The most interesting thing that I found out recently was that it seems pretty much all humans have a handful of jumping genes that are actively moving around in their DNA. While the individual jumping genes are quite rare, there are a lot of them – and they show no sign of slowing down…
Perhaps my favourite statistic is that if you could somehow take all the human DNA made by jumping genes out of everyone of a persons cells you would have a mass of DNA that weighed as much as a Big Mac!
Well usually the things scientists find most interesting are the things they work on. So in my case I find it really interesting that we can make these devices out of aluminium, plastic and bits of tubing and in the devices we can carry out biological and chemical reactions really quickly in tiny nano-sized droplets!
Outside of the science I research I find parasitic diseases really interesting. There are parasites that infect mice and they make mice like cats because the parasite needs to live part of its life in mice and part of its life in cats. So if the mice kept away away from the cats the parasite couldn’t live! Now I think that’s pretty amazing!
I also find physics amazing (after never liking it at school). I read “why does E=mc2” which is a fantastic book! I couldn’t get my head around the fact that space is curved. Another mind-bender is that if we could travel at almost the speed of light we could reach our neighboring galaxy Andromeda in 50 years, traveling back to Earth would take another 50 years so that’s a 100 year round trip but when we got back 6 million years would have passed by for the people on Earth!!! Get your head around that one 🙂
Hmm- this is tough. Everything is interesting. I guess a very cool thing we recently discovered is that “you are what you eat” and a cancer cell is what it eats- and a healthy cell is what it eats. What I mean by this is that a cancer cell because it’s dividing so quickly had a very different energy requirement than a normal cell- and it needs to eat and process it’s “foodstuffs” in a unique way than a healthy cell does. We developed a way to figure out what the differences are and are trying to use that info to “starve” a cancer cell. It’s pretty cool!