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CTDL 221: Pile O Links V2.0 for today

Yet again I had a huge backlog of links even after the last post, so I’m putting together even more of them into a smorgasbord of interesting articles. Enjoy!

“Her methods probably are finer, but our conclusions are very similar.”
He also criticised the emphasis placed by the McGill University researcher on the “low” figure of 350kg, when her analysis suggests the rodent’s body mass could have been as great as 1,534kg, or one-and-a-half tonnes.

[From BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Biggest rodent 'shrinks in size']

UK researchers have pinpointed a protein on immune cells which they hope will help them harness the body’s defences to attack a tumour.
A vaccine designed to “home in” on the protein would deliver a message to the immune system to attack the invading cancer, they said.

[From BBC NEWS | Health | Cancer vaccine target pinpointed]

Experts are to investigate whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners can damage health.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) study is likely to focus mainly on the impact on health workers who regularly operate the machines.

[From BBC NEWS | Health | Study into health impact of MRI]

More than half of the world’s ocean-going sharks are at risk of extinction, a new analysis concludes.
Specialists with IUCN (formerly the World Conservation Union) found that 11 species are on the high-risk list, with five more showing signs of decline.
Sharks are particularly affected by over-fishing as they reproduce slowly.
The scientists are calling for global catch limits, an end to the practice of removing fins, and measures to minimise incidental catches (bycatch).

[From BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Sharks swim closer to extinction]

The WikiProfessional project (like Wikipedia, but for narrow and deep exploration of highly specialized domains) just launched with its first beta wiki: WikiProteins is a place where biologists can collectively annotate an enormous database of proteins, a database culled from the best open science journals in the field.

[From WikiProteins: a collaborative space for biologists to annotate proteins - Boing Boing]

The 380 million-year-old specimen has been preserved with an embryo still attached by its umbilical cord.
The find, reported in Nature, pushes back the emergence of this reproductive strategy by some 200 million years.
Until now, scientists thought creatures from these times were only able to develop their young inside eggs.

[From BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Fossil reveals oldest live birth]


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