Tag Archives: DNA

Man who underwent "gender reassignment" surgery to foil detectives sentenced to life for three Spokane-area slayings

donna perry
Chopping off body parts doesn’t change your DNA, only your feeeeeelings.
From Seattle Times: A 65-year-old transgender woman has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1990 slayings of three women who worked as prostitutes.
Donna Perry was sentenced in Spokane County Superior Court. Perry was known as Douglas Perry before undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2000, which prosecutors contended was done to avoid suspicion in the deaths.
She was convicted in the killings of Yolanda Sapp, 26, Nickie Lowe, 34, and Kathy Brisbois, 38. They were all shot during a four-month span in 1990.
The cases were unsolved until 2012, when Perry was convicted in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Her DNA was entered into a national database and linked to the victims.
More details from the Spokesman Review:
During trial, prosecutors argued there was a common link between Perry and the three women, whose bodies were found naked or exposed near the banks of the Spokane River.
Perry frequented the same area of Spokane’s skid row – East Sprague Avenue – and dated a prostitute who worked the same streets as the three women.
Perry’s DNA also was found underneath one of the victim’s fingernails, on a blanket near where another victim’s body was discovered and on a bottle of lubricant known to be used by the third victim, which was located in a trash bin along with some of her other items. She also admitted to killing people in the past, according to witness testimony from a jailhouse informant.
Defense attorneys, however, argued the state’s evidence was coincidental, and did not prove that Perry had anything to do with the women’s deaths. Attorney Brian Whitaker said in closing arguments that the threshold of reasonable doubt was not met during trial, and pointed to what he deemed poor police work and a constantly changing motive offered by prosecutors.

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Baby born with DNA from 3 people, first from new technique

From Seattle Times: Scientists say the first baby has been born from a controversial new technique that combines DNA from three people — the mother, the father and an egg donor. The goal was to prevent the child from inheriting a fatal genetic disease from his mother, who had previously lost two children to the illness.
The birth of the boy is revealed in a research summary published by the journal Fertility & Sterility. Scientists are scheduled to present details at a meeting next month in Salt Lake City.
The magazine New Scientist, which first reported the birth, said the baby was born five months ago to Jordanian parents, and that they were treated in Mexico by a team led by Dr. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York. It’s not clear where the child was born.

Dr. John Zhang

Dr. John Zhang

The technique is not approved in the United States, but Zhang told the magazine, “To save lives is the ethical thing to do.” A spokesman for the fertility center said Zhang was not available for further comment on Tuesday. Others involved in the research referred questions to Zhang.
The mother carries DNA that could have given her child Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that usually kills within a few years of birth. Her two previous children died of the disease at 8 months and 6 years, the research summary said.
The technique involved removing some of the mother’s DNA from an egg, and leaving the disease-causing DNA behind. The healthy DNA was slipped into a donor’s egg, which was then fertilized. As a result, the baby inherited DNA from both parents and the egg donor. The technique is sometimes said to produce “three-parent babies,” but the DNA contribution from the egg donor is very small.
People carry DNA in two places, the nucleus of the cell and in features called mitochondria, which lie outside the nucleus. The technique is designed to transfer only DNA of the nucleus to the donor egg, separating it from the mother’s disease-causing mitochondrial DNA.
The research summary identified the mother as a 36-year-old woman and said her pregnancy was uneventful. One of the five eggs the researchers treated was suitable for use.
Critics question the technique’s safety, saying children would have to be tracked for decades to make sure they remain healthy. And they say it passes a fundamental scientific boundary by altering the DNA inherited by future generations. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from women to their offspring.
Still, last year, Britain became the first country in the world to allow creation of human embryos with the technique. In the U.S., a panel of government advisers said earlier this year that it’s ethical to test the approach in people if initial experiments follow certain strict safety steps. That report was requested by the Food and Drug Administration, which is currently prevented by Congress from considering applications to approve testing the technique in people.
Shroukhrat Mitalipov, who has worked with the approach at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said that given the panel’s conclusion, “We believe it’s time to move forward with FDA-approved clinical trials in the United States.”
Henry Greely from Stanford University

