"'You're crazy' That's what an elite runner told the author after a Boston half marathon when he saw him in his funny-looking "minimal" running shoes. As he limped away, David Abel wondered why the shoe company hadn't told him the same thing."
"It's a tale that has all the trappings of a cult 1960s sci-fi movie: Scientists bring back ancient salt crystals, dug up from deep below Death Valley for climate research. The sparkling crystals are carefully packed away until, years later, a young, unknown researcher takes a second look at the 34,000-year-old crystals and discovers, trapped inside, something strange. Something … alive."
"Here we demonstrate that novel proteins from this binary patterned library can rescue E. coli cells that lack certain natural proteins required for cell viability. ... These findings show that an organism, which would otherwise not grow, can be sustained by macromolecules devised in the laboratory."
Wow. Just, wow. I really can't express how cool this is.
Why hadn't this been done before? I know I've considered this experiment at one time, but maybe long sequences were just not possible. I don't know. Or maybe, folks thought about it but just really never did it. Heh.
And you gotta love the ability to select for very rare events in microorganisms. Note that the folks above chose a "neighborhood" of adjacent possibles, proteins more likely to fold rather than totally random sequences [And I'm seeing how this can be extended with combinatorial approaches.]. Some of the experiments I have planned for Practical Microbes indeed depend on this.
Brilliant essay on women scientists and their relation to the Royal Society of London. A must-read.
"The primary school children's research not only went some way to addressing that scarcity of understanding, but also toward opening the world of scientific research, Lotto says. The study may not mark a major leap forward in scientific understanding, but it was well designed, correctly executed and the findings are genuinely novel. And while the presentation certainly wouldn’t have gotten any PhD candidates published, the research demonstrates that with the right thinking and encouragement, anyone can be a scientist. As Lotto puts it, “If an amateur, or someone who doesn’t know the historical scientific context makes a discovery, does that mean the science isn’t relevant?”"
Brilliant. Relevant to those promoting citizen science and DIYscience.