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Studying the genetic variability of endangered species will be necessary for species conservation and monitoring but endangered species are difficult to observe and sample and typically have very limited genetic diversity.

 A research team has taken advantage of DNA sequencing methodology developed by Floragenex to identify the genetic markers for the Bornean elephant, an endangered species, using blood from very few animals. The results showed that Bornean elephants have very low genetic variability that can impact on their survival to a threatened habitat, but that variable genetic markers can still be identified. The study opens new avenues for the conservation of other endangered species.

An enzyme used in nature can make powerful chemicals as diverse as catnip and a cancer drug, vinblastine, which opens up the prospect of producing these chemicals cheaply and efficiently.

A new class of materials has shown to be able to form dynamic, moving structures.

Researchers have demonstrated tiny spheres that synchronize their movements as they self-assemble into a spinning microtube. The researchers used tiny particles called Janus spheres, named after the Roman god with two faces, which have been previously demonstrated for self-assembly of static structures. In this study, one half of each sphere is coated with a magnetic metal. When dispersed in solution and exposed to a rotating magnetic field, each sphere spins in a gyroscopic motion. They spin at the same frequency but all face a different direction, like a group of dancers in a ballroom dancing to the same beat but performing their own steps.

 A new device called the Argus II has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of whom can now see color, movement and objects and researchers have even streamed braille patterns directly into a blind patient's retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with the ocular neuroprosthetic device.

Argus II uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to translate the signal from the camera into electrical stimulation and a microchip with electrodes implanted directly on the retina. 

Cardio3 BioSciences (C3BS) announced it has received authorization from the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) to begin its Congestive Heart failure Cardiopoietic Regenerative Therapy (CHART-1) European Phase III trial for C3BS-CQR-1 in Belgium. This represents a world premiere for a regenerative medicine product targeting heart failure to be tested in the context of a Phase III trial. C3BS-CQR-1 is an autologous stem cell therapy for heart failure. 

It used to be a stereotype that being fat meant you had a happy personality.  Then culture went out of its way to vilify fat people and make them miserable - when they weren't vilifying culture or food companies for making people fat.

Now researchers claim new genetic evidence about why some people are happier than others - and it involves a gene implicated in obesity. The gene FTO, which is correlated to obesity by the 'being fat is exculpatory' segment of science, has now been similarly associated with an eight percent reduction in the risk of depression. In other words, it's not just an obesity gene but a "happy gene" as well, if your correlation and causation errors roll that way.