European Food Safety Authority

While You Were at the Bench: Week 48

Scientists at Wake Forest University have combined an ink jet printer and an electrospinning machine to fabricate cartlidge using viable tissue.  This printer hybrid is a big step forward in designing three dimensional tissue for implantation in humans.

At a separate Skynet facility….errr…I mean University of Waterloo, computational neurobiologists have developed a 2.5 million neuronal model that is capable of counting, recollection, and gambling.  I’m thinking, Vegas baby!

Swedish engineers have developed an aerosol based growth method for mass fabricating highly reproducible semiconductors using gold rather than a silicon substrate.  This method is potentially a cheaper alternative to constructing batteries, LED’s, and solar cells.

Sea snails obtained near Antartica are showing severe signs of shell dissolution due to increased ocean acidification (uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide), which has been previously demonstrated in a controlled laboratory environment.  These snails are a vital source of food and important for the carbon cycle in the waters around Antartica.

The bread wheat genome has been deciphered in the hopes of improving wheat production world wide.  If only this study had come out sooner, maybe Hostess brands would have been saved…..nah.

SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has proposed creating a self-sustaining Martian colony by utilizing a new type of spacecraft called cyclers that the company is building.

In an update to a former blog post regarding a French study on toxicity of genetically modified corn, the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that the study “does not meet acceptable scientific standards” due to “inadequencies in the design.”  You can read the full report here.

Apparently Movember is also Bigfoot month.  Veternarian Melba S. Ketchum claims to have sequenced 100 DNA samples from the elusive hairy beast.   According to Dr. Ketchum, the DNA results indicate Sasquatch is a result of mating between homo sapien and an unknown primate 15,000 years ago.  Until I read the peer reviewed journal article on this one, I think it might just be this guy “it is“.

Have a Great Weekend!

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While You Were At the Bench: Week 40

It’s been a busy week for scientists, but here are some of the highlights.

Contrary to the belief that retracted journal articles are due to simple errors, a recent PNAS article found that 67.3% of retracted journal articles are due to fraudulent data.  Com’n people.  We’re better than this!

Columbia University ophthalmologists used human induced pluripotent stem cells to improve the vision of blind mice.  This approach may be useful for restoring vision in humans with macular degeneration and other retinal deficits.

Kyoto University researchers successfully used mouse embryonic stem cells to develop oocytes that produced viable offspring once fertilized and implanted into a surrogate mother.   This method could lead to new infertility therapies but raises potential ethical and legal issues.

Where’s Nemo?  A study conducted by the Australian Institute of Marine Science has determined the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral in the last 27 years.  The contributors?  Cyclones (48%), Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (42%) and Bleaching (10%).

By measuring different isotopes of Carbon from ice core samples obtained in Greenland, researchers have determined the amount of methane produced by humans in the last 2000 years.  Human sources of methane production has increased dramatically since the start of industrial revolution in the 1800′s.

Has the Curiosity Rover discovered an ancient riverbed on Mars?  The photos look rather convincing.

In a follow-up to a previous blog regarding genetically modified food, the European Food Safety Authority has determined that a French study supporting the toxic effects of genetically modified corn was poorly designed and therefore does not support the conclusions made in the paper.  The authors have until October 12th to address concerns raised by the agency.

Geologists are attempting to drill 6 kilometers beneath the Pacific Ocean sea floor to obtain the first ever sample of the Earth’s mantle.  Maybe they can retrieve Brendan Fraser’s acting career while they are down there.  Zing!

Have a great weekend.

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