These little devils will cause you no end of grief. From the constant buzzing to ruining a barbecue. But, wait there’s more. They can carry around this little parasite that causes a disease you might have heard of – malaria.
Obviously, this is major killer in many areas of the world. In order to combat the disease, Drs. Charles Long and Mark Westhusin at Texas A&M University (whoop!) have created a genetically engineered goat, named Goat 21, that produces a malaria vaccine in her milk.
If you’ve never seen the movie “Waiting,” you’ve done a true disservice to yourself. You’re missing out on the inner workings of a crappy chain restaurant, a horribly hilarious coworker game, and, most importantly, I don’t know how you’ve made it until now without Dave Koechner’s sage advice, “Remember, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary…is that little extra.”
Seems like that little extra is just as important in other avenues in life, as evidenced by a paper published recently in Cell Metabolism by Dr. Manuel Serrano’s group. His team in Madrid has discovered that mice with an extra copy of a cancer suppressing gene live longer, healthier lives with a lower cancer incidence.
Every woman I know has a squirt bottle of hand sanitizer, there are ad campaigns about washing your hand, and Lysol is never not in my kitchen. So much effort to get rid of bacteria. But what if we started using them for good, in the fight against cancer?
In a recent article in the journal PLoS ONE, a group led by Dr. Mark Tangney, of University College Cork in Ireland, has reported the use of genetically engineered bacteria being used to develop better tumor imaging techniques.
Image taken from Phillip and Samayoa, et. al. 2011
In the spirit of the bright lights and big ideas of the new year, I thought I would share a pretty cool story of ingenious genetic engineering published a few weeks ago in Nature.
A team led by Arthur Prindle and Phillip Samayoa in the lab of Jeff Hasty at UC San Diego has created a network to make bacteria synchronously glow like so many twinkling Christmas lights. (Image shows a still photo of one of these chips.) Continue reading →