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Science News Archive - July 27, 2009

High-throughput sequencing has turned biologists into voracious genome readers, enabling them to scan millions of DNA letters, or bases, per hour.

Fossil coral data and temperature records derived from ice-core measurements have been used to place better constraints on future sea level rise, and to test sea level projections.

Washington used a flawed study to select a tornado-prone area of Kansas for a $700 million infectious-pathogens biosecurity lab, a government report says. The Department of Homeland Security's analysis was not scientifically defensible in concluding Kansas or any other U.S.

Washington used a flawed study to select a tornado-prone area of Kansas for a $700 million infectious-pathogens biosecurity lab, a government report says. The Department of Homeland Security's analysis was not scientifically defensible in concluding Kansas or any other U.S.

Dr. Amber Teacher, studying a post-doctorate at Royal Holloway, University of London, has discovered evidence that a disease may be causing a behavioral change in frogs.

While most studies of bacterial infection are done after the death of the infected organism, this system developed by scientists at the University of Bath and University of Exeter is the first to follow the progress of infection in real-time with living organisms.

Hackers exploiting a newfound flaw in Adobe Flash video player and Acrobat Reader can steal data and take money from bank accounts, online security experts say. Adobe Systems Inc., the San Jose, Calif., maker of the video player and tool for opening PDF documents, is scrambling to develop an emergency patch by Friday, the company says. Even if it solves the problem and sends out a security patch, the problem may persist because some users may defer installing the updates, Web and computer security experts fear. As a result, we may see a broad-scale explosion of attacks, Purewire Inc.

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A newspaper reported Monday that genetically modified crops are being grown in Britain for the first time since a year ago when controversial trials were resumed without alerting the public.

Unilever intends to remove all artificial trans fats from all its soft-spread margarine brands, the Dutch consumer giant said Monday. The move, affecting well-known brands such as I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Shedd's Spread Country Crock, will begin next month and end by 2010's second quarter, the company said. The change signals how serious the marketing and technology battle about trans fats in foods has become, said USA Today, which first reported Unilever's plans. Shoppers increasingly demand that foods they buy -- from baked goods to snacks to margarine -- no longer carry artery-clogging trans fats that can lead to heart disease by raising bad cholesterol levels and lowering good cholesterol levels. I call this the death knell for trans fats, New York University nutrition Professor Marion Nestle told the newspaper. Michael Jacobson, director of advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, which pushed for trans fat abolition, told the newspaper the elimination

A sperm and egg donor shortage in Britain means a ban on paying people to donate should be repealed, the head of the government's fertility watchdog says. Paying donors could cut the number of childless couples traveling abroad for treatment, Lisa Jardine, chairwoman of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, told The Times of London. The agency regulates and inspects all British clinics providing in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and the storage of human ova, sperm or embryos. The removal of donor anonymity in 2005 and strict rules against payments have provoked a crisis in fertility treatment, forcing couples to wait years for the therapy required to start a family, The Times said. A recent study showed that access to eggs and sperm was the main reason why hundreds of British couples became fertility tourists each month. Jardine's recommendation raises concerns about a market in human tissue and exploitation of women, The Times said.

Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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