Dr. Steven C. Price's blog

Telomeres: Size May Matter

I guess just about everyone in the world has heard of DNA.  I presume everyone knows that DNA is what genes are made of.  And I suppose everyone knows what genes are.  I suspect, however, that many people don’t know what a “chromosome” is.  

Simply put, a chromosome is a combination of DNA and protein, and under a microscope it looks like a rod.  Humans have 46.  Chimpanzees have 48.  Corn has 20.  And so on.  You might think of a chromosome as a “carrier” for DNA.  

Can You Patent a Steak?

In September, 2011, OSU filed a patent application on a method of producing a new kind of steak, as well as the resulting steak itself.  The so-called Vegas Strip steak.  Believe it or not, the Vegas Strip has never existed before.  Now, it may have been made accidently sometime in the last 50,000 years, but if so, there is no proof.  Nowhere has it been written down, and nowhere has it been offered for sale.  It comes from a part of the cow (the subscapularis) that is normally converted into hamburger or left on the carcass to become part of another cut of meat known as “chuck.”

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Scare Tactics

Let’s talk about rats.  That’s right, rats.  Specifically, Sprague-Dawley rats.

Vigorous Exercise: Not only for the young - Part 2

In part 1 of this series I made the following points:

1.  Barring extenuating circumstances, older folks can sustain muscle strength and muscle mass well into “old age.”

2.  Protein synthesis appears to be sustained throughout life, perhaps to the same extent as found in young people;

3.  This is counter to the prevailing paradigm, which holds that muscle wasting is an inevitable consequence of aging.

Vigorous Exercise: Not only for the young

We all know that muscular weakness and wasting will eventually catch up with us because a decline in physical vigor is an inevitable part of the aging process.  After all, we have seen our parents and grandparents slowly deteriorate, and many studies show a correlation between aging, muscular weakness, and loss of lean muscle mass.  Might as well just accept it . . . right?

Patenting Human Genes: The Myriad Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has made a number of important decisions in the last few months, two of which are relevant to topics on this blog:  (1) Bowman v. Monsanto; and (2) Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics.

Climate Change (Part 4)

In this post, the last of a four-part series on climate change, I’ll start with the conclusions reached so far:

Climate Change (Part 3)

In what I THOUGHT would be the last of blogs on climate change, I’ll again start with the conclusions reached so far:

(1) there is overwhelming evidence that the planet has been in a warming trend—at least up until the last 10 years or so;

(2) warming trends are historically correlated with increasing levels of CO2;

(3) mathematical models of future global temperatures are now predicting much less warming than previously thought;

(4) historically, climate change has been cyclic, with small cycles within larger cycles;

Climate Change (Part 2)

In the previous blog on this topic, I reached several conclusions:

(1) the evidence that the planet is in a warming trend is overwhelming—at least up until the last 10 years or so;

(2) warming trends are historically correlated with increasing levels of CO2 (with the emphasis on “correlated”, meaning that the warming is not necessarily caused by increasing CO2);

(3) mathematical models of future global temperatures are now predicting much less warming than previously thought;

Climate Change (Part 1)

I have a photo hanging in my office of four smiling children with looks on their faces that seem to be saying “Dad, aren’t you done yet?”  They are standing next to a marker that established the extent of Jasper National Park’s Athabasca Glacier in 1982.  Since the photo was taken in 1994 and the glacier can be seen about 100 yards behind the marker, it provides concrete evidence that the glacier had receded about 100 yards in only 12 years.  In fact, it has retreated about 0.92 miles since observations started about 125 years ago.  It’s hard to argue that glaciers are not receding when you

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