Monday, June 30, 2008

Bad Hair Life

Unfortunately I can't blame my bad hair on genetics but some can. Uncombable hair syndrome is a real condition that I came across on boingboing. Apparently it is due to a triangular shaped hair shaft (see electron microscopy) and can be sporadic or inherited. (Anonymous Coward, it only affects hair on the head.
Personally I think it looks awesome.


Canada Rocks the World in Education, Sucks in Innovation

According to some sort of economic study. Kind of a weird combination. We produce a lot of educated graduates but don't give them anything useful to do. Most recent university graduates can probably relate to this...

Also the study points out that the only thing saving our asses right now is a natural resource boom (ie oil):

"Canada is losing ground to other countries that are better at exploiting their own advantages," writes the board's president, Anne Golden. "We appear to be riding high due to global demand for our resources, but this is not a sustainable course for our country."


Saturday, June 28, 2008

OMG!!! Canadians SERIOUSLY Worried About High Gas Prices!!!

Yup that's right, according to a Globe and Mail survey, the high price of gas is now Canadian's number one concern. Last year's top issue, the environment ("like OMG, Al Gore figured out that New Orleans is sinking because of global warming!!!"), has been relegated to third place. According to Gloria Galloway this is like total bad news for the Liberal's carbon tax proposal:

"This shift could make it more difficult for Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion to sell the carbon-tax plan he unveiled last week, a complex scheme to cut greenhouse-gas emissions that will be the cornerstone of his party's platform in the next election."

What might be useful here is if people divert their attention away from gas price signs and political documentaries for a second and do some thinking. Hmmmm....maybe these issues are somehow linked? Maybe the larger issue is economic dependence on burning fossil fuels? Hey look - every time we use a litre, there's a litre less left in the world!!! And hey, pollutants are released at the EXACT SAME TIME!!!

Politicians - what Canadians need is a visionary plan that engineers us an escape from the sinking ship that is the fossil fuel economy and builds us a new one. Neither pansy-ass environmentalist appeasement measures nor short-term gasoline price-fixing measures are going to cut it.



Wear your love of science on your sleeve, or illustrate 'teach the controversy' silliness. The above pictures are clothing designs from For more of their graphics, go here.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cancer Carnival Call for Submissions

The 11th Edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival is coming in one week. This July 4th Holiday edition will be hosted here at the Bayblab. Due to a screw-up (our administrative negligence), submissions can't currently be made at the site so please leave any links in the comments on this post or email them to us at bayblab[at] We look forward to reading your contributions!

UPDATE: Submissions can now be made at, here.


Inter-Plant Communication

After hearing about the plot of "The Happening", I wondered how much evidence there is for inter-plant communication. Surprisingly there is quite a bit. The most interesting of which is the use of chemicals to attract carnivorous predators of herbivores. Check out a summary of the evidence for inter-plant communication.
From the Figure Legend of the picture:
Plants respond to herbivory with the emission of chemical cues above and below ground, which can elicit responses in (1) carnivorous enemies of the herbivores, (2) herbivores and (3) neighbouring plants. The plant–plant interactions comprise interactions among conspecifics and heterospecifics. The red broken arrow represents herbivore attack on a plant; the blue arrows represent the emission of chemical cues that affect other organisms. The thickness of the blue arrows indicates the relative knowledge of the interactions.


Urban Birdwatching: Red-winged Blackbird

The Birds is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies (apparantly it's being remade in 2009). Bird attacks aren't that uncommon, particularly if you live in a nesting area for the Red-winged Blackbird. This common species (IUCN: Least Concern) inhabits grassy areas, both dry and wetlands. The males of the species (pictured) have distinctive red shoulders, giving the bird its name. Females are a brown-black colour and lack the distinctive red markings. If you live or commute near a Red-winged Blackbird nest, watch the skies: During nesting season, as some of our readers can tell you first hand, the males become fiercely territorial and will swoop down and peck at unsuspecting pedestrians or cyclists if they should wander too close. Nesting season runs from late May to mid-July.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tropical Penguins

Penguins are a recognizable bird and a symbol of cold temperatures and frigid climates. However, penguins aren't restricted to Antarctica, nor even cold climes. The African (or Black-footed) Penguin is classified as 'vulnerable' on the endangered species list and can be found on the south-western African coast (South Africa and Namibia). In this region, the average summer daytime temperatures range from 20-34oC, but in the winter temperatures can drop below freezing at night.

