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Sorry Fitness Buffs: Genes, Not Lifestyle, Control Longevity

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Conversation, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes | News | Comments

Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, remains the oldest person on record. One might assume that she led a faultless, healthy lifestyle. Not at all. Instead, scientists have discovered that longevity is prevalent in certain families and the focus is now on discovering the genes— or the DNA instructions— that favor a long, healthy life.

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Simulation Picks Better Materials for Batteries

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Researchers have devised a new simulation technique that reliably predicts the structure and behavior of different materials, in order to accelerate the development of next-generation batteries for a wide range of applications.

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J Marks the Spot for ESA's Comet Landing

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Rosetta’s lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites.

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Blood-cleansing Biospleen Developed to Treat Sepsis

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | News | Comments

Things can go downhill fast when a patient has sepsis, a life-threatening condition in which bacteria or fungi multiply in a patient's blood— often too fast for antibiotics to help. A new device inspired by the human spleen may radically transform the way doctors treat sepsis.

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Schizophrenia is Actually 8 Genetic Disorders

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis | News | Comments

New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness.

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Kids Poisoned by Anti-addiction Med

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lindsey Tanner | News | Comments

An anti-addiction drug used to fight the nation's heroin and painkiller abuse epidemics poses a threat to young children who accidentally swallow relatives' prescriptions, a federal study says. Some children have died.

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Gilead Licenses Generic Version of Drug for Developing World

September 15, 2014 8:07 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Gilead Sciences says it has reached a deal with several generic drugmakers to produce cheaper versions of its popular, expensive hepatitis C drug Sovaldi for use in developing countries.

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Asian Monsoon Much Older than Believed

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, reports an international research team. Scientists had thought the climate pattern known as the Asian monsoon began 22 to 25 million years ago as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains.

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Wrinkles in Rock May Be Signs of Early Life

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Videos | Comments

Researchers have identified a mechanism by which wrinkles may have formed in ancient rocks. Based on this mechanism, they posit that such fossilized features may be a vestige of microbial presence— in other words, where there are wrinkles, there must have been life.

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Climate Change Formula Isn’t Universal

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by ETH Zurich | News | Comments

Based on models and observations, climate scientists have devised a simplified formula to describe one of the consequences of climate change: regions already marked by droughts will continue to dry out in the future climate. Regions that already have a moist climate will experience additional rainfall. However, this formula is less universally valid than previously assumed.

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Study Finds Why Batteries Go Bad

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought– and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated.

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To Treat Muscular Dystrophy Repair Muscles, Not Genetic Defect

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle diseases characterized by skeletal muscle wasting and weakness. Mutations in certain proteins, most commonly the protein dystrophin, cause muscular dystrophy in humans. Now, a potential way to treat muscular dystrophy directly targets muscle repair instead of the underlying genetic defect that usually leads to the disease.

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Ancient Animal Uses Familiar Tools to Build an Odd Head

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Stowers Institute for Medical Research | News | Comments

New sea lamprey studies have shown remarkably conserved gene expression patterns in jawless versus jawed vertebrates. The finding means that the genetic program used by jawed vertebrates— including us— was up and running ages before a vertebrate ever possessed a recognizable face.

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Smithsonian Tracking Original Star-spangled Banner

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Brett Zongker | News | Comments

Parts of the flag that inspired America’s national anthem were snipped off and handed out as mementos. The Smithsonian has been reacquiring some of those fragments and adding to their collection, verifying them through high-tech methods.

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Scientists Finally Solve Circadian Clock Puzzle

September 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of North Carolina School of Medicine | News | Comments

Sixteen years after scientists found the genes that control the circadian clock in all cells, researchers have discovered the mechanisms responsible for keeping the clock in sync. The find has implications for the development of drugs for various diseases such as cancers and diabetes, as well as conditions such as metabolic syndrome, insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, obesity and even jetlag.

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