research

CRISPR-Cas9 modifies your DNA, under legal fire

CRISPR-Cas9 modifies your DNA, under legal fire

A revolutionary method of editing the human genome has this week become the subject of a patent war. Back in April of 2014, patents were awarded by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to the Broad Institutes’ Dr. Feng Zhang, MIT, and Harvard to develop the technology behind "CRISPR-Cas9". This April, the UC Board of Regents’ legal team spoke with the USPTO about reconsidering their action, suggesting they award the patent to the inventor of the original method, UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna. One way or another, this radical DNA modifier must be made.

We need X-Men, after all.

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Astronomers discover rare quasar quartet in close proximity

Astronomers discover rare quasar quartet in close proximity

Finding a single quasar in space is something rare in astronomy and scientists say that quasars are usually separated by hundreds of millions of light years. That isn't the case with a recently discovered quartet of quasars that are in close proximity to each other. The quasars are indicated in the image by the arrows and scientists say that the blue haze is a nebula made of cool and dense gas that the quasars are inside.

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Quick blood test can triage radiation exposure victims, saving lives

Quick blood test can triage radiation exposure victims, saving lives

In the rare, but serious, cases of a radiation leak like the Fukushima nuclear plant's meltdown, first responders are tasked with sending radiation victims to triage based on their level of exposure. A new genetics-based blood test could be a faster, more accurate way to assess how individual victims will respond to radiation. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and New York City's Montefiore Medical Center have created a method of identifying long-term damage from radiation, immediately. Their technique involved looking beyond blood cell counts and delving into blood-bound genes.

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Moonfish found to be first warm-blooded fish

Moonfish found to be first warm-blooded fish

The moonfish, also known as the opah, is the first known warm-blooded fish, it has been announced. This rather voluptuous fish warms its blood using a flapping motion with its pectoral fins, and maintains that heat it generates with "a series of counter-current heat exchangers within its gills". The fish is found in deep sea waters around west Africa and Hawaii, and can grow to be several feet in size. As far as researchers know, this is the first fish of its kind.

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What has an attention span shorter than a goldfish? You, says Microsoft

What has an attention span shorter than a goldfish? You, says Microsoft

Do you ever find yourself starting to read something, but only a paragraph or two into it you have to stop and pop open a new tab, pull out your smartphone for a quick browse, or any other number of distractions? Then it’s right back to whatever you were doing originally, only you’re constantly interrupting yourself with a seemingly endless litany of things, none of which are terribly productive? If that sounds like you, it’s probably because you have an attention span shorter than a goldfish. At least according to Microsoft.

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Bee aware: “unheard of” honey bee death rates in action

Bee aware: “unheard of” honey bee death rates in action

For the first time ever, summer losses of Honey Bee populations in the United States have outweighed the winter. While the Winter Season loss of Honey Bee populations has done down compared to last year, annual losses are up, in the second-largest loss of population in five years and one of the biggest losses in recorded Bee Keeping history. Why does this matter to you? Because approximately 1 out of every 3 mouthfuls of food you digest benefits directly or indirectly from honey bee pollination.

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Hydrographic printing adds detailed paint jobs to 3D-printed objects

Hydrographic printing adds detailed paint jobs to 3D-printed objects

3D printing allows for creating unique and complex objects, but detailed, mechanical painting of such a diverse range of shapes has proven difficult. Water-transfer printing has been used for everything from car dashboards to press-on nails, but the technique falls short when trying to combine "complex shapes" with more detailed paintings. Previously, it was unpredictable how the paid would distort around complex shapes. A new technique for water-transfer printing has been created by a team of researchers from Zheijiang University in China. From knick knacks to 3D-printed leopards and tiger masks, detailed painting of complex objects can now be achieved through water transfers.

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Uncharted shipwreck discovered during MH370 search

Uncharted shipwreck discovered during MH370 search

A previously unknown shipwreck was discovered by searchers during a search for the missing flight MH370. The shipwreck is said to be in the southern Indian Ocean, and it involves a 19th century cargo ship. Which cargo ship isn't known, since it wasn't uncommon for them to sink during the voyage -- whether this one will end up being identified is unknown at this point, but researchers have taken a greater look at the shipwreck since its discovery. Pics after the jump!

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LHC observes Rare Particle Decay: here’s why this is super important

LHC observes Rare Particle Decay: here’s why this is super important

CMS and LHCb collaborations describe the first observation in a lab of the very rare decay B0s particle into two muon particles. Why should this matter to you, you might be asking? Why should this science have any effect on your lifestyle? It really won't - but it will affect the way we continue to unfurl the never-ending scroll of knowledge that is science and physics in our universe. Our very understanding of the nature of the Universe, the start of our existence, and the Standard Model of our universe of particles - all of this is at stake.

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NASA probe take first photo of Pluto’s 5 moons

NASA probe take first photo of Pluto’s 5 moons

Pluto may not have full planet status anymore, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a moon or two… or five. And for the first time, NASA has managed to capture the dwarf planet and all five of those moons in a single photo. The image was taken by the New Horizons spacecraft and its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera. The spacecraft is scheduled for a flyby of Pluto on July 14th, and took a series of pictures from April 25th through May 1st, resulting in the historic photo.

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