Quite soon I made the basic discovery that even very simple programs can show immensely complex behavior—and over the years I discovered that all sorts of systems could finally be understood in terms of these kinds of programs.
Sometime in the next few years, an entirely new fish will appear on American plates. After several decades of biotech research and a final upstream push past the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, the AquaBounty AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically engineered species of fish, will go into commercial production. While modified plants like corn and soy abound in the American diet, this will mark the first time in history that an engineered animal has been approved for human consumption. The new fish’s genetic code is comprised of components from three fish: base DNA from an Atlantic salmon; a growth gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon; and a promoter, a kind of “on” switch for genes, from a knobby-headed eel-shaped creature called an ocean pout.
A research team, led by Kaiyu Guan, a postdoctoral fellow in Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences, has developed a method to estimate crop yields using satellites that can measure solar-induced fluorescence, a light emitted by growing plants. The team published its results in the journal Global Change Biology.
The Western microbiome, the community of microbes scientists thought of as “normal” and “healthy,” the one they used as a baseline against which to compare “diseased” microbiomes, might be considerably different than the community that prevailed during most of human evolution.
Scientists, like myself, who study this amazing physiological feat have reached the same conclusion: That is, all hibernating mammals use the same genetic architecture to hibernate. Hibernation happens from genes being turned on and off—much like a light switch—in very unique patterns throughout the year to modulate physiology. And, importantly, these genes are shared among the entire mammal family tree. They are not genes that evolved specifically for hibernation. Therefore, it seems as though all mammals—including humans—might actually have the genetic capacity for hibernation. It’s literally written in our DNA.
Whitlock gathered some of these good bacteria, which neutralize dangerous organisms and hazardous substances on the skin, and made them into a spray that he’s been using since for his daily hygiene. Among other things, it breaks down ammonia: the compound that makes human sweat stink in the first place.
A new study from the University of Portsmouth looked at how wildlife in the area had coped over the past 29 years. The team found that a huge range of plants and animals weren’t just surviving, but actually thriving. The research was published in the journal Current Biology.
Exomedicine refers to the research and development of medical solutions in the microgravity environment of space for applications on Earth, Kimel said.
He said that one major revelation from space travel is that humans know relatively little about living systems and disease processes outside of Earth. But the thing is, microgravity presents a great potential to uncover insights into better ways to treat and prevent disease.
The results produced an interesting picture: face recognition could be explained in large part by genes, but for the most part, they weren’t the same genes as the ones affecting general object recognition or the ones that influence general cognitive ability.