GM food: Monster or saviour? I have to confess, until now the whole debate about genetically-modified (GM) food has pretty much passed me by. Most of my career has been spent as a foreign correspondent. But last summer I returned to the UK to start a new job with the BBC. I now glory in the title Rural Affairs Correspondent. The hidden beauty of pollination: Louie Schwartzberg on TED Live from TED2014 Mysteries of the unseen world: Louie Schwartzberg at TED2014 Louie Schwartzberg is fascinated with exposing the world’s wonders through photography.
Common parasite may trigger suicide attempts: Inflammation from T. gondii produces brain-damaging metabolites A parasite thought to be harmless and found in many people may actually be causing subtle changes in the brain, leading to suicide attempts. New research appearing in the August issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry adds to the growing work linking an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite to suicide attempts. Michigan State University's Lena Brundin was one of the lead researchers on the team. About 10-20 percent of people in the United States have Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii, in their bodies, but in most it was thought to lie dormant, said Brundin, an associate professor of experimental psychiatry in MSU's College of Human Medicine.
Human genes to be injected into goats, cows, and sheep Scientists have been given permission to put human genes into goats, sheep and cows for the next 20 years, to see if the animals will produce human proteins in their milk. But people will not be pouring the genetically modified milk on their Weetbix just yet - the milk will be discarded. AgResearch won Environmental Risk Management Authority approval to allow a handful of scientists to breed and keep genetically-modified animals at the Ruakura research facility, near Hamilton. The work will begin with genetically modified cows, and could be expanded to genetically modified goats within the next year. There are no immediate plans to genetically modify sheep at Ruakura. Simon Terry, of environmental consultancy the Sustainability Council, welcomed conditions making it clear the milk could not be made for commercial sale but he was concerned the 20-year time limit was three times as long as the last GM experiment at the facility.
Chemical widely used in antibacterial hand soaps may impair muscle function Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical widely used in hand soaps and other personal-care products, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Colorado. The findings appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. “Triclosan is found in virtually everyone’s home and is pervasive in the environment,” said Isaac Pessah, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator of the study.
Genetic Modification: the New Zealand Approach - Spiritual, cultural and ethical issues in genetic modification The science of genetic modification has opened up new knowledge about medicine, environmental management and food production. However, this is a controversial area of science. Some people argue that it would be unethical not to use the tools genetic science has provided us, but to others this ability to move genes around is unnatural. The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification recognised the significance of the cultural, ethical and spiritual aspects of biotechnology in general. Dr. Karl Jansen Back to NDE Page Dr. Karl L. The Intelligent Plant In 1973, a book claiming that plants were sentient beings that feel emotions, prefer classical music to rock and roll, and can respond to the unspoken thoughts of humans hundreds of miles away landed on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction. “The Secret Life of Plants,” by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, presented a beguiling mashup of legitimate plant science, quack experiments, and mystical nature worship that captured the public imagination at a time when New Age thinking was seeping into the mainstream. The most memorable passages described the experiments of a former C.I.A. polygraph expert named Cleve Backster, who, in 1966, on a whim, hooked up a galvanometer to the leaf of a dracaena, a houseplant that he kept in his office. To his astonishment, Backster found that simply by imagining the dracaena being set on fire he could make it rouse the needle of the polygraph machine, registering a surge of electrical activity suggesting that the plant felt stress.
researchers' cooling glove 'better than steroids' By Max McClure Steve Fyffe The rapid thermal exchange device, nicknamed 'the glove,' creates a vacuum to draw blood to the surface of the palms. Cold circulating water cools the blood, which returns to the heart and rapidly lowers the body's core temperature. "Equal to or substantially better than steroids … and it's not illegal." Autopoiesis 3D representation of a living cell during the process of mitosis, example of an autopoietic system. The original definition can be found in Autopoiesis and Cognition: the Realization of the Living (1st edition 1973, 2nd 1980): Page 78: - An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and (ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network.  Page 89:- [...] the space defined by an autopoietic system is self-contained and cannot be described by using dimensions that define another space.