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SDSC Resources, Expertise Used in Genomic Analysis of 115 Year-old Woman

Published: April 30, 2014.
Released by University of California - San Diego  

A team of researchers investigating the genome of a healthy supercentenarian since 2011 has found many somatic mutations – permanent changes in cells other than reproductive ones – that arose during the woman's lifetime. Led by Erik Sistermans and Henne Holstege from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the team recently published its findings in the journal Genome Research as reported by GenomeWeb.

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Single-celled Fungi Multiply, Alien-like, by Fusing Cells in Host
Microsporidia cause diarrhea, an illness called microsporidiosis and even death in immune-compromised individuals. In spite of those widespread medical problems, scientists were uncertain about how these single-celled fungi reproduced in human or animal cells. But in a study that employed transparent roundworms, biologists at the University of California San Diego succeeded in directly observing how these microorganisms replicate and spread. And what they saw surprised them.

Proton Pump Found to Regulate Blood PH in Stingrays
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego have discovered the same enzyme used by "boneworms" to dissolve whale carcasses, and that helps promote photosynthesis in corals, also regulates blood pH in stingrays. The study could help scientists better understand the enzyme's function in human kidneys to regulate blood and urine functions.

New Study Challenges Assumption of Asbestos' Ability to Move in Soil
A new study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego scientist Jane Willenbring challenges the long-held belief that asbestos fibers cannot move through soil. The findings have important implications for current remediation strategies aimed at capping asbestos-laden soils to prevent human exposure of the cancer-causing material.

MRI Technology Quantifies Liver Response in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Patients
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that non-invasively measures fat density in the liver corresponds with histological (microscopic tissue analyses) responses in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The finding, published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, suggests the imaging technique can be useful in future NASH clinical trials and in treatment.

Contamination from Marine Mammals May Hamper Recovery of California Condors
Biologists have discovered high levels of pesticides and other contaminants from marine mammals in the tissues of endangered California condors living near the coast that they say could complicate recovery efforts for the largest land bird in North America.

Study Finds Sharks Get Bad Rap When Viewed with Ominous Background Music
In a new study, researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego found that the background music in shark documentaries affects viewers' perceptions of sharks. The researchers suggest that ominous background music could hinder shark conservation efforts.

Scientists Determine How Birds Soar to Great Heights
Migratory birds often use warm, rising atmospheric currents to gain height with little energy expenditure when flying over long distances. It's a behavior known as thermal soaring that requires complex decision-making within the turbulent environment of a rising column of warm air from the sun baked surface of the earth.

Hot Flash: Women Who Start Menstruation And Menopause Later More Likely to Live to 90
The number of women living to age 90 in the United States has increased significantly in the past century. Currently estimated at 1.3 million, this demographic is expected to quadruple by 2050. A new study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that women who start menstruation and experience menopause later in life may have increased chances of surviving nine decades.

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