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Science

New Imaging Sheds Light On Basic Building Blocks of Life 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-at-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at the UK's national synchrotron facility are studying the structure of Containment Level 3 pathogens such as Aids, Flu and Hepatitis. They use high intensity X-Rays to study the atomic and molecular structure of pathogens too small to be examined under a microscope. This leads to a greater understanding of how they work. They have already produced results on the hand, foot and mouth virus. This is the first time Level 3 pathogens have been imaged in this way."
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New Imaging Sheds Light On Basic Building Blocks of Life

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  • this is AWESOME (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @06:57PM (#42939605)

    Scientific progress like this is moving along at a rate completely unprecedented in all of history.

    These are very exciting times to be alive and conscious.

    There is something that you learn, if you are scientifically literate, that goes something like this:

    Quantum Mechanics explains Physics (but nobody really knows why).
    Physics explains Chemistry
    Chemistry explains Biology

    All of biology (indeed, all of life) is created from an infinite number of configurations of the same small number of building blocks.

    Reading research like this makes me wonder, "What else can we build out of this stuff?"

    Understanding how things like viruses are put together and how they work is a step to answering that question.

    What do you guys think?

  • Re:this is AWESOME (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sulphur (1548251) on Monday February 18, 2013 @07:15PM (#42939713)

    Quantum Mechanics explains Physics (but nobody really knows why).
    Physics explains Chemistry
    Chemistry explains Biology

    All of biology (indeed, all of life) is created from an infinite number of configurations of the same small number of building blocks.

    Like Mexican cooking.

  • Wait a second... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 18, 2013 @07:21PM (#42939757) Journal

    AIDS(which, while nasty, is pretty stubbornly fluid-borne) shares a containment level with the flu(which, while merely annoying, cuts a broad and temporary swath through the population pretty much every time somebody gets the winter sniffles)? Are 'containment levels' based much less on ease of transmission than the name would suggest?

  • Re:this is AWESOME (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Empiric (675968) on Monday February 18, 2013 @07:22PM (#42939763) Homepage
    I think the term you are looking for (for the "philosophy-literate") is Supervenience [wikipedia.org].

    One thing you'll discover investigating that is that your hierarchical arrangement does not necessarily apply, so thinking it universally does can be more of an indicator of scientific illiteracy, rather than literacy.

    For example, the constituent atoms of paper money do not determine, and one cannot infer from that, the higher-order property of the money's value (as this is dependent on extrinsic factors, such as the economy). Assuming a universal to reality automatically because it is a premise useful to science, is an epistemological error.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.

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