LilaG writes "Antibiotic resistance genes are cheap, powerful tools for biologists. But now researchers have found evidence that those very genes used in molecular biology and genetic engineering experiments may have reached the environment. In six Chinese rivers, researchers found bacterial DNA carrying these synthetic genes.
Still, other experts call for more studies to confirm the results and pinpoint specific sources of the genes."Link to Original Source
LilaG writes "A tiny probe simulates sound waves by tickling microscopic hairlike projections on inner ear cells. The device could help researchers understand how the cochlear cells' ion channels convert sound waves into electrical signals the brain can interpret, say the probe’s developers, who are from Stanford University."Link to Original Source
LilaG writes "Forget gold-plated teeth. Gold-nanoparticled hair may just be the next cool thing. Researchers in Paris have discovered that they can produce gold nanoparticles within strands of hair that will dye white hair gold. Added bonus: the hair glows red when blue light shines on it.
Alas, don't expect to see gold nanoparticle dye coming to your hair salon anytime soon. The process takes days of treatment to produce the full effect. Another downside: the process uses a very strong base, with pH 12.5, making it far more caustic than a perm."
LilaG writes "BP is about to shell out billions in the criminal case the U.S. brought against it for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Some good news has also just come out about the spill's effects on the Gulf: oysters didn't consume much oil from the spill.
That's the conclusion of a study by researchers in Alabama who were already studying the region's oysters before the spill happened — giving them before, during, and after samples to test. Using isotopic ratios, the researchers found little evidence of oil in the oyster's flesh or shells."Link to Original Source
LilaG writes "You may choose blue or black ink, but some scientists want to "write" with bacterial ink. Now they can, thanks to researchers in South Korea.
An article in Chemical and Engineering News describes the researchers' adaptation of dip-pen nanolithography, allowing the researchers to write dots of E. coli with control over placement of the dots and over the number of organisms in each dot."Link to Original Source