Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tetrahymena genome published

I have written before about the very unusual genome of the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, now its genome has been published in PLOS biology. The paper is free so everyone can read it for themselves. Tetrahymena has lead to many important discoveries in molecular biology such as catalytic RNA, telomeric repeats, telomerase and the function of histone acetylation. Lets hope the genome provides more insights into this fascinating organism and lead to more discoveries.

Eisen JA, Coyne RS, Wu M, Wu D, Thiagarajan M, et al. (2006)
Macronuclear Genome Sequence of the Ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, a Model Eukaryote. PLoS Biol 4(9): e286

What's shaped like a pear and has two genomes? Check the pond (press release, Eurekalert)

Tetrahymena Genome Database

Tetrahymena Genome Project

Tetrahymena thermophila Genome Project

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Electrical Walks

Yesterday I went on an unusual art type thing in Birmingham. It was called 'Electrical Walks' by the artist Christina Kubisch and was based at the Ikon Gallery Basically you wore a pair of silly looking headphone things (see picture) that converted the radio waves generated by electrical devices into sound. It was extremely interesting and gave a completely new perspective on the city with things like security barriers suddenly becoming very prominent where usually they are passed by unnoticed. The most prominent sound though was the almost constant hum of Alternating current becoming overwhelming in places but fading to silence in a few places that were far from buildings. Other noisy things included cash machines, some lights sounded like a large and annoying insect flying aroud a large outdoor television buzzed and chittered in a very strange way and wandering past a taxi rank i could hear the drivers talking. It should theoretically be quite easy to make your own so you can experince this strange new world from the comfort of your own corner of this planet.