WELCOME TO JURASSIC PARK - SAN DIEGO
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and San Diego Zoo have collaborated to create stem cells from the skin cells of a dead drill monkey, an endangered monkey native to Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Cameroon.
The scientists, speaking at the International Society for Stem Cell Research in San Francisco, hope that the "induced pluripotent stem" (iPS) cells thus created can then be biochemically persuaded into becoming sperm and egg cells. They can then be implanted into the womb of another monkey, and will hopefully form a viable foetus.
San Diego Zoo's Frozen Zoo project has taken samples from 8,400 individuals of more than 800 species. It is hoped that these samples can be used in IVF programmes to improve captive breeding projects.
Jeane Loring, one of the Scripps researchers, told New Scientist : "You could actually breed from animals that are dead."
The team used genetically engineered viruses fitted with specific human genes to reprogramme adult skin cells into becoming iPS cells. The process worked in drill monkeys, but failed in white rhinoceros cells, implying that it may be necessary to use species-specific versions of the cells in some cases.
There are also concerns that the reprogramming process can cause the iPS cells to become cancerous. However, other researchers have developed techniques for creating iPS cells without leaving the reprogrammed genes in the new cells.
While the process is being used on endangered species, it would be technically possible to use it for extinct animals, using surrogate mothers from other species.
Last year, for the first time, an extinct animal - the Pyrenean ibex - was cloned using skin samples and the eggs of a domestic goat, although the ibex died shortly after birth. Other researchers have been trying to recover intact DNA from frozen woolly mammoths, although this has not so far been successful.
PLASTIC ARM ON HIGHWAY CAUSES CHAOS
A plastic arm brought "chaos" to the M62 after drivers mistakenly reported it, thinking it was a human limb.
Officers closed the westbound side and the slip road by junction 6 at Tarbock Island, Merseyside, while they hunted for the "severed arm".
They opened the road a few hours later, at 1630 BST, after receiving a call from two council workers who had spotted the forearm and removed it.
Police said it had caused "traffic chaos and a huge expense".
The two council workers then took the arm to a local police station.
Det Insp Tom Keaton said: "This was treated as a major investigation that tied up large amounts of resources and impacted on all areas of policing response in Knowsley.
"We don't know how this plastic arm came to be in the middle of the road, whether it was placed there deliberately or whether it had fallen out of the window of a passing vehicle.
"However, Merseyside Police put a lot of resources into this incident and not only has it caused expense both in terms of time and money it was also extremely upsetting for the drivers who saw the plastic arm in the road.
"We would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding while this enforced road closure was in place."
NOTE: reminds me of a prank a friend and I setup at a school function using a mannequin head, makeup and a butcher knife...very effective and quite comical, despite what the teachers and the cops thought. Lon
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF POLTERGEIST KNOCKING?
Has science finally established a paranormal effect?
Paranormal rappings associated with apparent poltergeist activity have been described for many hundreds of years. It is only now that an interesting pattern has been discovered within the fine detail of the paranormal rapping sounds. No explanation can be found for this pattern at present.
The current edition of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), a learned publication dating back to 1882, carries an article by scientist Dr Barrie Colvin B.Sc., Ph.D., showing instrumental evidence for an inexplicable and objective banging sound detected in recordings made during alleged poltergeist activity.
Whereas raps and knocking sounds produced by ordinary means exhibit a normal acoustic pattern, those recorded in alleged poltergeist cases show quite a different sound signature. Continue reading at Scientific evidence of poltergeist knocking?
WOMAN KILLED AFTER PORTABLE TOILET CRASHES INTO HER CAR
wpbf - An Okeechobee woman was killed Wednesday after a portion of a portable toilet crashed through her car's windshield, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Dawn Johnston, 38, was driving south on State Road 15 shortly after 11 a.m. when two portable toilets fell from the trailer of a pickup truck traveling north.
According to the crash report, the portable toilets broke apart when they hit the road, and a portion of one of them crashed through Johnston's windshield, striking her. Johnston's car then veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
Johnston was taken to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
WPBF 25 News has learned Johnston was a mother of three who recently separated from her husband.
"She was going through some hard times, but she was getting her life back on track now," Johnston's mother, Colleen Heitmann, said.
Heitmann said she was at work when she received a telephone call informing her of what happened.
"I can't put that into words," Heitmann said. "I still feel like there's a hole in my heart that will never get filled back up. She was the light of my life. (She) was my life."
State troopers said the driver of the truck was taking the portable restrooms to a storage facility.
Heitmann said she isn't holding anyone responsible.
"It was a freak accident," Heitmann said. "Accidents happen."
A 27-year-old passenger in Johnston's car, Stephanie Wikes, was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for a broken hip.
Fortean / Oddball News - 7/3/2010