Get Your Hands Off My Genes! – How the decision to not patent human genes moves us closer to genetic empowerment.
Call Me Migaloo: The Story Behind Real-Life White Whales – White whales, such as the recently spotted humpback nicknamed Migaloo, are rare and elusive creatures. How many are there and why are they white?
The Gorgeous Shapes of Sea Butterflies – Cornelia Kavanagh’s sculptures magnify tiny sea butterflies—ocean acidification’s unlikely mascots—hundreds of times
Top Ten Stories About Sharks Since the Last Shark Week – Shark tourism, cannibalistic shark embryos, wetsuits designed to camouflage from sharks and more.
Glass Sponges Move In As Antarctic Ice Shelves Melt – Typically slow-growing glass sponge communities are popping up quickly now that disappearing shelf ice has changed ocean conditions around Antarctica.
Amazing Sea Butterflies Are the Ocean’s Canary in the Coal Mine – These delicate and stunning creatures are offering Smithsonian scientists a warning sign for the world’s waters turning more acidic
14 Fun Facts About Penguins – Which penguin swims the fastest? Do penguins have teeth? Why do penguins sneeze? How is penguin poop useful?
Microbes Buried Deep in Ocean Crust May Form World’s Largest Ecosystem – Far below the ocean floor, scientists have discovered a microbial community away from undersea vents, beyond the reach of the sun
Photos of Starfish Up Close: What Are You Looking At? - A stunning look at starfish reveal beautiful patterns–but what exactly are those wormy structures, bald patches, and spiky maces?
Drill, Baby, Drill: Sponges Bore Into Shells Twice as Fast in Acidic Seawater - In acidic water, drilling sponges damage scallops twice as quickly, worsening the effects of ocean acidification.
The Ten Best Ocean Stories of 2012 – From deep-sea squid habits to vanishing coral reefs, here are the ocean stories we couldn’t stop talking about this year.
When Attacked, Corals Send Out Chemical Signals to Recruit Bodyguard Fish – New science reveals that, when threatened by toxic seaweed, corals send out chemical signals to small goby fish that remove the coral-choking greenery
The Scariest Monsters of the Deep Sea – We took the spook-tacular celebration to the depths of the ocean, where some of the craziest—and scariest—looking creatures lurk in the dark.
14 Fun Facts About Hagfish - In honor of Hagfish Day, learn about the seemingly-disgusting creatures’ gill-clogging slime and ability to digest dead carcasses through their skin
Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal
Searching for the Ocean Acidification Signal – Answering how ocean acidification will affect marine ecosystems and organisms is easier said than done.
The Great Hermit Crab Migration – Where are the stampeding hermit crabs going, and why?
Happy 50th Birthday, FLIP – a Mobile Research Island – The unique research done on a unique research vessel that flips from a horizontal ship to a vertical buoy.
Ray Bradbury and the Sea - While he’s best known for his short stories about space exploration and strange aliens, Ray Bradbury also considered the unexplored realms of our own planet: the ocean.
Dancing for the Ocean – A dance production about the ocean explores the science and conservation of the world’s ocean.
Reef Sharks Repelled by People – The mere presence of humans drives sharks away from coral reefs.
The Oil Spill, Two Years Later – After two years, has the Gulf of Mexico recovered from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? (Accompanying slideshow)
SmartPlanet (CBS interactive) Highlights
All SmartPlanet Blog posts
Still-warm sewage to heat Philadelphia buildings
Solar power goes 3-D
The brain’s background noise
Can we collect too much data?
