Metabolic genetics research paves way to treating diabetes and obesity

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Breaking down complex conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and obesity into the specific metabolic proteins and processes that underlie them offers a new approach to studying the genetics of these diseases and how they are interrelated, according to research presented today at the American Society of Human Genetics 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. —> Read More Here

Roads Benefit People But Can Have Massive Environmental Costs

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Road-killed tapir in Peninsular Malaysia (photo © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong)

By William F. Laurance

Located in the wrong places, roads can open a Pandora’s Box of problems, says William F. Laurance

In a recent Opinion in National Geographic News (“Want to make a dent in world hunger? Build better roads”, 14 October 2014), U.S. Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn makes a compelling case that roads can have major benefits for rural people—improving access to modern farming technologies, education, and healthcare, and even limiting the influence of extremist groups that prey on isolated communities.

However, Ambassador Quinn tells only half of the story. Yes, many roads or road improvements can yield major economic and social benefits. But other roads become environmental disasters—opening a Pandora’s Box of problems such as illegal logging, poaching, wildfires, and land speculation.

Understanding the difference between environmentally ‘good’ roads and ‘bad’ roads is vital, because we are currently living in the most explosive era of road building in human history. By 2050, it is expected that we will have an additional 25 million kilometers of new roads—enough to encircle the Earth more than 600 times. Nine-tenths of those roads will be built in developing nations, often in the —> Read More Here

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