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September 14, 2012
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  • DNA supercoils are capable of moving along strands, study says
    Sections of extra-twisted loops of DNA, called supercoils or plectonemes, are capable of moving long distances, a phenomenon that could affect the regulation of genes, according to a study in the journal Science. Researchers discovered that supercoils jump along the strands either by slowly diffusing along strands or by suddenly "hopping" from one location to another on the strand. The Scientist online (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Science in the News 
  • Researchers find broad range of exoplanets that could support life
    A broader range of alien worlds may be habitable than astronomers had thought, according to a study led by Stephen Kane from NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute at the California Institute of Technology. Kane's team examined known exoplanetary systems with a Web-based tool called Habitable Zone Gallery, which they developed to look at the systems' range of distances to the host star where the existence of liquid water is possible. They found that a great number of alien planets with highly elliptical, eccentric orbits are likely move through the habitable area from time to time. Space.com (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Repairing brain circuitry in patients with autism is possible
    At least one faulty circuit in the brain of people with autism can be rewired or repaired even if the brain's development is complete, according to a study. Researchers found that the presence of a gene called neuroligin-3 is important to normalize the function of mGluR1α, a receptor that's part of a pathway that is disrupted in a form of mental disorder that is experienced by around 25% of patients with autism. "This study holds out hope for children and even adults with developmental disorders. Maybe their conditions aren't set in stone and can be treated," said Kimberly Huber, a neuroscientist from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. ScienceMag.org/Science Now blog (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists link gene to insulin sensitivity
    Scientists studying patients with Cowden syndrome identified a gene that causes insulin sensitivity, which could lead to development of new drugs that treat insulin resistance at the cellular level. The patients with Cowden syndrome, a rare condition caused by mutations in the PTEN gene, had heightened activity in the insulin-signaling pathway but were also more likely to be overweight. The research is described in the New England Journal of Medicine. HealthDay News (9/12) , MedPage Today(free registration) (9/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Doctor: Patient cured of HIV 5 years after stem cell procedure
    Blood specialist Dr. Gero Hutter says Timothy Ray Brown can be considered cured with the passage of five years since receiving a pioneering stem cell transplant. The transplant used donor cells with a rare gene mutation that protects against HIV. Doctors in California detected signs of HIV in Brown's tissue this year, but Hutter said the traces were remnants that could not replicate or trigger a recurrence. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (9/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Modified microscope shows promise in differentiating chemical bonds
    Scientists have successfully examined the physical differences between chemical bonds in molecules composed of 60 carbon atoms each with the use of a modified atomic force microscope. Researchers, including Leo Gross of IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland, discovered that bonds that are less electron-dense actually appear longer than those that share fewer electrons. Research has showed potential applications in the field of molecular electronics. New Scientist (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers find 4 new bat species in eastern Africa
    Four new species of horseshoe bats with big and unusually shaped noses were discovered in eastern Africa. The species, called the Cohen's, Smithers', Mount Mabu, and the Mozambican horseshoe bats, use their noses to emit echolocation signals unlike most bats, which use their mouths. The four species were described in the journal PLoS ONE. LiveScience.com (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Funding Watch 
  • Budget deal spares satellites, Gulf Coast restoration initiatives
    The House of Representatives approved a stopgap spending bill with the aim of avoiding a government shutdown. The bill would let the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration boost spending on its Joint Polar Satellite System and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R initiatives despite efforts to cut spending. It would also enable the Department of Treasury to begin writing auditing and other policies for handling the restoration funds of up to $20 billion for the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. ScienceMag.org/Science Insider blog (9/13) , The Christian Science Monitor (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Grant will support research on tracking of transplanted cells
    The National Cancer Institute has awarded the Molecular Imaging Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis a five-year, $7.1 million grant in support of studies that will focus on monitoring cells and proteins linked to diseases. Researchers are working on ways to follow cells and proteins inside the body. One program is exploring the use of labeling immune cells in donors' bone marrow to allow monitoring after transplantation in studies of graft-versus-host disease. MolecularImaging.net (9/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions."
--Frank Lloyd Wright,
American architect


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