Closely related to the African Penguin is the endangered Galapagos Penguin. This equatorial penguin is native to the Galapagos Islands, and is the only penguin species to cross into the Northern Hemisphere. The temperature on the islands ranges from 15-30oC year-round. Maybe it's time to rethink our 'do not freeze' labels.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Eating is Bad For the Environment

I was just patrolling TheGoogle for statistics on some official Bayblab-sanctioned research when I came across an interesting stat cited in a CNN article. As Rob recently pointed out in his comments to a previous post, industrial food production relies heavily on energy input from fossil fuels; this number kind of puts things in perspective: production of a 2kg box of cereal requires the equivalent 1.9L of gasoline. That's probably what one person would easily eat in a week, and according to my calculations it's equivalent to the gasoline needed to drive a 2008 Honda civic 33km or so on the highway.

On one hand, this doesn't seem like a lot - at least it's fairly insignificant compared to what the average North American puts into her car. The average commuter might reasonably burn 10 times as much gasoline than this in her car each week. On the other hand, when you think about how much heavier and therefore harder to move cars are than people, 33km is looking pretty good. It's clear that cars are making much better use of fossil fuels than humans are. So maybe we should stop "eating" fossil fuel energy and just feed it to our cars and other machines. That would make living difficult though, wouldn't it? And besides, aren't the machines just there to make life better/easier for us in the first place?

(Follow-up Bayblab bonus homework: With the manufacturing processes in use right now, how much ethanol fuel can you get out of the grain in a box of 2kg cereal? How far could you drive that 2008 Honda civic on this ethanol? How much additional fossil fuel input is needed to convert the cereal grain into ethanol? How far could you drive a Honda civic on that extra fossil fuel?)


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kristin-gate at the OHRI

Notice anything strange with these blots? Apparently the data on it was faked and photoshoped along with "19 panels of Western blot data, appearing in 11 figures in 3 publications" by a post-doc fellow who shared working space with some bayblab readers and contributors. The story is all over the news today as we learned that her employment with the OHRI was terminated. You can find coverage of the whole story in the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post. The OHRI is trying to do some damage control, and thankfully the fraud wasn't commited here in the Ottawa lab but during Kristin's PhD at the university of Pennsylvania. The Office of Research Intergrity has taken the following disciplinary actions:

"for a period of five (5) years, beginning on June 7, 2007:

(1) Dr. Roovers is debarred from eligibility for any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government referred to as ``covered transactions'' as defined in HHS' implementation of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension at 2 CFR part 376, et seq.; and

(2) Dr. Roovers is prohibited from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS, including but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant."

This is bad news for everybody involved, the university, the institute and the scientific community. How could such blatant fraud make it past peer review? I would hate to be one of the innocent co-authors. Science is stressful and sometimes frustrating, and there can be tremendous pressure to have experiments work, but I am still baffled by the extent of fogery in this case. Any thoughts on the subject?


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quack hunting season is open

Apparently the FDA is going after quacks who are selling cancer "cures" over the internet. They sent letters to 25 of these outfits and may follow-up with seizures and criminal prosecutions. from the article:

"The letters criticized unproven claims made about these products including the ability to "destroy the enzyme on DNA responsible for cancer cells," and the power to "neutralize" carcinogens. One product's Web site had a testimonial claiming it had cured a patient's skin cancer in three days, according to one of the letters.

The ingredients of these unproven treatments include bloodroot, shark cartilage, coral calcium, cesium, ellagic acid, and a variety of mushrooms among other products."


Urban Birdwatching

The Peregrine Falcon is often called the fastest animal on earth, reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h during an aerial dive. It is also an example of successful conservation efforts. Widespread use of DDT severely affected the Peregrine population, putting the bird on the endangered species list. The chemical altered adult breeding behaviour, and its accumulation in bird tissues led to inadequate calcium and more fragile eggs. In the 70s, a DDT ban and conservation programs helped the bird make a comeback and in 1999 it was removed from the endangered species list. Today it enjoys 'least concern' status.

