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Computers 'taught' to ID regulating gene sequences

Johns Hopkins researchers have succeeded in teaching computers how to identify commonalities in DNA sequences known to regulate gene activity, and to then use those commonalities to predict other regulatory regions throughout the genome. The tool is expected to help scientists better understand disease risk and cell development.

Posted: Nov 5th, 2012

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The first thought-controlled bionic leg

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago research participant Zac Vawter made history on Sunday, November 4, 2012, by climbing 103 floors of Chicago's Willis Tower using the first "thought-controlled bionic leg", a neural-controlled prosthetic leg driven by his own thoughts.

Posted: Nov 5th, 2012

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How bacteria talk to each other and our cells

Bacteria can talk to each other via molecules they themselves produce. The phenomenon is called quorum sensing, and is important when an infection propagates. Now, researchers at Linköping University in Sweden are showing how bacteria control processes in human cells the same way.

Posted: Nov 1st, 2012

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Plants recognise pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms

Plant roots are surrounded by thousands of bacteria and fungi living in the soil and on the root surface. To survive in this diverse environment, plants employ sophisticated detection systems to distinguish pathogenic microorganisms from beneficial microorganisms.

Posted: Nov 1st, 2012

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Global genome effort seeks genetic roots of disease

By decoding the genomes of more than 1,000 people whose homelands stretch from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas, scientists have compiled the largest and most detailed catalog yet of human genetic variation. The massive resource will help medical researchers find the genetic roots of rare and common diseases in populations worldwide.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2012

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Cellular landscaping: Predicting how, and how fast, cells will change

A research team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a model for making quantifiable predictions of how a group of cells will react and change in response to a given environment or stimulus - and how quickly. The NIST model, in principle, makes it possible to assign reliable numbers to the complex evolution of a population of cells, a critical capability for efficient biomanufacturing as well as for the safety of stem cell-based therapies, among other applications.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2012

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Genome evolution and carbon dioxide dynamics

Using the size of guard cells in fossil plants to predict how much DNA each cell contained (the genome size), researchers have discovered that variations in genome sizes over geological time correlate with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2012

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