Link between DNA transcription, disease-causing expansions

Researchers in human genetics have known that long nucleotide repeats in DNA lead to instability of the genome and ultimately to human hereditary diseases such Freidreich’s ataxia and Huntington’s disease. Scientists have believed that the lengthening of those repeats occur during DNA replication when cells divide or when the cellular DNA repair machinery gets activated. Recently, however, it became apparent that yet another process called transcription, which is copying the information from DNA into RNA, could also been involved. —> Read More Here

Mysterious ‘Spellbook’ From Ancient Egypt Decoded

spell book ancient egypt

A mysterious ancient book written in an Egyptian language called Coptic has puzzled researchers ever since it was first found as part of an extensive papyrus collection at Macquarie University in Australia in 1981.

But now, two Australian scientists say they’ve finally translated the 1,300-year-old text, and it turns out that the text is a book of spells, Live Science reported.

The mystery remains, however, as to who wrote the book and used the spells.

“Many such Coptic magical texts were copied or used within monastic communities, and the degree of ritual knowledge in the invocations makes clergy or monks logical candidates for their production,” Dr. Malcolm Choat, director of the university’s Ancient Cultures Research Center and one of the scientists who deciphered the ancient book, told The Huffington Post in an email. “But other ritual practitioners can be imagined, and of course the spells could have been cast on behalf of ordinary people who needed their problems solved.”

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The ancient book housed at Macquarie University.

Choat and his colleague Dr. Iain Gardner, a professor of religion at the University of Sydney, found that the text includes ritual instructions and a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503531700-1" —> Read More Here

Just How Green Will Electricity Production Be In 2050?

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

Clues to the United States’ energy future are everywhere, if you know where to look.

By 2050, the technology will likely be available to provide 80 percent of the country’s electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources.

But even if the nation doesn’t adapt to that degree, it is clear that the way Americans get their electricity and how it’s generated will be vastly different than today, toppling the current model of power flowing in one direction, from major power plants into American homes.

In the era to come, much of the power generated in the U.S. will come from renewables, and much of it will be generated on rooftops and in backyards, and the buildings using that electricity are likely to be much more energy efficient than they are today. That means many people will feed power back into the grid, a two-way system that changes the energy landscape dramatically.

In many ways, the country is already squarely on that path. Renewables now generate 20 percent of California’s electricity, a percentage expected to grow as new solar power generators come online and Los Angeles connects itself to a new wind —> Read More Here

Talk Therapy Drastically Lowers Risk Of Suicide

Each year, suicide claims the lives of more than 40,000 Americans — many of whom never seek professional care. But new research suggests that access to talk therapy may help to prevent these tragic instances among high-risk populations.

Even years after talk therapy treatment, individuals who have previously attempted suicide are much less likely to repeat a suicide attempt or die from suicide, according to the Johns Hopkins University research.

The researchers analyzed data for more than 65,000 Danish people who had attempted suicide between 1992 and 2010. Within that group, they examined over 5,600 who had received psychosocial therapy at a suicide prevention clinic in Denmark, and compared their data with a control group of over 17,000 people with similar risk factors who had not received therapy. The subjects were tracked for up to 20 years after their suicide attempt.

The data suggested that six to 10 therapy sessions was enough to make a long-term difference. Five years after the treatment ended, there were 26 percent fewer suicides among the group who underwent the treatment, as compared to a control group that did not. Even after 10 years, there was still a small —> Read More Here

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