September 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm (mutate) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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On October 10, 2009, a Cyclone of Slack will slam into Portland bringing true SubGenius mutation back to Stumptown for the first time in a decade!

Cast aside your false profiteers and your hipster biscuits, and bask in the Yetisyn glow of true Dobbsian mutation! Experience the gene-twisting joy of a SubGenius Devival in all of its mutated glory!

* See the psychedelic sights not meant for mere Normals!
* Hear the hindbrain-boggling ranting of SubGenius Doktors directly channeling the Elder Gods!
* Smell the third-nostril opening aromas of full-bore Yetis in heat!
* Feel the tidal wave of the TRUE SLACK that we were all meant to experience

when the CYCLONE OF SLACK hits Portland!

Featuring:

REV. IVAN STANG!
DR. HOWLAND OWL!
PRINCESS WEI R. DOE!
REV. DR. ONAN CANOBITE!
THE DUKE OF UKE!
REV. CRAWFORD!

With the Musical Stylings of:

POWER CIRCUS!
NEQUAQUAM VACUUM!
CULT OF ZIR!

And:

an utter lack of NENSLO!



pdx devival

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Open Source DNA

September 1, 2009 at 6:02 am (science) (, , )

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In the chilling science fiction movie Gattaca, Ethan Hawke stars as a man with “inferior genes” who assumes another’s genetic identity to escape a dead-end future. The 1997 film illustrates the very real fear swirling around today’s genome research — fear that private genetic information could be used negatively against us.

Last year, after a published paper found serious security holes in the way DNA data is made publicly available, health institutes in the United States and across the world removed all genetic data from public access.

“Unfortunately, that knee-jerk response stymied potential breakthrough genetic research,” says Dr. Eran Halperin of Tel Aviv University’s Blavatnik School of Computer Sciences and Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. He wants to put this valuable DNA information back in circulation, and has developed the tool to do it — safely.

TAU

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A SHORT COURSE ON SYNTHETIC GENOMICS

August 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm (mad science, mutate) (, , , , , )

6 hours worth of videos on synthetic genomics presented by George Church and J. Craig Venter.
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Link to lecture videos via Edge

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Jurrasic park is scary in the dark

August 26, 2009 at 5:33 am (ecology, mad science, mutate) (, , , )

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Jack Horner has a vision. A world-famous paleontologist who gives “an awful lot of lectures,” Horner pictures himself strolling out on stage before a crowd, just as he’s done countless times before. Instead of carrying the standard sheaf of notes or dusty slides, though, he has with him the ultimate prop: a real live dinosaur on a leash. “It’s small, but bigger than a chicken,” he writes in his new book, How to Build a Dinosaur. “Let’s say the size of a turkey, one day maybe even the size of an emu.” The emu-size dinosaur, he adds, “might have a muzzle or a couple of handlers.”

If it sounds straight out of Jurassic Park, it’s no coincidence: Horner served as scientific advisor on all three films, and is said to be an inspiration for the rugged protagonist, Alan Grant. Unlike in the movie, though, Horner thinks he can bring back a dinosaur without using its DNA—a crucial difference, because in real life, dino DNA hasn’t been recovered. Horner has a different plan. By making a few genetic tweaks to its modern-day ancestor, the bird, he wants to hatch a dinosaur straight from a chicken egg.

It’s Horner’s vision, and McGill University paleontologist Hans Larsson is working to make it happen. With Horner’s encouragement, Larsson is experimenting with chicken embryos to create the creature Horner describes: a “chickenosaurus,” they call it. If he succeeds, Larsson will have made an animal with clawed hands, teeth, a long, dinosaurian tail and ancestral plumage, one that shares characteristics with “the dinosaur we know that’s closest to birds, little raptors like the velociraptor,” Horner says.

The rest via: Next Big Future

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