Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Uplift Protein

Neuropsin, that is. A prefrontal-cortex protein involved in learning and memory. There's this one variant that's peculiar to us Humans, 45 amino acids longer than the standard model handed out to other primates, and a team of Chinese researchers have just nailed the gene that codes for it. And the really cool part? Utterly ignoring all those some-things-man-was-not-meant-to-know types, they spliced the causal mutation into chimpanzee DNA, which then started to synthesise the type-II variant. No word yet on how far they let that stretch of code iterate. No word on how many months away we are from building chimps with human-scale intelligence.

The actual paper isn't out yet. But I'm really hoping my U of T library access is still active when Human Mutation prints the details.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous kevin said...

if the protein could be expressed in their prefontals, how would that effect the ethics of primate research?

May 10, 2007 at 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow-wee. That's excellent.

- razorsmile anonypost

May 11, 2007 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger TheBrummell said...

But I'm really hoping my U of T library access is still active...

Wait, what? Are you not still an active member of the Brooks lab at U of T?

May 11, 2007 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Ed S. said...

Oh great. It's bad enough dealing with lower wage countries like India but soon we're going to have to start competing with the chimps for jobs?????

May 11, 2007 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Scott C. said...

Damn dirty apes!

May 12, 2007 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

brummmeister asked:

Are you not still an active member of the Brooks lab at U of T?

Yeah, but that runs out by summer's end, and presumably my access runs out with it. And who knows when the actual paper goes live?

kevin wondered

how would that effect the ethics of primate research?

Tell me more about this Earth thing called "ethics"...

May 14, 2007 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger TheBrummell said...

Yeah, but that runs out by summer's end, and presumably my access runs out with it. And who knows when the actual paper goes live?

Three things:
1. My SFU library / electronic journals access is still live, 14 months after I graduated with my M.Sc. Perhaps you will also become a minor ghost in the machine. While there are few journals that the U of Guelph does not have access to but SFU does, it has come in useful at least once for an article in a fairly obscure genomics journal I needed for a friend.
2. If not, please post any requests for papers here and I'll do my best to get PDFs for you. Dead-tree editions (as from interlibrary loans) can be supplied by snail-mail or by scan-and-send.
3. What will you do after the end of the summer? Will you become a full-time Writer?

May 15, 2007 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Three things:
1. My SFU library / electronic journals access is still live, 14 months after I graduated with my M.Sc. Perhaps you will also become a minor ghost in the machine.


I'm hoping that happens. Sometimes it does. Sometimes, they clean out your desk a month before you expire.

2. If not, please post any requests for papers here and I'll do my best to get PDFs for you. Dead-tree editions (as from interlibrary loans) can be supplied by snail-mail or by scan-and-send.

Dude, that is very nice of you. If it comes to that, I will be here with cap in hand.

3. What will you do after the end of the summer? Will you become a full-time Writer?

Not without a contract. If I can clear some time to actually fucking write something, I might make some progress.

Anybody know a good agent?

May 15, 2007 at 9:51 PM  
Anonymous lorna vanderhaeghe products said...

More research needs to be conducted regarding amino acids.

July 21, 2011 at 5:29 AM  

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