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Malaria parasite found hiding out in North American deer

“The new findings were discovered by chance. Researchers led by Ellen Martinsen, a biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s genetics center in Washington, D.C., were searching for the source of malaria parasites in birds at the national zoo. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, which amplifies DNA to make it easier to study, they identified a genetic signature of an unexpected malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei, previously unknown in the Americas. The researchers were able to obtain a large enough sample of blood from the mosquito’s enlarged abdomen to trace its origin to white-tailed deer. “We weren’t out there, testing a hypothesis,” Martinsen says. “We serendipitously stumbled upon this weird sequence.”

Ice volcanoes spotted on Pluto, suggest internal heat source/a>

“Researchers on NASA’s New Horizons mission have discovered evidence on Pluto for what appears to be two cryovolcanoes—volcanoes built out of frozen ice that once oozed molten ice from the inside of the dwarf planet. The discovery points to an internal heat source that, at some point in Pluto’s past, drove the melting of interior reservoirs of volatile ices, such as nitrogen and methane, that then erupted at the surface. It also suggests that the cryovolcanoes were a way for Pluto to periodically rejuvenate surface supplies of these volatile ices, which sublimate into the thin atmosphere and are eventually lost to space.”

Researchers take small step toward silicon-based life

“Researchers reported in San Diego, California, this week at the semiannual meeting of the American Chemical Society that they have evolved a bacterial enzyme that efficiently incorporates silicon into simple hydrocarbons—a first for life. Down the road, organisms able to incorporate silicon into their cells could lead to a novel biochemistry for life, although for now creating actual silicon-based creatures (like the Horta from Star Trek, pictured) remains a long way off.”

Nano-balls filled with poison wipe out metastatic cancer in mice

“Now, researchers have come up with an approach that tricks these spinoff tumors into swallowing poison. So far the strategy has only been tested in mice, where it proved highly effective. But the results are promising enough that the researchers are planning to launch clinical trials in cancer patients within a year.”

Not a fan of testing on animals, but I’m glad there’s some promise in the technique.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg meets China’s propaganda chief

“Liu Yunshan told Zuckerberg that he hopes Facebook can share its experience with Chinese companies to help “Internet development better benefit the people of all countries,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Zuckerberg was in Beijing to attend an economic forum.”

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About D.Dinius

I am big on education, animals, and nature. So following that sentence I think it's important to be smart and animals and nature bring clarity and a calmness to things. I am new to actually paying attention and having opinions. This has been building well for about the last year. :)

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