Fear of dystopian change should not blind us to the potential of gene editing | Kenan Malik
If we had given in to such hysteria over IVF, Louise Brown would never have been born‘Designer babies on horizon”, ran the headlines. Last week, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, an independent body advising on policy,published a report on genome editing and human reproduction.New scientific techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9 – molecular “scissors” that allow scientists to snip the genome at specific points – have transformed genetics in recent years and raised questions about what is practically possible and ethically acceptable. Despite the lurid headlines, they are not ushering in a new...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 21, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Kenan Malik Tags: Genetics Biology Science IVF Health Fertility problems Society Source Type: news

Don ’t fear the rise of designer babies, gene editing is about curing disease | Kenan Malik
If we had given in to such hysteria over IVF, Louise Brown would never have been born‘Designer babies on horizon”, ran the headlines. Last week, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, an independent body advising on policy,published a report on genome editing and human reproduction.New scientific techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9 – molecular “scissors” that allow scientists to snip the genome at specific points – have transformed genetics in recent years and raised questions about what is practically possible and ethically acceptable. Despite the lurid headlines, they are not ushering in a new...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 21, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Kenan Malik Tags: Genetics Biology Science IVF Health Fertility problems Society Source Type: news

Weekly Postings
See something of interest? Please share our postings with colleagues in your institutions! Spotlight The MAReport: Check out the Spring 2018 issue of the MAReport newsletter! This quarter, Academic Coordinator Elaina Vitale talked about using evidence-based resources to improve citations on Wikipedia, and her experience with NNLM’s first virtual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. National Network of Libraries of Medicine News Dementia and Alzheimer’s Services @ Your Library – Midwest Matters, from GMR The next round of PubMed for Librarians begins August 29. Register for any (or all) of the PML classes to learn ...
Source: NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region Blog - July 20, 2018 Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Hannah Sinemus Tags: Weekly Postings Source Type: news

Counting crows: Vancouver college maps thousands of attacks
Tool launched in response to dive-bombing birds documents 2,500 attacks since 2016It was a crow fiercely protecting its nest – and repeated complaints of it dive-bombing and swooping – that prompted the idea.“Just about every day someone would come in and say: ‘I got smacked in the back of the head,’ or ‘Mary got smacked in the back of the head,’” said Jim O’Leary, a teacher at Langara College in Vancouver, Canada.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ashifa Kassam in Toronto Tags: Canada Birds Animals Wildlife Animal behaviour Science Biology Environment Americas World news Source Type: news

New findings on intercellular communication
(Universit é libre de Bruxelles) This is a nice example of a rather unexpected discovery: by studying the development of the blood vessels of the brain, researchers at Universit é libre de Bruxelles have just shed light on a question that was pending for 10 years! They provide a molecular mechanism conferring ligand specificity to Wnt signaling, an ancestral communication pathway present in all vertebrates. Their research is published in Science. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Mother-child communication in plants
(University of Freiburg) Researchers decipher how plants steer the development of their embryos using hormones. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The need for speed: Why malaria parasites are faster than human immune cells
(Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)) Elementary cytoskeleton protein is different in parasites and represents a starting point for a possible new therapy against malaria infections. Researchers from the Heidelberg University Hospital, the Centre for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg (ZMBH), and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have published these findings in the journal " PLOS Biology " . (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists identify most pressing issues posed by chemicals in the environment
(University of York) Chemicals released into the environment by human activity are resulting in biodiversity loss; increased natural hazards; threats to food, water and energy security; negative impacts on human health and degradation of environmental quality.Now, an international study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry involving scientists from the University of York has identified the 22 most important research questions that need to be answered to fill the most pressing knowledge gaps over the next decade. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Weird new fruits could hit aisles soon thanks to gene-editing
Supermarkets stocked with peach-flavoured strawberries and seedless tomatoes on horizon, scientists saySmooth or hairy, pungent or tasteless, deep-hued or bright: new versions of old fruits could be hitting the produce aisles as plant experts embrace cutting-edge technology, scientists say.While researchers have previously produced plants with specific traits through traditional breeding techniques, experts say new technologies such as thegene-editing tool Crispr-Cas9 could be used to bring about changes far more rapidly and efficiently.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Food science Genetics Agriculture Farming Environment Biology GM Source Type: news

NLM Technical Bulletin, Jul-Aug 2018, NCBI Minute Webinar: Five Teaching Examples Using NCBI BLAST on July 25, 2018
On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) staff will present a set of teaching examples that use BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) and related alignment tools to explore modern biology concepts and techniques. These examples can be incorporated easily into undergraduate biology courses. (Source: NLM Technical Bulletin)
Source: NLM Technical Bulletin - July 19, 2018 Category: Databases & Libraries Source Type: news