Henry Greely from Stanford University

Henry Greely, who directs the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University, said Tuesday he sees nothing wrong with using the technique if it is safe and is aimed at diseases clearly caused by faulty mitochondrial DNA. But he called the research leading to the newly reported birth “unethical, unwise, immoral.” He said the approach “hasn’t been sufficiently proven safe enough to try to use to make a baby.”
Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, who has done work in the area, was cautious about the implications of the new report. “I wouldn’t go out there at this point and tout the accomplishment because we don’t have enough information,” he said Tuesday. “We do not know exactly what was done. We have to wait for a fuller report,’ he said.
The child is not the first to inherit DNA from three people. In the 1990s, some children were born after researchers used a different technique. But federal regulators intervened, and the field’s interest now has passed to the new approach.

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The Christmas Miracle: Scientific Evidence of the Virgin Birth

Note: I first published this on Christmas Day two years ago. But it seems most readers just don’t know what to make of it. So I’m republishing this in the hope that more will read this.
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin bethrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said ‘Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.’ But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High….’ But Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?’ And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Luke 1:26-35

A criterion that biblical scholars use to assess whether the New Testament’s accounts of Jesus are true is the Criterion of Embarrassment. The reasoning goes something like this:

Being human, writers tend to write accounts that put them and/or their cause in a positive light. Given that, accounts that are embarrassing are likely to be true because the Gospel’s author would have no reason to invent accounts that reflect negatively on Jesus, his mother, or his followers.

Mary’s pregnancy and virgin birth meets the Criterion of Embarrassment.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker explains that according to Hebrew (Mosaic) law of the time, a girl who became pregnant outside of marriage could be stoned to death. Upon being told by Mary that she was pregnant with child, Joseph had every reason to fear — not only for Mary, but also for his own fate because, in the eyes of the community, he would be the obvious culprit. Joseph was in a quandary: To marry his fiancée would be to admit that he had impregnated her before marriage and he would have to live the rest of his life with that bad reputation. Not to marry his fiancée, however, would mean abandoning Mary to, at best, a life of shame, and at worst, death by stoning.
But Joseph heard the angel’s word — “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” — and responded with courage and fortitude.
All of which means that the author of the account in Luke 1 was telling the truth, that:

  • Mary was a virgin;
  • She conceived a child not by man but “by the power of the Holy Spirit”;
  • Her child is the Son of God.

Translated into the language of modern biology, what this means is that Jesus’ DNA would have no Y chromosome.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all (except RNA viruses) known living organisms. DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes.
A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements, other nucleotide sequences, and proteins that package the DNA and control its functions.
In human beings, as in all mammals, sex/gender is determined by the XY chromosomes. The XY sex chromosomes are different in shape and size from each other. Females have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX), while males have two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). A male child gets his Y chromosome from his biological father. The combination of two Y chromosomes is always lethal in humans.

The human Y chromosome showing the SRY gene

Within the Y chromosome is a gene, SRY, that is the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome. Once SRY is activated, cells create testosterone and anti-müllerian hormone to turn the genderless sex organs into male. With females, their cells excrete estrogen, driving the body down the female pathway.
In his book, The Physics of Christianity (Doubleday, 2007), Tulane University physicist Dr. Frank J. Tipler reasons that if the Gospels’ account of the virgin birth is true, then Jesus’ DNA makeup would have no Y chromosome because he did not have a human father, but instead have two X chromosomes. However, since Jesus was clearly male, he must have the SRY gene. But the SRY gene, instead of being in the Y chromosome, was inserted into a location where it is not normally found – inside one of the two X chromosomes imparted from Mary, his mother.
And that’s exactly what a team of Italian researchers found.
In January 1995, led by Professor Marcello Canale of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Genoa, a group of Italian researchers, including several workers who had invented the standard DNA test for gender, conducted a DNA analysis of the blood on the Shroud of Turin and on the Oviedo Cloth (also called the Sudarium of Oviedo). A recent report by scientists confirms that the Shroud is not a fake. Mark Guscin provides strong evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo, Spain, is the cloth described in John 20:7 as being wrapped around Jesus’ head.
Here is Dr. Tipler’s account (from pages 183-187 of his book):

