Exhibit Four is a photograph of a Guaymi Indian woman whose name is being kept secret. If she is alive today, she is well into middle age. Diagnosed with leukemia in 1991, she sought treatment in a hospital in PAnama City. While there, samples of her blood were drawn and her cell line was “immortalized” and stored in the United States, without her knowledge or consent. Two American scientists, listing themselves as “inventors” of her cell line, applied for its patent in 1993 and placed her cell line on sale at the American Type Culture Collection for $136. They did so on behalf of the Center for Disease Control because of the cell line’s commercial promise and because the government encourages scientists to patent anything of interest.
Laurelyn Whitt: Science, Colonialism, and Indigenous Peoples, The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge
NASA and NASCAR both started off as the same branch of the government focused on high speed propulsion named the National Autonautics Research Division, or NARD. But an internal feud caused a rift between two groups of employees. One group was focused on rocket propulsion, and the other was focused on hitting land-speed records for fame and fortune and thus the two groups split and formed the respective institutions we know today.
In the week since President Donald Trump took the oath of office, scientists have taken to social media en masse, decrying the new administration’s plan to dismantle climate regulations, reports that the administration has censored government scientists’ speech and the coining of the term “alternative facts.”
But Michael Eisen, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, thinks that the situation requires more drastic action. So on 25 January, he announced on Twitter that he will run for US Senate in 2018.
Eisen, who is best known as an advocate for free access to scientific publications and as co-founder of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals, may have a viable path to elected office. Dianne Feinstein, the 83-year-old senator from his state, California, has indicated that she might not run for re-election in 2018.
Nature caught up with Eisen to ask him about his plans. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Today I discovered I was invincible. Actually, it was more like a year ago. I didn’t want to write it down until we were sure what it was. My wife told me it’d be good to keep up a journal.
I’ve always been a healthy person, but I didn’t know just how healthy. Last May I fell down the stairs, like… all of them. My wife took me to the doctor, and they told me everything was fine.
“I told you so.” I told my wife. But that was just the beginning.
Later, government agents and scientists from around the world started testing on me. Nothing could penetrate my skin, or break my bones. I am immune to heat, cold, electricity, fire, radiation, impact, acceleration, deceleration, over 4000 poisons, over 50,000 diseases and perfect vacuum.
After that, they set me free with thousands of different offers and contracts. For now I’m gonna stay home.
Hi! I'm writing a story, and I was wondering if it were possible for birds to evolve to glow in the dark within the next hundred years? If that is impossible, could they be made to glow?
So they definitely could be made to glow! There’s lots of genes out there that code for fluorescent proteins. My favorite is a jellyfish gene called GFP (which stands for green fluorescent protein), which codes for a green protein that glows under blue-violet or UV light. (however, it doesn’t necessarily glow in the dark, I’ve looked over the other known fluorescent proteins and I’m not sure of one that specifically glows in the dark, but I believe GFP or one of its derivatives would do the job, as they’re specifically related to jellyfish bioluminescence! It’s also possible I’m getting way too into specifics here, so moving forward, feel free to read GFP as ‘generic fluorescent protein which also glows in the dark because scifi’)
This gene is easily extracted and has been sequenced already (fun fact: we do need to sequence genes before we can work with them extensively - that’s why it was such a big deal to sequence the human genome!) so it’s often used as a marker in the biotech industry (not sure if your gene is being expressed? Just add GFP! You’ll know if it glows!)
To actually make an organism glow, you’d need to combine GFP with a gene that codes for a protein involved in the actual structure of the organism. For example, when I was in school, I did a project where I made yeast cells glow by combining GFP with one of the major structural genes of yeast, creating what’s called a recombinant gene. This meant that instead of just coding for the protein it originally coded for, (which was used to build the cytoskeleton) it coded for both that protein, and for GFP. When I put this gene into new yeast cells and let them colonize, their cytoskeletons also contained GFP, making them glow!
This is what GFP looks like in action! Yeast cells are pretty simple, being single-celled organisms and all, but birds are a little more complicated. It could be done (and combining some mammal DNA and even human DNA with GFP already has been done!), but it would take more time than just a semester. I would say several years at the minimum, and they might run into some problems with animal rights laws/ethics laws depending on the government where your scientists are science-ing.
You also wouldn’t have all birds glowing, just a specific species, probably manmade. It’s possible this could happen naturally, but unlikely, and you’d probably only see isolated cases unless something in their environment was making it more useful to glow than not. (It’s likely the opposite would happen - it would make them much more visible to predators, for one, and I’m not sure what might offset that to make it useful enough to be selected for. However, birds are weird, and sometimes select for things harmful to their survival because they think it looks pretty, so it’s entirely possible that happened.) You’d be unlikely to see an entire glowing species develop within 100 years from natural evolution alone unless the glowing trait was being heavily selected for.
