Cute in a Gollum-tribble-Willem Dafoe kind of way.
The big news coming out of the scientific community today is that scientists have successfully created macaque monkeys from the DNA of three individual monkeys. Here’s the scientific way of saying that (BTW – the story comes from The Guardian. That’s why the spelling’s all wonky):
The team of scientists from the Oregon National Primate Research Centre in effect swapped the mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) from the macaque monkey mother’s egg for the mDNA of a donor egg. Reconstructed eggs were then fertilised with the father’s sperm and the healthy offspring were born. Tests showed that no mDNA from the mother’s egg had been transferred.
This development could eradicate diseases in future generations of humans. Those jerks get all the cool stuff. Here’s the thing, those monkeys are ugly. They’ve got three separate strands of DNA they’re working with. They couldn’t find one Brad Pitt or Megan Fox gene in the entire bunch? The hair, the eyes, the wrinkles; It looks like Gollum, a tribble, and Willem Dafoe were the three parents.
In a related story, Dafoe most likely wants to beat the crap out of me should we ever meet. So, I’ve got that going for me.
For those of you who are tracking Randy Pausch’s treatment for pancreatic cancer. There is nothing new to report since May 13, but I did find this interesting item online. You may remember from Professor Pausch’s Last Lecture that he is a Captain Kirk and Star Trek Fan. Well, the director of the new Star Trek movie, J.J. Abrams, contacted the professor and offered him a part in the movie. Here’s the email Abrams sent Pausch:
Dear Randy –
Hi there — I’m JJ Abrams, director of the new Star Trek movie. I read about you and your condition, and ALSO your affinity for things Trek.
So, I just wanted to put the invitation out there — that if you had any desire to be in the film (can’t promise you role as CAPTAIN, but… we could do SOMETHING!), it would be my honor and pleasure.
The last thing I want to do is intrude, so feel free not to reply — but I wanted to make sure you knew that, if you are willing and able, the door is wide open.
I hope that your treatments are going well and that we get to meet one day.
Very cool. The good professor accepted the invitation and will indeed appear in the movie. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
Jai & I hopped a plane to LA, where I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!
Very cool. You can visit Randy’s website for more interesting Pausch facts.