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Biotech

+ - Fixing Mutations With A Drug->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "More than 1,800 different genetic disorders including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and spinal muscular dystrophy, can be caused by a particular type of mutation called a nonsense mutation. Forbes has a story (Stopping the Nonsense http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2007/0917/072.html?partner=yahoomag) on a drug to correct these mutations.

The magazine explains: "A gene is akin to a long sentence consisting of repeating patterns of those four letters (A, T, G, C); the sequence T-G-A is like a period at the end of the sentence. It tells the body where a gene ends. But sometimes the period is out of place — it has been wrongly inserted somewhere in the sentence. Thus the set of instructions to produce the muscle protein, dystrophin, isn't read in full; this causes the body to produce a defective form of dystrophin that is too short to do its job.""

Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - Make a baby. Win a car.

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Sergei Morozov, Governor of the Russian province of Ulyanovsk, has decreed September 12 a Day of Conception and is giving couples time off from work to procreate. Couples who give birth nine months later on Russia's national day — June 12 — will receive money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes. The New York Times reports that this is the third year the competition has been going on and so far, the region's birth rate is up 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Russia's population has dropped since the 1991 Soviet collapse, fed by declining birth rates, a low life expectancy, a spike in emigration, a frayed health care system and other factors. The country — the world's largest by area — now has just 141.4 million citizens, making it one of the most sparsely settled nations. Experts estimate that Russia's population could fall another 22 percent by 2050 with a devastating impact on the workforce, military recruitment and family formation."
Utilities (Apple)

+ - iPhone Unlocking Goes Open Source-> 1

Submitted by mrneutron2003
mrneutron2003 (1106301) writes "Sure to make the "Jobs Mob" and AT&T very happy, David Harrison has made available an open source method for unlocking the iPhone from provider, AT&T. He suggests donating to your favorite charity as opposed to sending him any green. Nice guy! He might want to check his warchest for legal defense funds however. Though we do not have an iPhone in need of unlocking (one of our staff has one, but he has AT&T service), it appears this is legitimate from a cursory glance around the webosphere. If you need it, it's right here . Use at your own risk... http://www.fastsilicon.com/off-the-wall/iphone-unlocking-goes-open-source.html"
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - String theory incompatible with expansion?

Submitted by
mcgrew (sm62704)
mcgrew (sm62704) writes "New Scientist is reporting that

a new study suggests it may be difficult to reconcile string theory with the widely accepted theory of inflation, which explains several key cosmological observations — such as why the universe appears to have the same properties in whichever direction astronomers look.

The study was carried out by a team of researchers led by Mark Hertzberg of MIT in Cambridge, US. The team tried to produce inflation in three versions of string theory in which the extra dimensions are shaped like a doughnut — the simplest possibility. But they found that the conditions needed for inflation appear to be impossible to achieve in these simple versions.
"

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