Single-molecule magnetic tweezers reveal dual function of FACT in gene regulation
(Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters) Professors LI Wei and LI Ming from the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently improved the temporal and spatial resolution of their self-developed magnetic tweezers. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Oregon researchers say sea pickles are adapting to the Pacific Northwest
(University of Oregon) Tubular colonial jellies known as pyrosomes that arrived in 2014 along North America's Pacific Northwest Coast appear to be adapting to cooler water and may become permanent residents. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

A social tool for evaluating the environmental impact of residential buildings
(University of Seville) for the first time, an open-source computing tool can, simply and intuitively, calculate the CO2 emissions in each phase of a building project, in order to obtain a global picture of its carbon footprint from its conception and to help decide every variable in the construction process. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The influence of plant photosynthetic indices on the effectiveness of PRI use
(Lobachevsky University) In the framework of the actively developing practice of " precision farming " , Lobachevsky University researchers are working to develop and introduce methods for spatially heterogeneous treatment of plants that minimize costs and improve the ecological quality of the crops, due to the less intensive use of chemical compounds. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Why do I have so many kitchen gadgets? (video)
(American Chemical Society) Bulky kitchen gadgets like slow cookers and pressure cookers take up a lot of space. Many people might wonder if owning so many glorified pots is worthwhile. In this video, Reactions explains how slow cookers, pressure cookers and immersion circulators work, and the chemistry of how they cook your food: https://youtu.be/5cc5fWOjIxk. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Origami-inspired device enables easy capture, release of delicate underwater organisms
(University of Rhode Island) A new device developed by a University of Rhode Island engineer and researchers at Harvard University safely traps delicate sea creatures inside a folding polyhedral enclosure and lets them go without harm using a novel, origami-inspired design. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The tale of mRNA mixed tail
This study could bring new insights to our understanding of gene regulation in healthy and diseased states. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New particles are formed also in the polluted air of major cities
(University of Helsinki) Researchers from the University of Helsinki's Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) have discovered a mechanism that leads to atmospheric new particle formation in megacities. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Taking the lead toward witchweed control
(King Abdullah University of Science& Technology (KAUST)) A compound that binds to and inhibits a crucial receptor protein offers a new route for controlling a parasitic plant. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Determining the bioaccumulation of 9 metals in aquatic invertebrates in mining areas
(University of the Basque Country) A study conducted by the UPV/EHU's Animal Ecotoxicity and Biodiversity Group in collaboration with the University of Vigo has proposed an ecological threshold concentration of 9 metals for 10 taxa of aquatic macroinvertebrates from clean sites in the Nal ó n river basin (Asturias). This is the first step towards incorporating into river management plans quality criteria relating to the bioaccumulation of hazardous substances, as required by the EU. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Oil biodegradation inhibited in deep-sea sediments
(Penn State) Degradation rates of oil were slower in the dark and cold waters of the depths of the Gulf of Mexico than at surface conditions, according to an international team of geoscientists trying to understand where the oil went during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Learning from 'Little Monsters'
(University of California - Santa Barbara) By studying deep and shallow water zones of streams and their resident invertebrates, researcher reveals mysteries of fresh water life. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
(Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY) A paper published today in Nature Communications explains how researchers at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York have uncovered the role of a protein known as 'PRMT5' in the production of myelin and, ultimately, proper development and function of the Central Nervous System. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Exploring cytoskeletal diversity in neurons
(Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - July 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Tas, R. P., Kapitein, L. C. Tags: Cell Biology perspective Source Type: news

Mechanistic insights into kidney cancer
(Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - July 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ray, L. B. Tags: Cell Biology, Medicine, Diseases twis Source Type: news

A CRISPR screen for RBC regulators
(Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - July 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Kelly, P. N. Tags: Medicine, Diseases, Molecular Biology twis Source Type: news

VHL substrate transcription factor ZHX2 as an oncogenic driver in clear cell renal cell carcinoma
Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) E3 ubiquitin ligase protein is a hallmark of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Identifying how pathways affected by VHL loss contribute to ccRCC remains challenging. We used a genome-wide in vitro expression strategy to identify proteins that bind VHL when hydroxylated. Zinc fingers and homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2) was found as a VHL target, and its hydroxylation allowed VHL to regulate its protein stability. Tumor cells from ccRCC patients with VHL loss-of-function mutations usually had increased abundance and nuclear localization of ZHX2. Functionally, depletion of ZHX2 inhibited...
Source: ScienceNOW - July 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Zhang, J., Wu, T., Simon, J., Takada, M., Saito, R., Fan, C., Liu, X.-D., Jonasch, E., Xie, L., Chen, X., Yao, X., Teh, B. T., Tan, P., Zheng, X., Li, M., Lawrence, C., Fan, J., Geng, J., Liu, X., Hu, L., Wang, J., Liao, C., Hong, K., Zurlo, G., Parker, J Tags: Cell Biology, Medicine, Diseases reports Source Type: news

