Monday, May 26, 2014

astronomy picture of the day

ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope image

- Science/Tech news for the day,

Hao Yan from Arizona university(and a protégé of dna nanotech founder Ned Seemans) reports using dna-nanotechnology to make enzymes outside of a living cell work. While this work is for energy purposes, as he says, his work could be generalized to more general purpose nanomanufacturing,

""An even loftier and more valuable goal is to engineer highly programmed cascading enzyme pathways on DNA nanostructure platforms with control of input and output sequences. Achieving this goal would not only allow researchers to mimic the elegant enzyme cascades found in nature and attempt to understand their underlying mechanisms of action, but would facilitate the construction of artificial cascades that do not exist in nature,"

Multi-enzyme complexes on DNA scaffolds capable of substrate channelling with an artificial swinging arm

Enzymes are proteins; and protein folding is still not quite solved in a general way.  But, molecular biologists have made enough inroads to be able to reliably design and make proteins at will. The protein folding problem is considered the quantum gravity problem of biology(there's also the role of dynamical systems/chaos theory; some of that imo has been solved by a Stuart Kauffman).  So, if this breakthrough can indeed be generalized to an initial biological nanomanufacturing system, this is a treamendous accomplishment before even the daimondoid nanomanufacturing!

- Molecular biologists mapped the dna of an arbitrary human genome from 1990 to 2003.  Dna science has advanced so much that I got my dna read for a hundred dollars a month or so ago. I expected some interesting things.  I grew up hearing that have American Indian blood; we have pictures of our Native American ancestors on our walls!  But, the dna reading reveals I have known!  What happened? I haven't bothered to get a straight answer out of my grandmother; but, it seems clear that she lied!  Well, she probably does; but, she was probably infertile; she got my father through adoption and the rest is history!  Nobody asks questions in my family about it; and, when everyone meets, we talk about whateve as if nothing had happened. In other news of the dna reading my own personal genome . . . I'm 2.3 percent Neanderthal!  and, I'm somehow related to Thomas Jefferson on one side of my family and Petrarch(this guy ) on the other. So, I guess that's kind of cool! Getting to why I point out the Human genome project,

When the human genome project was finished, molecular biologists knew immediately that they were far from done; they needed to map out the proteins.  This latest article suggests we're pretty close.

There's approximately 18,000 proteins.  What this study has really revealed is the dna/rna/protein intereactions. Some of what's revealed is that rna has encoded in them how many times a protein is made in a given cell tissue.

About 2,000 proteins  appear to be missing.  The molecular biologists suggest that some of the missing proteins are due to evolving out things that are not need anymore such as olfactory, or the sense of smell.

- I'd like to point out an idea that has recently come to me in terms of anthropology. I've thought that what makes humans unique compared to other life is that we can act like anything.  Biological mimicry is rampant in the natural world; bugs that look like twigs(I've seen one of these just a few months ago), flys that look like wasps, and so on.  But, they are still just that one mimicry.  We are able to mimic more than one thing; and, we're able to think about these things.  Seems to me that this mental ability mostly took hold in humans about thirty thousand years ago.  Human around then started following animals around; they started domesticating animals.  How did they do is?  They mimicked. And of course, the cave paintings show that the dominant concern of their's was animals.

The history of what animals and planets were domesticated when could perhaps be considered a history of  early technology for humans. Dogs go to 30,000 years ago. Sheep - 11,000 years ago.  Bees might have been domesticated 13,000 years ago. Cats domesticated around 7,500 years ago. Chickens were domesticated around 6,000 years ago(the first bird), rabbit 600 A.D,


  1. Highly revealing and thought provoking information! It is surprising to know that man's intelligence started growing after domesticating the animals. Even today animals are superior to human beings in physical strength, eyesight, smelling, running, hard work, skill of building anthills, weaving nests etc.

    1. Hello Dr M.C. Das,

      I find that I can make friends with the bluejays and the rabbits around my garden. I simply go out with my cat, show them I don't kill my cat; I pet her and hang out with her. Next thing I know I got BlueJays and even Hummingbirds flying very close to me as I water the garden!

      Also, Rabbits won't move when I drive up to them. They'll also run right past me and such.

      I'm also very good with Raccoons. I use to feed Rocky and her kids by hand all the time. I put Rocky through five generations!