This is such a neat idea! Good luck with your story!
some shady government scientists performed awful medical experiments on my character, which turned most of his body hair white/grey/blue-ish. i know silver poisoning can effect your hair colour. is there any other (better) reason for his hair color?
I know of one, but you’ll be mad at me…
Seriously though, I can’t think of anything. Followers? Anything for the lovely nonny and their white-gray-bluie-haired character?
people talk as if the government isnt paying scientists to do all this shit in secret and its frustrating. when, in the history of ever, has a moral consequence stopped human kinds curiosity? which leads to knowledge, which leads to power
hmmm probably lots of times
most of the time that people decide not to do something because of morality, you don’t hear about it, because someone not doing something is generally not newsworthy. I don’t do lots of stuff literally every day of my life
On my way to the airport yesterday, I was picked up by a cabbie named Chuck.
Chuck served in the Navy for 22 years. He worked, lived, and partied across the Pacific Islands until deciding to collect his retirement. When he saw my poster tube, we naturally got on the subject of why I was in Vegas, how I studied sea turtles and was presenting my research here, etc.
He thinks turtles in general are the coolest (“I mean, nothing else ‘cept maybe the armadillo has a shell! Think about that! That’s why they’ve been around so long!”), and one of the first things he said was, “I wish they’d start doing better and we’d bring ‘em back from the brink of extinction because man, they are such good eating”
I didn’t bat an eye. I’ve heard this before; I also know that some very successful conservation efforts are borne out of a regular person’s desire to eat a species sustainably; that locals get involved with conservation efforts for this very reason. We chatted about this and I got to tell him about turtle excluder devices (TEDs) used in the shrimp trawling industry. We agreed how we would both much rather pay taxes that go to funding TEDs on every trawl boat in the Gulf than to our corrupt governor or legislator’s next mansion. That it’s hard for a seasonal fisherman to fund a $700 TED on a boat, or that scientists and government officials don’t get that he and his daddy and his granddaddy have been doing this their whole lives, and have a bad taste in their mouth from people telling them what to do and telling them that they know better.
Chuck may be “just” a cab driver, he may be a retiree, but he reads Science magazine. He may want TEDs so that he can sustainably eat shrimp, whereas I want them to save sea turtles and couldn’t care less about eating shrimp anymore. He’s plugged in, and he isn’t stupid; his background is just slightly different than mine, and we want the same things.
We naturally got onto the topic of climate change. Chuck acknowledges that something is going on, that the Earth’s climate is heating and changing. He’s not sure whether it’s entirely anthropogenic, and a 15 minute cab ride to the airport was neither the time nor the place for me to throw facts at him.
Instead, I focused on the fact that Chuck, regardless of the cause of climate change, wants to see humans try to make it better. He said, “We have got to do something or this (gesturing to the surrounding sprawl of civilization on either side of the highway) will all fall apart.” So that’s what I said to him. I said, “Chuck you know, that’s it exactly. The science is pretty sound, our models are getting better and better every day, but at the end of the day, shouldn’t it just be enough that you want to make the earth a better place for everyone? That the sooner that we get past this rhetorical pitfall of ‘who dun it’, we can start to make actual, appreciable changes?”
Chuck must have been about 82 years old. I’m nearly 25. He’s been around, seen a lot. And he remarked to me at the end of the cab ride how much he enjoyed talking to me, how it made his day, and how this was a new, great way of thinking about climate change and activism. That we have nothing to lose by switching to sustainable resources, eating less meat, telling our politicians to get their acts together and make good on their climate summit promises.
I reflect on this on Earth Day, and because March for Science isn’t far from my mind today. I’m reflecting on how the newly published video narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson revs me up in certain ways, but how problematic I find some of its rhetoric, and some of the rhetoric on the March for Science official facebook page.
For whom is this video made? I’ll tell you, from the time I spent with him, Chuck wouldn’t have been compelled by this video. He’d have been indifferent at best, and angry at the worst. This video isn’t made for him. But isn’t it important that he, and people like him, be reached, encouraged to make a difference, feel like they’re not considered ‘less than’ just because they’re not scientists?
What did work was having a conversation with him. Being kind, talking about things person to person– no lecturing, no fact regurgitation. I think that my conversation with Chuck will have more of a lasting impact on him than seeing that video ever would. And talking with Chuck has had an impact on me too. It reminds me that I’m a citizen of the Earth just like him. And that outsider perspective is absolutely key to my work and how I relate to the science I do. What does it all even matter if it’s not positively impacting people like Chuck? What does it even matter if I can’t sympathize with the shrimp boat drivers that have to rely on a transient resource to put dinner on the table for themselves and their families?
