Another Rhino Species Poached Out of Existence

The Western Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes) of Africa was declared extinct by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last November. There have been no sightings of the sub-species since 2006 despite intensive survey throughout its Cameroon homeland.1 Two other rhino species, the Northern white rhino in central Africa and the Javan rhino in Vietnam, have also …

Bacterial Hydrogen: What Does it Mean for Future Medicine?

When most people think of hydrogen as an energy source, they probably picture biofuel production for sustainable energy; but bacteria have beaten us to it, using hydrogen to satisfy their own energy needs. Deep-sea hydrothermal vents, first discovered in 1977, contain mollusks coated by fluids replete with hydrogen and an internal symbiotic population of bacteria that consume hydrogen. Such bacteria …

Bioethical Revolution: Changing Paradigms in Decision-making

Stem cells. What does this topic immediately bring to mind? Although for a select few hearing these words highlights a plethora of scientific knowledge or emotional overflow, for the wide majority of the population, newspaper headings and sound bites from various television news sources are summoned. This topic has undoubtedly evoked public debate and near hysteria in the past couple …

Gene Patents: Sequencing Scientific Controversy

Do you have the rights to your own DNA?  A question Genae Girard never considered until she was denied that right.  How can someone else own your DNA?  Current models estimate that as much as 20% of all human genetic material has been patented [1].  Recently this practice has entered the national spotlight with the landmark case Association for Molecular Pathology, …

Your Genes Belong to Us: Gene Patenting and its Discontents

By Gengshi Chen Genae Girard, a 39-year-old woman living in the US, had to pay a staggering $3200 for a single genetic test for the BRCA gene associated with breast and ovarian cancer, only to find that she was unable to request a second opinion upon receiving the positive test result. After consulting with doctors, Ms Girard was advised to …

Gaming: Harnessing the Cognitive Surplus

Harnessing the Cognitive Surplus By James Scott-Brown How do you spend your free time? If you were an average American, you would spend 20 hours a week watching television, and another 3 hours playing games [1]. Clay Shirky has written about how, after the Second World War, enormous changes in society occurred, so that “society forced onto an enormous number …