Virtual reality games fill arcades and the shelves of electronics stores, while technology continues to improve our ability to recreate real-world experiences. One key ingredient to these virtual environments is sound.
Take anything you learned about genetics in high school and throw it out the door. Incredibly, we may have to do so as we come to understand the prion theory of disease. Suggested to explain Mad Cow and other related diseases, prions are an earth-shaking idea, casting doubt on the status of DNA and RNA as the molecules of life. Not a bacteria, not a fungi, not a virus, but a protein, the prion is a novel infectious agent. The theory that a protein, a non-living object, can propagate disease has become a lightning-rod for controversy and has made the prion hypothesis one of the most hotly contested issues in molecular biology.
Why are so many images of fear symbolized by the wolf? From childhood, we shiver as the shifty-eyed wolf terrorizes Little Red Riding Hood and the three little pigs; Bram Stoker's Dracula opens with a wolf chase through a sinister forest; even the simple howl of the wolf is a symbol of something menacing and dark. The aversion towards wolves is easily understandable, but it causes a lack of objectivity about the wolf's real ecological role.