Future aluminum recycling hampered by impurities
New York City roof initiative cools the urban heat island
IBM scientists squish a bit of data into just 12 atoms
Virtual patients: from the classroom to the doctor’s office
Nature Medicine – Print articles and selected blog posts
All Spoonful of Medicine blog posts
New NIH genetics center focuses its lens on exome, despite doubts
EU court gets tough on patent extensions for combo products
Drugs in traffic: the road to approval
Four-in-one HIV pill may be exception among combination drugs
Institutes unite to put New York on the biopharma map
Class of once-weekly diabetes drugs poised for approval
Patent-sharing scheme for neglected diseases may have catch
Common autism pathway opens the door for new drug treatments (blog)
Graphic design in pharma ads traces the history of healthcare (blog)
Antimalarial armament remains strong, despite lingering concerns over drug resistance (blog)
Autism, Authenticated (PDF)
Straight talk with… Steve Brown
Malaria vaccine cuts risk in half in late-stage trial
MS pipeline flowing, but niche remains for neuroprotection
Better animal models needed for malaria vaccine development, experts say (blog)
NIH student training overhauled after HHMI pulls funding
New fee structure proposed by FDA might lead to more talk
Rick Perry isn’t the only one getting pharmaceutical donations (blog)
Straight talk with…Alexander von Gabain
Combination products neglected by FDA device evaluation
Cheap drugs pulled despite wealth gap in middle-income countries
Adverse effects from vaccination are rare, but children with weak immune systems need more attention, says IOM report (blog)
FDA rushes approval of first mutation-specific melanoma drug (blog)
Billionaire and activist investor Carl Icahn pulls out of Biogen Idec (blog)
More patients without a psychiatric diagnosis receiving antidepressants (blog)
Nutrients in rivers might be overlooked cause of cholera outbreaks in coastal areas (blog)
US switch to first-to-file patents could cause minor shake-up
Politicians get tough in wake of fatal pharmacy thefts
Abuse-resistant painkillers get mixed FDA response
Exploratory grant scheme abandoned after failing to meet its goals
Proposed regulation on mobile apps reevaluates the definition of a medical device (blog)
Media reports of new hypertension study should be taken with a grain of salt (blog)
Twin study of autism rekindles nature-versus-nurture debate (blog)
New $10 million X Prize launched for tricorder-style medical device
FDA approval signals more ‘homework’ on the horizon in trials
Supreme Court decision on patent for HIV test unlikely to set major precedent
Tools to study the effects of multiple sclerosis on the mind don’t measure up (blog)
Child-size should mean bigger when it comes to flu vaccine, study suggests (blog)
Putting the small in small biotech (blog)
Assaying autism (15:44)
New TB vaccine (16:34)
Cinematic science (00:58)
Patently true (16:44)
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Modernizing Vaccine Production – Biotech companies are developing new ways to produce vaccines more quickly in case of a viral outbreak.
From Bones to Brains - With the help of a mother, one researcher uncovered a common link between autism and a devastating bone disease.
Tracing the Ephemeral - A novel reporter system can track the ever-changing levels of the plant signal auxin with great precision.
Interfering with Resistance - A drug screen identifies genes that contribute to drug resistance in Trypanosoma brucei, the single-cell protozoan that causes the tropical disease sleeping sickness.
Growing Human Eggs – Germline stem cells discovered in human ovaries can be cultured into fresh eggs.
From Squeaks to Song – House mice sing melodies out of the range of human hearing, and the crooning is impacting research from evolutionary biology to neuroscience.
The Science of Van Gogh – The Dutch artist’s sunflower paintings have attracted the attention of doctors and geneticists.
The Best of Both Worlds – Choosing to work in industry does not preclude a return to academe. But the move back takes some planning and finesse.
Emmeline Hill: Genes for Speed – Geneticist Emmeline Hill is unraveling the genes that give Thoroughbred racehorses their speedy gait.
Collecting Cancer Data – Two new cancer cell line databases bursting with genomic and drug profiling data may help researchers identify drug targets.
A Gamete Matchmaker – Chemical cues dispersed by mussel eggs may attract sperm that are their perfect match.
Immune Role in Brain Disorder? – Replacing immune cells in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, a developmental brain disorder, improved symptoms, suggesting a new target for treatment.
Next Generation: A Molecular Camera – Knocking electrons out of atomic orbit with a laser allows researchers to take femtosecond-scale “movies” of molecules in motion.
Misconduct Hearing Granted – A cancer researcher charged with scientific misconduct in 2011 may have the right to present his defense—a rare occurrence under current regulations.
Exercise Alters Epigenetics – Exercise causes short-term changes in DNA methylation and gene expression in muscle tissue that may have implications for type 2 diabetes.
Self-cloning Coral - Coral embryos broken apart by waves can continue developing into adult clones. (Accompanying slideshow)
The Joint Collector – Forget stamps: one bioengineer amasses broken artificial joints to learn why they failed and how to build better ones.
How to Make Eyeball Stew – Growing early eyeballs from stem cells required perfecting the recipe for their liquid environment.
Coffee Pest Gene Transfer – An insect that plagues coffee plants likely got its bean-digesting gene from a bacterium.
Bird Flu Prevalence Underestimated – Pooled data from H5N1 bird flu studies suggests that the World Health Organization may be underestimating infection and overestimating fatality.
Fasting Heightens Chemotherapy Benefits – Starvation paired with cancer drugs slowed or stopped unchecked cell growth in yeast and mouse models of cancer, outpacing or matching the isolated effects of chemo.
Behavior Brief - A roundup of recent studies in behavior research, including spider cannibalism, mimic octopus-mimicking fish, and worm-eating plants.
Double the Mutations – Irradiated sperm of young male mice induce mutations in eggs upon fertilization, a phenomenon that may pose risks for the children of cancer survivors.
The Breast Implant Risk – Breast implants leaking contaminated silicone are causing a fuss in Europe, but all breast implants carry risks.
