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Biomedicine

Play That Fungi Music

We round up this week’s most intriguing items from around the Web.

Play That Fungi Music
To the delight of headline writers everywhere, there is a CD fungus among us, reports the UK’s Electronic Telegraph. A member of the geotrichum genus, the Central American fungus feasts on the aluminum in compact discs, leaving transparent splotches in its wake.

Bottoms Up

Is that Chateau Lafite Rothschild ‘62 in your wine cellar, or a mix of Hawaiian Punch and antifreeze? It’s hard to spot counterfeit wine without popping the cork, reports BBC News, which is why one Australian vineyard is labeling its bottles with DNA fingerprints.

Tricky Mouse
Researchers have genetically engineered a chameleon mouse that changes from white to brown depending on its diet. Apart from the obvious benefits (no more unfashionable white mice after labor day), BBC News says the research helps scientists understand how genes switch on and off-a field that could lead to big payoffs for human health.

Grow in the Dark
Light? Water? Who needs ‘em? asks Scientific American. Researchers are genetically tweaking plants to grow without either-an impressive feat, although it might be hard to explain to your neighbors why you’re harvesting corn in your basement.

DNAngst
Afraid of bungee jumping? Blame your genes, says Reuters. Ditto for your anxieties, attitudes and amusements. Does this mean gene therapy will replace psychotherapy? We’re afraid to ask.

Last week: Open Wide

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