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Physiological Tweak to Rice Plants Cuts Greenhouse-Gas Emissions | MIT Technology Review

Physiological Tweak to Rice Plants Cuts Greenhouse-Gas Emissions | MIT Technology Review | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Rice plants try this one weird trick to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and increase yield.
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30 never-before-seen species of flies discovered in Los Angeles

30 never-before-seen species of flies discovered in Los Angeles | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Scientists have found 30 never-before-seen species of flies buzzing about in the city of Los Angeles.
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Canadian company's genetically modified apples win US approval

Canadian company's genetically modified apples win US approval | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Twin varieties have been designed to resist browning but organic advocates say selling the fruit amounts to a ‘big experiment on humans’
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Human DNA Shows Traces of 40 Million-Year Battle For Survival Between Primate and Pathogen

Human DNA Shows Traces of 40 Million-Year Battle For Survival Between Primate and Pathogen | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
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“Dead Hearts” Successfully Transplanted For The First Time - Science & Health

“Dead Hearts” Successfully Transplanted For The First Time  - Science & Health | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Hearts that had been dead for over 20 minutes have successfully been transplanted into two Australian patients, thanks to a new method
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Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself

Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
A study of primate genomes reveals an ongoing battle to control "jumping genes," driving the evolution of greater genomic complexity
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MorgansLists.com: 7 Biologically Immortal Organisms - The Faces of Immortality

7 Biologically Immortal Organisms - The Faces of Immortality
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Water And Sunlight The Formula For Sustainable Fuel - Science News - redOrbit

Water And Sunlight The Formula For Sustainable Fuel - Science News - redOrbit | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
An ANU team has successfully replicated one of the crucial steps in photosynthesis, opening the way for biological systems powered by sunlight which could manufacture hydrogen as a fuel.
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Meet the electric life forms that live on pure energy - life - 16 July 2014 - New Scientist

Meet the electric life forms that live on pure energy - life - 16 July 2014 - New Scientist | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
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Tibetans inherited high-altitude gene from ancient human

Tibetans inherited high-altitude gene from ancient human | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Scientists find modern people got a genetic boost from a close relative
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Gliese 832c: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered 16 Light-Years Away | Astronomy | Sci-News.com

Gliese 832c: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered 16 Light-Years Away | Astronomy | Sci-News.com | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Astronomers discovered a super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone of Gliese 832 (GJ 832), a red-dwarf star previously known to host a Jupiter-like planet.
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One unvaccinated child was patient zero of a measles epidemic

One unvaccinated child was patient zero of a measles epidemic | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Despite what you think is happening when you read antivaccination blogs, most people in the developed world vaccinate their children. And in the relatively undeveloped world, they are demanding ...
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Antibiotic Resistance Is Now Rife across the Entire Globe

Antibiotic Resistance Is Now Rife across the Entire Globe | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
A first-ever World Health Organization assessment of the growing problem calls for rapid changes to avoid the misery and deaths of a potential "post-antibiotic era"
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Canada’s Food Guide is broken – and no one wants to fix it

Canada’s Food Guide is broken – and no one wants to fix it | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
An overhyped focus on nutrients may steer Canadians away from healthy whole-food consumption patterns, and play into food industry hands
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Why Am I Neanderthal?

Why Am I Neanderthal? | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
When our ancestors first migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, they were not alone. At that time, at least two other species of hominid cousins walked the Eurasian landmass—Neanderthals and Denisovans. As our modern human ancestors migrated through …
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Controversial DNA startup wants to let customers create creatures

