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Alternative proteins encoded by the same gene have widely divergent functions in cells

BOSTON -- It's not unusual for siblings to seem more dissimilar than similar: one becoming a florist, for example, another becoming a flutist, and another becoming a physicist. read more

Breakable genes may promote disease and brain cell diversity

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have identified 27 genes in brain stem cells that are prone to a type of DNA damage. The fragility of those genes could explain why they are often mutated or deleted in cancers and neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Show More Summary

Tiny worm opens big discovery on nerve degeneration

A discovery in a transparent roundworm has brought scientists one step closer to understanding nerve degeneration. University of Queensland researchers have discovered the worm contains two proteins that play a role in the degeneration...Show More Summary

Study finds high rate of elective surgery for uncomplicated diverticulitis after few episodes

Patterns of episodes of diverticulitis before surgery, and factors associated with earlier interventions using inpatient, outpatient, and antibiotic prescription claims, have all been examined by a group of researchers.

Doctors' reminders help keep people more engaged in their health care

Research led by UCLA professor on 'OpenNotes' model finds that follow-up emails are critical to keeping patients in the know A study led by Dr. John Mafi, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has found that a simple note from a primary care doctor can be a critical way to keep patients involved in their own health care. read more

Gastric bypass surgery at ages older than 35 years associated with improved survival

Researchers examined whether gastric bypass surgery is equally effective in reducing mortality in groups undergoing surgery at different ages. Bariatric surgery is effective in reducing all-cause and cause-specific long-term mortality. Whether the long-term mortality benefit of surgery applies to all ages at which surgery is performed is not known.

GGC physicist leads team in innovative black hole research

Black holes are the subject of much fascination, not just in science but also in popular media. For example, the 2014 movie "Interstellar" portrays a fast-rotating, supermassive black hole, into which the protagonist falls in order to probe its center. read more

NOAA, partners: Testing detects algal toxins in Alaska marine mammals

Toxins from harmful algae are present in Alaskan marine food webs in high enough concentrations to be detected in marine mammals such as whales, walruses, sea lions, seals, porpoises and sea otters, according to new research from NOAA and its federal, state, local and academic partners. read more

Inhibiting age-related inflammation maintains healthy gut microbiota, extends lifespan

Age-related inflammation drives changes in the fruit fly gut-causing metaplasia or abnormal changes in cells, new research shows. That metaplasia led to changes in the microbiota, which resulted in pathology and shorter lifespans. Researchers...Show More Summary

The CNIO finds a potential therapy for the most aggressive type of lung cancer in preclinical models

Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer, with more than 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year in Spain. Lung adenocarcinomas carrying oncogenic KRAS, the engine driving these tumours in 30% of cases, constitute the most...Show More Summary

Gravitational waves found, black-hole models led the way

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Feb. 11, 2016--Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity in 1916, and now, almost exactly 100 years later, the faint ripples across space-time have been found. The advanced Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO) has achieved the first direct measurement. read more

What 'tainted' engagement rings reveal about consumer expectations

Toronto - We're told diamonds -- and their value -- are forever. But new research into the re-sale of diamond engagement rings shows a diamond's value is affected by the story people attach to it and whether it fits with their ideas about what a good ring needs to be. When relationships tank so does the value of the rings meant to honour them. Show More Summary

Thursday assorted links

1. Princeton Bitcoin textbook is freely available. 2. What became of Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, Bubbles?  And speaking of the 1980s, Pee Wee’s Big Comeback (NYT). 3. “The black-white income gap was cut by about a third between 1992 and 2000…”  Link here. Show More Summary

6th Circuit Rejects Challenge to Ohio Law Keeping Partisan Information of Judicial Candidates Off Ballot

Opinion: Ohio elects its state judges through a hybrid process. Judicial candidates are first selected through partisan primary elections. On the general-election ballot, however, their names show no partisan affiliation, even though judicial candidates may affiliate with political parties throughout … Continue reading ?

Celebrating All Things Dinosaur

Dinosaurs – End of Topic “Wow”! For the Reception class at St Lawrence CE Primary, today was a special “dinosaur day”, as to help draw their term topic to a close, a visit from Everything Dinosaur had been arranged.  The eager explorers and budding young palaeontologists have been studying dinosaurs and fossils since the beginning of the […]

double contractions

In the last post, I looked at of instead of have after modal verbs--as in should of gone and might of known--in contrast to the more standard spelling of the contraction 've: should've gone, might've known. As we saw there, the of spelling was more prevalent in British online writing than American. Show More Summary

Here’s a list of smart women political scientists. They know stuff, too.

Women Also Know Stuff. Does that sound obvious? It’s not, alas. We’re a group of political scientists who started that website when, as we consumed media reports on politics, we noted a gaping absence of … well, women. Take, for example, a recent Vox post titled “We asked 6 political scientists if Bernie Sanders would […]

Objective Values, External Reasons, and the Implications of their Non-Existence

As I go through my studies on J.L. Mackies “Ethics”, I am trying to keep each post its own independent entity. I do not want to write posts where readers are required to go through 20 previous posts to understand what was written. So,...Show More Summary

What Fantastic News!

This is an amazing day for humanity! Notice I said humanity, not science, not physics - humanity. The LIGO experiment has announced the discovery of a direct detection of gravitational waves (actual ripples in spacetime itself!!), opening a whole new window with which to see and understand the universe. Show More Summary

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers

The nanowires, with diameters as small as 200 nanometers (billionths of a meter) and a blend of materials that has also proven effective in next-generation solar cell designs, were shown to produce very bright, stable laser light. Researchers...Show More Summary

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