Code for life

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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Regulating GMOs: time to move forward

Grant Jacobs Nov 23, 2017

It’s time to move regulation of genetic modification forward. The current set-up is temporary and unsound. We use a risk-based approach for almost everything because that’s what makes sense. But New Zealand takes an arbitrary approach to genetic modification. So we ‘ban’ a technique that evidence shows there is no special risk in using. That poor logic plays to a vocal … Read More

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Public opinion of gene editing and enhancement

Grant Jacobs Nov 21, 2017

What if we could fix a kid’s genetic disease, cure them for their lifetime? What if we make that for all of their children, forever? Or enhance humans to be genetically better? What’s your opinion of gene editing and enhancement? A survey asked what people thought. Participants gave a green light for adult gene therapy. They were cautious … Read More

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