One doesn't have to go far to see the Peregrine Falcon in the wild. While historically they built their nests on cliffs in coastal areas, they've also adapted to life in the big city. Replacing the cliffside with a highrise and with an ample pigeon population to feast on, the falcon is also at home in an urban setting. Here in Ottawa, a downtown nest can be found at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (Lyon Street) where they are monitored by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists club and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Two new chicks were hatched there earlier this month.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Music Appreciation

There are few afflictions that affect as many people and are as severe as left-handedness. However I recently heard of another that is almost as bad, and affirms my genetic superiority. Indeed I am not tune deaf (TD). A recent Science Friday program talks to Dr. Allen Braun who investigates tune deafness. Tune deaf essentially means that you can't really distinguish when notes are played off key. Take the Distorted Tunes Test to see if you are tune deaf (beware Quicktime!). If you failed that test I find it hard to believe that you could ever really appreciate music, but a couple of callers into the science friday program say that despite TD they do enjoy music. Fortunately this affects only 2% of the general population so it is not as prevalent a problem as left-handedness. Unfortunately it is highly heritable.
More interestingly, from ScienceNOW (link added):
As expected, these subjects did not have the typical MMN response to poorly played tunes, the team reports today in PLoS One. But to their surprise, the researchers did detect the P300 response to the incorrect notes. Braun believes these results show that the brain can detect the differences even though tune-deaf people aren't aware.
Thus these subjects possibly have a deficiency in transfer between conscience and unconscience knowledge of incorrect tones. The authors of the paper propose:
In light of this, TD may provide a novel opportunity to study conscious perception. Unlike lesion-based disorders such as blindsight it should be possible to study the process in a brain that is structurally intact, and in a patient population that is far larger. In addition, TD is a highly heritable condition, and investigations currently underway may identify the genetic variants that underlie this condition. The tune deaf population may thus constitute a group in which the problem of consciousness might be approached at the cellular and molecular level using the tools of genetic research.


Tom-a-to, Tom-ah-to

Above is a map of regional use of generic terms for soft drinks in the US (curiously, 'soft drink' doesn't make the cut). I find the use of 'coke' as a generic term kind of interesting. It's sort of like kleenex, except if you ask for a kleenex nobody is going to complain if you get a Scott tissue instead of a Kimberly-Clark.

"I'll have a coke please"
"What kind?"

To see what classifies as 'other', or for Canadian statistics, go here (Massachusetts calls it 'tonic')
[h/t: Gene Expression]


Monday, June 16, 2008

Updates on the CCRG and C-51

We received the following email from a reader, updating us on some goings-on with respect to Bill O'Neill and the Canadian Cancer Research Group as well as Bill C-51. [Links added]
Hi, Bayblab . . .
I took an interest in Bayblab as soon as I learned that Bill O'Neill (CCRG, ISM) threatened to sue you. That put you in very distinguished company.

Here are some fairly recent developments on the CCRG, ISM scene, most of which you likely already know about:

-- Immune System Management, ISM, has been granted 'corporate membership' in OCRI.

-- Bill seems to be switching the emphasis from his CCRG to his ISM: The directory board inside the Fifth Avenue Court building still lists the CCRG as a tenant, but the sign swinging above the entrance to Bill's offices that once read "CCRG" has been replaced with one reading "Immune System Management."

-- He still hasn't replaced Dr. Eoghan O'Shea but his websites still say he has at least one "medical doctor" on staff.

-- The CCRG website began proclaiming that it had launched a lawsuit again CTV and W-Five more than 2 years ago but it has never come to court.

-- With the words "swindling people living with cancer is one of most despicable forms of fraud" the Competition Bureau launched "Project False Hope" last March to coincide with Fraud Awareness Month. It comprises 2 clever features meant to steer the unwary away from phony "cancer clinic." The Bureau grumbles that it has the power to do more. Don't hold your breath.

-- The Ottawa Citizen reported the other day that Tony Clement has folded under the intense pressure brought against his Bill C-51 by the Natural Food Products manufacturers. The original bill had enough power to force the CCRGs and ISMs to submit medical claims to scientific rigor. What with Parliament set to adjourn for the summer, it now appears certain Bill C-51 will go to the Standing Committee on Health for review and revision.

