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Monday, May 25, 2009

Today in the News (25 May 09)

I am finally back in the United States, so let us resume things in the news.

Autism:
Scientists have discovered a region of the brain that makes us a "People Person". Since Autism can severely affect people's ability to interact socially, as well as these same brain areas show some marked differences in people with Autism, this news helps us trace an even better understanding of this disease.

In the arena of fantasy, it seems that people will turn to any treatment they can without any backing for such. Apparently a treatment meant to chemically castrate people is being used for autism treatment. Without having any firm scientific basis for the treatment, I am afraid we'll soon be adding more names to What's the Harm...

Vaccines:
More good news on the HIV vaccine front. While reading up on this particular vaccine, I was led to another article that discusses that the same methodology can eventually lead to vaccines for Herpes as well.

And all vaccines are NOT injected. By rubbing a "vaccine" on the surface of tissues, scientists may even be able to prevent ear infections. To any parent that has had to endure a child with ear infections, this is welcome news!

Evolution:
The "Ida" discovery that I blogged about on 15 May is really making the rounds. There will be a History Channel special about it tomorrow night as well as lots of reactions from those who are thrilled about the discovery as well as those who are not so thrilled. Anyway, here is a small cautionary write up for folks getting a little bit too excited about the "Ida" fossil. Not that it isn't significant news, but like most humans, it seems we're trying to make a bit too much out of it.

Since the last entry was on the 19th, this article from the 22nd on the fundamental mechanism for cell formation was quite interesting, even though not from today. As well as some speculation on panspermia from asteroids "aiding" in life formation. Sure, we keep repeating that abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution, but one is a pre-condition for the other, so it's always nice to see the gaps get smaller in our understanding.

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