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Archive - Nov 21, 2013

“Zone in with Zon”—Gene Patents, Louis XVI, Sasquatch, and Jurassic Beer

Dr. Gerald Zon’s latest “Zone in with Zon” blog post, dated November 18, 2013, and published by TriLink BioTechnologies of San Diego, departs from Dr. Zon’s usuaul thematic approach and covers a wide variety of interesting topics only loosely linked by involving sequencing in some fashion. In this wide-ranging blog, Dr. Zon moves from a discussion of gene patenting based on an October 8, 2013 provocative article in Nature Biotechnology (http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v31/n10/full/nbt.2703.html) by Kevin McKernan, co-founder and CSO of Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., et al., to a the use of DNA testing to identify a putative blood sample from French King Louis XVI executed during the French revolution and to verify the results by testing tissue from the preserved heart of his presumptive son. Then, at the risk of jeopardizing any possible future Nobel Prize consideration, Dr. Zon even devotes a few paragraphs to the Sasquatch Genome Project and separate DNA studies on the “Abominable Snowman” by famed geneticist Dr. Bryan Sykes. Finally, as if to subtly imply the origin of these unusual musings, he ends with a discussion of “Jurassic Beer.” Apparently, Cano & Borucki reported in Science in 1995 that they had extracted, revived, cultured and identified bacterial spores from the abdominal contents of extinct Proplebeia dominicana bees. The bees had been preserved in 25- to 40-million-year-old amber. Dr. Zon says that Dr. Cano later filed a patent application for manufacturing a fermented beverage (e.g., beer) from a novel yeast strain recovered and cultured from a 44-million-year-old piece of amber. Dr. Cano now co-owns Fossil Fuel Brewing Co., which is utilizing ancient yeast strains to brew beer. Dr. Zon does issue one caveat.