If Organelles Could Talk - Beatrice the Biologist

Just a quickie this afternoon - I love Beatrice the Biologist! First of all, while you can become and Patron & support her (a course I suggest if you have the available funds), her materials are easily found on the internet for perusal without needing to back her. She's all about producing materials that illustrate and educate, which mean you get an image that quickly brings home an idea for you! Have something you just can't wrap your mind around? Beatrice might have some assistance. This particular comic, for instance, by giving voice to each of the organelles, not only highlights the fact that each organelle has its own role to play within the cell, but also gives you some sense of what each does, and its relative size and position! The mitochondrial refusal to obey the nucleus is a reference to the fact that mitochondria have their own genetic material and divide independently of the nucleus. It's also a nod to the endosymbiotic theory - and all in a tiny comic!

Seriously, this comic provides a great tool. Go check her out!

This genetically modified yeast can now brew morphine

This article from PBS discusses a breakthrough made at UC-Berkeley and in Canada to help move production of certain opiates (drugs used for pain killing) from the time-consuming process of waiting for plants to grow before final processing in yeast to allow the entire process to occur in specially modified yeast cells. However, recognizing the danger of home-made labs using this yeast to create their own opiates, the researchers have also already begun discussions with regulatory agencies in an effort to help restrict access. This may limit their own access to their own research, but it may help prevent the spread of the specific strain out of the lab and into the hands of those who would sell these addictive (and potentially lethal drugs. Opiates such as morphine can depress the respiratory system and cause patients to stop breathing.