The 1000 Genomes Project, an international collaboration that will produce an extensive public catalogue of human genetic variation. The plan, in fact, is to sequence about 2,000 unidentified individuals from 20 populations around the world.
A nice summary on these projects is available in the current issue of Nature.
I am proud to present Hungary’s first iGEM team from Debrecen!
Out of twelve university students a broad range of disciplinarians may be found: five molecular biology master students, six students of the medicine faculty and one student of the medical research laboratory field. Culturally speaking, we have representatives from Hungary, Israel and Taiwan (three different continents). Beyond plain laboratory work we got a feel of each cultures work, fun and life definitions.
Our wiki page has just been finished. It’s been quite a challenge and fun at the same time to organize ourselves and make this interesting project running.
In summary the Nuclear Receptor Toolkit developped by us allows the (1) ultra sensitive detection of xenobiotic activators in the environment (e.g. oil derived traces in water and soil), (2) the assessment of lipid soluble vitamins, steroids, xenobiotics in food and (3) the potential of inducing specific genetic programs in transfected cells or modell organisms with a possibility to destroy these modified cells by an independent tetracyclin induced apoptosis effector system.
But the best part is still to come. MIT, Boston, here we come.
iGEM 2010 is approaching … so here is some synthetic biology. A fresh note from Nature.
Take eight tiny DNA strands just 60 nucleotides long, combine with a master mix of enzymes and reagents, and incubate at 50ºC for an hour. By following this simple recipe, researchers could synthesize the genome of a mouse mitochondrion in just five days.
… and a ‘classic‘ article on the first synthetic bacterial cell by the Craig J. Venter Institute, from Science.
The only DNAin the cells is the designed synthetic DNA sequence, including"watermark" sequences and other designed gene deletions andpolymorphisms, and mutations acquired during the building process.The new cells have expected phenotypic properties and are capableof continuous self-replication.
A disaster never seen before hit my home country, Hungary. It’s unbelievable, startling and sad.
Rivers and lakes in 12 European countries are in danger of being contaminated as toxic sludge from an alumina factory heads towards the Danube. Red sludge is a byproduct of the refining of bauxite into alumina, the basic material for manufacturing aluminium. It is common to store treated sludge in ponds where the water eventually evaporates, leaving behind a dried red clay-like soil. A state of emergency in three counties was announced yesterday after the dam burst released a torrent of toxic red sludge that swept through local villages. Four people were killed, three reported missing and 120 were injured.
Cars drifted into the middle of surrounding field, dead bodies of domestic animals laying about on the streets covered in red sludge. I think, that area in northwest Hungary will never be populated again.
This image basically tells it all. The sludge is highly alkalic (that causes most of the problem now, getting closer and closer to the Danube).
Andre Geim was one of the two researchers who won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. But that is just not the first occasion him being a Nobel laureate. In 2000 he got one for his work in Nijmegen (NL) that presented a levitating frog in strong magnetic field (~antigravity!). Altough that was an Ig Nobel.
Just remember what Ig Nobel is about:
to honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.
An annual award given away for major contributions in medical sciences in four main cathegories: “basic / clinical / special achievement / public service”. 76 Lasker laureates have received the Nobel Prize (wikipedia). My boss has just called our attention that in 2001 it was Robert Edwards, who won the Lasker.
It’s fantastic news. Me and mum are so glad that one of the pioneers of IVF has been given the recognition he deserves. We hold Bob in great affection and are delighted to send our personal congratulations to him and his family at this time.