Nazi scientist created a twin-town
Historians claim Mengele's notorious experiments may have borne fruit. For years scientists have failed to discover why as many as one in five pregnancies in a small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed. But residents of Candido Godoi now claim that Mengele made repeated visits there in the early 1960s, posing at first as a vet but then offering medical treatment to the women of the town. Shuttling between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, he managed to evade justice before his death in 1979, but his dreams of a Nazi master race appeared unfulfilled.
Scientists are developing spider-goats to produce sought materials
Nexia Biotechnologies in Quebec along with scientists at the U.S. Army's Soldier Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) in Natick, Mass, have taken the specialized silk producing gene from a spider and inserted it into a goat embryo. The result is a goat……that looks like a goat, acts like a goat, but produces milk which contains proteins which, when treated, produce a very close imitation of the valuable spider silk. A single goat only produces small amounts of the desired material, so an extremely large herd is required to acquire useful quantities.
Scientists create new life from a mouse that has been frozen for 16 years
Scientist are creating a modified mosquito to fight other mosqiutos
It gives new impetus to one strategy for controlling the disease: introduce a transgenic mosquito carrying a gene that confers resistance to the malaria parasite into wild populations in the hope that they will take over. These mosquitoes had another gene inserted into them to make their eyes fluoresce, to distinguish them from the ordinary strain. The insect carries a gene that prevents infection by the malaria parasite. The researchers caution that their studies are still at an early stage, and that it could be 10 years or more before engineered insects are released into the environment. The approach exploits the fact that the health of infected mosquitoes is itself compromised by the parasite they spread. Insects that cannot be invaded by the parasite are therefore likely to be fitter and out-compete their disease-carrying counterparts.
Scientists demonstrate that girls are genetically predisposed to pink
The scientists from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, who were led by Dr Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling, averaged people's overall preferences. The male favourite was a pale blue while the female favourite was a lilac shade of pink. The participants in the study were Chinese and British. The Chinese students showed a marked preference for red. As red symbolises luck and happiness in China, this indicates that cultural norms are also involved. In the study, which is published in the journal Current Biology, the scientists showed pairs of colours to 208 volunteers aged between 20 and 26, who had to select which they preferred by clicking with a computer mouse. Both groups showed similar sex-related preferences, with women liking blues and pinks while men liked mainly blues.
There is already evidence that human's ability to see in colour is likely to have evolved because of the usefulness of being able to distinguish red fruits from green backgrounds. The female role as gatherers while males hunted could have favoured a particular preference for reds and pinks, the scientists said. Dr Ling said the team was now seeking to investigate further the extent to which these preferences are innate. Her own favourite colour? "A very paleish pink," she said.
Scientists are trying to grow human eyeballs
Scientists had already established the amphibian genes that initiate and direct eye development, which they refer to as Eye Field Transcription Factors (EFTFs). How these genes get activated in the right location at a certain time during development had been cloaked in mystery. But in 2007, a new study suggested a nitrogen-bearing molecule sets off a series of steps that result in eye formation in frogs. When researchers injected a specific enzyme into frog embryos, the resulting tadpoles showed an extra eye. The mechanism probably also applies to humans and other animals with eyes. Dale and University of Warwick developmental biologist Elizabeth Jones, along with colleagues, discovered the eye-switch while investigating how "ectoenzyme" molecules located on the external surface of cells contributed to the development of locomotion in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). The biologists injected the molecules into frog embryos that comprised just eight cells.
One of the ectoenzymes triggered wonky eye development. When added to cells that would eventually form the head, the resulting tadpole sported three eyes instead of two. An even stranger sight resulted when they injected the ectoenzyme into other developing body cells. The molecule caused an additional "ectopic" eye, leading to tadpoles with a spare peeper growing out of the side, abdomen or even along the tail.