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Twelve new genetic causes of developmental disorders

Scientists have discovered 12 new genetic causes of developmental disorders.They will ultimately analyze data from 12,000 families. The article describes results from the first 1133 samples, which have increased the proportion of patients that can be diagnosed by 10 per cent.

Turn back the clock: Primordial cells created in the lab

Scientists report they they have 'turned back the clock on human cells' and created primordial germ cells - the embryonic cells that give rise to sperm and ova - in the lab, the first time that human cells have been programmed into this early developmental stage. The results published in Cell could help provide answers as to the causes of fertility problems. read more

Egg and sperm race: Scientists create precursors to human egg and sperm

Scientists have created primordial germ cells -- cells that will go on to become egg and sperm -- using human embryonic stem cells. Although this had already been done using rodent stem cells, this is the first time this has been achieved efficiently using human stem cells.

Yet another indicator that interest in climate has fallen by the wayside – climate doesn’t make it into the top ten science press releases for 2014

We’ve seen recent polls that show interest in “climate change” as being dead last with members of the public, now here’s yet another indicator. Eurekalert gauged the popularity of its science news releases, hundreds of which were about climate change during this past year, and not surprisingly, “climate change” didn’t win, place, or show. EurekAlert!…

Best Wishes for the Holidays! (The Christmas Tree Star Cluster)

The Cone Nebula, part of a much larger star-forming complex, is at bottom with inverted Christmas Tree cluster NGC 2264 above the cone; the bright star just above the cone is the tree topper and the very bright star at...

Get that gout treated, Ebeneezer

Only a minority of patients in England with gout with indications to receive urate-lowering therapy were treated according to guideline recommendations, according to a study in the December 24/31 issue of JAMA. And the British pride themselves on free health care so why patients are not getting it remains unclear. read more

Green Building Certifications Lack Transparency

Seals of quality carry weight in the sustainable real estate industry – but the variety of existing certification systems results in a lack of transparency. These are the key findings of a current study conducted by MODUL University Vienna, Austria. Show More Summary

The Best Shots of Earth NASA Took From Space in 2014

There are many great Earth-observing satellites circling the planet these days. Digital Globe's new WorldView 3 has incredible 30-centimeter resolution, and Planet Lab's flock of minisatellites may someday soon be able to image every spot on Earth, every single day. Show More Summary

Your Christmas Lights Are Visible From Space

You're helping make the world a brighter place just by switching on your Christmas lights. New data shows many US cities brighten by 20% to 50% between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and it's all visible from space, Wired reports. A research team used a NASA-NOAA satellite camera—sensitive enough...

Automated Twits

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach People wonder why anthropogenic global warming is a politicized issue. Here’s one reason among many. In a presentation aimed at the holidays that is impossible to parody, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has put up a website called, no kidding, “the Democrat’s guide to talking politics with your republican uncle”.…

Firm Recalls Caramel Apples Amid Listeria Fears

Happy Apple said the recalled caramel apples were no longer available in stores

Smartphone Use Makes Your Brain More Sensitive to Touch

New study finds that brain activity is enhanced the more we thumb our devices

Putting bedbugs to bed forever

A team of scientists has found a way to conquer the global bedbug epidemic. By lending their own arms for thousands of bed bug bites, they have finally found the solution -- a set of chemical attractants, or pheromones, that lure the bedbugs into traps, and keep them there.

Christmas colors disguise gliding lizards in the rainforest

By mimicking the red and green colors of falling leaves, Bornean lizards avoid falling prey to birds whilst gliding, new research has found.

Ants show left bias when exploring new spaces

Unlike Derek Zoolander, ants don't have any difficulty turning left. New research has found that the majority of rock ants instinctively go left when entering unknown spaces. Around ten percent of people are left-handed and brain lateralization is widespread in other vertebrates.

European fire ant impacts forest ecosystems by helping alien plants spread

An invasive ant species that has become increasingly abundant in eastern North America not only takes over yards and delivers a nasty sting, it's helping the spread of an invasive plant species. The ants are very effective dispersers of invasive plant seeds and new research suggests that together they could wreak havoc on native ecosystems.

Scrapie could breach the species barrier

The pathogens responsible for scrapie in small ruminants (prions) have the potential to convert the human prion protein from a healthy state to a pathological state, researchers have discovered for the first time. In mice models reproducing the human species barrier, this prion induces a disease similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Show More Summary

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