Dazzling Knowledge

Friday, November 30, 2007

Duke scientists map 'silenced genes'

From Yahoo! News:

Remember biology class where you learned that children inherit one copy of a gene from mom and a second from dad? There's a twist: Some of those genes arrive switched off, so there is no backup if the other copy goes bad, making you more vulnerable to disorders from obesity to cancer.

Whole article.

This is an example of gene imprinting, when the expression of an allele depends upon the parent that contributed the allele. This is another example of one of my favorite phenomena, epigenetics. The weird thing is that scientists really have no idea whether this is adaptive. On one hand, it's hard to see how turning off valuable genes that will be inherited by your offspring is adaptive. On the other, this is a common and specialized function of cells, so it's hard to see how imprinting would persist without conferring some sort of advantage. Time will tell...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No, This is Real.

Here's an actual campaign ad being run by Republican Mike Huckabee in Iowa.

Here are priceless Chuck Norris Facts.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rooks rike it's time for time-out

China has some image-polishing to work on before the Olympics come around. Now they're trying a new technique: threatening to take away everyone's allowances. Of course, here's another example of how I'm more concerned with the behavior of the Chinese government than that of its citizens.

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Fought For Our Freedom, But Don't You Dare Exercise It

From Yahoo! News comes this sad bit of GWoT reality:
BOSTON - Several anti-war veterans were arrested when they protested their exclusion from a Veterans Day event by refusing to move away from a podium.

The Boston chapter of a group called Veterans for Peace estimated 15 of its members and supporters were arrested Sunday at the event sponsored by the American Legion. Boston Police said several arrests were made, but did not have an exact number. The detainees were later released on bail.

"We're opposed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq; we're opposed to the planned invasion of Iran," said group member Winston Warfield, a Vietnam War veteran. "A lot of veterans view us as traitors."
Not having had to serve in the military myself (thank you, Milton Friedman!), I feel it's only right that men and women who put their lives at risk on my behalf (and yours, Mssrs. Bush and Cheney) should have the freedom to say whatever the hell they want.

To any American vets who disagree with this view, all I can say is that it looks like you fought for the wrong country.

War foes arrested at Veterans Day event [Yahoo! News]

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