News From Around The Blogosphere 11.16.09

1. Mutant genes ‘key to long life’

There is a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that prevents cells from ageing, researchers say.

Scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US say centenarian Ashkenazi Jews have this mutant gene.

They found that 86 very old people and their children had higher levels of telomerase which protects the DNA.

They say it may be possible to produce drugs that stimulate the enzyme.

2. Atheist billboard goes up in San Diego – It’s gotten some great publicity here and in this CNN video. As always, there’s someone in the video claiming that the billboard is attacking people, which perfectly illustrates the level of delusion we’re dealing with here as the ad simply says, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”

3. Right-Handed Chimps: Clues to Language Origin

Most of the linguistic functions in humans are controlled by the left cerebral hemisphere. A study of captive chimpanzees at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center (Atlanta, Georgia), reported in the January 2010 issue of Elsevier’s Cortex, suggests that this “hemispheric lateralization” for language may have its evolutionary roots in the gestural communication of our common ancestors. A large majority of the chimpanzees in the study showed a significant bias towards right-handed gestures when communicating, which may reflect a similar dominance of the left hemisphere for communication in chimpanzees as that seen for language functions in humans.

4. Westboro Baptist Church shifts focus from gay-bashing to Jew-bashing – Why do I continue to report the antics of these media whores when I know all they care about is getting attention? Because they are my favorite religion ever. They illustrate what is wrong with religion perfectly and get called lunatics by mainstream religious folks despite the fact that they share nearly identical positions. The only difference between Pat Robertson and the WBC is that says gays are evil on TV before an audience of millions while the WBC has to get creative in order to get their audiences.

The shirts read, "I'm not with stupid."



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