Regards . . .
Quickly checking some of those sites, Project False Hope seems like a nice idea, but as our reader points out, is largely toothless. What it does have is a dummy natural product site and quiz to help identify health fraud, but little else (and no mention of particular companies or groups that should be avoided). I wasn't able to find specific details about the proposed changes to C-51, but it sounds like the revised bill will create a separate category for natural health products (the current version has them grouped with prescription drugs as 'therapeutic products') which takes acknowledges "that natural health products are generally of lower risk and that their long history of use has some value." [Globe and Mail] I'll be interested to see if the proposed changes alter any of C-51's language dealing with standards of evidence and marketing for natural products which I thought was one of the major benefits of the original bill.


Friday, June 13, 2008

On not seeing the forest for the trees

N: which is correct, seven and five IS thirteen, or seven and five ARE thirteen?
Joker: Neither.
Joker: Because it's twelve.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

Human ovulation caught on tape

Surgeons who were performing a partial hysterectomy witnessed a spontaneous ovulation and were lucky enough to have a camera to record the event. The pictures (I wish there was a video), will be published in the journal "Fertility and Sterility". Surprisingly, the ovulation was not an "explosive" event as it is assumed to be, but rather a 15 minute long and smooth release of the egg...


Monday, June 09, 2008

Radioactive beer belly determined early in life

Apparently you can tell how old cells are based upon pulse chase-like experiments. A group of researchers has done this on human subjects and found that the turnover rate for fat cells is about 10% per year. This result was independent of body mass index and suggests that in early childhood the number of fat cells is determined. Not only is that interesting itself but also interesting is the fact that the 'pulse' used in these experiments were provided by nuclear bomb tests. Genius. At my current computer I can't access the paper, but I wonder if they looked at any other tissues?


Global Warming & Vinegar

FYI. The retreating glaciers are not going to mean an abundance of the purest form of vinegar or acetic acid, commonly called glacial acetic acid. Glacial acetic acid is simply water-free acetic acid and is named such for the ice-crystals that will form at 16.7C. Perhaps everyone already knew this, not surprisingly I did not have a clue.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Weekend Games

I mentioned this at lunch today, a drinking game called 'Wisest Wizard'. I'm pretty sure there are more complete rules somewhere else. But you get the idea.


Cancer Research Carnival #10

Welcome to the latest edition of the Cancer Carnival: Your monthly carnival of news cancer care, treatment and latest research. Thanks to Ben for the logo design.

Giovanna di Sauro gets us started off with a compound that's been in the news lately: Bisphenol A. She provides a nice literature review about the xenoestrogen and it's potential role as a carcinogen. She writes:
Do you remember the recent studies published in the journal Cancer Research, which received strong media attention? One showed that BPA induces changes in gene expression in breast cancer cell lines coherent with those of high-grade lesions; the other suggested that BPA is also able to alter the epigenetic profile in the progeny of BPA-treated epithelial cells.
Is BPA a cancer concern? Is it just the tip of the iceberg in a sea of xenoestrogens? Check out her post Who's afraid of Bisphenol A (part 2). (Check out part 1 as well).

Giovanna follows that up with a review of a TED talk by Eva Vertes, a Princeton sophomore. 'Is cancer a cure?' explores the idea that cancer is part of a natural response to tissue damage. Wound repair gone awry. What follows is a discussion of that idea and why it may be overly simplistic.

But if cancer is the result of over-active stem cells recruited to wound areas, how do they get there? Alexey at Hematopoeisis answers the question: What mediates stem cell tropism to tumors?
CXCR4-SDF-1 interaction is also well known like an axis for tumor metastasis. Also some adult stem cells, neural and mesenchymal for instance, were shown to specifically migrate to tumor site. This ability has been exploited to selectively deliver a therapeutic gene to metastatic solid tumors.
He also reports on two molecules recently shown to mediate stem cell migration to tumor sites: Urokinase Plasminogen Activator (uPA) and its receptor, uPAR. As the repertoire of molecules involved in pathotropism expands, specific targeting of cell-based therapies becomes more of a reality.