Controversial DNA startup wants to let customers create creatures | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
In Austen Heinz’s vision of the future, customers tinker with the genetic codes of plants and animals and even design new creatures on a computer. In a makeshift laboratory in San Francisco, his synthetic biology company uses lasers to create custom DNA for major pharmaceutical companies. With the latest technology and generous funding, a growing number of startups are taking science and medicine to the edge of science fiction. In the works or on the market are color-changing flowers, cow-free milk, animal-free meat, tests that detect diseases from one drop of blood and pills that tell doctors whether you have taken your medicine. [...] few founders are pushing the technical and ethical boundaries of science as far as Heinz, who told the Wall Street Journal, “I can’t believe that after 10 or 20 years people will not design their children digitally.” Venture capitalist Timothy Draper, another investor, praises Heinz as an “exceptional leader with a unique passion for his business.” Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, a bioethics watchdog group in Berkeley, sums up Heinz’s belief that “every problem can be solved by engineering” as as a kind of “techno-libertarianism.” “We have to take seriously people like Austen Heinz who say they want to modify future generations of human beings and upgrade the human species,” she said. Scientists modify the DNA of living organisms for many reasons: to make plants resistant to herbicides and pests, for example, or to make research animals mimic human conditions and diseases. DNA is made up of four chemicals represented by the letters A, C, T and G. When Cambrian receives an order for specific genes, it adds DNA chemicals millions of times onto tiny beads that are then layered onto a glass slide. The next step is the key one: A laser programmed to analyze the color combinations ignores the erroneous strands and “prints” the correct ones by pushing them apart from the rest. The final product arrives on a small plastic plate as a powder that customers put inside the cells of an organism. In that case, he said, Cambrian might first ship the plates to an independent facility where experts would put the DNA inside cells, film and analyze it, and make sure that it is safe before releasing it. Because Cambrian wants to keep government interference to an absolute minimum, its CEO insists that behaving well is in the company’s best interest. The Food and Drug Administration oversees gene therapies for humans, and another agency has indicated it will not approve proposals to change parents’ sperm and eggs with the goal of passing genetic changes to their offspring. [...] Darnovsky, the bioethicist, said that it’s less clear what rules would apply to Heinz, who isn’t proposing to design modified humans himself, but to someday provide the DNA to a third-party designer. “A decent percentage of people have really nasty mutations that cause really bad, horrible things,” like Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis, he said. In 2008, he moved to South Korea for a doctoral program in electrical engineering and computer science, where he built the DNA laser printer used today. Next year, the company wants to open a pilot version of the service to academics at a steep discount: $50 for 20 distinct 500-letter strands of DNA.
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U.S. gene patents: Patient care stymied in Canada, hospital claims

U.S. gene patents: Patient care stymied in Canada, hospital claims | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
An Ottawa hospital is challenging the legality of gene patents that hamper the ability of doctors to freely screen for potentially deadly genetic diseases without fear of being sued for patent violations.
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How Many Moons Does Earth Have? One More, Now. Kinda.

How Many Moons Does Earth Have? One More, Now. Kinda. | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Quick: How many moons does the Earth have? You might be forgiven for saying “one,” but it turns out the question isn’t all that easy to answer … because it depends on what you mean by “moon.” Of course, we have one moon, the one we call the Moon. It...
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Do gut bacteria rule our minds?

Do gut bacteria rule our minds? | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway our food choices.
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Study shows how epigenetic memory is passed across generations

Study shows how epigenetic memory is passed across generations | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Researchers traced markers of gene repression and showed that both sperm and eggs transmit a memory of gene repression to embryos.
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Canadian Insurance Companies Can Legally Practice 'Genetic Discrimination'

Canadian Insurance Companies Can Legally Practice 'Genetic Discrimination' | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
They're allowed to peek at your genetic sequence and charge you extra for bad genes.
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Size of the human genome reduced to 19,000 genes

Size of the human genome reduced to 19,000 genes | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
A new study updates the number of human genes to 19,000; 1,700 fewer than the genes in the most recent annotation, and well below the initial estimations of 100,000 genes. The work concludes that almost all of these genes have ancestors prior to the appearance of primates 50 million years ago.
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New way to regrow human corneas

New way to regrow human corneas | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Harvard-affiliated researchers have identified a way to enhance regrowth of human corneal tissue to restore vision, using a molecule that acts as a marker for hard-to-find limbal stem cells.
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Immunotherapy Review: The New Face Of Adaptive Cancer Therapy - Neomatica

Immunotherapy Review: The New Face Of Adaptive Cancer Therapy - Neomatica | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
The Immune Theory Of Defense Against Cancer There is a theory among scientists that the body’s immune system is on constant surveillance against cancer from the time you are born.  Throughout your life, cancer cells arise naturally from mutations.  They present unusual antigens on their surfaces via the MHC proteins which the immune system recognizes …
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Scientists create first living organism that transmits added letters in DNA 'alphabet'

Scientists create first living organism that transmits added letters in DNA 'alphabet' | Teaching Biology | Scoop.it
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA 'letters,' or bases, not found in nature. The cells of this unique bacterium can replicate the unnatural DNA bases more or less normally, for as long as the molecular ...
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