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Highly Efficient CRISPR Knock-In In Mouse

May 5, 2015 - 2:01pm

Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas system has enabled direct modification of the mouse genome in fertilized mouse eggs, leading to rapid, convenient, and efficient one-step production of knockout mice without embryonic stem cells.

In contrast to the ease of targeted gene deletion, the complementary application, called targeted gene cassette insertion or knock-in, in fertilized mouse eggs by CRISPR/Cas mediated genome editing still remains a tough challenge.


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How A Mobile DNA Sequence Finds Its Target

May 5, 2015 - 1:30pm
To understand how transposable elements, DNA sequences capable of moving independently,  shape genomes, where they are maintained over generations, it is vital to discover the mechanisms behind their targeted integration.

Researchers from the Laboratoire Pathologie et Virologie Moléculaire (CNRS/Inserm/Université Paris Diderot), Institut de biologie intégrative de la cellule and the University of Minnesota have identified an interaction between two proteins that is essential for the integration of a transposable element into a specific area of the yeast genome. The results emphasize the role of these mobile DNA sequences in the evolution and adaptation of organisms, and their potential value for gene therapy.
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Why Does Human Skin Have Such Remarkable Toughness?

May 5, 2015 - 1:00pm
Lisa Marie Potter, Inside Science -- Skin has to be flexible enough to jump, crawl, and kick with us.

It also has to be resilient enough to withstand our falls, scrapes, and cuts. Scientists have marveled at skin's strength for years without knowing why it's so durable.

Now, scientists have identified the mechanical properties that give skin its toughness. Their findings are the first to show that collagen, the most abundant protein in skin, moves to absorb stress and prevent the skin from tearing. In the future, this knowledge could help us use nature's blueprint to make better synthetic skin and improve the strength of man-made materials.
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Chipotle’s GMO Gimmick Turned Them Into The Public Face Of Science Illiteracy

May 5, 2015 - 12:30pm

Chipotle wins the science ‘foot in mouth’ award for 2015, and we are not even to summer yet. So far there are more than 40 media condemnations and counting.

The fast food chain’s “bold” move, announcing a faux ban on GMOs in its food, has blown up big time. Why faux? Because, as Chipotle well knows, its sodas, beef, pork and chicken dishes, and any food with cheese, are made with ingredients that were derived through genetic engineering.

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Marine Sponge Material Inhibits Cancer

May 5, 2015 - 12:00pm
A group of researchers analyzed a marine sponge called Halichondrin okadai  because they were curious why it inhibited the replication of organisms around it.

They found that a mesylate eribulin substance had been applied to patients with breast cancer patients in the stage of metastasis, when the disease spreads to other parts of the body, and that it inhibited tumor growth.
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Environmental Studies Courses Need More Diversity Of Thought

May 4, 2015 - 10:50pm

Even before Jacqueline Ho enrolled in her first environmental studies course at college, her thinking about climate change had been shaped during her years growing up in Singapore reading books by the environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben.

At college, ideas first planted by McKibben were reinforced in courses where she read classics by Aldo Leopold and Garrett Hardin, along with recent books by Van Jones and Elizabeth Kolbert.

With these authors anchoring her understanding, it was easy for Ho to believe about climate change “that fossil fuel corporations were to blame, that we had a suite of low-carbon technologies we could deploy immediately, and that grassroots solutions held promise,” she recalls.

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Pancreatic Cancer Risk Linked To Lack Of Sunlight

May 4, 2015 - 10:38pm

Researchers are reporting that pancreatic cancer rates are highest in countries with the least amount of sunlight, due to a combination of heavy cloud cover and high latitude. 


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Promoters, Enhancers And Connecting The Genomic Dots

May 4, 2015 - 10:03pm

Researchers have developed and used a new technique to connect the dots in the genomic puzzle. Just as dots have to be connected to visualize a full picture, the researchers connected regulatory elements called promoters and enhancers and showed their physical interactions over long distances within the mouse and human genomes.

The ability to map promoter-enhancer interactions in the human genome has huge potential in understanding the genetic basis of disease.


