Science: The GM crop that will sow less bitterness - RNAi

Researchers in Germany have developed a way of engineering plants so they can flourish in difficult conditions without raising an ethical storm. Ed Yong reports when is a genetically modified plant not genetically modified? When its genes are being suppressed rather than spliced, claim researchers from Bayer CropScience. Michael Metzlaff, head of Bayer's crop productivity research group, has developed a way to fine tune the repressive levels of PARP so the plant can continue to grow while still being protected from the elements. He uses a technique called RNA interference, which employs a special molecule to block the message sent from the DNA that tells the plant to produce more of the PARP protein. The gene isn't completely shut off, but the plant's hyperactive stress response is toned down.
"The plants are more relaxed," says Metzlaff. "They can lean back and just do what they have to do."
Metzlaff's method can be very specifically targeted to a plant of choice, using parts of the PARP genetic sequence that do not exist in other species. This tight control should allay fears from the anti-GM lobby that the RNA molecule could spread and harm other species in the area.

Science: The GM crop that will sow less bitterness - Telegraph

Glow-in-dark cats

South Korean scientists have cloned cats by manipulating a fluorescent protein gene, the cloned cats glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet beams.




Glow-in-dark cats may enlighten humans - Science - Specials - smh.com.au\

Oh, I gotta get me one of these!

As Drug Industry Struggles, Chemists Face Layoff Wave

A byproduct of the late-19th-century chemical business, pharmaceutical research thrived for more than a century by finding chemical combinations to treat diseases. But after contributing substantially both to human health and drug-industry profits, it has failed to produce significant innovations in recent years. It isn't clear how many chemists have lost pharmaceutical-company jobs. But overall, 116,000 chemists were employed in 2006, down from 140,000 in 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the same period, employment of biologists rose to 116,000 from 112,000. Just as the rise of biotechnology is contributing to an economic boom in Northern California, the decline of chemical-based research is hurting the Michigan cities of Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, along with some regions of New Jersey and Illinois.

As Drug Industry Struggles, Chemists Face Layoff Wave - WSJ.com










Blood Test to Detect Lung Cancer Being Eyed

Publishing in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers said a test for four blood proteins -- CEA, RBP, SCC and AAT -- may provide a simple follow-up for patients who've had suspicious chest lesions detected by imaging methods such as CT scan.


Blood Test to Detect Lung Cancer Being Eyed - Forbes.com

Genes Yield More Clues to Schizophrenia

A U.S. team has spotted nine genetic markers that can increase a person's risk for schizophrenia.

Genes Yield More Clues to Schizophrenia - Forbes.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Ok new pre-employment screen !