Ever wonder why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the supermarket? It makes no sense. They’re grown thousands of miles away by steely imperialist multinational corporations, and spoil within two weeks. A Times Op-Ed argues that bananas are on their way out, and may disappear entirely from store shelves in the next twenty years.
For $1,000, a small California-based company called 23andMe (financed in part by Google) will decode your DNA and tell you whatever it can about your predispositions, health risks, and family traits—for example, whether or not you’re in line for the same heart disease that affected your father and grandfather, which is what the author of the Wired article wondered. (Turns out he’s not, but he’s at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. When one door opens…)
Wired talks to farmers who own cloned livestock and dairy cows—2nd and 3rd iterations of valuable original “models.” The FDA hasn’t officially approved cloned meat and milk for supermarkets yet, though, and lots of consumers still freak out. (Did you when you read that first sentence?) [Wired]
Michael Crichton has an excellent essay up over at the New York Times concerning medical company Metabolite’s efforts to defend its patent of a scientific fact before the Supreme Court tomorrow. There’s a lot of interesting commentary on the negative ramifications of companies owning ideas, associations, scientific theories, surgical procedures, products of nature… and, in the case of the Human Genome, the building blocks to human life itself.