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September 28, 2011

Not all cats are grey in the dark

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Above and below, the latest achievement of Frankenscience: members of a new strain of genetically-engineered green-glowing cats.

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Who needs a night light with one of these around the house?

From a news report: "Scientists have developed a strain of green-glowing cats with cells that resist infection from a virus that causes feline AIDS. The cats were created by inserting monkey genes that block the virus into feline eggs, or oocytes, before they were fertilized. The scientists also inserted jellyfish genes that make the modified cells glow an eerie green, making the altered genes easy to spot."

More, including an interview with the lead scientist in the research group, here.

The scientific paper was published Sunday in the journal Nature Methods; its abstract follows.

Antiviral restriction factor transgenesis in the domestic cat

Studies of the domestic cat have contributed to many scientific advances, including the present understanding of the mammalian cerebral cortex. A practical capability for cat transgenesis is needed to realize the distinctive potential of research on this neurobehaviorally complex, accessible species for advancing human and feline health. For example, humans and cats are afflicted with pandemic AIDS lentiviruses that are susceptible to species-specific restriction factors. Here we introduced genes encoding such a factor, rhesus macaque TRIMCyp, and eGFP, into the cat germline. The method establishes gamete-targeted transgenesis for the first time in a carnivore. We observed uniformly transgenic outcomes, widespread expression, no mosaicism and no F1 silencing. TRIMCyp transgenic cat lymphocytes resisted feline immunodeficiency virus replication. This capability to experimentally manipulate the genome of an AIDS-susceptible species can be used to test the potential of restriction factors for HIV gene therapy and to build models of other infectious and noninfectious diseases. 

 

September 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What are they?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

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Hint: Smaller than a bread box.

September 28, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Can I get a sheet of the Lady Gagas...

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The news that the United States Postal Service, circling the drain as it continues to hemorrhage cash, has abandoned its long-held rule that no living person can appear on a U.S. postage stamp in favor of a Facebook and Twitter-based popularity contest whose living and breathing winner will adorn a stamp next year has brought a massive response.

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Wrote Katharine Q. Seelye in a story in yesterday's New York Times, "Popular nominees included Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Bob Dylan. CBS News gave readers a choice, listing options like Neil Armstrong (very popular) and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (not so much)."

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Stephen Kearney, the Postal Services manager of stamp services, told Seelye that "The usual three-year process to move a stamp from suggestion to implementation would be condensed so that at least one stamp with a living person would be available later next year."

Can you imagine the awesomeness of being #1?

Beats Time's Person of the Year cover by a factor of a hundred.

September 28, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Cord Lamp

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By Design House Stockholm.

51.25"H x 15"Ø (base).

Bulb included.

Textile cord.

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$169.

September 28, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go meets Einstein's Razor

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I like having my Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go flash drive as a back-up in case Comcast crashes or I'm not in a WiFi hotspot.

Unlimited data at usable speeds for $50 a month without a contract, pay as I need it.

I was amused, renewing it for a month this morning in anticipation of several trips I'll be making in October, to see that my account sign-in page used terms I hadn't seen before.

Here are the various and sundry things Virgin might ask for in the course of using its service:

1. MDN aka Account Number aka Phone Number (10 digits)

2. MSID (10 digits)

3. PIN aka vKey aka Password (6 digits)

4. ESN aka Serial Number (11 digits)

You can understand why I keep those numbers — and synonyms — on a piece of paper and also have them taped to the flash drive itself.

Below, Einstein's Razor from Wikipedia.

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September 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Giant Pen — Perfect for a big deal

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16 inches long — you won't lose this one.

$19.98.

 

September 28, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How Americans spend their day

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"Here is how people over 15 spent their time in 2008."

"Sleeping, eating, working and watching television take up about two-thirds of the average day."

Interactive version here .

An enormous trove of graphics on this subject here.

[via FlowingData]

September 28, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"General Malaise" Cocktail Napkins — Limited Edition

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By artist Nancy Dwyer.

Edition of 100 packages.

5" x 4.75".

Package of 25: $25.

September 28, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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