The Cell of a New Machine (Economist)
Is the new Cell chip really as revolutionary as its proponents claim?
Biology's New Forbidden Fruit (NY Times)
The scientific, commercial and destructive possibilities of synthetic biology are easily as great as those once offered by the transformation of chemistry. But they will make themselves felt far more quickly, raising ethical and moral questions that many biologists have been poorly trained to handle.
We Are the Borg (Village Voice)
A rather pointless Luddite rant against Google and pending Internet technologies.
Octopus Arms May Point Way to New Robot Designs (National Geographic)
Octopuses, those boneless, brainy, denizens of the deep, use their arms for some tasks in much the same way humans do, according to a new study.
Boffins Aiming to Barcode Life (NZ Herald)
An ambitious project to take a genetic "barcode" of every animal and plant has begun in an attempt to identify and label the 10 million species living on Earth.
Kids' Radio Tags Spark Outrage (Scotsman)
Brittan Elementary School appears to be the first US school to require students to wear radio frequency identification badges (right) that can track their movements. It's to simplify attendance-taking, potentially reduce vandalism and improve student safety, the school said.
The system was imposed - without parental input - by the school on Jan 18. But some parents see a system that can monitor their children's movements on campus as something straight out of George Orwell's book 1984, which features Big Brother, an all-knowing police state.
I think if I were a student at that school, I would attach my tag and as many others as I could borrow or steal to helium balloons. Wild rabbits or salmon might be interesting, but hard to catch.
The only earthly use for such devises is to deter kidnap. True, kidnapping does happen a lot, but this seems like buying into fear....a bad thing.
Difficult to hire hall monitors in this day and age I guess!
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