Brief notes

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Jun 20 2000 - 13:47:34 MDT

Just a few brief notes, Im busy with a conference on computational
biology, writing papers and generally enjoying myself.

Today there was a fun talk about genetic databases in virtual reality
by Igor Rojdetsvenski. Nothing truly new (information spaces are old
hat), but nice to see in reality. It can be tested at It is rather fun to walk around among the
protein sequences, and there are some clever tricks to visualise how
well established data are.

Last issue (June 20) of Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences had some very nice news:

Aryeh Routtenberg, Isabel Cantallops, Sal Zaffuto, Peter Serrano, and
Uk Namgung Enhanced learning after genetic overexpression of a brain
growth protein PNAS 2000 97: 7657-7662.

They showed that by overexpressing the protein GAP-43 (an axonal
protein kinase) they could get a strong enhancement of spatial and
working memory in modified mice. The Doogie mice have company :-)

What makes things so fun is another article in the same issue:

Ningya Shi and William M. Pardridge, Noninvasive gene targeting to the
brain PNAS 2000 97: 7567-7572

They have developed a method to get genes into the brain without
having to open it up or do other invasive stuff. By putting the
plasmid with the gene inside a neutral pegylated immunoliposome linked
to a transferrin molecule telling the epithelial cells to carry it
across the blood-brain barrier, it can be put into the brain where it
is expressed.

See the link? Who wants to try first? :-)

The latest issue of Nature is also worth reading for the paper on
mortality development:

Shripad Tuljapurkar, Nan Li & Carl Boe, A universal pattern of
mortality decline in the G7 countries Nature 405, 789 - 792 (2000))

Seems people have been underestimating how much life expectancies are
increasing, at least if this paper is right.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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