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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Synthetic Biology Roundup

Life’s been too hectic lately to keep up with all the cool little synbio nuggets churned up by the Internet over the past couple of weeks. Just wanted to catch up with a few items I particularly enjoyed. First, this interview from Gizmodo with Michael Specter, who recently wrote a piece on synthetic biology in […]

Linda Avey on Mother Jones’ 23andMe Story

In response to my last post about the Mother Jones story on DTC genomics company 23andMe, I got a (friendly) email from Linda Avey, who left the company in September to start an Alzheimer’s research foundation called Brainstorm. Avey wrote that although she no longer speaks for the company, she felt it was important to […]

Mother Jones on the Real DTC Genomics Business Model

Does Mother Jones know that Linda Avey has left the building? I suppose Shannon Brownlee’s article on 23andMe in the November/December issue of the magazine could have gone to press before cofounder Avey’s departure was announced September 4, 2009, and was widely discussed in the genomics community. But even on the MoJo blog yesterday, there’s […]

Open-Sourcing Life Science: Getting Theoretical With Sophia Roosth

Thanks to Mac Cowell for posting this link on the DIYbio blog. Sophia Roosth, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, gave this talk at the Kennedy School of Government on November 9, 2009. With the provocative title “Crafting the Biological: Open-Sourcing Life Science, from Synthetic Biology to Garage Biotech,” Roosth’s talk offers an anthropological perspective on […]

Destination: Dunes

The Boston Globe’s website recently posted a mind-blowing gallery of 35 high-def images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which has been orbiting the planet since 2006 and is currently circling a mere 187 miles above the surface. Below, a view of the bluish basaltic sands of the Abalos Undae dune field. For way […]

Visible Results: 2009 iGem Roundup

In its sixth year, iGem certainly looks like a viable colony, actively self-replicating. Once containable within the disorienting confines of the Stata Center, the event is now a sprawling, all-over-campus thing. With more than 100 teams and some 1,700 participants, this year’s competition took over lecture halls in five separate buildings clustered along “iGem Lane.” […]

Ferment This! Biotech Basics

Here’s a Scrabble word for you: zymurgy. Apparently, the ancient science of fermentation — using microorganisms like yeast and bacteria to release enzymes that transform complex molecules in food into chemically simpler, although more complex-tasting ones — is a hot topic on college campuses. And it’s not just beer that’s being made. The New York […]