Normally, the results of a DNA test of the blood on such a famous object would be published in English in a major scientific journal. … Not so the results of this DNA test. The results were published, in Italian, in the very obscure Italian journal devoted to the study of the Turin Shroud. Furthermore, only the raw data were published. That is, the Genoa team published black-and-white Xerox copies of the computer output of the DNA analyzer. This is never, never done. Always, the data are presented in a neat table or figure, and they are accompanied by a discussion of their significance. The Genoa team made no effort to interpret their data.

But I was able to interpret the data at once. They are the expected signature of the DNA of a male born in a Virgin Birth! … 

The Turin Shroud data show 107 (106+1) but not trace of a 112 base pair gene. The Oviedo Cloth data show 105 (106-1) but no trace of a 112 base pair. The X chromosome is present, but there is no evidence of a Y chromosome. This is the expected signature of … virgin birth, the XX male generated by an SRY inserted into an X chromosome. It is not what would be expected of a standard male.

Other explanations are possible. The DNA analyzed could be entirely contamination from people who later touched the Shroud and the Cloth. But we have witnesses that men touched the two samples also, and it seems incredible that no trace of male contamination would be seen…. Another possibility is that the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth are fakes and that the fakes used real blood from males they knew were born of virgins. This possibility, in my opinion, has zero probability.

The DNA data thus support the virgin birth hypothesis. The DNA data supporting a virgin birth also support the hypothesis that both the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth are genuine. 

So much for what Rudolf Bultmann, a leading theologian of the 1930s, once sneeringly said: “Myths [like the Virgin Birth] are difficult to believe in these days of electric lights.”
In the end, what is most intriguing about the Shroud and the Ovieto Cloth is that their characteristics and true nature are increasingly revealed as human beings grow more in knowledge and our science becomes increasingly advanced and sophisticated. Instead of science showing the Shroud and the Ovieto Cloth to be fakes, it is with science that their miraculous character is revealed.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing…. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:1-6

UPDATE (Nov. 7, 2015):

A reader “Mike” asked for the Italian scientists’ DNA data, which are published in Dr. Tipler’s book. Here they are (click tables to enlarge):
Table 7.1 DNA on Turin ShroudTable 7.2 DNA on Oviedo Cloth

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Butt Kicking Boogie Woogie Twin Pianos.

These Dudes Rock!

Here is Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson Who are mentioned in first video. Wow they are Amazing.

~Steve~                                        H/T  hujonwi



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White Supremacist Makes Hilarious Discovery. Pretty Funny Stuff.

God does have a sense of humor.

If you’you’ve been reading Eagle Rising for any length of time, you’ve’ve already come to know that we hate racism. In fact, it’s more than that we at Eagle Rising believe racism to be a sin of the ugliest kind. Racism is a disgusting attack on the very God of the universe, calling into question the worth of His creation, mankind. When a racist spews his hateful rhetoric about other people, he quite literally demeans God by attacking those whom God created in His Own Image.
That said, we do like to take the time to laugh at hatemongers like a certain white supremacist who found out some … startling news.
Craig Cobb has recently gained a bit of fame by trying to create a “White Nationalist intentional community in North Dakota.” Fortunately for humanity, his neighbors in North Dakota were not too keen on letting this happen and while the community may not be the most diverse, they stood against his racist attempts.
Well, now Mr. Cobb is getting a second chance at his “15 minutes” of fame. He was recently a guest on a British daytime talk show that did a DNA test as part of their segment with him. Much to Mr. Cobb’s chagrin he learned that, like our President, he too was part African-American! It was an all too perfect ending to his racist saga.