Domain-focused CRISPR screen identifies HRI as a fetal hemoglobin regulator in human erythroid cells
Increasing fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels in adult red blood cells provides clinical benefit to patients with sickle cell disease and some forms of β-thalassemia. To identify potentially druggable HbF regulators in adult human erythroid cells, we employed a protein kinase domain–focused CRISPR-Cas9–based genetic screen with a newly optimized single-guide RNA scaffold. The screen uncovered the heme-regulated inhibitor HRI (also known as EIF2AK1), an erythroid-specific kinase that controls protein translation, as an HbF repressor. HRI depletion markedly increased HbF production in a specific manner and reduce...
Source: ScienceNOW - July 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Grevet, J. D., Lan, X., Hamagami, N., Edwards, C. R., Sankaranarayanan, L., Ji, X., Bhardwaj, S. K., Face, C. J., Posocco, D. F., Abdulmalik, O., Keller, C. A., Giardine, B., Sidoli, S., Garcia, B. A., Chou, S. T., Liebhaber, S. A., Hardison, R. C., Shi, Tags: Medicine, Diseases, Molecular Biology reports Source Type: news

Can AI stop ALS, Parkinson's? This startup has 32 million new reasons to try
DFJ, a WuXi AppTech venture fund and others are sold on the startup's work at the intersection of biology, chemistry and computer science. (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines - July 18, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Ron Leuty Source Type: news

Medical News Today: Olfactory receptors 'do more than smell'
Human olfactory receptors are everywhere in the body — not just in the nose — and may prove useful in healthcare and medicine once we know more about them. (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)
Source: Health News from Medical News Today - July 18, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Biology / Biochemistry Source Type: news

Why Do Younger Colorectal Cancer Patients Have Better Outcomes Despite More Aggressive Disease?
Canadian Cancer Trials Group investigators say it's unclear if disease biology is different in younger patients or older ones are more likely to undergo CRC screening. (Source: CancerNetwork)
Source: CancerNetwork - July 18, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Authors: Leah Lawrence Source Type: news

Researchers Print Microelectrodes on Gummy Candies for New Medical Applications
Though they are best known as a popular candy, gummy bears have found a different use as a transport for microelectrodes with increased biocompatibility, thanks to researchers from the Technical University of Munich. A team there, collaborating with researchers at Germany’s Forschungszentrum Jülich Institute, has successfully used inkjet printing to attach microelectrode arrays to soft substrates including the gummy candies. This approach makes it easier than ever to use this technology in medical or biological applications, researchers said. “Usually, microelectrode arrays are fabricated with optical...
Source: MDDI - July 18, 2018 Category: Medical Devices Tags: Design News Source Type: news

Sanofi and REVOLUTION Medicines launch global partnership to develop potential first-in-class targeted treatments for multiple cancers
Sanofi and REVOLUTION Medicines, Inc. today announced an exclusive worldwide partnership to develop and commercialize targeted therapies, based on the biology of the cellular enzyme SHP2, for patients with non-small lung cancer and other types of cancer carrying certain mutations. This collaboration builds on precision oncology discoveries by REVOLUTION Medicines and preclinical development of RMC-4630, (Source: World Pharma News)
Source: World Pharma News - July 18, 2018 Category: Pharmaceuticals Tags: Featured Sanofi Business and Industry Source Type: news

The real palaeo diet: the nutritional value of dinosaur food
Experiments on modern plants show that the nutrients which dinosaurs could get from plants varied with carbon dioxide levelsOur fascination with giant sauropod dinosaurs such as Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus stems from their colossal size. How could something 30 metres long, weighing 50 tonnes, function as a land animal? And how could something that big gain enough nutrition from plants?We have little evidence for the diet of everyone ’s favourite giant herbivores. Reports of fossilised stomach and gut contents have been contested, and coprolites (fossilised dung) are difficult to assign to their produce...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Susannah Lydon Tags: Dinosaurs Science Fossils Biology Evolution Source Type: news

