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Cool Science Facts Daily – Homeobox Genes February 14, 2007

Posted by truthspew in blogging, corporations, drugs, government, medicine, science, Squirrel Nut Zippers.
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Every now and then I see something I want to expand upon on CSFD. Today’s is about homeobox functions in living beings.

In essence the homeobox genes are templates. We all use templates on a regular basis. A form is a type of template, as is the XML used to generate most Web 2.0 content.

Homeobox genes are structural in the sense that they don’t tell you how to build an eye for example, but where to put the eye. So it explains why our eyes aren’t on the ends of our fingers. Some flies might protest that fact since experiments have made perfectly functional fly eyes grow on said flies legs.

We’re gradually unlocking the functions of all our genes and in the process finding that we’re related to pretty much all multi-cellular life with the exception of trees and grasses. The only issue I have with all this discovery is the ridiculous notion of patenting a gene.

Patents are completely out of whack these days and we need to reform that system without delay. Otherwise the very processes that keep us alive might be patented, requiring us to pay royalties to the patent holder. Imagine patenting the process that keeps us breathing, or our heart beating. That’s essentially what is happening with the genes that underlie those processes.


A nice explanation of Web 2.0 February 10, 2007

Posted by truthspew in blogging, RSS, tags, Web 2.0, XML.
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If you hadn’t realized it yet, you’re using Web 2.0 by the very act of blogging, or viewing blogs.

Anyhow, this is a very nice video explaining what Web 2.0 is made of, and how we interact with it. You may have noticed you can now put labels on posts. These are tags, and we’re teaching blogger when we do it, as well as making it easy to pull up all posts that share common tags. And for those of us getting RSS feeds to view blogs, XML is what drives that. It describes the data, nothing more. Then your RSS reader displays in its format.