Biology and Biotech

Protein Androgen Receptor forms aggregatesthat damage muscle and motor neuron cells in Kennedy's Disease. Credit: B. Eftekharzadeh, IRB BarcelonaProtein Androgen Receptor forms aggregates that damage muscle and motor neuron cells in Kennedy's Disease. Credit: B. Eftekharzadeh, Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona

Kennedy’s disease is a degenerative neuromuscular disease that leads to progressive muscle wastage, affects only men while appearing between 40 and 50 years of age.

In individuals with this disease, muscle cells and motor neurons die over the years because they...

Sharon Stone, Muhammad Ali, Diana Ross at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XIII ,JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ, March 24, 2007 Image ID:181657619 Copyright: Everett Collection Editorial Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.comSharon Stone, Muhammad Ali, Diana Ross at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XIII ,JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ, March 24, 2007. Editorial Credit:...
Credit: Shutterstock Credit: Shutterstock

After he conquered chess, child prodigy Josh Waitzkin (whose life was featured in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer) then became a Tai Chi Push Hands world champion, a story that he tells in The Art of Learning. In the book, Waitzkin discusses how he carefully observed his opponents and took advantage of them in brief moments of vulnerability, such as when they blinked. It seems that, perhaps unbeknownst to him, he...

While consumers in the United States have come to embrace the introduction of genetically-modified products, papaya-loving Hawaiians had less of a choice when an agricultural crisis struck the state in the 1990s.

A tiny insect culprit -- the aphid -- endangered the crop, but scientific advances set the stage for the "SunUp" and "Rainbow" papayas, named for their skin color, to become the first commercialized GM fruits in the United States. Even now farmers there flinch when they hear that word, "aphid."

In the 1950s, swarms of these small but formidable bugs swept the Hawaiian island of Oahu -- then the state's major papaya producer. As the aphids fed on the island's papaya fields, they transferred the now infamous "papaya ringspot virus" -- or PRV -- to the plants. When...