“86% European and,” Goddard said, pausing as the audience started to cheer before she continued, “14% sub-Saharan African!”
craigcobb2The audience erupted in cheers and laughs as a grinning Cobb began to protest.
“Sweetheart, you have a little black in you,” Goddard said.
Cobb tried to “defend” himself, citing “statistical noise” and claiming that “oil and water” don’t mix. What he missed was that ethnic differences are not “oil and water” but simple differences in the amount of melanin in a person’s skin. Thanks to advances in DNA research, science has long since proven that the differences between us truly are only “skin deep.”

Too Funny!

Too Funny!

Read more at http://eaglerising.com/2935/white-supremacist-make-hilarious-discovery/#jroCfz6kLWCoFxqQ.99

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Scientists Say They Can Store Data in Living Bacteria

I don’t have the science training to understand how data can be stored in the DNA of living cells. Heck, I don’t even understand how data can be stored in silicon chips! But this research, if it actually works, is mind-blowing. I can’t even begin to ponder the implications….
H/t my ol’ friend Sol.

Hong Kong researchers store data in bacteria
By Judith Evans (AFP) – Jan 9, 2011
The US’ national archives occupy more than 500 miles…of shelving; France’s archives stretch for more than 100 miles of shelves, as do Britain’s. Yet a group of students at Hong Kong’s Chinese University are making strides towards storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E.coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning.
“This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long term in a box of bacteria in the refrigerator,” said Aldrin Yim, a student instructor on the university’s biostorage project, a 2010 gold medallist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s prestigious iGEM competition.
Biostorage — the art of storing and encrypting information in living organisms — is a young field, having existed for about a decade.
In 2007, a team at Japan’s Keio University said they had successfully encoded the equation that represents Einstein’s theory of relativity, E=MC2, in the DNA of a common soil bacterium. They pointed out that because bacteria constantly reproduce, a group of the single-celled organisms could store a piece of information for thousands of years.
But the Hong Kong researchers have leapt beyond this early step, developing methods to store more complex data and starting to overcome practical problems which have lent weight to sceptics who see the method as science fiction.
The group has developed a method of compressing data, splitting it into chunks and distributing it between different bacterial cells, which helps to overcome limits on storage capacity. They are also able to “map” the DNA so information can be easily located. This opens up the way to storing not only text, but images, music, and even video within cells.
As a storage method it is extremely compact — because each cell is minuscule, the group says that one gram of bacteria could store the same amount of information as 450 2,000 gigabyte hard disks.
They have also developed a three-tier security fence to encode the data, which may come as welcome news to US diplomats who have seen their thoughts splashed over the Internet thanks to WikiLeaks. “Bacteria can’t be hacked,” points out Allen Yu, another student instructor. “All kinds of computers are vulnerable to electrical failures or data theft. But bacteria are immune from cyber attacks. You can safeguard the information.” The team have even coined a word for this field — biocryptography — and the encoding mechanism contains built-in checks to ensure that mutations in some bacterial cells do not corrupt the data as a whole.
Professor Chan Ting Fung, who supervised the student team, told AFP that practical work in the field — fostered by MIT, who have helped develop standards enabling researchers to collaborate — was in its early stages. But he said: “What the students did was to try it out and make sure some of the fundamental principles are actually achievable.”
The Hong Kong group’s work may have a more immediate application. The techniques they use — removing DNA from bacterial cells, manipulating them using enzymes and returning them to a new cell — are similar to those used to create genetically modified foods. But rather than changing the building blocks of an organism, the Hong Kong group allows extra information to piggyback on the DNA of the cell, after checking their changes against a master database to make sure they do not have accidental toxic effects. 
Their work could enable extra information to be added to a genetically modified crop in the form of a “bio barcode”, Chan said. “For example, a company that makes a GM tomato that grows extra large with a gene that promotes growth — on top of that we can actually encode additional information like safety protocols, things that are not directly related to the biological system.” Other types of information, like copyright and design history, could help to monitor the spread of GM crops, he said. “It’s kind of a safety net for synthetic organisms,” said Wong Kit Ying, from the student team.
Beyond this, Chan and the students are evangelical about the future possibilities of synthetic biology. “The field is getting popular because of the energy crisis, environmental pollution, climate change. They are thinking that a biological system will be a future solution to those — as alternative energy sources, as a remedy for pollution. For these, micro-organisms are the obvious choice,” Chan said.
One type of bacterium, Deinococcus radiodurans, can even survive nuclear radiation. “Bacteria are everywhere: they can survive on things that are unthinkable to humans. So we can make use of this,” Chan said.
So is it possible that a home computer could one day consist of a dish filled with micro-organisms? The group dismisses concerns that this could be dangerous, pointing out that despite E.coli’s poor reputation, they use an altered form that cannot exist outside a rich synthetic medium. In fact, says Chan, while safety rules are strict, more measures are taken to protect the bacteria from contamination than to protect the researchers from the bacteria.
However, Yim admitted that while the group’s work is a “foundational advance”, a petri dish PC is not likely to be on the market in the coming years, not least because the method of retrieving the data requires experts in a laboratory. “It’s possible,” he said, “but there’s a long way to go.”

