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Biomedicine

Jurassic Duck

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

Jurassic Duck
Scientists tell BBC News that we’ll eventually be able to fiddle with bird DNA to reverse engineer, say, a stegosaurus. More likely, the finished product would be less an exact replica and more of a multi-featured composite: a giant reptile designed by committee.

Juvenile Court

The New York Times Magazine unmasks the 15-year-old kid who became the top-rated legal expert on community advice site askme.com. The teen’s story isn’t just a good reason to meet your lawyer face-to-face, writes the Times, it’s yet another sign of the transformative power of the Internet.

Lonely Road
You’re never more alone than when driving at night in the rain, wrote Robert Penn Warren. Not so, IBM researchers tell New Scientist. The boys in Blue designed an “artificial passenger” that chats you up, picks your music and-more importantly-sounds an alarm when it catches you drifting off.

This Shirt’s a Lemon
Forget to take your vitamins today? Not a problem, reports BBC News-that is, if you happened to own a Vitamin C T-shirt, made of tangy fibers that allow your skin to absorb the equivalent of two lemons. Down the road, the shirtmaker, Fuji Spinning Company, promises a new twist on edible undies: vitamin-enhanced panties.

Genome Sequencing Goes Bananas
One more from the produce department: a global consortium has announced plans to sequence the banana genome within five years. More than just a breakfast accessory, the banana is the world’s fourth most important crop, claims Nature. Creating the perfect banana should be good news for tropical farmers and vaudevillians alike.

Last week: Gray Matter-Pink or Blue?

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