Sticking with a stem cell theme, Alexey tells of new research that shows the potential for targeting quiescence of cancer stem cells. Why is this important?
Because the majority of anti-cancer drugs target actively-dividing (cycling) cells, quiescent CSC stayed alive and caused relapses and progression of disease. It would be cool to target CSC precisely based on their unique qualities and eradicate cancer. Quiescence could be the new potential target for anticancer therapy.
The paper, published in Nature, targets PML to impair quiescence and make leukemia cells more sensitive to standard treatment. Read more about it at Hematopoeisis.

On the cancer detection side of things, Walter at Highlight Health, reminds us of the importance of regular check-ups.
Consider these statistics: when CRC [colorectal cancer] is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 90%. If the cancer has spread locally, the 5-year survival rate decreases to 68%. For patients with advanced CRC that has metastasized, the 5-year survival rate is 10%
To this end, he describes a new blood test for colorectal cancer based on 6 biomarkers that is being developed for laboratory use.

From a dietary perspective, flavonoids are the molecule-du-jour. Research out of UCLA published in a recent issue of Cancer suggests that certain flavonoids found in fruits, vegetables and tea may be protective against smoking-induced lung cancer. ThinkGene has more:
Researchers found that study participants who ate foods containing certain flavonoids seemed to be protected from developing lung cancer. Zhang said the flavonoids that appeared to be the most protective included catechin, found in strawberries and green and black teas, kaempferol, found in Brussels sprouts and apples, and quercetin, found in beans, onions and apples.
Of course, the article also reminds us that for smokers the best course of action is quitting.

Finally, Rob reports from the recent Canadian Gene Therapy and Vaccines Symposium about using IL-24 as a cancer therapeutic. Rob writes:
IL-24 is a potentially useful agent for differentiation therapy for cancer treatment. Dr. Fisher reported, both at the conference and in publications, that ectopic expression of IL-24 has antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in cancer cell lines but not in normal cells.
No 'magic bullet' is without controversy though, and Rob discusses some of the issues surrounding IL-24 even as it heads to Phase III clinical trials.

That concludes the 10th edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival. If you'd like to host in the future, send an email to bayblab[at] and submit posts to future editions here.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

BioFuel in Your Car AND Food in Your Belly??

McGill plant biologist Donald Smith has a nice little article: "Not all biofuels take food off the table" in the Globe and Mail, ending with a call to action:

"We can produce biofuels that won't exacerbate the global food crisis. We should be working as hard as we can right now to do just that."

Good to know some Canadian research dollars are being used to think about what is becoming the single most important economic issue of our time. My guess is not nearly enough - although I confess I'm ignorant as to exactly how much we invest in agricultural and energy research. Maybe it should be one field....agro-energetics...


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Soylent Vaccines are Made Out of People!

Jenny McCarthy, mom-celebre and current pin-up girl for the anti-vaccination movement, is descending on Washington DC today for a 'Green Our Vaccines' rally. There's been some buzz in the skeptical blogosphere about the rally, most notably Orac (of course) with a discussion about the Orwellian nature of the new slogan.

The Green Our Vaccines campaign isn't about making vaccines more environmentally friendly, it's about removing toxins. Anti-vaxers, beginning to realize that their former pet thimerosal isn't a vaccine hazard, have moved to the more nebulous 'toxins' as the real danger of vaccines. Their list:It's easy to pick apart this list (sucrose in vaccines is a toxin?), as some people have done. Some of that list probably isn't even present in more than trace amounts: fetal bovine serum, for example, is a cell culture supplement for growing cells to produce vaccine not an additive to the vaccines, and it's purified out. Anti-vaxers are eager to blur the line between vaccine ingredients and components of vaccine production.

One of the items on the list is human diploid cells (from aborted fetal tissue). Sometimes this is listed simply as aborted fetal tissue. While it's understandable that people might not want to inject themselves with aborted fetal tissue (though, I'm not sure it's necessarily toxic), there are still a couple of problems with that inclusion on the list:

1) Vaccine makers aren't grinding up aborted fetuses and injecting them. Nor are they generating new fetal cell lines from them every time a vaccine is made. The 'human diploid cells (from aborted fetal tissue)' are one of two cell lines derived in the 60s and 70s: WI-38 and MRC-5.

