According to new comparisons of human and chimpanzee DNA, we are not as close to our primate cousins as we thought. Scientists have told us that we share 98.5% of our genetic material with chimps, but now it appears that we share less than 95%.

Roy Britten of Caltech was suspicious about the 98.5% figure, even though he invented the technique that produced it. By measuring the temperature at which matching DNA of two species comes apart, you can figure out how different they are. But there are errors inherent in this method, and these produced the higher percentage. By correcting for these errors, Britten came up with the new, lower correlation of 95%.
read more

California has adopted a new law permitting scientific research on embryonic stem cells, despite rejection of the use of federal funds for the same type of research by President Bush. The Senate is still considering legislation that would ban this type of research completely. Along with recent legislation regarding the use of medical marijuana, the new law brings up the question of what will happen when state and federal laws clash. The last time this happened in a major way, we fought the Civil War.
read more

As of 9/28/02, 10PM CST: We continue to have problems with our new system. These problems will be fixed by Monday at 6PM CST.

Here is a brief Q&A about Windows Media Player:

I get constant buffering!?

Effective Saturday, Sept. 28, all shows will be presented at a bitrate suitable for 56k modems on 28.8k dialup connections.

I have an old computer with a 33K modem and I can’t make your stream work at all.

You need a new modem. We support all modems from 56K up through broadband. 33K modems are too rare now to justify continued support, in view of the fact that it means a significant dropoff in sound quality for the vast majority of listeners.
read more

People who smoke and drink coffee have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. In a study by Harvard researchers, drinking coffee was associated with a 30% lower risk of Parkinson?s disease and there was a 60% lower risk of the disorder among smokers. In general, each additional cup of coffee lowered the likelihood of having Parkinson’s by 10%, although the effects differed by gender. In women, moderate coffee drinking gave the greatest protection, while larger amounts of coffee were the most protective in men.
read more