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Medicine

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Diet, fetal brain development, Genetics, Nutrition, Primate Research, Pregnancy

Dietary Restriction Early in Prenancy Has Negative Impact on Fetal Brain Development

A research team that includes scientists from the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) reported today that inadequate nutrition during early pregnancy impairs fetal brain development. The researchers found decreased formation of cell-to-cell connections, cell division and amounts of growth factors in the fetuses of mothers fed a reduced diet during the first half of pregnancy, in baboons located at SFBR’s Southwest National Primate Research Center.

Medicine

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Cardiology, Kidney, DNA, genes

Kidney Gene Implicated in Increased Heart Failure Risk

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Scientists have identified the first DNA sequence variant common in the population that is not only associated with an increased risk of heart failure, but appears to play a role in causing it. The variant, a change in a single letter of the DNA sequence, impairs channels that control kidney function.

Science

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mRNA, RNA, Messenger Rna, Genetics, Gene, Gene Expression, Cell Biology

In Scientific First, Researchers Visualize Naturally-Occurring mRNA

In a technique that could eventually shed light on how gene expression influences human disease, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have for the first time ever successfully visualized single molecules of naturally-occurring messenger RNA (mRNA) transcribed in living mammalian cells. The scientific achievement is detailed in the January 16 online edition of Nature Methods. Gene expression involves transcribing a gene’s DNA into molecules of mRNA. These molecules then migrate from a cell’s nucleus into the cytoplasm, where they serve as blueprints for protein construction.

Medicine

Science

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Biology, Chemisry, Physics, Materials Science, Health & Medicine

“A Stark Warning:” Smoking Causes Genetic Damage within Minutes After Inhaling

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In research described as “a stark warning” to those tempted to start smoking, scientists are reporting that cigarette smoke begins to cause genetic damage within minutes — not years — after inhalation into the lungs. Their report, the first human study to detail the way certain substances in tobacco cause DNA damage linked to cancer, appears in ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.

Science

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Attention Ladies and Gentlemen: Courtship Affects Gene Expression

Scientists from Texas have made an important step toward understanding human mating behavior by showing that certain genes become activated in fruit flies when they interact with the opposite sex. This research shows that courtship behaviors may be more influenced by genetics than previously thought. Understanding why and how these genes become activated may also lead to insight into disorders such as autism.

Science

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Technique Allows Researchers to Identify Key Maize Genes for Increased Yield

Scientists have identified the genes related to leaf angle in corn (maize) – a key trait for planting crops closer together, which has led to an eight-fold increase in yield since the early 1900s.

Science

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In Vitro Fertilization, IVF, Genetic Test, Genetic Testing, Fertility, Infertility

First Genetic Test for Predicting IVF Success

A researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has helped to develop the first genetic blood test for predicting the chances that in vitro fertilization (IVF) will lead to a successful pregnancy. The test, reported in the online medical journal PLoS One, is based on the finding that different subtypes of the FMR1 gene (also known as the fragile X mental retardation gene) in potential mothers are associated with significantly different chances of conceiving with IVF.

Science

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Evolution, Developmental Biology, Marine Biology, Embryology, Genetics

Hard-To-Find Fish Reveals Shared Developmental Toolbox of Evolution

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A SCUBA expedition in Australia and New Zealand to find the rare embryos of an unusual shark cousin enabled American and British researchers to confirm new developmental similarities between fish and mammals. The study confirms that organisms separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution share similar genetic programs for body formation.

Science

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Strawberries, Genome, Genetics, Dna Sequencing

First Strawberry Genome Sequence Promises Better Berries

An international team of researchers have completed the first DNA sequence of any strawberry plant, giving breeders much-needed tools to create tastier, healthier strawberries. UNH’s Tom Davis was a significant contributor to the genome sequence of the woodland strawberry, which was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Psychology, Twin Study, Cognitive Development, University Of Texas At Austin, Elliot Tucker-Drob

Being Poor Can Suppress Children’s Genetic Potentials

Growing up poor can suppress a child’s genetic potential to excel cognitively even before the age of 2. Half of the gains that wealthier children show between 10 months and 2 years of age can be attributed to their genes. But children from poorer families show almost no improvements that are driven by their genetic makeup.







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