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Virtual Worlds, Real Stereotypes

May 4, 2015 - 7:29pm
In a study of how people interacted with avatars in World of Warcraft, women received less help from fellow players than men when they operated an unattractive avatar - even less than when they used a male avatar, according to a paper in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

This matches beliefs about how appearance stereotypes affect men and women in the real world. Some women believe they are more likely to suffer negative consequences based on their appearance than men are. 
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Medical Education And Sneetches With Stars

May 4, 2015 - 6:43pm

Proper clinical research exposure in medical school is a somewhat modern invention. Prior to changes implemented by Harvard Medical School in the 19th century, medicine was more application-focused, but gradually medical schools began to expose students to basic and clinical research. By the 20th century it was the norm that doctors would have a foundation in research and physician-scientists were their teachers.


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Triple Null: New Genetically Modified Soybean A Big Benefit For Food Allergies

May 4, 2015 - 4:30pm

A new soybean with significantly reduced levels of three key proteins responsible for both its allergenic and anti-nutritional effects has been created. Soybean is a major ingredient in many infant formulas, processed foods and livestock feed used for agriculture.


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Performance Enhancing Drugs Don't Improve Performance - And Haven't Since 1886

May 4, 2015 - 4:08pm

Perhaps Lance Armstrong needs to get his Tour de France victories back - a new study shows that winning all of those may not have been because of performance-enhancing drugs, it may have been spite of them, which would make his successes all that more amazing.


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Warm Oceans Caused The Mega-Drought And Hottest Years In The 1934-36 Dust Bowl

May 4, 2015 - 3:51pm

Two ocean hot spots have been linked to the hottest summers on record for the central United States, in 1934 and 1936. Those two summers and the "Dust Bowl" that saw farming devastated were accompanied by the worst drought in America of the last 1,000 years.

In 1934, giant dust storms and drought covered more than 75 percent of the country and affected 27 states severely. Silt from storms even covered the decks of ships 200 miles off the east coast. 


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Methyl-Adenine, A Sixth DNA Base?

May 4, 2015 - 3:15pm

In biology class you learned that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the main component of our genetic material and it is formed by combining four parts: A, C, G and T (adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine), called bases of DNA. These bases combine in thousands of possible sequences to provide the genetic variability that enables the wealth of aspects and functions of living beings.

In the early 1980s, the four "classic" bases of DNA sort of got a fifth - methyl-cytosine (mC), derived from cytosine, which was later linked to epigenetic mechanisms because it is able to switch genes on or off depending on the physiological needs of each tissue.


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How To Trick Yourself Out Of Procrastination

May 4, 2015 - 3:04pm

Scholars say they have found a way to prevent procrastination.

The trick? Think of the future as now. If you decide you will read this article tomorrow, you are already behind. 


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Minor Changes To UK Diets Could Help Reduce CO2 Emissions 20 Percent

May 4, 2015 - 2:49pm

Making a series of relatively minor and realistic changes to UK diets would reduce UK diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20 percent and extend average life expectancy by eight months, according to new model. 


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Light Pushes Matter One Million Times More On Superconducting Island

May 4, 2015 - 1:31pm
When a mirror reflects light, it experiences a slight push but it is negligible in our everyday lives. Our furniture is not moving because due to radiation pressure of light, a 100 Watt light-bulb causes a radiation pressure that is only a trillionth (one part to 1000000000000) of the normal atmospheric pressure.
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Mechanisms For Continually Producing Sperm - Just In Case

May 4, 2015 - 1:00pm

Producing sperm is necessary to procreate and but procreation only happens the first time in those birth control public awareness films. In most cases, sperm must be produced continuously, and for an extended period of time, to insure reproduction.

A new study reveals that there are differences in reactivity to retinoic acid in spermatogonial stem cells, and these differences are a key factor to the persistence of sperm production with inexhaustible stem cells. 


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The Neuroscience Reason We Fall Over When Drunk

May 4, 2015 - 12:30pm
Alcohol is used and sometimes abused by millions of people worldwide, though how it acutely changes brain function, to cause inebriation, and then chronically changes brain function, to cause dependency, remain largely unknown. 

Since dependence can destroy lives and families, the goal has been to understanding the mechanisms of it in order to to countering it. A “sobriety pill”, for example, would have immense medical, sociological and commercial potential.
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Do Video Games Make You Less Sexist? More?

May 4, 2015 - 1:05am

The latest article exploring sexism in academia suggests that it no longer exists. Some have already grumbled about flaws in the study’s design. But more than that, I simply don’t believe the finding because there is clear evidence that sexism still exists.

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