It occurs to me that this conversation could have gone much more differently for Chuck if it had been a different person in his cab. If it had been a different sea turtle conference attendee, or a different scientist. That someone could have jumped down his throat for his ‘good eating’ comment, or his thoughts on climate change. And he wouldn’t have walked away from that conversation telling the person how he was going to go out and buy a book on sea turtles now.
We march for science, but let us also march for the people who stand to benefit from it, whose lives are made better from its advances. Let us march for them even when we don’t see quite eye to eye on certain issues, for certainly the issue of saving our planet is more important. I think far more often than not, we can all agree that something needs to be done. I think we’ll find that people are more willing than we realize to join in and help. And we need them if we’re going to win this fight.
Sherry Birkin is a 26-year-old U.S. agent working under the direct command of a U.S. presidential aide.
is one of only a handful of people to survive the Raccoon City Incident
in 1998. During the incident, Sherry was infected by the G-Virus. While
she survived exposure to the virus itself, the U.S. government took her
into custody to monitor how the virus would affect her physiology. Thus
began her time as human guinea pig, poked and prodded by curious
scientists and government officials.
In 2009, she was
inexplicably offered a position as a special agent in the employ of the
United States. She quickly assented in order to escape her life of
forced imprisonment, even though in practice she was still under the
watchful eye of the government.
She lacks the experience of more
seasoned agents, but she can still hold her own against Jake Muller, and
she’s capable of providing the emotional support he has lacked for most
of his life.
In spite of the tragedy she has witnessed, she
still believes implicitly in the good of people. Her relationship with
Leon and Claire since they saved her in Raccoon City has never changed.
Below is a letter Sherry wrote to Claire before deploying to Edonia. — Dear Claire,
recently been ordered to go on a mission overseas, but I’m not allowed
to say where or what it’s about. I know you’ve always told me to stay
away from this kind of stuff, and I know you were just worried about me,
but it’s the only choice I had. It makes me happy to know that I might
be able to prevent others from ending up like I did. Even this mission
I’m about to go on will make a difference.
You’ve always been so
kind, but you don’t have to worry. I won’t do anything stupid. You saved
my life, so I plan on keeping it for a long, long time.
Yours Truly, Sherry
File #46: The G-Virus
William Birkin, father of Sherry Birkin, is responsible for the
discovery of and research on the G-Virus, a virus with incredible
regenerative and reproductive abilities. The G-Virus causes the host to
lose rational thought, turning it into a violent creature that seeks to
replicate the virus as an embryo in a person with blood ties to the
During the Raccoon City Incident, an armed group
sought to steal the G-Virus, and killed William Birkin in the process.
Before his death, however, Birkin injected himself with the virus, thus
consummating his life’s work. Revived by the virus, Birkin sought out
his nearest blood relative, his daughter Sherry, and injected her with
an embryo for the G-Virus. Claire Redfield created an antidote to stop
the embryo from mutating Sherry’s body, but even after the expulsion of
the embryo, trace amounts of the G-Virus remained in her body.
result of the government’s tests on her is that she has incredible
regenerative abilities, including immunity to most viruses. Her youthful
appearance is thought to be due to the G-Virus as well.
Below is a note written by a researcher who was involved in the study of Sherry’s unique condition. — Sherry Birkin was the light from the darkness that engulfed Raccoon City. She is a miracle.
small amount of G-Virus that remained in her body is still active, but
produces no harmful effects. Only its regenerative properties have been
activated, making her almost immortal in a way. This also is what makes
her look so young, since it has halted her aging processes. Plus, she
now has a strong resistance to all other viruses.
don’t think this comes as a blessing to Sherry. She will always be
different from everyone else which will probably cause her some pain.
But I think she will pull through. She’s strong, kind, and has such a
positive outlook on life, no matter what the situation.
I wish you nothing but happiness, Sherry.
File #53: Sherry and The Raccoon City Incident
In 1998, William Birkin, father of Sherry Birkin, decided to keep the
results of his G-Virus research for himself. His superiors at Umbrella
had grown tired of his attitude and sent a commando unit to retrieve the
virus for them. The unit’s mission coincided with the T-Virus leak that
had contaminated Raccoon City. The confluence of the two events
contributed greatly to the city’s destruction.
Sherry Birkin was
also caught up in these events, but thanks to the heroic efforts of Leon
Kennedy and Claire Redfield, she was able to survive the incident.
