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A trove of Benjamin Franklin letters has turned up in the British Library. Discovered by University of California, San Diego professor Alan Houston, the letters are copies of correspondence that hasn't been seen in more than 250 years. 

All dating from the spring and summer of 1755, the 47 letters by, to and about Franklin are in the hand of one Thomas Birch, a contemporary of Franklin's who was a prodigious – almost inveterate – compiler and transcriber of historical documents.   They are being published for the first time in the April issue of the William and Mary Quarterly
The circadian clock coordinates physiological and behavioral processes on a 24-hour rhythm, allowing animals to anticipate changes in their environment and prepare accordingly.

Scientists already know that some genes are controlled by the clock and are turned on only one time during each 24-hour cycle but now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that some genes are switched on once every 12 or 8 hours.
Genome sequencing is getting better and faster.  Two months ago we had the first draft of the neanderthal genome and now scientists from the University of Maryland have published their assembly of the Bos taurus - the domestic cow.  Sure that's not as exciting to the wider population but it's important to the genetics community.
A process called ‘dark gulping’ may solve the mystery of the how supermassive black holes were able to form when the Universe was less than a billion years old.

Dr Curtis Saxton will be presenting the study at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.
Researchers writing in Nature magazine say the fossil skeleton of a newly discovered carnivorous animal, Puijila darwini, is a "missing link" in the evolution of the group that today includes seals, sea lions, and the walrus. 

Modern seals, sea lions, and walruses all have flippers—limb adaptations for swimming in water. These adaptations evolved over time, as some terrestrial animals moved to a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Until now, the morphological evidence for this transition from land to water was weak. 

Puijila darwini
Skeletal illustration of Puijila darwini.  Credit: Mark A. Klingler/Carnegie
Museum of Natural History
Using information from a suite of telescopes, astronomers have discovered a mysterious, giant object that existed at a time when the universe was only about 800 million years old. Objects such as this one are dubbed extended Lyman-Alpha blobs; they are huge bodies of gas that may be precursors to galaxies. This blob was named Himiko for a legendary, mysterious Japanese queen. It stretches for 55 thousand light years, a record for that early point in time. That length is comparable to the radius of the Milky Way's disk.