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President Barack Obama has been criticized for a lack of diversity in his cabinet compared to his predecessor - charges he also faced when he was president of the Harvard Law Review and only 25% of editors chosen by him were women. His Supreme Court Justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, were women but their selection meant that all 9 Supreme Court Justices have been chosen from a 230 mile section of the United States - two Ivy League Schools, Harvard and Yale, making decisions for all Americans. Critics again claimed a lack of diversity.


In the ongoing culture war among climate scientists, climate scientologists and climate deniers, few things stands out like the effect of volcanoes. 

Volcanoes are well-known for cooling the climate but how much has been unclear, leading to radically differing claims and interpretations. Atmospheric chemists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the University of Copenhagen say that patterns of isotopes found in ancient volcanic sulfur trapped in ice cores, and patterns due to stratospheric photochemistry, are a way to say for sure which historic episodes of global cooling were caused by volcanic eruptions. 


Researchers employing an extensive analysis of genomic information have identified micro RNA 506 (miR-506) as a potential therapeutic candidate for advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer
situations. This high-risk cohort of ovarian cancer patients can be tested in mouse models of the disease to try and find better treatments. 


Researchers have discovered 24 new genes that cause refractive errors and myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness. 


Humans have an unclear number of genes - ab initio gene finding and comparative gene finding yield different totals (see the Human Genome Project for details) - but it is likely in the low 20,000s and those genes make nearly as many proteins. The functions of most genes have not been fully determined, but knowing what a particular gene does could obviously help researchers understand disease processes and identify targets for new drugs. 


Media is increasingly filled with miracle vegetable and scare journalism stories, all that say they are based on scientific studies. When faced with a headline that suggests an Alzheimer's drug increases the risk of heart attack or that watching TV is bad for children's mental health, or that pesticides are causing a decline in bee populations, how do people know which can be taken seriously and which are just 'scares'? Checking for peer review is a good first step.  The 'alar scare' over apples in the US, for example, was produced by a shoddy activist group and then promoted by health and science journalists who latched onto the outrageous claim of the week. It would never have passed peer review in a legitimate journal.