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Scientists Discover How DNA Is Folded Within the Nucleus 152

mikael writes " is reporting that scientists have discovered how DNA is folded within the nucleus of a cell such that active genes remain accessible without becoming tangled. The first observation is that genes are actually stored in two locations. The first location acts as a cache where all active genes are kept. The second location is a denser storage area where inactive genes are kept. The second observation is that all genes are stored as fractal globules, which allows genes that are used together to be adjacent to each other when folded, even though they may be far apart when unfolded."

Comment Why are we pursuing this? (Score 1) 397

Can you name ten things on your present vehicle that make no design sense whatsoever? I'd imagine you can without breaking a sweat, and on something that was designed by human hands. Now take a biological organism, something that thru a process of winner-take-all competition somehow managed to develop into a dominant form: would that form be perfect? Would every piece of the puzzle fit perfectly together in an ordered tapestry? Does the operating system you are currently running still have vestiges of long-unused or obsolete code that do things they were never intended to do but not fatally destroy the final work?

Natural selection does not require perfection. It doesn't even require mediocrity. It only requires that there be something lower on the ladder than you are. But as long as we're asking, what happened to my awesome prehensile tail?

Apple Plans Cheaper Nano-Based iPhone 343

bigkahunafish writes "It seems Apple is planning a cheaper version of the iPhone possibly based on the iPod Nano. This phone would be priced below $300 making it more affordable than the $500-600 iPhone. This should bring Apple phone technology into the hands of more users, though this cheaper phone could have more limited functionality. From the article: 'Sales of the [original] iPhone are expected to be limited to a small percentage of the market due to its high price tag, particularly in the United States where 85 percent of consumers tend to spend $100 or less on cell phones. But analysts forecast that a cheaper phone from Apple, which leads the digital music player market, could pose a much bigger threat to long-established phone makers such as Nokia, Motorola Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Sony Ericsson, owned by Sony Corp and Ericsson.' I just hope they don't make a phone based on the iPod Shuffle."

EA Executive Cites Need For More Innovation 84

The Wall Street Journal has comments from John Riccitiello, EA's new CEO, who has an interesting observation: maybe we should make more original games. "In his first in-depth comments since taking the job in April, John Riccitiello says he worries that the Redwood City, Calif., company and others in the industry make too many games that lack innovation. He says EA and others need both to push more aggressively beyond traditional audiences to court 'casual' consumers and to experiment more with new sales approaches -- outside the norm of selling $50 to $60 discs with 40-hour games that he says few players ever finish. 'We're boring people to death and making games that are harder and harder to play,' Mr. Riccitiello said in an interview." Perhaps looking beyond yearly updates to established franchises might be a way to go too. We've seen EA form a casual studio, re-organize the flowchart, adopt the Wii wholeheartedly ... does anyone see EA actually reinventing itself, or is this too little too late?

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard