Monday, April 5, 2010

Notes for April 5th

  • A novel use for the Orwellian proliferation of security cameras:  Monitoring global climate change.
  • Teff is pretty awesome.
  • One thing I miss out on by being an aquatic biogeochemist is the opportunity to do research on really odd or unusual (to me) animals.  For instance, I didn't even know margays existed.
  • Apparently ducks don't get influenza...or rather, they get it but they don't get sick.  So why not take the genes that make ducks invulnerable and put them in the (very) vulnerable chicken.  Apparently that works.  What blows my mind is that an immunologist heard that "chickens don't have the gene [that protects ducks from influenza]" and "we just about fell out of our chairs"  Really?  I know people think of ducks and chickens as similar because they are both grocery store animals, but we're talking about two species that are not that closely related.  These two species aren't even in the same order.  Actually, I guess maybe they are, but they probably diverged millions and millions of years ago.
  • I still don't think its weird that they wouldn't share such a specific gene.

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