Advanced Cell Technology has cloned the first human embryo. Their stated intent is to be able to grow organs and tissue, not to create full humans. Part of their work is described in this paper in the online journal e-biomed: the journal of regenerative medicine. They also have a more accessible article in Scientific American.
ASHI's journal Human Immunology has retroactively pulled a paper, "The Origin of Palestinians and Their Genetic Relatedness with Other Mediterranean Populations", by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena and others on the similarity of genes between Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians from its September 2001 issue and removed the lead author from its editorial board. The paper has stirred controversy over its political language and its conclusion that the two groups are closely related genetically. [via also not found in nature]
The Sunday Times has a feature section on Lord of the Rings in this week's Magazine.
Learning from Israel: restrictions on civil liberties does not make a country more safe.
Endeavour is scheduled to lift off 7:41pm Eastern this Thursday.
Terror plagues Matabeleland once again: Some background on the Mugabe vs. MDC conflict in Zimbabwe. It describes how veterans have been hired by ZANU PF, the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front, as part of a campaign to harrass the opposition party. Mugabe's tactics don't seem to be working: his terrorism charges against MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai have been thrown out by the Supreme Court and Mogabe is falling behind in the polls, even among his party members, for the election to be held early next year, though it's not clear it's going to be a fair process.
Note to self: it doesn't matter if the time on the coffee maker and the alarm clock is right, as long as they agree.