01 February 2006

What the devil is a msat?

My mother was visiting us (she left today). She likes to do word-search puzzles. At her age, late 70s, such activities help keep her mind as sharp as possible. The other day I was flipping thru one of her puzzle books when a sequence of letters she had circled attracted my attention: LIVE DNA IN A MSAT. Live DNA? Msat? "Mom is onto something" I said to myself.

Then, it dawned on me that it was meant to be read backwards: TASMANIAN DEVIL.

I got curious and did a Google search for "live dna" and got almost 2500 hits, but most of which appeared irrelevant. The very first hit was a news item from Cleveland: "Coroner's office seeking live DNA". Of course, a DNA molecule is not alive, so there is no such thing as "live DNA". If I am understanding it correctly, what they mean is DNA from living people.

Note added 2 February: Speaking of the devil, today's Nature reports that progress is being made to control a deadly facial cancer that has been decimating Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii).


Deniz said...

this was a fun post :-) I also like your snow crystal photos and your beaver dam photos and the scary near-aerial shots of Dilek Tepe...

Anonymous said...

are north american water scorpions asexual?and what do they eat that is easy to find