SynBio B***********: Genetic recoding. Also, measles goes to Disneyland

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  An early triumph for the infant synthetic biology? Do you suppose Science‘s Breakthrough (Arrrrgh!) of the Year for 2015 has already arrived? In January, no less? Via two papers in Nature? Which venue, I suppose, might take it out … Continue reading »

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Surveying the Genomic Landscape of Modern Mammals

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A study published today in Cell  compares regulatory DNA sequences among 20 species of modern mammals, showcasing how mammalian genomes have found new uses for ancient genes. The evolution of mammals has been ongoing for about 180 million years, with a … Continue reading »

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Researchers Changing the Way We Respond to Epidemics with Wikipedia and Twitter

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“A global disease-forecasting system will change the way we respond to epidemics.”  Dr. Sara Del Valle, Los Alamos National Laboratory The media and broad scientific community have taken note of a fast-growing segment of research known as digital epidemiology. Examples: A … Continue reading »

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Introducing the Research Resource Identification Initiative at PLOS Biology & PLOS Genetics

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Reproducibility is one of the holy grails of effective, open biomedical literature. But too often resources (e.g. model organisms, software, antibodies) are not reported with sufficient detail to ensure others can replicate or expand upon the results. Today sees PLOS … Continue reading »

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Biomarker Porn: From Bad Science to Press Release to Praise by NIMH Director

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Concluding installment of NIMH biomarker porn: Depression, daughters, and telomeres Pioneer HPA-axis researcher Barnard “Bernie” Carroll’s comment left no doubt about what he thought of the Molecular Psychiatry article I discussed in my last issue of Mind the Brain: Where … Continue reading »

Category: biomarkers, HPA Axis, hype, maternal depression, mental health care, stress | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

When you lose weight, where does the fat ACTUALLY go?

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The answer to this question may surprise you. In fact, according to a recent British Medical Journal article discussing this issue, few health professionals, including doctors, dieticians, and personal trainers know the correct answer. First, let’s back up for a … Continue reading »

Category: news, Obesity Research, Peer Reviewed Research | Leave a comment

How a Tree Helped a Village with Ebola Control

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Upon her return from 6 weeks in west Africa working with Partners In Health on the Liberia Ebola response, Farrah Kashfipour reflects on the challenges of responding to an epidemic in a resource-limited setting. The Ebola epidemic continues to ravage west Africa, … Continue reading »

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This week in PLOS Biology

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In this bumper week for PLOS Biology, you can read about bat navigation, transmission of longevity, new neurons for old brains, how yeast anticipate change, a serious downside of illegal drug laws, and how to prioritise conservation efforts.   Why … Continue reading »

Category: Biology, Climate, Debate, Environment, Evolution, Neuroscience, PLoS Biology, Policy, research | Leave a comment

Fossilized Footprints Lead Scientists Down a Prehistoric Path

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Whether tromping alone or running in a pack, all prehistoric creatures got around somehow. Paleontologists can use fossilized bones to learn more about what dinosaurs ate, what they looked like, and even how they might have moved, but bones are … Continue reading »

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Why Measles Isn’t Just An Anti-Vaxxer Problem

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I have a little metaphor I use with my kid. When he asks why we get shots at the doctor, I remind him of all the super powers he has. One day he got super powers against whooping cough and … Continue reading »

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