Like the desire for a silver necklace, the need to find somewhere to put her hands.

Ancient Virus Gave Wasps Their Sting

David has been cursing from the kitchen this evening. Little bursts of oddly personal swearing accompanied by the tiny rain-like clatter of LED lights falling to the floor. He bought them on our walk home and has been pinning them up into the crease where the walls meet the ceiling in the kitchen, something I’ve been meaning to do for months, since I put the mirrors up, but never managed to financially justify. I think it will be pretty when it’s done, in the usual way muted lights sort of always are, like unobtrusively holding hands with someone you bravely love.

Me, I’m tinkering with my computer while catching up on Penn Says, Penn Jillette’s Sony-funded personal video blag, sincerely one of my favourite things on the internet. It’s not something I check on daily, like Sorry-Mom (I bang the worst dudes), but it makes me continually happy, so much so that I’ve made sure to pop in at least once a month since he started it over a year ago to listen to everything he posts. He’s intelligent, funny, and classically cynical, (and self-mocking), while remaining just unique enough I don’t agree with everything he says, a devastating mixture of traits I can only find attractive.


Scientists have found a way to make an almost limitless supply of stem cells that could safely be used in patients while avoiding the “ethical” dilemma of destroying embryos:

In a breakthrough that could have huge implications, British and Canadian scientists have found a way of reprogramming skin cells taken from adults, effectively winding the clock back on the cells until they were in an embryonic form.

Because the cells can be made from a patient’s own skin, they carry the same DNA and so could be used without a risk of being rejected by the immune system.

Scientists showed they could make stem cells from adult cells more than a year ago, but the cells could never be used in patients because the procedure involved injecting viruses that could cause cancer. Overcoming the problem has been a major stumbling block in efforts to make stem cells fulfil their promise of transforming the future of medicine.

Now, scientists at the universities of Edinburgh and Toronto have found a way to achieve the same feat without using viruses, making so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell therapies a realistic prospect for the first time.