Friday Four

Friday, September 06, 2013

1. Reading an article by someone who tried a cleverly-named food substitute for two weeks, I ran across the following interesting quote from Craig Venter, who is known for being among the first to sequence the human genome and is attempting to design a minimal life form:

We're trying to design a basic life form-the minimal criteria for life. It's very hard to do it because roughly 10 percent of the genes are of completely unknown function. All we know is if we take them out of the cell, the cell dies. So we're dealing with the limitations of biology.
Every once in a while, a quote like that reminds me of the incredible amount that we know -- and don't know -- at the same time.

2. My favorite soccer team, Arsenal, managed to bring Mesut Özil, arguably Europe's best playmaker, on board during the recently-closed transfer window. This news came on the same day the Arsenal topped its arch-rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, in the North London Derby in a scintillating match. (Oh, and I got to see the whole game: This was easy enough to do given the time difference and the fact that someone had to watch the baby.) What a great day that was to be a Gooner!

3. Speaking of the baby, our son has definitely reached an important developmental milestone: He is returning smiles now.

4. I didn't know that commercial orange growing was facing a crisis, but I am glad that the science of genetically modifying crops may well be equal to the challenge of what the article aptly calls, "the daunting process of genetically modifying one well-loved organism -- on a deadline" [my blold].

-- CAV

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