedure's nowhere near ready for testing in humans, but will hopefully lead to effective tooth regrowth technology in the future.

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