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TSA Scanners Ineffective Against Terrorists

I have a logical puzzle — a series of propositions — for you to solve:

  1. The government installs a machine and forcibly subjects citizens to the machine.
  2. The machine is highly invasive of privacy because it takes X-ray-like images of our bodies, exposing the outlines of breasts and genitalia.
  3. There is scientific evidence that the machine is harmful to our health: it blasts cancer-inducing radiation into our bodies; it destroys our DNA.
  4. Despite 2 and 3, the government insists the machine is necessary because it will prevent a terrible scourge, X.
  5. But we have evidence that X can easily fool the machine.
  6. So, what exactly is the government’s purpose for the machine?


The final solution

TSA X-Ray Machines Easily Fooled, Researchers Find
FoxNews.com – Dec 14, 2010
Any would-be terrorist can easily outsmart the ubiquitous backscatter scanners found in major airports around the world, two scientists say.
The Transportation Security Administration‘s X-ray backscatter scanners have been the center of a widespread controversy, following concerns from privacy advocates that they take nearly naked photos of people. The trade-off is improved security, of course. Yet Leon Kaufman and Joseph W. Carlson, two physics professors at the University of California, San Francisco offer a stark conclusion: They can be easily duped, according to a recent paper published in the Journal of Transportation Security.
“It is very likely that a large (15–20 cm in diameter), irregularly-shaped, cm-thick pancake with beveled edges, taped to the abdomen, would be invisible to this technology — ironically because of its large volume, since it is easily confused with normal anatomy,” the researchers said in the paper. Kaufman and Carlson conclude that some types of foreign objects can be reliable detected only if they are packed outside the sides of the body, and some well hidden items would be impossible to see even with the scanner. 
“It is also easy to see that an object such as a wire or a box-cutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible,” the paper notes.
Experts have already highlighted that such machines are unable to detect hidden plastic explosives…. Because of the inherent detection methods, raising the level of X-ray exposure and thus the picture clarity wouldn’t help. “Even if exposure were to be increased significantly, normal anatomy would make a dangerous amount of plastic explosive with tapered edges difficult if not impossible to detect.”
The TSA maintains that the machines remain an integral part of their security arsenal, telling FoxNews.com that it trusts the controversial machines. “Advanced imaging technology is a proven, highly-effective tool that safely detects both metallic and non-metallic items concealed on the body that could be used to threaten the security of airplanes,” a TSA spokesman told FoxNews.com.
The report will nevertheless leave many critics wondering if the machines are worth the hassle with many already opposed to their use because of privacy and safety concerns. The ACLU has dubbed the scan a “virtual strip search” as it gives clear view of the person’s genitalia. These privacy considerations came to the forefront of the conversation last month when online tech site Gizmodo leaked 100 TSA scans to the public.
The TSA stresses that backscatter scanners are merely one tool in the arsenal, however, and just one front in the war on terror. “TSA employs many layers of security that work collaboratively to form a system that gives us the best chance to detect and disrupt the evolving threats we face,” the spokesman said.

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