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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the September 8, 2007, issue of Science News

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4:03pm, September 4, 2007

Patent pending

If Drs. Glass and Venter succeed in assembling a viable synthetic bacterial genome ("Life Swap: Switching genomes converts bacteria," SN: 6/30/07, p. 403), will the genome or the new life form itself be patentable?

Virgil H. Soule
Frederick, Md.

The team that performed this work stirred controversy when it applied for a patent on a synthetic bacterial genome in October 2006. The patent hasn't yet been granted.—P. Barry

Whisky or sour?

It has been reported that vinegar, taken before a meal, can lower postmeal blood glucose. If so, the lowering of postmeal blood glucose by alcohol, as reported in "Alcohol Answer? Drinks lower glucose to protect heart" (SN: 6/30/07, p. 405), may be the result of the alcohol being metabolized to acetic acid by the body.

William Ha

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