Archive for the ‘International’ Category
 
Posted in Art+Science, International, Just Cool, Science by Courtney on January 24th, 2013
 

We’ve recently been hearing some very big, and very interesting news out of the DNA world! Researchers have claimed to have found a more efficient alternative to storing information on a computer hard drive — rather they are suggesting they have the capabilities to replace the hard drive with DNA. Via Engadget:

We’ve seen scientists experiment with DNA as a storage medium — most recently with a Harvard team fitting 704TB of data onto a single gram of the genetic material — and it looks like that research trend is only picking up. Scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute in the UK have encoded an MP3 file — along with a digital photo and all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets — into DNA, with a hulking storage density of 2.2 petabytes per gram. The information was written using the language of DNA’s four bases (A, T, C and G, if you remember high-school bio), and to provide error correction the scientists reserved one of the letters to break up long runs of any of the other three bases. In practice, this system allowed for 100-percent accuracy in sequencing and retrieving the encoded files. Though DNA storage is still quite expensive, the researchers say this method could eventually provide a viable option for archiving information, especially considering DNA’s high capacity and long life span. Still, you won’t be ditching that hard drive just yet.

Share our love of DNA? Browse through our unique portrait ideas.

Photo credit: The Telegraph

 

 
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Posted in Art+Science, International, Just Cool, Science by Courtney on January 4th, 2013
 

This installation may be art + science at it’s finest! We’re amazed at how innovative, and unique this idea is — to see it in person would be truly thrilling. These photos were created by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde, and are a part of his Nimbus series. Here’s some more information behind the photos, via Colossal:

Smilde’s methods … are less mythic and more practical, instead relying on delicate balance of smoke, moisture and light. Of course science alone doesn’t account for the striking visual impact contained in each image, as the artist carefully selects the perfect location for the creation of each cloud and then painstakingly lights it from behind for the desired effect. Via email Smilde tells me that it can take quite a while to get all of the elements in place for each cloud and that the installation is so fleeting, the use of photography is critical in capturing the split second where everything becomes perfect.

Smilde has three upcoming exhibitions this year including Ronchini Gallery in London from January 16 through February 16, the SFAC Galleries in San Francisco from February through April, and at Land of Tomorrow in Louisville, Kentucky also from February through April.

If you’re looking to create your own personal work of art, check out our unique portrait ideas that also combine science and art.

 
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Posted in International, Just Cool, Science by Courtney on December 7th, 2012
 

Exciting news for those conspiracy theorists out there! A Texan researcher and her team of scientists claim to have confirmed the existence of what we refer to as Bigfoot — A.K.A. The Great Bear, Yeti, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman, or Harry. Here is some more information on the study, and its findings via Red Orbit:

Researcher Melba Ketchum led a team of scientists in a five-year DNA study purporting to confirm the existence of the hominin hybrid species commonly referred to as Bigfoot. The findings of this study are not yet published and are currently undergoing peer review.

The study findings suggest that the mythical creature known as Bigfoot is a human relative that emerged approximately 1,500 years ago as a hybrid cross between modern Homo sapiens and another as yet unknown primate species. The team was a multi-disciplinary group of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology. Dr. Ketchum confirms that the team has sequenced three complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and has determined that the species is definitively a human hybrid.

“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens,” said Ketchum.

With any news or emerging research such as this, there is alot of scepticism surrounding the study. Via Neurologica:

Let me offer a preliminary alternate hypothesis. The hair samples that contain only human mtDNA are from a human. The samples from which the nuDNA is isolated are also from humans but with some contaminants or some other animal source mixed in. That seems to be a more parsimonious interpretation. I would like to know more about the source of the DNA, but I guess that will have to wait for the full details to be published. The fact that the human DNA is modern human (hence the need for the alleged hybridization to have occurred so recently in the past) is most easily explained as the source simply being modern humans.

While Ketchum does have the experience and expertise to lend to her credibility — she has over 27 years of research experience in genetics and forensics — many sources are saying she will likely have issues getting her study published. Many are thinking the study should have gone under peer review, before being released to the media. What are your opinions on her study? We’d love to hear from you!

Love genetics? Browse through our unique portrait ideas.

Photo credit: Huffington Post

 
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Posted in International, Just Cool, On this day in science, Science by Courtney on November 2nd, 2012
 

On this Day in Science is a DNA 11 blog series featuring historical discoveries, births, or news in the science or genetics world.

