Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition! I already did.
It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Why nasty things evolve and human's genome serve only for websites content?

Low-cost personal DNA readings are on the way

"GENETICS is about to get personal." So proclaims the website of 23andMe, a Californian company that is gearing up to offer people a guided tour of their own DNA. For the superstars of genetics, it has already got personal. Earlier this week, genomics pioneer Craig Venter revealed an almost complete sequence of his genome, while that of James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA's double-helix structure, has been available on the web since late June.

Given that Watson's genome took almost $1 million to read, most of us won't immediately be following in his and Venter's footsteps. It isn't necessary to read your entire genome, however, to browse many of the genetic variations that may influence your health. According to George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, the most pertinent information could be gleaned by sequencing the 1 per cent of the genome.

My comment: I find this somewhat disturbing, because the genome is one of the most personal things about us. But from the brighter side- the most used the technique-the cheaper it becomes and people will come up with better ideas on its use. So maybe we're are really the last generation to die from natural causes...Who knows! Though, now reading Peter Hamilton's "Pandora Star" I find it weird living for 200-300 years. It gives hell more opportunities to achieve things, but it looks kind of tiring to me. But then, maybe people 200 years ago thought the same about living 80 years.

Could Huntington's mutation make people healthier?

Could the mutation that causes Huntington's disease actually be making people healthier in their younger years? That's the theory being proposed to explain why the Huntington's disease (HD) gene is increasing in the population - despite eventually rendering many of its carriers unable to control their movement, speech or swallowing, and eventually killing them. If affected individuals are healthier than unaffected counterparts during their reproductive years, they may produce more offspring (Medical Hypotheses, DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2007.02.046).

My comment: Why I posted this here is that it looks like this virus make people more fertile if i understand correctly. And healthier too? Well, can't it be used somehow to improve our life? I think they should explore the mechanism the virus uses. Maybe it will teaches something.

Chikungunya virus spreads to Europe

As feared, the chikungunya virus has begun spreading in Europe. In June, a few people near Ravenna in north-east Italy developed a fever with severe joint pain, but by mid-August there were more than 100 cases.

The Italian government has confirmed that the culprit is chikungunya virus, a previously rare, mild infection spread by mosquitoes, that has mutated into a virulent, rapidly spreading strain. Since 2005, it has infected at least 1.4 million people in India and on islands in the Indian Ocean and may have killed thousands.

My comment: How come viruses and diseases mutate and evolve and we don't? Shouldn't that be considered a problem? Isn't it high time we evolve too...

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