Category Archives: News & Archives

Antibiotic Resistance. Be Afraid. REALLY! Be VERY Afraid!

I just read an alarming piece on what the world will look like, possibly soon, when the efficacy of our current arsenal of antibiotics really starts to fade. There are already dozens of diseases that can resist some of the drugs we use to fight bacterial infections (antibiotics don’t work on viruses), and some can…
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Oldest Large Body of Ancient Seawater Identified Under Chesapeake Bay

USGS scientists have determined that high-salinity groundwater found more than 1,000 meters (0.6 mi.) deep under the Chesapeake Bay is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old. This is the oldest sizeable body of seawater to be identified worldwide. Twice as salty as modern seawater,…
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Origin of Species: Protein Imbalances Doom Hybrids

Why do crosses between closely related species fail to produce fertile hybrids? A new study led by Professor Axel Imhof of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich shows that differences in the levels - not necessarily the sequences - of certain key proteins are crucial in mediating reproductive isolation. Two individuals are defined as belonging to the…
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Rare New Microbe Found in Two Spacecraft Clean Rooms

A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America. Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there than in almost any other environment on Earth, but…
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Tricking Algae’s Biological Clock Boosts Production of Drugs, Biofuels

Tricking algae's biological clock to remain in its daytime setting can dramatically boost the amount of valuable compounds that these simple marine plants can produce when they are grown in constant light. That is the conclusion of a "proof of concept" experiment described in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Current Biology. The study found…
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Novel Genetic Patterns May Make Us Rethink Biology and Individuality

Professor of Genetics Scott Williams, PhD, of the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (iQBS) at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, has made two novel discoveries: first, a person can have several DNA mutations in parts of their body, with their original DNA in the rest -- resulting in several different genotypes in one individual --…
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New Challenges in the Fast Changing Landscape of Bioinformatics

The world of DNA sequencing and bioinformatics has evolved at a staggering pace. In 2009, the biggest problem for researchers was creating an efficient solution for sequencing DNA. At that time, sequencing cost of $100,000 for a single human and took 30 days of chemical processing to produce the raw sequencing output. In four years,…
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Model Virus Structure Shows Why There’s No Cure for Common Cold

In a pair of landmark studies that exploit the genetic sequencing of the “missing link” cold virus, rhinovirus C, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have constructed a three-dimensional model of the pathogen that shows why there is no cure yet for the common cold. Writing today (Oct. 28, 2013) in the journal Virology, a…
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Hitchhiking Virus Confirms Saga of Ancient Human Migration

A study of the full genetic code of a common human virus offers a dramatic confirmation of the "out-of-Africa" pattern of human migration, which had previously been documented by anthropologists and studies of the human genome. The virus under study, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), usually causes nothing more severe than cold sores around…
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Jobs for a Masters Degree in Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is a branch of biotechnology that uses computer technology and other methods to manage and analyze biological data. Those who hold a master's degree in bioinformatics typically use a combination of mathematics, statistics, computer science and biological research data to further scientific studies. One example of a large-scale bioinformatics project is the Human Genome…
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