California scientists have created a synthetic prion, a rogue protein that was used to infect mice with a brain destroying infection. Prions are the cause of several fatal diseases, including BSE (bovine spongiform encephalitis) and CJG (Creutsfeldt-Jakob disease). It’s a nasty, nasty disease, which was chronicled in Richard Rhodes’ book Deadly Feasts. It’s not exactly [...]
Archive for date: July 29, 2004
My baseball calendar informs me that on this day in 1988, the Red Sox traded two of their minor leaguers for pitcher Mike Boddicker. Boddicker was no slouch, going 7-3, 15-11 and 17-8 in his two and one half seasons with the Sox. The players they gave up? Three time All-Star utility outfielder Brady Anderson [...]
Francis Crick, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his work with James Watson, is dead. You can get JPEGS of their 1953 paper from the Smithsonian Institute. It’s hard to quantify just how important a role that this discovery has played in the fields of biology and medicine. It’s also fun to [...]
Paul Graham posted Great Hackers, an adaptation of his keynote OSCON 2004 speech. He’s also the author of Hackers and Painters, which I haven’t read yet, but probably will pick up shortly. His comments to me seem rather thought provoking, but should be tempered a bit by a sense of humility. For instance, in talking [...]
Dan Lyke noted that the Exploratorium has new exhibit of hand-cranked automata called the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. I love this stuff. Perhaps a trip to SF will be forthcoming. If you’re inspired, you could always pick up some craft books or read up on mechanisms that could be useful.