Now there’s REAL wisdom in wisdom teeth?the Japanese have learned how to make stem cells out of them (and they can be kept in the freezer until needed!) However, since stem cells are most valuable for the diseases that strike in old age, such as Parkinson’s, and because wisdom teeth are often not removed until later in life, many of us will safely carry them around in our gums until we need them, instead.

BBC News quotes researcher Hajime Ogushi as saying, “?We can avoid the ethical issues of stem cells because wisdom teeth are destined to be thrown away anyway. Also, we used teeth that had been extracted three years ago and had been preserved in a freezer. That means that it’s easy for us to stock this source of stem cells.”

Art credit: more

Could it reach here? – A rural town in India is battling a baffling disease, which started small but has now spread to 350 people, killing 160 of them. 15 to 20 people are dying every day. These days, diseases can spread like wildfire, due to plane travel, so who knows where it will turn up next?

In the Hindustan Times, Pawan Dixit quotes medical officer Dr. R.C. Agarwal as saying, “We really don’t know what exactly it is; we are depending on the finding of a team of specialists from New Delhi.”

Art credit:
read more

OK, we know a lot of the things we do are directed by our genes?but VOTING? And why are polls so often wrong?

According to a new study, the decision to vote is partly genetic. Researchers James H. Fowler, Christopher T. Dawes and Laura A. Baker have identified a link between two specific genes and political participation. They show that individuals with a variant of the MAOA gene are significantly more likely to have voted in the 2000 presidential election.
read more

Like the vanishing polar bear, the decline in the penguin population is the canary in the coal mine, warning us that something is going wrong on our planet?but this time the problem isn’t climate change.

Oil pollution, depletion of fisheries and rampant coastline development are what is threatening breeding habitats for many penguin species. Biologist Dee Boersma says, “The fate of all species is to go extinct, but there are some species that go extinct before their time and we are facing that possibility with some penguins.”
read more