welcome Over the weekend, Cam added GeneHack to the web log list on CamWorld. I expect that many new visitors will come through today; welcome to GeneHack. I try to focus on biology items, as well as Linux/Open Source software issues, electronic media, and the more typical web log fare. Poke around, see what you like, and if you have any suggestions, mail me

monarch-icide? Environmental News Network reports on a Nature article demonstrating that gengineered Bt corn can kill monarch butterfly larva, when the larva consume the pollen of the altered plants. One question that isn’t addressed in the ENN article: what if normal corn plants were dusted with Bt? That is, are the larva dying just due to the Bt, or because the pollen is expressing the Bt. I’ll try to grab a look at Nature when I’m at work and see if the research article addresses this question. Meanwhile, Fox News is reporting that a European group is calling for Bt-corn ban in response to the new findings.

about what? Feed Magazine, which I’m going to add to my information radar, has an article on the death of metaphor on the web. Somewhat interesting stuff; I saw a television commercial for about.com this weekend and hadn’t realized that it was the same entity as MiningCo.

placebo for thought The Washington Post (also going on the radar) reports on a depression-treatment study where the control group (the people getting the dummy sugar pills) were actually helped. The interesting thing is that the brain chemistry changes seen in the improved section of the control group were opposite of those seen in the improved section of the experimental group (who were receiving Prozac). Seems like a textbook example of Sangamon’s Principle to me; to paraphrase ‘your brain is really just a big complicated molecule’.

fighting the tide I’ve been intending to comment on Jon Katz’s recent two part series, but I need to read the first piece a few more times. Every time I tried to get to slashdot this weekend, it was down. I should get this done today; check back tomorrow. My early take: he’s pushing the metaphor further than it wants to go

homicide On Friday, the series finale of the incredible Homicide: Life on the Streets was aired. I’ve only been watching Homicide for the last two years or so, but it’s been my favorite television show. Windowseat has been running commentary on the series all weekend; unfortunately I can’t seem to get to anything older than today.

changes I rev’ed the CSS file and the template again. I also updated content all over the site, and began tackling the bookmark problem – see the Links section. I also built a longer start page, which I’ve been promising myself for a long time. One morning’s worth of use is telling me that it needs to be changed quite a bit to fit my style; I might have to look into scripting some popup windows. I’m digging this look; I think I’ll stick with it for awhile. Now to just get the content where I think it should be…