Sherry considered Claire to be her new mother after losing both her
parents. It was Claire’s love and devotion that had the greatest impact
on Sherry’s development, and Claire’s nurturing and compassionate ways
have manifested themselves in Sherry’s own personality. Sherry and
Claire both led very busy lives, but Sherry still made an effort to try
and meet when their schedules allowed it.
Below is an e-mail addressed to Claire, but accidentally sent to a co-worker. — Hey Claire, I
was able to get some days off at the end of next month when you said
you’d be in America. I have so much I want to talk to you about. I can’t
wait to see you!
I’ll send Ronny a message, too. I bet he’ll be excited to hear you’re coming back!
File #54: Life Without Freedom
Following the Raccoon City Incident, the U.S. government decided to take
Sherry Birkin into custody and keep her under observation because of
the trace amount of the G-Virus that remained in her blood. Claire
Redfield stayed by Sherry’s side during the time she had to suffer
through daily tests and experiments.
While it was Claire who provided emotional support, it was Derek Simmons who became her legal guardian.
visited Sherry as often as she could, trying to help Sherry overcome
all the trauma she had endured. Sherry idolized Claire, and was
determined to be just like her: a strong, capable woman. Derek was not
without compassion for the orphaned girl, and he allowed Claire, a
civilian, to visit and comfort Sherry, even though the girl’s existence
was a closely guarded state secret.
In total, Sherry spent 11 years in the hands of the government. It wasn’t until 2009 that she was given any freedom.
is a letter that Claire tried to send to Sherry during this time. The
letter was intercepted, but never shown to Simmons. The person who found
it sympathized with Sherry and Claire’s situation, but couldn’t allow
it to go to Sherry, so he had it destroyed in secret. — Sherry, I
don’t want to make things any harder for you, but I need you to be
careful around Simmons. I know he’s been supportive and let’s me see
you, but something’s not right with him. I don’t have any proof, but I
know what people look like when they’re hiding something, and I get that
feeling every time I look into his eyes. You are so trusting of people,
and it worries me. Please just be careful, for my sake.
I’ll be busy, so I won’t be able to come and see you for a little while. Keep being your cheerful self.
Oh my god. I’m so awestruck. Can somebody pick my heart up? Oh my god.
A hard sci-fi. A hard sci-fi anime. A hard sci-fi.
A spectacular, exciting hard sci-fi anime.
Well-written with intense pacing and attention to details of not only science (theoretical physics!!) but also business (I loved the pilot episode!)
A charismatic lead and an accurate cast of government, military and scientists. On top of magnificent soundtracks and aesthetically pleasing CGI.
As far as episode one goes, if you are a fan of stuff like Arrival, or if you enjoy the rival dynamics between, say, Emiya Kiritsugu vs Kotomine Kirei, or Kogami Shinya vs Makishima Shougo, you are going to adore it.
The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Canadian scientists – who were muzzled for nearly a decade by the country’s previous Conservative government – have been making contact with their counterparts in the US to offer their support and solidarity amid mounting fears that Donald Trump’s presidency will seek to suppress climate science.
Scientific libraries were closed, programmes suffered drastic cutbacks while federal scientists were banned from talking to media on topics that ranged from snowflakes to salmon and even a 13,000-year-old flood.
“It was a dramatic departure from past practices,” said Robert MacDonald, who has worked as a federal government scientist for nearly 30 years.
working on sign messaging for the science march. i really want to highlight that i am a tax payer funded ~government~ scientist (even though existing on nih funding doesn’t make me a government employee but whatev) but also that my work could have real-world results that benefits public health. its a delicate thing to try and fit on a tiny space.
“Two whole months of free laundry in exchange for two weeks of being my fake boyfriend. Deal?” Keith hesitated for a moment. Was this really worth it? Hardly. Lance was an asshole, and he wasn’t sure what fake dating would entail. But, free laundry was free laundry, right? “Alright, it’s a deal.”
i KNOW this one is super huge (and the author is taking her time updating) but it’s SO GOOD!!! The klance moments are amazing, and I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. And the art and fanbase is amazing as well!!!
After a Galra attack splits Voltron, the blue lion is damaged and falls toward the jungle planet below. Shiro follows, and now he and Lance are stranded in hostile territory, fighting to survive. Lance is injured, Shiro is having flashbacks, and help is far away. And the Galra just…keep coming.
ooooh my god. oh my god. this fic kills me. A+ writing and characterization, the plot it amazing, sharpshooter Lance and Shiro is freaking lovely, and hurt/comfort?? good!!! I LOVE THIS FIC OK
‘Lance wasn’t sure if he’d imagined the brief tremble at the corner of Keith’s lips or not, that slight stutter that promised a smile. But before he could guess further, Keith gave his knee a shove and got to his feet. He reached out to him, “I’m done here, and I’ve still got some daisies to sell you.”
