SciNews July 27, 2015

Earth’s Space Cousin,  genomics, lead and roses.  No, these aren’t the bands playing at a music festival.   These are the eclectic science news stories in this edition of SciNews.  SciNews is published every Monday. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s  from 123rfBiology

Toronto startup aims to shake up genome sequencing market. Globe and Mail

A University of Toronto computer scientist known for combining artificial intelligence with big data genomics is launching a company that could create a roadmap for DNA-based therapy.

The company, called Deep Genomics, is set to launch on Wednesday. It will be wading in to the growing market for diagnostics and personalized medicine based on whole genome squencing. Read more…


Research teams duel over Native American origins. Science News

A previously hidden genetic link between native peoples in Australia and the Amazon has inspired two different teams of researchers to reach competing conclusions about the origins of Native Americans.

One team analyzing modern genetic data finds evidence that at least two ancestral populations gave rise to Native Americans. Another team, analyzing DNA from present-day and ancient Americans, reports that Native Americans came from a single ancestral population. Read more…



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To protect kids, get the lead out!. Science News for Students

Lead is a toxic heavy metal. That’s why, about 40 years ago, U.S. companies were ordered to stop adding lead to paints and gasoline. Unfortunately, plenty of this toxic metal still pollutes the environment. Worse, it also is poisoning hundreds of thousands of American children. Now a study shows the steep price these kids can pay. Even a little bit of lead can seriously harm their performance on school tests. Read more…


Secret to rose scent surprises scientists. Science News for Students

Stopping to smell the roses might be a letdown — and now researchers know why.

The sweet-smelling flowers create their scent using a surprising tool. It’s an enzyme — a hardworking molecule — that was thought to help clean up DNA. This enzyme is missing in many roses. And that seems to explain why their blooms also lack a sweet floral aroma. The new finding could help scientists solve the thorny problem of why some rose varieties bred for dazzling color and long-lasting blooms have lost their scent. Read more…



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Beyond Graphene, a Zoo of New 2-D Materials Are Being Created. Discover

Nine years ago, Joshua Robinson was approached by his then-advisor with news of a discovery that would end up transforming his career, and much of materials science. “I saw this crazy talk about 2-D graphite,” he recalls his adviser saying. Read more…


DNA damage seen in patients undergoing CT scanning, study finds. Science Daily

Using new laboratory technology, scientists have shown that cellular damage is detectable in patients after CT scanning. In this study, researchers examined the effects on human cells of low-dose radiation from a wide range of cardiac and vascular CT scans. These imaging procedures are commonly used for a number of reasons, including management of patients suspected of having obstructive coronary artery disease, and for those with aortic stenosis, in preparation of transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Read more…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Earth-like planet discovered by Kepler telescope is the best bet for possible life. Globe and Mail.

Scientists have identified a “close cousin” to Earth that’s orbiting a sun-like star and might harbour life.

“It is the closest thing that we have to another place that somebody else might call home,” said Jon Jenkins from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. The researchers announced their discovery Thursday based on observations from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. Read more…




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