Twelve years ago today, the International Space Station finally began operation two years after it was officially launched into orbit.  The station has roughly the same volume as a five-bedroom house and can hold up to six crew members at a time. It’s still in use today, and has housed astronauts and cosmonauts from over a dozen different nations. Via National Geographic:

The International Space Station is an orbiting laboratory and construction site that synthesizes the scientific expertise of 16 nations to maintain a permanent human outpost in space.

While floating some 240 miles (390 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, the space station has hosted a rotating international crew since November 2000.

Astronauts and supplies are ferried by … the Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. Astronauts who reach the facility aboard one of these missions typically live and work in orbit for about six months.

Simply by spending time in orbit, astronauts reveal much more about how humans can live and work in space. Crews have learned the difficulties of diet, in a world in which their sense of taste is decreased, and of getting a good night’s sleep while secured to a non-floating object.

But the crew is also occupied with a full suite of scientific experiments, the ongoing improvement and construction of the station, and a rigorous regime of physical training. Astronauts must exercise for two hours each day to counteract the detrimental effects of low gravity on the body’s skeleton and circulatory system.

COOL FACT: The state of Texas passed a piece of legislation in 1997 allowing US astronauts to vote even if they were serving a mission in space. To this day, American occupants of the ISS can “beam” down their ballots via a secure electronic system.

Looking for art that’s out of this world? Check out our unique portraits.

 
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Posted in Inspirational Design of the Week, International by Courtney on October 4th, 2012
 

Wireless Wooden Keyboard

Looking for a bit of craftsmanship in your electronics? Check out these amazing wooden keyboards created by French design group Orée, which allow users to go against the grain (literally!). Via Ultralinx:

If you like the feel of natural materials being part of your tech, you’ll love this wooden keyboard by Orée. The keyboard itself and the keys are all made from premium Maple wood. Each keyboard is made from a single piece of wood which means every keyboard will also have a different grain.

It’s got chiclet style keys which are now becoming very common in modern day keyboards – most notable in the Apple keyboards. You can clearly see that it was inspired by Apple’s own keyboard. Each keyboard is polished, oil rubbed and assembled by hand. It has Bluetooth 3.0 to connect to devices and only needs a pair of AAA batteries to run. They’re made to order so it’ll take a month or two to get to you.

Close up image of wireless wooden keyboard

Despite the popularity of touch screen devices, a physical keyboard is something that’s still sought after. Orée is targeting their new product at tablet users who have a knack for modern, minimalist design, as well as sustainable technology. Despite the fact that a single keyboard can take up to 5 weeks to make, they’re still only retailed for about €125. What do you think of Orée’s natural take on technology?

Go against the grain when it comes to art too! Check out our DNA art.

Header image via Ultralinx.
Text image via Designboom 

 
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Posted in Art+Science, DNA 11 New Zealand, International, Science by Courtney on April 25th, 2012
 

A DNA 11 portrait has been included in The New Zealand Portrait Gallery’s Art of Science exhibit, running now until May 22, 2012.

The Art of Science features paintings from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s private collection of portraits of notable scientists, capturing the connections between artists and scientists, and between science and art. The exhibit looks at the different ways scientists and artists appreciate colour and light.

This exhibit was one of the first times that a DNA portrait has been shown in New Zealand. We created it from a DNA sample from Professor Sir Peter Gluckman (above), the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

Want to create your own DNA Portrait? Get started at www.dna11.com.

 
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Posted in International, Just Cool, party by Courtney on February 15th, 2012
 

DNA 11 made its debut at the Gherkin in London, UK at the prestigious MahiFX launch on February 2. Attended by some of London’s elite financiers, tech buffs and media, this event unveiled a new foreign exchange trading platform.

Upon arrival, guests received a billfold full of imaginary currency, along with this note: This Mahi Money is for you to trade during the night with other people. You can choose which design to collect. Your goal is to accumulate the most notes of any one single design to win a luxury experience. Good luck and good trading.

Kirsty Gillies collected the most “Precision” design and therefore won a DNA Portrait. We also gave each attendee a £100 gift voucher towards their next DNA 11 purchase.

Developed by ex-interbank traders, analysts and developers, MahiFX is headed by David and Susan Cooney, who both worked on Barclays Capital’s flagship e-commerce platform in its early days. MahiFX launches to retail investors on February 20, 2012. DNA 11 was proud to be in such great company at this event.

 
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