2) These cell lines aren't ingredients. They are used to produce viruses used for vaccines. They are removed during the production process (a simple spin will separate the cells from the virus-rich supernatant, which is then further processed). That needs to be stressed, because it applies to many of the "toxins" on the list: tools used for production of vaccines aren't ingredients.

Of course there is a potential moral objection to the use of aborted fetal cells in production, even if they aren't in the vaccine itself. The Catholic Church, for example, encourages the use of alternative vaccines where they exist and to press pharmaceutical companies to develop such alternatives. However even the Church, which is normally rigid in its stance, allows the use of vaccines derived from fetal cells in the absence of an alternative. This is made clear in their official position: "we find, in such a case, a proportional reason, in order to accept the use of these vaccines in the presence of the danger of favouring the spread of the pathological agent, due to the lack of vaccination of children." They go even further than this with regards to the German measles vaccine, adding
This is particularly true in the case of vaccination against German measles, because of the danger of Congenital Rubella Syndrome. This could occur, causing grave congenital malformations in the foetus, when a pregnant woman enters into contact, even if it is brief, with children who have not been immunized and are carriers of the virus. In this case, the parents who did not accept the vaccination of their own children become responsible for the malformations in question, and for the subsequent abortion of foetuses, when they have been discovered to be malformed.
That having been said, the stand taken by the 'Green Our Vaccines' group does not seem to stem from moral objections, but rather they're clear that it's about the fearful toxins. It seems that they're either unsure of how vaccines are produced or willfully misusing charged words (eg. aborted human fetus) to drum up vaccine opposition.

Soylent green may be made out of people, but vaccines aren't.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

IL-24 controversy

I recently attended the 4th Canadian Gene Therapy and Vaccines Symposium held in Montreal, Quebec. There were many interesting speakers and I shared a hotel room with three women, whom insisted that we go to a Montreal strip club. However, there were even more things at the conference that sounded too good to be true.
Dr. Paul Fisher from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine presented a massive amount of data spanning many years about a cytokine his group cloned, now known as IL-24. The gene was cloned using subtractive hybridization, a very innovative technique at the time, identifying IL-24 as induced during terminal differentiation of melanoma cells. This indicates that IL-24 is a potentially useful agent for differentiation therapy for cancer treatment. Dr. Fisher reported, both at the conference and in publications, that ectopic expression of IL-24 has antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in cancer cell lines but not in normal cells. The delivery of IL-24 with an adenoviral vector showed extremely impressive results against a variety of tumour types in vitro and in vivo. This approach of using adenoviral vectors to deliver IL-24 is currently in a Phase III clinical trial. The mechanism of action for this was saved for late in the talk and seemed complicated to myself and even to Dr. Fisher as he acknowledges in his 2005 review of IL-24 as a magic bullet against cancer. (subscription required)
It was very interesting and I was totally sold. So, of course, I did some further reading and found a bit of a controversy about the antitumour activity of IL-24.
A summary of a recent review about the potential issues with IL-24 as a therapeutic is below:
>The actual endogenous function of IL-24 so far indicates that it is involved in the regulation of immune and inflammatory reponses in skin tissue.
>Although referred to as a tumour suppressor in some papers there is no convincing evidence that it satisfies the definition.
>Probably most importantly, there are conflicting reports about the effects of exogenous IL-24, from various sources, on cancer cells.
>There is no clear mechanism for IL-24's differential effects on cancer vs normal cells.
>It is possible that the delivery of IL-24 via adenoviral vector is the combination that creates an antitumour activity. Although that would contradict much of the previous work.
When all is said and done, I almost want to try some of the experiments, and really, everything comes up good if the phase III results show promise. It was surprising to me that there were still serious questions about a therapeutic so far into clinical trials.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Alien Autopsy

If you haven't yet heard, a Colorado man has held a press conference to reveal footage of an alien caught on tape in 2003.

From the looks of it, the video is a typical grainy, inconclusive Bigfoot-style shot that will convince believers and fail to impress skeptics. (And haven't the little green men heard of the Prime Directive?)

But what if it was convincing? It would probably alter NASA's space program. Groups would try to figure out a way to kill it, or weaponize it. Biologists would have a field day.

If suddenly presented with solid, convincing evidence of extra-terrestrial life, how do you think life on Earth would change (if at all)? What about your personal worldview?