“Yeah,” Lance agreed, looking down at the extended palm, noting the little Saturn tattoo on the inside of Keith’s wrist where the sleeve hiked. He took the hand, “better not overprice those too, you asshole.”’
(in which lance is a broke university student trying to impress a pretty girl with flowers, but ends up falling for the florist that sells them instead.)
THIS ONE IS SO GOOD it’s klance but I love it!!!! so good!!!!!!!!!!! it’s angsty in all the right way, be warned!!!
Once upon a time, two Canadian nerds decided to start a figure skating au about their two space sons and their wonderful misfit friends. Ten pages of headcanons later we finally put electronic pen to electronic paper and created this monstrosity. This multi-chapter fic chronicles the lives of a hockey player named Keith who gets forcibly enlisted into figure skating lessons by his brother, Shiro, “work on his footwork”. There, he meets a pompous - yet talented - figure skater named Lance and gets swept away by both the sport and the skater.
this one is sooooo cute, and i lOVE a good hockey/ice skating fic. it’s funny too and just generally awesome
a series of one shots centered around the paladins and hurt/comfort
this series is amazing. it’s all comfort and hurt and it’s sooo good. warning though, people get sick and stuff so if you’re not into the whole sick/vomiting thing i wouldn’t but I!!!! love!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(00:31) Do you think she gave me the wrong number on purpose? (00:31) Or was it a genuine mistake? (00:32) Like maybe she writes funny and I misread it? (00:32) Some of the numbers do look a little dodgy… (00:33) Cause, you know, her threes could very easily be poorly formed eights? And maybe she writes her sevens like her ones? (00:45) What (00:46) The (00:46) Fuck??? (00:47) Oh good, you are awake!
where lance messages the wrong number and things kind of snowball from there
THIS ONE IS SO GOOD AND CUTE AND THERES KITTENS AND PIDGE AND HUNK ARE TEAMING UP AND ITS GREAT OK I LOVE THIS FIIIIICCCC
When Keith found himself mentally linked to Lance of all people, he never thought that it would end in anything but irritation and misery on both sides. He certainly never imagined that it would be a useful asset in team Voltron’s fight against the Galra Empire. Now if he can just keep his feelings in check, they might actually have a chance at defeating Zarkon.
Needless to say, when he’d wished for a ‘bonding moment’ with Lance, this wasn’t exactly what he’d had in mind.
(Eventual romance and possibly mature content for later chapters).
I LOVE THE MINDMELDING STUFF OK!!! and it’s got some AMAZING art!!!!! SO GOOD!!!! and it’s just so silly and cute at times and I LOVE IT
After a long separation the paladins are back in the castle, but a month’s long wait to be rescued, a month of isolation and seclusion, can leave it’s mark. Keith is more than happy to be back, and could possibly say the same about the fact that Lance has become much more familiar with him ever since they’d returned, but there is something stirring under the surface. Things are not what they seem, and the effects of the separation are greater than he could ever had expected…
OK SO THIS ONE IS P GORY JUST A HEADS UP, SO DONT READ IF YOU DON’T LIKE STUFF LIKE THIS, IT’S HORROR BASICALLY buttttt I love it and this is so goooood and there’s more to it, it’s a series and it’s just, so good. so good. just be careful if you don’t like gore and psychological horror
The quiet town of Aspen Falls, Maine is changed when an alien ship crash-lands in the backyard of Lance Sanchez. Inside the ship he finds the apparent last surviving member of the Galra - an alien race whose planet has been ravaged by war. The young alien (Keith) was sent to Earth to find his human mother, but was knocked off course. Together, with his friends Pidge and Hunk, Lance and Keith try to find his missing mother, all while avoiding the government scientists who seek to use Keith and his advanced technology for their own nefarious purposes.
Inspired by Twin Peaks, Stranger Things, and various 80’s/90’s movies.
THIS IS SO GOOD OK ITS SO CUTE AND I LOVED STRANGER THINGS SO
Question: is it well known on land (aka by humans) that mermaids/whatever exist or is it more of a scientists and government only type thing?
(( Good question anon! Well, in my little universe here there is a small governmental agency that specifies in supernatural dealings and keeping the otherworldly a secret. Francois worked for one of their branches. However, because Matthew is pretty good at keeping himself hidden, he is known as “the black seadevil” by most people who have had family members killed by the strange creature at sea. He’s got a sort of nessie vibe, and he loves it. Matthew is also a rarer type of merman, as his species is shy. The more ya know ;) ))