Genes Cannot be Patented

Our Science on Google+ community is hosting a 30 minute Hangout on Air with geneticist Ian Bosdet. Today in a couple of hours Ian will discuss the new USA ruling that genes cannot be be patented. What does this conversation mean to anthropology and sociology and how can you contribute?

Continue reading Genes Cannot be Patented

Otzi the Iceman

More on Ötzi the Iceman. The South Tyrol Museum of Archeology reports that Ötzi is a “wet mummy”. This term refers to the fact that Ötzi’s cells have retained humidity even after 5,000 years. The Museum’s website documents that:

The body tissue is elastic and suitable for performing detailed scientific investigations. Moreover, he is a natural mummy, unaltered by burial rites or other interventions. The Iceman with his complete clothing and equipment provides a snapshot of Stone Age life in Europe.

In the video above Dr. Albert Zink, Director of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at Eurac, Bozen, talks about how Ötzi’s cells are being used in DNA studies. He has said:

the decoding of the Iceman’s genome offers us a unique opportunity to make important discoveries about the genetic bases of so-called common disorders such as diabetes and circulatory system diseases.