Category Archives: Research

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Search technique helps researchers find DNA sequences in minutes rather than days

(Carnegie Mellon University 8 February 2016) Database searches for DNA sequences that can take biologists and medical researchers days can now be completed in a matter of minutes, thanks to a new search method developed by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.

The SBT method is available as open source code and can be downloaded at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~ckingsf/software/bloomtree/.

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CSIRO head Larry Marshall defends climate research cuts as angry scientists protest in Melbourne

Sydney Morning Herald 8 February 2016

CSIRO head Larry Marshall has sought to defend deep cuts to climate science programs after days of sustained criticism, saying global warming research was “one piece of a much larger puzzle” in solving Australia’s biggest challenges.

His defence came as dozens of scientists, including some whose jobs are under threat at CSIRO, rallied in Melbourne, warning the cuts would hurt Australia’s ability to address the climate change threat.

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ProCan: High hopes new cancer database will change diagnosis and treatment options

ABC News Sarah Sedghi 4 February 2016

Australian researchers hope a new database they are setting up will eventually lead to real changes in the way doctors diagnose and treat cancer.
The ProCan project will analyse the proteins of tens of thousands of cancer samples over a period of about five years.
Natasha’s Doughty daughter Elizabeth was five years old when she began experiencing what they thought was reoccurring sinusitis.

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From Ebola to Zika, tiny mobile lab gives real-time DNA data on outbreaks

The Guardian Australia Lisa O’Carroll 4 February 2016

A genomic surveillance system which fits in a suitcase can help health workers to quickly understand the spread of viruses and break the chain of infection.
A revolutionary DNA sequencing instrument which could help break the chain of transmission of viruses such as Ebola and Zika has been developed by British scientists.
It can help identify mutations in viruses in real time, allowing health workers in emergencies to quickly establish the evolution and geographical journey of the virus through communities.
The pocket-sized MinION device was developed by an Oxfordshire science company, and results published on Wednesday in the journal Nature show it was able to help identify the unique genetic sequence of the Ebola virus in patients within 24 hours.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/feb/03/from-ebola-to-zika-tiny-mobile-lab-gives-real-time-dna-data-on-outbreaks?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+AUS+v1+-+AUS+morning+mail+callout&utm_term=154675&subid=28187&CMP=ema_632

Link to Nature article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature16996.html

Exact formula now available for measuring scientific success

(Springer 1 February 2016) Scientometrics research is the science of evaluating scientific performance. Physics methods designed to predict growth based on a scale-free network have rarely been applied to this field. Now, scientists in Poland have developed an analytical method using a previously developed agent-based model to predict the h-index, probably the most popular citation-based scientific measurement, using bibliometric data.

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New tool puts accurate DNA analysis in fast lane

(Rice University 19 January 2016) Rice University scientists have developed a tool to analyze the thermal behavior of DNA and RNA strands. It could speed the design of molecular diagnostics that positively identify disease subtypes to inform optimal treatment.

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Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos

ABC News Reuters 2 February 2016

Scientists in Britain have been given the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create “designer babies”.  CRISPR can enable scientists to find and modify or replace genetic defects, and many of them have described it as “game-changing”.

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