Using the labor of dozens of undergraduate students, scientists have built a customized yeast chromosome from scratch.
It's a milestone in the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology, where organisms can be tailored for industrial use. In this case, the near-term goal is to understand the genetics of yeast, and eventually the genetics of us.
This was quite an undertaking. Yeast have about 6,000 genes packed in 16 tidy bundles called chromosomes. Each chromosome is an enormous molecule of DNA packed in proteins.
Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:06 pm
The U.N. General Assembly has approved a strong rebuke of Moscow, calling the referendum leading to the annexation of Crimea illegal by a substantial margin of members voting, despite Russia's lobbying against the resolution.
The "Draft Resolution on Territorial Integrity of Ukraine" passed with 100 countries voting for it, 11 opposed, 58 abstentions. Two dozen countries did not vote either because their representatives were not present or their dues to the world body had lapsed.
With the enrollment deadline looming, the Obama administration says 6 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government.
"With 4 days left for consumers to sign up for coverage, we are working hard to ensure that our systems can handle the unprecedented demand as people enroll before the March 31 deadline," Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement.
Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 4:39 pm
The government's latest estimate shows that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder. That's a remarkable jump from just two years ago, when the figure was 1 in 88, and an even bigger jump from 2007, when it was just 1 in 150.
But officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the agency's skyrocketing estimates don't necessarily mean that kids are more likely to have autism now than they were 10 years ago.