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If a genome is the blueprint for life, then the chief architects are  the molecular regulators of epigenetics, say Yale School of Medicine researchers.

In the past 20 years, scientists have discovered that some proteins, epigenetic factors, traverse the static genome and turn the genes on or off. The staggering number of potential combinations of active and inactive genes explains why a relatively small number of genes can carry out such a wide range of functions. But what guides these epigenetic factors to their target? The answer specialized RNAsb - piRNAs.

 By analyzing data gathered by MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging), a NASA probe that has orbited the planet since March 2011, researchers looking at X-ray fluorescence identified two distinct compositions of rocks on the planet's surface.

A planetary puzzle: What geological processes could have given rise to such distinct surface compositions?

Now, drawing upon the chemical composition of rock features on the planet's surface, scientists at MIT may have an answer. They have proposed that Mercury may have harbored a large, roiling ocean of magma very early in its history, shortly after its formation about 4.5 billion years ago.

Psychologists say they have compelling evidence that older adults can eliminate forgetfulness and perform as well as younger adults on memory tests. 

They used a distraction learning strategy to help older adults overcome age-related forgetting and say it boosted their performance to that of younger adults. Distraction learning sounds like an oxymoron but some claims are that older brains are adept at processing irrelevant and relevant information in the environment, without conscious effort, to aid memory performance.  It's intriguing enough it will likely be on Dr. Oz next month.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is more accurately known as herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), one of 8 viruses in the herpes family and one of the most common viruses in humans, affecting more than 90 percent of the population worldwide and over 95% of adults in America - so common it is almost hard to attribute it to anything. 

The Epstein-Barr viruswas first discovered in the early 1960s. Infections in early childhood usually have no symptoms, but it remains for life and also people infected during adolescence or young adulthood may develop mononucleosis. It has been associated with Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. 

An international group of scientists has discovered a new class of molecular compounds capable of killing the influenza virus. 

You learned this from your parents; too much even of a good thing can be a killer and that same idea has led to manipulating an enzyme that is key to how influenza replicates and spreads. The  newly discovered compounds interrupt the enzyme neuraminidase's facilitation of influenza's spread.

Last month, physicists predicted the formation of accretion disks and relativistic jets that warp and bend more than previously thought, shaped both by the extreme gravity of black holes and by powerful magnetic forces generated by their spin. 

Black holes, absences at the center of both galaxies and science fiction, shape the growth and death of stars around them through both their powerful gravitational pull and explosive ejections of energy - a pull so strong close to a black hole that even light cannot escape from within, hence the difficulty in observing them directly.