- California may levy a Porn Tax to help with State budget shortfall. http://www.kutv.com/content/news/watercooler/story.aspx?content_id=7276089e-3b07-44e9-9ce4-2cd6e1c31b37. The proposal would impose a 25 percent tax on the production and sales of pornographic videos -- the vast majority of which are made in southern California. Let's see how strong of a lobby the pornographic community is in California.
- Federal House Bill Proposes a National Fingerprint Registry.
http://www.openmarket.org/2008/05/23/fingerprint-registry-in-housing-bill/. The legislation would require thousands of individuals working even tangentially in the mortgage and real estate industries — and not suspected of anything — to send their prints to the feds.
- Article in Nature Magazine Claims the Origination of a De Novo Gene. http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v9/n6/full/nrg2394.html. De Novo Origination of a New Protein-Coding Gene in a yeast species by Wen Wang et al.
"THE total number of different proteins in all organisms on earth is estimated to be 10exp10 to 10exp12. How the protein repertoire evolved the giant diversity that underlies the evolution of the complexity of life is attracting many evolutionary biologists to the field.
Origination of new genes is an important mechanism generating genetic novelties during the evolution of an organism. Processes creating new genes using pre-existing genes as the raw materials are well characterized, such as exon shuffling, gene duplication, retroposition, gene fusion, and fission. However, the process of how a new gene is de novo created from noncoding sequence is largely unknown.
On the basis of genome comparison we have identified a new de novo protein-coding gene, BSC4 that may be involved in the DNA repair pathway, when shifted to a nutrient-poor environment.
- Frogamander. http://news.aol.com/story/_a/scientists-discover-frogamander-fossil/n20080521180809990022?ecid=RSS0001. It is interesting that no pictures of the cross between a salamander and a frog have not yet been revealed. I also question how they came up with the dating if this fossil being 290 million years ago (MYA). Because this nicely fits in between the first fish with legs that lived on land (400 MYA) and the first salamanders (250 MYA). It's an interesting story, I hope they tell us more about it. (Thanks Ed for bringing it up.)