12 January, 2012 – This Week in Science


TDR TB!, Frying E. Coli, Food In Science, Extreme Caffeine, Extinct Tortoises Exist, Protein Resurrection, Lots Of Stars, Cheap DNA Sequencing, Andromeda Up Close, Guns And A-holes, And Much More…

Disclaimer, Disclaimer. Disclaimer!!!
The world as we know it is not the world as it is but the world as we have learned it
This learning of the world which we people engage in comes in several basic forms which can then be sub-categorize-able and infinitely cross referenced throughout a lifetime
Pulling from memory, from experience, from structured study, from second hand here-say, and from circumspect suspicion of nostalgic superstitious notions… we form knowledge of the world.
Making how we learn as important as what we learn…
Over many tens of thousands of years we humans have been learning and this has led to many interesting conclusions, almost all of which had to be proven wrong in order for the right answers to be found…
And finding the right answers became the passion and purpose of generations of scientists, working out the facts, trimming off the false…
Until we reached the modern age of knowing the world!
A world that still has as much room for exploration as there are minds ready to explore it…
And if this wasn’t enough, we have discovered that for every one of the 70 sextillion stars in the newly known universe, there are several more worlds in orbit around them…
It seems the work of knowing about a world… has just begun
Just like this week in science… coming up next

WHO found drug resistant TB last spring. Predicted 2 million cases of MDR (first-choice drug resistant) and XDR (resistant to three first-line drugs) by 2012. Instead, we’ve now found TDR TB… that is to say, totally drug resistant TB.

Frying E. coli
“A short burst of low voltage” could kill even large amounts of e. coli in meat that has been contaminated. The method promises a way to sterilize beef without harsh chemicals. Could this be used for other hazardous bacterium in other food products?

Food in Science…
The fungus on cheeses with thick rinds could be isolated to coat household surfaces to keep it clean. Cheese-counter, anyone?

Isolated DNA from Salmon could be used as “memory/data storage.”

What other examples of food being used in science do you know about? Let us know! Email me at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com or post a comment on our website.

Extreme caffeine
A new study shows that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 50% less chance of developing Type II Diabetes.

Get a free audiobook at Audible.com!

Are you reading along with the TWIS Bookclub? This month, check out ‘Fool Me Twice’ by Shawn Lawrence Otto.

Finding extinct tortoises
A thought-to-be-extinct lineage of Galapagos Tortoise has been found again! That-is, one-fifth of all Galapagos tortoises sampled had DNA from this lineage. In fact, the DNA from many of the tortoises indicated they were first-generation hybrids, so these tortoises should still be around (even though we can’t find them), as they live around 150 years!

And, ancient molecules
A “timeline of protein history” was developed by analyzing single-fold proteins. The first appearance of aerobic processes in organisms occurred around the same time as the first oxygen-generating enzyme – manganese catalase. This most-likely was produced in response to a high level of hydrogen peroxide in glacial melts.

Many Earths
The majority of the 100 billion stars in the milky way have planets like Earth, Venus, Mercury or Mars. The estimate is that 10 billion of these stars appear to have planets in the “habitable zone.”

Affordable DNA sequencing???
The $1000 genome has arrived! The “Ion Proton Sequencer” should be available within a year and could sequence your genome within a day. Will more readily available DNA sequencing revolutionize medicine?

Hubble Sees Andromeda
The Hubble Telescope has taken the sharpest visible-light image ever made of an external galaxy. Andromeda actually has a “double nucleus” due to a super-massive black hole.

Thank you NCBI ROFL. Guns and people.
A recent study concluded through saliva testing that interaction with guns most likely makes you more aggressive.

Climate change

And, scientists completed the world’s largest quantum calculation taking 84 qubits and 270 milliseconds.

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