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Latest and Breaking Biology News

More than two dozen articles provide insights on mummies
(Wiley) In a special issue, The Anatomical Record ventures into the world of human mummified remains. In 26 articles, the anatomy of mummies is exquisitely detailed through cutting edge examination, while they are put in historical, archeological, and cultural context. Investigators even take on the thorny issue of ethics as it applies to human remains in general and to the specific case of mummy research.

'Measuring stick' standard for gene sequencing now available from NIST
(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) The world's first reference material to help ensure laboratories accurately 'map' DNA for genetic testing, medical diagnoses and future customized drug therapies is now available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Beyond average
(Harvard Medical School) Two separate research teams have developed high-throughput techniques to quickly, easily and inexpensively give every individual cell in a sample a unique genetic barcode.

Agricultural fires in Angola, West Africa
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image which detected dozens of fires burning in southwestern Africa on May 21, 2015.

Lowly 'new girl' chimps form stronger female bonds
(Duke University) Low-ranking 'new girl' chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with similar status, finds a new study. The results are based on 38 years' worth of daily records for 53 adult females in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, where Jane Goodall first started studying chimpanzees in the 1960s. The researchers are still working out whether the low-ranking pairs are true buddies, friends of convenience, or merely acquaintances.

New model predicts fish population response to dams, other ecological factors
(NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center) Researchers have developed a model to assess how dams affect the viability of sea-run fish species that need to pass dams as they use both fresh and marine waters during their lifetimes. NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office have partnered on this project to test how varying passage efficiency at dams related to survival rates for these species, using a model of endangered Atlantic salmon as a case study.

EARTH: Flames fan lasting fallout from Chernobyl
(American Geosciences Institute) In the years following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, forest fires billowed plumes of contaminated smoke, carrying radioactive particles throughout Europe on the wind. Now, researchers fear that a shift to a hotter, drier climate in Eastern Europe could increase the frequency of these fires.

Douglas study on neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb
(Douglas Mental Health University Institute) A new study published by the team of Naguib Mechawar, Ph.D., a researcher at the Douglas Institute, suggests that the integration of new neurons in the adult brain is a phenomenon more generally compromised in the brains of depressed patients.

For pollock surveys in Alaska, things are looking up
(NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service) Scientists from NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center have turned their view of the nation's largest fishery upside down with upward-facing sonar systems that are mounted to the seafloor and monitor the passage of fish above. They just completed their first experimental deployment of the new system, and the data, though upside down, looked great. In the future, these systems might augment traditional, ship-based acoustic surveys.

TGen-Baylor precision medicine collaboration will increase options for cancer patients
(The Translational Genomics Research Institute) The Translational Genomics Research Institute and Baylor Research Institute at Dallas today announce an agreement that will focus on accelerating early detection and treatments for patients with a broad range of cancers. Aligning the best science of both institutions will lead to new clinical trials and access to technology to drive the development of new therapies -- bridging the gap from bench to bedside across Baylor Scott & White Health's 49 hospitals throughout Texas.

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