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Diagnostic Criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Providence, RI (Scicasts) — Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information about it.

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New Technique Maps Life's Effects on Our DNA

London, UK (Scicasts) — Researchers at the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Single Cell Genomics Centre, have developed a powerful new single-cell technique to help investigate how the environment affects our development and the traits we inherit from our parents.

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First Ab Initio Method for Characterizing Hot Carriers

Berkeley, CA (Scicasts) — One of the major road blocks to the design and development of new, more efficient solar cells may have been cleared. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed the first ab initio method – meaning a theoretical model free of adjustable or empirical parameters – for characterizing the properties of "hot carriers" in semiconductors. Hot carriers are electrical charge carriers - electrons and holes – with significantly higher energy than charge carriers at thermal equilibrium.

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One Injection Stops Diabetes in Its Tracks

La Jolla, CA  (Scicasts) — In mice with diet-induced diabetes—the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans—a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days.

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Schizophrenia's Genetic 'Skyline' Rising

Bethesda, MD (Scicasts) — The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harbouring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported.

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Genetic Cause of Common Breast Tumours in Women Discovered

Singapore (Scicasts) —  A multi-disciplinary team of scientists from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, and Singapore General Hospital have made a seminal breakthrough in understanding the molecular basis of fibroadenoma, one of the most common breast tumours diagnosed in women.

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Speedy Computation Enables Scientists to Reconstruct an Animal’s Development Cell by Cell

Chevy Chase, MD (Scicasts) — Recent advances in imaging technology are transforming how scientists see the cellular universe, showing the form and movement of once grainy and blurred structures in stunning detail. But extracting the torrent of information contained in those images often surpasses the limits of existing computational and data analysis techniques, leaving scientists less than satisfied.

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Fecal Transplants Let Packrats Eat Poison

Salt Lake City, UT (Scicasts) — Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

Bethesda, MD (Scicasts) — Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have found. Heritability also outweighed other risk factors in this largest study of its kind to date.

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Scientists Complete Chromosome-Based Draft of the Wheat Genome

Manhattan, KS (Scicasts) — Several Kansas State University researchers were essential in helping scientists assemble a draft of a genetic blueprint of bread wheat, also known as common wheat. The food plant is grown on more than 531 million acres around the world and produces nearly 700 million tons of food each year.

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New Materials for Future Green Tech Devices

Washington, DC (Scicasts) — From your hot car to your warm laptop, every machine and device in your life wastes a lot of energy through the loss of heat. But thermoelectric devices, which convert heat to electricity and vice versa, can harness that wasted heat, and possibly provide the green tech energy efficiency that's needed for a sustainable future.

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