Code for life

The ‘Impossible Burger’ is not genetically modified

Grant Jacobs Jul 06, 2018

In the New Zealand media and social media people are talking about this genetically modified ‘Impossible Burger’. Except it’s not. Sorry everyone, but it really isn’t genetically modified. What was genetic engineered is a yeast that makes one of the ingredients used in the ‘Impossible Burger’. It’s just a different way of making that ingredient. The ingredient is the same … Read More

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‘Fake author’ papers opposing HPV vaccine retracted, editor’s defence

Grant Jacobs May 28, 2018

‘Fake author’ papers opposing HPV vaccine by ‘Lars Andersson’ are being retracted. The editor of one of the papers has offered an extraordinary defence, railing at the Karolinska Institute. Earlier this month I wrote about a research opinion piece claiming that the HPV vaccine increases cervical cancer in some patients. Among the faults of the comment article were that the … Read More

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Apple boards bendy once again

Grant Jacobs May 26, 2018

As you age history repeats itself. Anyone over about 30 will know what I mean. Today I was reading over at ArsTechnica how some of the Apple 6 phones were bendier than earlier models, and Apple knew it. The writer reports, These touchscreen-controlling chips became unseated from the logic board due to bending and flexing with normal use. Back … Read More

HIV infection animated

Grant Jacobs May 13, 2018

Here’s a great video of HIV infection animated, showing molecular life at play – Molecular life is fascinating stuff. Complex molecules getting around making life happen. I’ve been following it for 30+ years and it continues to amaze me. It’s a realm where chemistry and physics merge to become life. In this case, an HIV infection taking place. There’s a … Read More

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New code for controlling new food varieties (FASNZ; GMO, or not)

Grant Jacobs Apr 09, 2018

New Zealanders and Australians might like to contribute (last-minute!*) submissions to revise Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’s code for controlling new food varieties, FSANZ is seeking input from the community on whether food derived using new breeding techniques (NBTs) should be captured for pre-market approval under the Code, and whether the definitions for ‘food produced using gene technology’ … Read More

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A new organ?

Grant Jacobs Mar 30, 2018

Media outlets the world over are touting the “discovery” of a new organ in humans. I’m not alone in protesting, I agree.[1] The new organ claim is not made in the research paper Importantly, the research paper doesn’t claim a new organ — that’s a claim made outside of the research paper, made by one of the authors. Read More

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More Wellcome reading

Grant Jacobs Feb 09, 2018

I know many of my readers are, well, readers. (Ha!) I like book prize longlists, as they give you a selection to browse, all of which will be great efforts. (I’d also encourage browsing around the booksellers’ and publishers’ websites, and bookstores: there are excellent books not on any prize shortlist.*) The Wellcome Trust, one of largest medical research … Read More

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Catty lives, scientific and viral (Book review)

Grant Jacobs Dec 02, 2017

Book review: Cat Zero. This book purrs. It does that thing that cats do, “playing” with their toy, gently poking at it, softly lobbing it in the air, then, eventually, lunging. I’d recommend it for those who’d like the interplay of scientific lives, permeated with motives and mystery. Jennifer Rohn’s strength is her characters, their changing foibles—sometimes more … Read More

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