Blogbeat:Genes, Tuna, Water

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:48:00 AM

Pay your last respects.Say your farewells. A strange gem yet dog yet gem of a building is departing downtown Berkeley, once and for all.Demolition is well under way. 

I’m especially fond of the rust stains near the roof. The building was aging attractively.It looks like it should be ugly. Then you actually look at it and it’s not ugly.Magic.When the sun sets and from across the Bay casts, you know, that particular light on that Western facade.... sigh. 

What’s moving in to take its place is the “EBI” - the “Energy Biosciences Institute,” who do things like create new genetically engineered organisms.Ok, then. 

Today’s Blogbeat links having nothing at all to do with EBI but we do start off with a link about genes. 


Today’s Links


Who are ya’, kid?Genetic Testing at Berkeley: Many (I would hope nearly all) readers have by now heard that Cal’s odd “welcome” packet to incoming students this year includes a genetic test kit.The kids are encouraged two swab their cheeks for DNA samples and join in as subjects of a little frieldly human subject research.The Ethiopian Review has a quick, handy take on the basic facts, in some helpful context.The article reports that “The tests will target genes related to the ability to metabolize alcohol, lactose and folate.”Of course, this work has been preceded by many decades of informal research into the capacity of undergraduates to metabolize alcohol. 

Tune A?:Apparently back in the paleothic era of 1969 Yorma Kaulkonen and Jack Cassidy (of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame) made a recording at a small venue in Berkeley. One of their most famous albums comes from that session and, now, years later, they’ve released a second album from the same session

Water, water, everywhere but...:California is always either in the middle of or not far removed from a water crisis from just about all perspectives.The state, via the UC system, happens to maintain a library that specializes in, let’s just say, “Water Resources”.It’s the “Water Resources Center Archive”, in particular.Unfortunately, they and their collection are, if I may be so blunt, looking a bit threatened these days. This particular library collection, although esoteric, has proved instrumental in critical court proceedings about California water issues as well as in critical engineering of California’s infrastructure.It’s an indication of what a sorry state our State is in to see the integrity of this collection under threat. 



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