November 5th, 2008

Hearth

Odin's Day

Administration
Good morning, world. It is a bright shiny new day. :)

Medical
Still all snotted up, and the cough is evil.

Distraction
My distraction from election stuff yesterday afternoon was most wonderful. :)

Funniest election-night moment
Gore Vidal on the BBC. As the YouTube poster says, "mad as a box of frogs".

I have no links that aren't election links that you've all already seen. And wow, no more election season. I get a chunk of my brainspace back.

Daily Science
In a paper published in Genome Research on Nov. 4, scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) report that what was previously believed to be "junk" DNA is one of the important ingredients distinguishing humans from other species.

More than 50 percent of human DNA has been referred to as "junk" because it consists of copies of nearly identical sequences. A major source of these repeats is internal viruses that have inserted themselves throughout the genome at various times during mammalian evolution.

Using the latest sequencing technologies, GIS researchers showed that many transcription factors, the master proteins that control the expression of other genes, bind specific repeat elements. The researchers showed that from 18 to 33% of the binding sites of five key transcription factors with important roles in cancer and stem cell biology are embedded in distinctive repeat families.

Over evolutionary time, these repeats were dispersed within different species, creating new regulatory sites throughout these genomes. Thus, the set of genes controlled by these transcription factors is likely to significantly differ from species to species and may be a major driver for evolution.

This research also shows that these repeats are anything but "junk DNA," since they provide a great source of evolutionary variability and might hold the key to some of the important physical differences that distinguish humans from all other species.


Plans
Early writing time today, because I'm having lunch with goddessfarmer.:) And it's date night with feste_sylvain. :)
Boston

Reminder: IAF Luncheon!

Interstitial Arts Foundation luncheon! 11-1 tomorrow 11/6 at the Asgard in Central Square! (Drop in whenever, leave whenever, you don't have to stay the whole two hours.)

Please come if you have an interest in genre-blurring art, where "genre" and "art" are loosely defined. Yes, writing counts. Please let us not be the only three people at a big long table. *puppy dog eyes*
Fizzgig! - velvetsteel

Argh.

I have a full day tomorrow. Like with over a mile of walking, over an hour of travel time on various buses, and big huge chunks of time out of my house...

...and not only are my head and chest packed with snot goblins, but I'm too weak to manage a flight of stairs without drooping and panting afterward.

I am in no way up to any of this.

It is time to see what is cancellable.