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A new paper that uses the

temperature record from Byrd Station, a scientific outpost in the center of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS),

 says that the western part of the ice sheet is experiencing nearly twice as much warming as previously thought.

The temperature record from Byrd Station shows an increase of 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit in average annual temperature since 1958, three times faster than the average temperature rise around the globe.  If those older temperature readings are accurate, this temperature increase is nearly double what previous examinations have suggested.


Autistic-like behaviors in
laboratory mice
can be partially remedied by normalizing excessive levels of protein synthesis in the brain, according to a new paper

The researchers focused on the EIF4E gene, whose mutation is associated with autism. The mutation causing autism was proposed to increase levels of the eIF4E, the protein product of EIF4E, and lead to exaggerated protein synthesis. Excessive eIF4E signaling and exaggerated protein synthesis also may play a role in a range of neurological disorders, including fragile X syndrome (FXS).


Two molecules, cholic acid and 24,25-EC, play an important role in the survival and production of nerve cells in the brain, including nerve cells that produce dopamine, according to a new study.  

Receptors known as "liver X receptors", or LXR, are necessary for the production of different types of nerve cells, or neurons, in the developing ventral midbrain. One these types, the midbrain dopamine-producing neurons play an important role in a number of diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.  


Scientists have found three new and relatively rare genetic variants that influence insulin production, offering new clues about the genetic factors behind diabetes.

Diabetes, which affects more than 25 million people in the United States, results from problems with the body's ability to produce or use insulin. Rather than pinpointing one gene behind the disease, scientists believe there are a whole host of genes that interact with health and lifestyle factors to influence a person's chances of getting the disease.

The study revealed that certain variants of three genes — called TBC1D30, KANK1 and PAM — are associated with abnormal insulin production or processing, even in people without diabetes. The genes may predispose such individuals to developing the disease.


Current thinking on how the Toxoplasma gondii parasite invades its host is incorrect, according to a study published today in Nature Methods describing a new technique to knock out genes. 

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that commonly infects cats - and therefore people who own a lot cats- but is also carried by other warm-blooded animals. Up to a third of the UK population are chronically infected with the parasite, according to estimates. In most cases the acute infection causes only flu-like symptoms but women who become infected during pregnancy can pass the parasite to their unborn child which can result in serious health problems for the baby such as blindness and brain damage. 


Researchers have completed the first genome sequence of domestic goat by integrating next-generation sequencing (NGS) and whole-genome mapping (WGM) technologies. The goat genome is the first reference genome for small ruminant animals and may help to advance the understanding of distinct ruminants' genomic features from non-ruminant species.

This work also yields a valuable experience for facilitating the de novo assemblies of large, complex genomes in the future.