Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:57 am
An earthquake shook part of Southern California Friday night, breaking water pipes and rattling nerves with aftershocks that went on into the night. The 5.1-magnitude quake hit at a shallow depth about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
While the quake didn't inflict severe damage in the area around its epicenter, it caused many problems, from water main breaks to a rockslide. Thousands of people felt its effects; there haven't been reports of serious injuries.
Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 2:31 am
Washington state, with its many steep slopes, streams and rivers and some of the heaviest annual rainfall in the country, is a mudslide waiting to happen. Add in soil erosion from logging, as was reportedly the case near the community of Oso before last week's tragedy, and the probability of such an event increases.
Using the labor of dozens of undergraduate students, scientists have built a customized yeast chromosome from scratch.
It's a milestone in the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology, where organisms can be tailored for industrial use. In this case, the near-term goal is to understand the genetics of yeast, and eventually the genetics of us.
This was quite an undertaking. Yeast have about 6,000 genes packed in 16 tidy bundles called chromosomes. Each chromosome is an enormous molecule of DNA packed in proteins.