Biology

No, this isn't Jurassic Park. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with help from an amateur fossil hunter in College Park, Md., have described the fossil of an armored dinosaur hatchling. It is the youngest nodosaur ever discovered, and a founder of a new genus and species that lived approximately 110 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Era. Nodosaurs have been found in diverse locations worldwide, but they've rarely been found in the United States. The findings are published in the September 9 issue of the Journal of Paleontology.

Bioinformatics

Precise diagnosis of disease and developmental syndromes often depends on understanding the genetics underlying them. Most cases of early onset hearing loss are genetic in origin but there are many different forms. Heretofore, it has been difficult to identify the gene responsible for the hearing loss of each affected child, because the critical mutations differ among countries and populations. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology has identified six critical mutations in Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab families. Mutations in one gene, TMC1, was found in 38% of children with genetic hearing loss in the Moroccan Jewish population.

Biotechnology

In the quest to understand genomes—how they're built, how they're organized and what makes them work—a team of Johns Hopkins researchers has engineered from scratch a computer-designed yeast chromosome and incorporated into their creation a new system that lets scientists intentionally rearrange the yeast's genetic material. A report of their work appears September 14 as an Advance Online Publication in the journal Nature.




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