Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Venter's Epic Voyage

to redefine the origin of species.
Picture this: You are standing at the edge of a lagoon on a South Pacific island. The nearest village is 20 miles away, reachable only by boat. The water is as clear as air. Overhead, white fairy terns hover and peep among the coconut trees. Perhaps 100 yards away, you see a man strolling in the shallows. He is bald, bearded, and buck naked. He stoops every once in a while to pick up a shell or examine something in the sand...
A lot of people wonder what happened to J. Craig Venter, the maverick biologist who a few years ago raced the US government to sequence the human genetic code. Well, you've found him. His pate is sunburned, and the beard is new since he graced the covers of Time and BusinessWeek. It makes him look younger and more relaxed - not that I ever saw him looking very tense, even when the genome race got ugly and his enemies were closing in. This afternoon, the only adversary he has to contend with is the occasional no-see-um nipping at some tender body part. "Nobody out here has ever heard of the human genome," he told me a week ago, when I first joined him in French Polynesia. "It's great."
Venter is here not just to enjoy himself, though he has been doing plenty of that. What separates him from your average 58-year-old nude beachcomber is that he's in the midst of a scientific enterprise as ambitious as anything he's ever done. Leaving colleagues and rivals to comb through the finished human code in search of individual genes, he has decided to sequence the genome of Mother Earth...
Wired 12.08: Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species

Also of note:

That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer

The secret to longer life may be to pay more attention to hazards that carry a low risk but are encountered frequently than to worry about catastrophic events like plane crashes. nyt

Biotech Firms, Billions at Risk, Lobby States to Limit Generics

The industry’s lobbying effort could blunt new competition to its products and reduce the savings anticipated in the federal health care overhaul.

Doctor: How A Preventable Medical Error Killed My Mother

Medical errors in hospitals kill more Americans every year than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.
But Dr. Jonathan Welch never thought his mother would be one of those statistics. After all, he’s an emergency physician in Boston.
But when his mother took a turn for the worse during cancer treatment in Wisconsin, he went from confident doctor to helpless and lost son, afraid of questioning the care she was getting, for fear it would become worse.
In other words, he became just like most of us.
Welch told Here & Now’s Robin Young, “One of the surprising things after having this story out, is how many individuals have reached out to me with very similar stories. This is not a story told in isolation.”


And one more thing: sorry about the Downton spoiler! I'll be more careful...

1 comment: