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Australia

New Chili Is World's Hottest 201

bazzalunatic writes "The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T chili is grown and harvested by an Australian company, and not by the inmates of an Australian insane asylum as rumored. The chili is claimed to be the world's hottest (1,463,700 SU), surpassing the current Naga Viper chili at 1,382,118 SU. From the article: '"They're just severe, absolutely severe," says Marcel de Wit, The Chili Factory co-owner. "No wonder they start making crowd-control grenades now with chilies. It's just wicked." The chili is so scorching that Marcel and his team have to wear protective gear when handling the new variety. "If you don't wear gloves your hands will be pumping heat for two days later," he says.'"
Biotech

DIY Biologists To Open Source Research 147

destinyland writes "Falling costs and garage tinkering are creating a grass roots movement of amateur biologists whose research is more transparent than that of academia. They are building lab equipment using common household items and even synthesizing new organisms, and their transparency also allows the social pressure which creates more ethical research. DIY Bio.org fosters lab co-ops for large equipment and provokes important discussions. (Would it be ethical to release a homegrown symbiote that cures scurvy in hundreds of thousands of people?) This movement could someday lead to bottom-up remedies for disease, fuel-generating microbes, or even a social-networked disease-tracking epidemiology. 'In much the same way that homebrew computer science built the world we live in today, garage biology can affect the future we make for ourselves,' argues h+ magazine, which featured the article in their summer issue."
Biotech

Designing DNA Circuits To Brew Tastier Beer 135

Al writes "Researchers at Boston University have developed a way to predict the behavior of different DNA segments and make synthetic biology a little bit more reliable. James Collins and colleagues have built libraries of component parts and a mathematical modeling system to help them predict the behavior of parts of a gene network. Like any self-respected bunch of grad students, they decided to demonstrate the approach by making beer. They engineered gene promoters to control when flocculation occurs in brewers yeast, which allowed them to finely control the flavor of the resulting beer."

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