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This is a biology-specific news aggregator linking to the most recent copyrighted news and articles on popular websites. Our sources
February 21, 2013

ENCODE, Apple Maps and function: Why definitions matter

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 5:12pm EST
[caption id=attachment_745 align=alignleft width=300 caption=ENCODE (Image: Discover Blogs)] [/caption]Remember that news-making ENCODE study with its claims that 80% of the genome is functional? Remember how those claims were the starting point for a public relations disaster which pronounced (for the umpteenth time) the death of junk DNA? Even mainstream journalists bought into this misleading claim. I wrote a post on ENCODE where I expressed surprise at why anyone would be surprised by junk DNA to begin with. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=encode-applemaps-and-function-why-definitions-matter[More]/a

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The Colossal Squid is Still At Large, and Other Thoughts on the Giant Squids Deep Sea Film Debut

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 5:10pm EST
[caption id=attachment_2388 align=alignnone width=600 caption=Preserved colossal squid? Or alien from quot;Independence Dayquot;? You decide. The colossal squid at the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington. Creative Commons Y23. Click image for license and link.] [/caption]If youre someone who hopes there will always be some mystery in the world, take heart. Though the giant squid has finally been nabbed on film, the colossal squid is still very much at large. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=the-colossal-squid-is-still-at-large-and-other-thoughts-on-the-giant-squids-film-debut[More]/a

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Childhood Cancer Is a Neglected Disease

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 5:00pm EST
pThe treatment of childhood cancer is one of oncology#39;s success stories, with five-year survival rates that have shot up from 30% in the 1960s to 80% now -- at least in high-income countries./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=childhood-cancer-is-a-neglected-disease[More]/a

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Newt Finding Might Set Back Efforts to Regrow Human Limbs

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 5:00pm EST
pThe ability of some animals to regenerate tissue is generally considered to be an ancient quality of all multicellular animals. A genetic analysis of newts, however, now suggests that it evolved much more recently./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=newt-finding-might-set-back-efforts-to-regrow-human-limbs[More]/a

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Bumblebees Sense Electric Fields in Flowers

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 5:00pm EST
pAs they zero in on their sugary reward, foraging bumblebees follow an invisible clue: electric fields. Although some animals, including sharks, are known to have an electric sense, this is the first time the ability has been documented in insects./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bumblebees-sense-electric-fields-in-flowers[More]/a

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Monster Goldfish Found in Lake Tahoe

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 4:10pm EST
pA new kind of lake monster has been found, in the depths of Lake Tahoe: gigantic goldfish. Researchers trawling the lake for invasive fish species scooped up a goldfish that was nearly 1.5 feet long and 4.2 pounds./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=monster-goldfish-found-in[More]/a

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Unparticle May Lurk in Earth s Mantle

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 4:00pm EST
pIt#39;s a good time to be a particle physicist. The long-sought Higgs boson particle seems finally to have been found at an accelerator in Geneva, and scientists are now hot on the trail of another tiny piece of the universe, this one tied to a new fundamental force of nature./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=unparticle-may-lurk-in-earth[More]/a

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Human Skin Depigmented More Than Once

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 12:48pm EST
pPenn State anthropologist Nina Jablonski talked about the evolution of human skin pigmentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on February 16th./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=human-skin-depigmented-more-than-on-13-02-21[More]/a

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Staining Science: Make the Boldest, Brightest Dye!

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 10:00am EST
p Key concepts a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bring-science-home-brightest-dye[More]/a

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4 Extinct Species That People Still Hope to Rediscover

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 9:00am EST
Theres nothing like the scientific thrill of discovering something for the very first time--or, in rare cases, rediscovering something that most people had presumed forever lost. Take the Cuban solenodon ( Solenodon cubanus ), for example. Unseen after 1890 and long presumed extinct, it unexpectedly showed up again in 1974. Sightings after that were few and far between but scientists kept looking. Last year, after a 10-year search, an international team led by Rafael Borroto-P?ez rediscovered the solenodon in a remote mountain park, a finding that thrilled scientists on both sides of the globe.Unfortunately, most similar quests to find presumed-extinct species dont have such happy endings. In some cases the lost creatures are rediscovered, but even in those rare cases the findings usually come barely in time: Only a few dozen members of the species remain, tucked into tiny habitats facing increasing pressures from encroaching civilization. More often than not the quests remain quixotic: endless, lonely and fruitless. That doesnt stop the scientists or other explorers. Sometimes they keep hunting for decades, looking in every odd corner they can reach, keening at every step for success. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=4-extinct-species-hope-rediscover[More]/a

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There s an App for That: Policy and Technological Advances in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 7:51am EST
Disclaimer: I have no financial ties to the products or services I discuss. The goal of this article is twofold: I aim to (1) educate you as a healthcare consumer about a policy change that will improve your access to preventative cardiology, and (2) discuss ways that technology can help facilitate your own health behavior change. The strategies and technologies I mention represent a tiny snapshot of all available options. I encourage you to explore whats out there to find what works best for you. [caption id=attachment_5691 align=alignright width=335 caption=Livestrongs MyPlate Food Diary amp; Food Calorie Counter is one of many apps that can help you improve your health behavior.] [/caption] a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=theres-an-app-for-that-policy-and-technological-advances-in-the-prevention-of-cardiovascular-disease[More]/a

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Small Gadgets that Make You Healthier

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 7:00am EST
pAt any moment, someone in the U.S. most likely is having an asthma attack. The breath-robbing disease afflicts around 25 million Americans, and every year about half of them lose control of their asthma. They may rush to the emergency room or reach for a rescue inhaler, a source of quick-acting drugs that can relax constricted airways in minutes. Predicting who is at risk of such crises is difficult, however, because the relevant statistics that would identify trends come from the patients#39; own recollections days or weeks after the emergency./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=small-gadgets-that-make-you-healthier[More]/a

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New Guidelines on Testing Kids DNA the Cliff s Notes Version

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 12:03am EST
Exomes are big news. Sequencing of the protein-encoding part of the genome is increasingly solving medical mysteries in children. It began with Nicholas Volker and his recovery from a devastating gastrointestinal disease with a stem cell transplant once his exome sequence revealed his problem.And my recent Medscape assignments reveal the trend: 7 of 12 kids exomes leading to diagnosis at Duke University (from May 10, 2012); whole genomes of 5 infants from the neonatal intensive care unit at Childrens Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri (from October 3), in just 50 hours each, focusing on 600 single-gene diseases; and 300 patients at the Whole Genome Laboratory at the Baylor College of Medicine, with 300 more waiting -- 85% of them kids (from November 9, 2012). a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=new-guidelines-on-testing-kids-dna-the-cliffs-notes-version[More]/a

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New Guidelines on Testing Kids DNA-the Cliff s Notes Version

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 12:03am EST
Exomes are big news. Sequencing of the protein-encoding part of the genome is increasingly solving medical mysteries in children. It began with Nicholas Volker and his recovery from a devastating gastrointestinal disease with a stem cell transplant once his exome sequence revealed his problem.And my recent Medscape assignments reveal the trend: 7 of 12 kids exomes leading to diagnosis at Duke University (from May 10, 2012); whole genomes of 5 infants from the neonatal intensive care unit at Childrens Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri (from October 3), in just 50 hours each, focusing on 600 single-gene diseases; and 300 patients at the Whole Genome Laboratory at the Baylor College of Medicine, with 300 more waiting -- 85% of them kids (from November 9, 2012). a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=new-guidelines-on-testing-kids-dna-the-cliffs-notes-version[More]/a

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