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Latest and Breaking Biology News

Can tapioca replace corn as the main source for starch sweeteners?
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) Cassava, also known as tapioca, has large starch-filled roots and can grow at high yields in areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America where corn and sugarcane are not commonly grown. With the availability of novel enzymes and processes designed to break down tapioca starch into sugars that can then be used to produce sweeteners such as glucose, fructose, or maltose syrup, tapioca may be an ideal alternative to corn, as described in a Review article in Industrial Biotechnology.

Experts provide much-needed policy analysis for clinical integration of next generation sequencing
(Baylor College of Medicine) As genetic sequencing technologies continue to evolve rapidly, becoming part of clinical care, there is a critical need to establish appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks to address potential challenges, legal and ethical experts have said. A special policy issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics published online today and edited by experts with the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine gives policy makers the tools to jumpstart this process.

Mown grass smell sends SOS for help in resisting insect attacks, researchers say
(Texas A&M AgriLife Communications) The smell of cut grass in recent years has been identified as the plant's way of signalling distress, but new research says the aroma also summons beneficial insects to the rescue.

Reversing the effects of pulmonary fibrosis
(Yale University) Yale University researchers are studying a potential new treatment that reverses the effects of pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease in which scars develop in the lungs and severely hamper breathing.

Answer to restoring lost island biodiversity found in fossils
(University of Florida) Many native species have vanished from tropical islands because of human impact, but University of Florida scientists have discovered how fossils can be used to restore lost biodiversity.

Old drug may be key to new antibiotics
(McMaster University) An anticonvulsant drug called lamotrigine is the first chemical inhibitor of the assembly of ribosomes in bacteria.

Massachusetts General study reveals gene expression patterns in pancreatic CTCs
(Massachusetts General Hospital) Analysis of circulating tumor cells in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer identified distinct patterns of gene expression in several groups of CTCs, including significant differences from the primary tumor that may contribute to the ability to generate metastases. The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center investigators identified several different classes of pancreatic CTCs and found unexpected factors that may prove to be targets for improved treatment of the deadly tumor.

Priorities for research on pharmaceutical and personal care products in the environment
(Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) The results from a survey designed to identify and prioritize the scientific research needed to understand the risks of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment have been published in the latest issue of IEAM.

Wildfires in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Most of the fires captured in this image burn in Khabarovsk Krai, a territory occupying the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards 200 NARSAD Young Investigator grants
(Brain & Behavior Research Foundation) The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced the award of NARSAD Young Investigator Grants valued at more than $12.7 million to 200 of the world's most promising young scientists. Recipients of the $30,000+/year, two-year grants for groundbreaking neurobiological research will seek to identify causes, improve treatments and develop prevention strategies for psychiatric disorders that affect one in four people.

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