Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gregory Benford On Artificial Biological Selection for Longevity

Our focus is to extend healthy human lifespan by using advanced genomics to develop therapeutic substances that attack the diseases of aging. We are the first company founded to exploit artificial selection of animal models for longevity.
Our extremely long-lived animal models (Drosophila melanogaster) have been developed over 700 generations. They are an ideal system for the study of aging and age-related disease because Drosophila metabolic genetic pathways that are highly conserved in humans.
Our sophisticated analysis cross-links gene function in Drosophila with their human orthologs, thus revealing the targets for therapeutic substance development. To date we have discovered over 100 of these genomic targets, all related to the primary diseases of aging.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jones admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Suspended Animation

The animals were total lights out – true suspended animation.

What Darwin Got Wrong

The explanation for this might be the seductive myth that underlies it. That myth had its roots in Victorian social Darwinism but today it flows largely from two books – Jacques Monod's Chance and Necessity (1971) and Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene (1976). Both these books, of course, contain lots of good and necessary biological facts. But what made them bestsellers was chiefly the sensational underlying picture of human life supplied by their rhetoric and especially their metaphors. This drama showed heroic, isolated individuals contending, like space warriors, alone against an alien and meaningless cosmos. It established the books as a kind of bible of individualism, most congenial to the Reaganite and Thatcherite ethos of the 80s. Monod first showed humans in Existentialist style as aliens – "gypsies" in a foreign world – and, by expanding the role of chance in evolution, concluded that our life was essentially a "casino". Dawkins added personal drama by describing a population of genes which – quite unlike the real ones inside us – operate as totally independent agents and can do as they please. It is no great surprise that these images caught on, nor that they can now persist whether or not the doctrines linked to them turn out to be scientific.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Competition drives cooperation among closely related sperm

These results suggest that sperm from promiscuous deer mice discriminate among relatives and thereby cooperate with the most closely related sperm, an adaptation likely to have been driven by sperm competition.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sperm behavior indicates humans not sexually exclusive

Whether sperm fly at high speed or laze their way towards an egg might depend on how much competition they face, suggests a new analysis of sperm samples. The study reveals that promiscuous primate species have faster sperm than their more monogamous counterparts....