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New tool for efficiently validating the accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9 reactions

February 5, 2016 9:38 am | by Institute for Basic Science | Comments

Researchers presented a tool they've dubbed multiplex Digenome-seq (digested genome sequencing), which can map out genome-wide specificities of several CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases simultaneously to find both intentional and unwanted indels quickly and cheaply.

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Water Ice Hills Hitch Rides on Pluto's Nitrogen Ice Glaciers

February 5, 2016 9:26 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

NASA announced that Pluto’s nitrogen ice glaciers appear to be ferrying some interesting passengers: isolated water ice mounds, which the agency believes may stem from the dwarf planet’s uplands.

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The iron stepping stones to better wearable tech without semiconductors

February 5, 2016 9:25 am | by Michigan Technological University | Comments

The road to more versatile wearable technology is dotted with iron. Specifically, quantum dots of iron arranged on boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs).

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Glass Expert Digs into Secrets of Historic Venetian Process

February 4, 2016 2:41 pm | by Chris Carola, Associated Press | Comments

A modern-day glassblower believes he has unraveled the mysteries of Renaissance-era Venetian glassmaking, a trade whose secrets were so closely guarded that anyone who divulged them faced the prospect of death.

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Yahoo to Cut Thousands of Jobs

February 4, 2016 1:24 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

The internet company revealed it would cut an estimated 1,600 jobs by the end of this year while exploring “strategic alternatives" as a potential sale.

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New Material Lights Up When Detecting Explosives

February 4, 2016 1:20 pm | by Univ. of Southern Denmark | Comments

Scientists have created a material which turns fluorescent if there are molecules from explosives in the vicinity. The discovery could improve e.g. airport security - and also it gives us an insight into a rather chaotic micro-world where molecules and atoms constantly are responding to their surroundings.

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Biden's Cancer Moonshot to Cost $1B Over Two Years

February 4, 2016 12:14 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be the primary recipient of the funding to foster more medical research.

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Butterfly-Like Insect Fluttered Around During Mesozoic Era

February 4, 2016 12:08 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Superficially, Kalligrammatid lacewings (Oregramma illecebrosa) resembled the modern-day butterfly. As they flitted about the Eurasian environment, they sucked up sugary pollen droplets with their proboscises. But these insects are separated from modern butterflies by some 50 million years.

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This is a pastel painting of a new species, Xenoturbella profunda, found by researchers in a hydrothermal vent in the Gulf of California. Courtesy of John Meszaros

Four New Deep-Sea Worm Species Described

February 4, 2016 9:47 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Found idling near deep-sea hypothermal vents and whale carcasses, the creatures look more like elongated and deflated hot water balloons than worms. For decades, scientists sought to understand the genus Xenoturbella. A single species found off the coast of Sweden in 1950 started the scientific journey. With one body opening — a mouth — and no brain, gills, eyes, kidneys, or anus, the creatures appear primordial.

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Hypothetical children born via MRT would have three parents, with their nuclear DNA stemming from one male and one female, and the mitochondrial DNA from another woman.

Panel Recommends FDA Should Approve Three-Person Embryos

February 4, 2016 8:56 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has recommended the FDA consider clinically investigating viability of mitochondrial replacement techniques, which attempt to transfer DNA from healthy human eggs to diseased embryos. In other words, hypothetical children born via this therapy would have three parents, with their nuclear DNA stemming from one male and one female, and the mitochondrial DNA from another woman.

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Studies by two independent groups from the U.S. and the Netherlands indicate that the observed excess of gamma rays from the inner galaxy likely comes from a new source rather than from dark matter. The best candidates are rapidly rotating neutron stars,

Galactic center's gamma rays unlikely to originate from dark matter

February 3, 2016 4:36 pm | by Princeton University | Comments

Bursts of gamma rays from the center of our galaxy are not likely to be signals of dark matter, but rather other astrophysical phenomena, such as fast-rotating stars called millisecond pulsars, according to two new studies, one from a team based at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and another based in the Netherlands.

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Jack Chakhalian (left) and Srimanta Middey are part of a team that created an artificial material with a structure comparable to graphene.

Physicists create artificial graphene

February 3, 2016 4:23 pm | by University of Arkansas | Comments

An international group of physicists led by the University of Arkansas has created an artificial material with a structure comparable to graphene. “We’ve basically created the first artificial graphene-like structure with transition metal atoms in place of carbon atoms,” said Jak Chakhalian. “This discovery gives us the ability to create graphene-like structures for many other elements,” said Srimanta Middey.

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Illustrations of two compounds made from phosphorus atoms (orange) and hydrogen atoms (white). Such compounds are potential superconductors, and may form when phosphine is squeezed under extremely high pressures, according to University at Buffalo chemist

Phosphine as a superconductor? Sure, but the story may be complicated

February 3, 2016 4:17 pm | by Charlotte Hsu, University at Buffalo | Comments

Phosphine is one of the newest materials to be named a superconductor, a material through which electricity can flow with zero resistance. In 2015, scientists reported that they had liquefied the chemical and squeezed it under high pressure in a diamond vise to achieve superconductivity. Now, a different group of researchers is providing insight into what may have happened to the phosphine as it underwent this intense compression.

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Common antacid tablets, chopped down into nanoparticle size, stopped growth in a cancer tumor.

Novel nanoparticle may help keep tumor growth at bay

February 3, 2016 4:11 pm | by Beth Miller, Washington University | Comments

Engineers found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets. They used two novel methods to create nanoparticles from calcium carbonate that were injected intravenously into a mouse model to treat solid tumors. The compound changed the pH of the tumor environment, from acidic to more alkaline, and kept the cancer from growing.

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A novel mechanism for controlling the energy transfer could, ultimately, help convert waste heat back into electricity, for example to improve the overall efficiency of solar cells.

Helping turn waste heat into electricity

February 3, 2016 4:04 pm | by Springer | Comments

At the atomic level, bismuth displays a number of quirky physical phenomena. A new study reveals a novel mechanism for controlling the energy transfer between electrons and the bismuth crystal lattice. Mastering this effect could, ultimately, help convert waste heat back into electricity, for example to improve the overall efficiency of solar cells.

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