Glowing bacteria on deep-sea fish shed light on evolution, 'third type' of symbiosis
(Cornell University) For the first time, scientists have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of bacteria that live in anglerfish bulbs. The bacteria were taken from fish specimens collected in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Origami-inspired device helps marine biologists study aliens
(The City University of New York) Scientists have tried to find the safest and most effective ways to explore marine life in the oceanic water, the largest and least explored environment on Earth, for years. Each time, they were faced with the same challenge: How to capture delicate or gelatinous pelagic animals -- like jellyfish, squid, and octopuses -- without harming them? An origami-inspired device may change that. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
(National Science Foundation) The availability of water from underground aquifers is vital to the basic needs of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.In recent decades, however, the over-pumping of groundwater, combined with drought, has caused some aquifers to permanently lose their essential storage capacity. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Lake bed reveals details about ancient Earth
(Rice University) Sulfate samples from an ancient lake bed yield new clues about the 'Boring Billion' years in Earth history between 'oxygenation events' that allowed life as we know it. A Rice University postdoctoral researcher's tests revealed the oxygen anomaly that gave researchers a glimpse into conditions 1.4 billion years ago. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

In the ocean's twilight zone, tiny organisms may have giant effect on Earth's carbon cycle
(Florida State University) In a new study that challenges scientists' presuppositions about the carbon cycle, researchers find that tiny organisms may be playing in outside role in the way carbon is circulated throughout the ocean. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cities as study proxies for climate change
(North Carolina State University) Cities can serve as useful proxies to study and predict the effects of climate change, according to a North Carolina State University research review that tracks urbanization's effects on plant and insect species. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Solar thermal energy will help China cut costs of climate action
(SolarPACES) A new study investigates the best combination of renewables for providing the lowest cost to power system operators in two of China's provinces best suited to scale up renewable energy. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Otago-led research cites faulty science and ethics in DNA analyzes of 'Ata'
(University of Otago) University of Otago-led international collaborative research calls into question the ethics and skeletal and genomic analysis surrounding research into the much publicised alien-like 'Atacama mummy'. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Lateral gene transfer enables chemical protection of beetles against antagonistic fungi
(Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz) An international team of researchers has discovered that bacteria associated to Lagria villosa beetles can produce an antifungal substance very similar to one found in tunicates living in the marine environment. The researchers revealed that this commonality is likely explained by the transfer of genes between unrelated microorganisms. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

'Nowcasting' beach water quality
(American Chemical Society) Arriving at your favorite beach only to discover it's closed because of bacterial contamination can be a bummer. But even worse would be unknowingly swimming in waters polluted with fecal material -- a very real possibility, given that current detection methods can require up to 24 hours to obtain results. Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Environmental Science& Technology have identified computer models that provide accurate short-term forecasts, or 'nowcasts,' of beach water quality. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Oxford University Press to publish two journals of the American Ornithological Society
(Oxford University Press USA) The American Ornithological Society and Oxford University Press are pleased to announce their new partnership to publish The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications, the society's two peer-reviewed, top-ranked, Journal Citation Reports indexed journals. The Auk and The Condor will serve as OUP's flagship titles in ornithology. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Neurons can carry more than one signal at a time
(Duke University) New research from Duke University shows that neurons in the brain can carry two signals at once, using a strategy similar to multiplexing in telecommunications. The results may explain how the brain processes complex information from the world around us, and may also provide insight into some of our perceptual and cognitive limitations. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Research identifies new breast cancer therapeutic target
(Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center) Research led by Suresh Alahari, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has shown for the first time that a tiny piece of RNA deregulates energy metabolism, an emerging hallmark of cancer. The finding identifies a new target for therapeutic intervention in breast cancer. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - July 18, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Proteomics studies on the basic biology of Alzheimer's, cancer and listeriosis
(American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Recent articles in the journal Molecular& Cellular Proteomics investigate metabolic quirks of cancer cells, the effects of inhibiting the enzyme that generates amyloid beta, and the mechanism by which a bacterial toxin kills host cells. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - July 18, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Quick soil test aims to determine nitrogen need
(American Society of Agronomy) One of the essential nutrients for vigorous crop production is nitrogen. Yet most routine tests done in commercial soil testing labs do not measure available nitrogen in the soil. Soil scientists at The Ohio State University and Cornell University think they have found a solution. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Study finds high health burdens of very high risk drinking
(Wiley) In an Addiction Biology study, the estimated prevalence of very high risk drinking level (VHRDL, defined as drinking>100 g of ethanol per day) in 13 European Union countries was 0.74-0.85 percent, with a risk of disease or injury of 13.5 per 100 people with VHRDL per year. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - July 18, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news