Eye Trials Give Hope for Stem Cells – Preliminary data from human embryonic stem cell trials for two degenerative eye disorders are promising, but challenges remain for more complex tissues.
Semen Protein Boosts HIV Transmission – Researchers identify a protein in semen that enhances the transmission of HIV in culture, but whether it increases infectivity in humans is not yet known.
Brain Evolution at a Distance – Gene expression controlled from afar may have spurred the spurt in brain evolution that led to modern humans.
An Eye for Stem Cells – Japanese researchers are launching an iPS cell trial for an untreatable eye disease, challenging ongoing embryonic stem cell trials.
A New Model of Yeast Aging – New findings challenge long-held views about the mechanism yeast cells use to live forever.
Battle of the Sexes – Traits that help one sex but hurt the other are not sufficient for maintaining genetic variation.
Ernst Haeckel’s Pedigree of Man, 1874 – Ernst Haeckel’s most famous evolutionary tree places humans at the top, falling prey to the contemporary notion that humans are evolution’s pinnacle.
An Unlichenly Pair – A young botanist pays tribute to his mentor by naming a newly discovered, rare species in his honor.
The First X-ray, 1895 – The discovery of a new and mysterious form of radiation in the late 19th century led to a revolution in medical imaging.
The Axis of Aging – Two molecular signs of aging–shortened telomeres and mitochondrial dysfunction–are finally linked to a common mechanism.
A Joint Endeavor – A discovery of adult stem cells in knee joints.
Andrew Carter: Dynein Trailblazer – The man behind the structure of dynein, a massive motor protein.
Compact Model T - A nonhistone protein complex keep unrelated T cells in check when the immune system is under attack.
Hangover Headache – Severe hangover headaches in people suffering from migraines are caused by acetate, which can be blocked by caffeine.
Simplifying Teaching – How to make your teaching more efficient, effective, and enjoyable without slighting your lab projects
Flies alter lice evolution – When bird-dwelling lice hitchhike on pigeon flies to spread to new host species, it can change the course of their evolution
Thwarting leukemia drug resistance – Researchers identify a pathway that allows leukemia to evade a common cancer treatment — and develop a way to block it
Neglect shortens kid telomeres – Young kids that spend more time in institutional care have shorter telomeres than those raised in foster care
Vaccine primes T-cells for SIV – A new vaccine that uses a persistent virus vector controlled SIV in 50 percent of tested monkeys
Behavior brief – A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research, including killer whale hunting tactics, orangutan fishing, and urban bird adaptation.
Genome digest – Meet the species whose DNA has recently been sequenced, including a broccoli-killing fungus, an algal bloomer, and a disease-causing pork parasite.
Best Places to Work Industry, 2011 – By forging new relationships and finding novel uses for existing technologies, this year’s top companies are employing creative ways to advance their science.
Drugs boost antibiotic function – Combining antibiotics with bioactive drug compounds can improve antibacterial activity, breathing new life into antibiotics weakened by growing bacterial resistance
The dark matter of disease – Scientists are beginning to unravel how non-coding DNA works across long distances of the genome to influence disease (Formatted version)
Chimeras on the rise - Researchers observe sea anemone embryos fuse to form chimeric organisms, adding to evidence that chimerism may occur commonly in nature (Formatted version)
Beauty in botany – An art exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden highlights our modern reliance on plants and the need to conserve them (Formatted version)
Q&A: Medicinal microbiota – Two microbiologists speculate about the possibilities for developing therapeutics that affect human microbial communities (Formatted version)
Overcoming resistance – Altering microbial enzymes can lead to more powerful drugs that are effective against bacteria resistant to traditional antibiotics
Chasing Haeckel – A documentary centered on Ernst Haeckel’s drawings of radiolarians sets the unity of art and science in motion
Cavefish lose sleep – Cave-dwelling fish sleep less than their open-water relatives, challenging the idea that variation in sleep patterns is driven by cognition and brain function
Salamander cells harbor algae – For the first time, scientists identify algae living inside the cells of a vertebrate, but what are they doing there?
Viral Hijackers – How the virus that causes dengue fever hijacks the cells self-destruction machinery to its own ends.
Truly Phenome-nal – A new database compiles the characteristics of E. coli strains to help researchers assign functions to genes.
Evolution outside the lab – Bacteria and their parasitic phages evolve just as quickly in a natural soil community as they do in a test tube, but other selective pressures can influence the changes
Q&A: From the lab to the clinic - A reevaluation of research goals in government-funded science is needed to achieve better healthcare for US citizens, according to one science policy researcher
Volcanic origin of proteins? – The reanalysis of a 1958 experiment suggests that volcanic eruptions may have spawned the amino acids that contributed to the rise of life on earth