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From Liability to Viability: Genes on the Y Chromosome Prove Essential for Male Survival

The human Y chromosome has over the course of millions of years of evolution has preserved a small set of genes that has ensured not only its own survival but also the survival of men. Moreover, the vast majority of these tenacious genes appear to have little if any role in sex determination or sperm production. Taken together, these remarkable findings suggest that because these Y-linked genes are active across the body, they may actually be contributing to differences in disease susceptibility and severity observed between men and women.

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Fast Way to Measure DNA Repair

Test analyzing cells’ ability to fix different kinds of broken DNA could help doctors predict cancer risk.

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Scientists Identify Cancer Specific Cell for Potential Targeted Treatment of Gastric Cancer

A team of scientists led by a researcher from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore has identified the cancer specific stem cell which causes gastric cancer. This discovery opens up the possibility of developing new drugs for the treatment of this disease and other types of cancers.

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Bioinformatics Profiling Identifies a New Mammalian Clock Gene

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Over 15 mammalian clock proteins have been identified, but researchers surmise there are more. Could big-data approaches help find them? To accelerate clock-gene discovery, the investigators used a computer-assisted approach to identify and rank candidate clock components, which they liken to online Netflix-like profiling of movie suggestions for customers. This approach found a new core clock gene, which the team named CHRONO.

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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 4/24/2014 12:00 PM EDT

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Software Identifies Gene Mutations in 3 Undiagnosed Children

A computational tool developed at the University of Utah (U of U) has successfully identified diseases with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases

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Genetic Study Tackles Mystery of Slow Plant Domestications

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Did domesticating a plant typically take a few hundred or many thousands of years? Genetic studies often indicate that domestication traits have a fairly simple genetic basis, which should facilitate their rapid evolution under selection. On the other hand, recent archeological studies of crop domestication have suggested a relatively slow spread and fixation of domestication traits. An article in “The Modern View of Domestication,” a special issue of PNAS, tries to resolve the discrepancy.

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Multi-institutional Team Joins Forces to Monitor Genomes of Prostate Tumors Using Blood Biopsies

Researchers from MIT’s Koch Institute, the Broad Institute, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute come together to overcome the barriers to sequencing circulating tumor cells.

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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 4/24/2014 12:00 PM EDT