This is a huge deal. Watch this video.
I won’t pretend to be a good enough writer or to understand politics quite well enough to adequately explain the concepts in this video. However it’s clear upon watching this that things have the potential to change rapidly (for the better, hopefully) in the coming months in our political system. And apparently it’s the republicans’ fault.
23andme is at the center of an intense debate this Thanksgiving
The personal genomics startup 23andme and the FDA have sparked intense debate in the past few days over whether or not 23andme’s tests and the resulting analysis they offer constitute a “medical device”, and thus whether the FDA has the jurisdiction to regulate them.
In a strongly worded letter sent by the FDA to 23andme founder Anne Wojicicki this past Friday (Nov. 22nd) the FDA reminds the company of the agency’s decision to label the genetic assay (and the accompanying interpretation they offer) as a “medical device”, a decision made apparently as early as 2009. The FDA also derides Anne and her company for failing to meet deadlines regarding the requisite “proof” of efficacy for the services they offer, again something the FDA says they’ve been working on since 2009. As a result of these failings, the FDA has banned the sale of the Silicon Valley startup’s spit-kits until they can be figured out. The kits are still on sale.
New research indicates that senescent cells, those that stop dividing, play an important role at both the dawn and dusk of life.
It’s been observed for a while that humans will slowly accumulate a number of cells that have stopped functioning “properly”. These cells usually contain damage to their DNA and as a result of this damage they begin releasing a slurry of immunological proteins that serve to attract the body’s immune cells to clean up these misbehaving cells, called senescent cells.
Scientists in a few separate teams have discovered that this process that is thought to be so crucial to the aging of the organism, may also play a major role in the development of the adult organism. In support of this theory, senescent cells were found in the developing embryos of mice, as well as in the placenta of the organism’s mother.
Click the link to go to the NYTimes article about this discovery
Or click here to go to the primary literature article, published in Genes and Development on Nov. 1st
New Species Alert
Isn’t he cute? Trond Larsen and his crew of researches found this insect and 60 others new species during an expedition to the rain forests of Suriname, a lush tropical country swath of land on the northeast coast of South America. It is not clear if this is a nymph or a full grown adult but this unique little critter is certainly unique with its spiky ’fro.
Photograph by Trond Larsen
I wonder if it’s poisonous
Kinda weird. One of these guys goes to UCSB and the other has his own wikipedia page.
I am a millenial. Generation Y. Born between the birth of AIDS and 9/11. Give or take. They call us the global generation. We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy for just growing up. Others thinks it’s because social media allows us to post every time we fart or have a sandwich for all the world to see. But it seems our one defining trait is a numbness to the world. An indifference to suffering.
This show keeps getting better. I’ll be thinking up fan fiction plot-lines for years after it ends.
Now excuse me while I let twitter know how many times I farted today.
Carrying a particular version of the gene for apolipoprotein E (APOE) is the major known genetic risk factor for the sporadic, late-onset form of Alzheimer’s disease, but exactly how that variant confers increased risk has been controversial among researchers. Now an animal study led by…