14 November, 2013 – Episode 439 – This Week in Science


New Flus, There Is Nothing Left To Fear But… Bacteria, Brains For Bots, Bee Business, Sea Slug Sex-capades, Fruit-Loving Crocs, Don’t Call It Junk, Big Brother Brain, Fungal Dangers, And Much More…

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This Week in Science… coming up next

Flu Update!
H6N1, a flu strain spreading in chickens is found in its first human victim. But, researchers are making headway on vaccines for other, more concerning flu strains.

Antibiotic Resistance Update
Is it the End?
People argue that antibiotics are over and done, and that we don’t have anything to replace them.

Bacteria Follow Power
Lab experiment finds no end to possible evolution of bacteria.

Healthy Resistors
Healthy kids have bacteria with antibiotic resistance genes.

Some Good News
Scientists develop antibiotic that gets bacteria to digest themselves, and find a way to clear up persistent infections.

Blair’s Animal Corner
Who doesn’t like to get stabbed during sex?
Not quite your average traumatic insemination in sea slugs – they make you want to be a bed bug…

Crocodiles may love fruit salad
It turns out that crocodiles may have been playing us all for chumps and eating fruit this whole time. Joke’s on us – they just wanted our fruit baskets!

Queen Bees are disturbingly honest
Queen bees give distinct clues as to how much action she’s gotten, and the males prefer her to be well-vetted.

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Not So Junk DNA
Cancer Junk
Researchers at the UK Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute concluded that repeated mutations in stable sections of otherwise “junk” DNA are related to cancer.

What Makes You Human?
Gladstone Institute researchers combined gene sequencing, bioinformatics, and animal models to predict and confirm sequences of noncoding, rapidly mutating DNA, called HARs, that function differently during early embryonic development in humans versus chimps. Their results indicate that these sequences act to enhance certain coding portions of the DNA, and in doing so are probably essential to differentiating our species from other apes.

And, Other Things…
Parkinson’s From Fungus?
Mushroom alcohol, known to cause movement disorders in insects, led to gene-related malfunctions in dopaminergic neurons.

Bad Brainstems in SIDS Babies
Neurochemical abnormalities found in babies who died from SIDS.

Little Red Riding Hood Gets A Phylogeny
Scientific methodology applied to folklore tells us about the origins of Little Red Riding Hood.

Music For Lifelong Hearing
Make your kids take music lessons.

Single photon not destroyed
I would love to really understand this. Superpositioned rubidium atom sees, and does not see photons of light allowing physicists to create uninvolved observer for quantum experiments.

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