Thursday, May 31, 2007

From Channels to Lakes

Peter Agre won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003 for discovering aquaporins (aka water channels) - the pores in a cell membrane that regulate water flow. Since his discovery (in 1992), researchers have found 13 types of aquaporins in mammals and expect that there are many more. They've also found aquaporins in bacteria and plants.

Agre's work has many implications, none of which I'm going to discuss here...but you should read about it sometime because it's pretty interesting.

Now that Agre has won a Nobel Prize, it appears that he is moving on to conquer bigger and better (?) projects - in particular becoming Senator of the Land of 10,000 lakes (that would be Minnesota, for you coasters).

Agre plans to spend the summer with the voters getting a feel for his chances. Although less well-known to locals than other candidates at this point, I think he figures that if the state can elect a pro wrestler, why not a Nobel winner?

The recent opening of the creationist museum highlights the ever-increasing importance of having scientists in important decision-making roles. At a time when American competitiveness, global warming, nano, intelligent design, nuclear, and related phrases are buzzing around Washington, I think it's a good idea to throw more scientists into the mix.

So best of luck Peter!

See Peter on the Cobert Report

Check out Scientists and Engineers for America's Campaign Project for information on how to get involved in your local politics.

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