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Monday, Sep 01st

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DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

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Stanford prof sequences own genome in a week

It might not be long until there is a gene scanner in every doctor's office, as DNA sequencing becomes faster and cheaper.

A Stanford University professor reported Monday that he has sequenced his entire genome in a week for under $50,000 using a single machine. Six years ago, hundreds of researchers at the Human Genome Project completed the same task for $300 million. It took 13 years.

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Researchers produce cells they say are identical to embryonic stem cells

Two groups of Chinese researchers have performed an unprecedented feat, it was announced today, by inducing cells from connective tissue in mice to revert back to their embryonic state and producing living mice from them.

By demonstrating that cells from adults can be converted into cells that, like embryonic stem cells from fetuses, have the ability to produce any type of tissue, the researchers have made a major advance toward eliminating the need for fetal cells in research and clinical applications.

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Artificial brain '10 years away'

A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed. Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already simulated elements of a rat brain.

He told the TED Global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses.

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Scientists Create Human Sperm from Stem Cells

Researchers at Newcastle University in England report they have coaxed the first human sperm cells from embryonic stem cells, in a remarkable demonstration of how quickly the field of stem cell science is moving.

The achievement, described in the journal Stem Cells and Development, comes just 11 years after the first human embryonic stem cell line was created.

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Many sharks 'facing extinction'

Many species of open ocean shark are under serious threat, according to an assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Red list gives the status of 64 types of shark and ray, over 30% of which are threatened with extinction. The authors, IUCN's Shark Specialist Group, say a main cause is overfishing.

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Microsoft chief: In 10 years, computers will know your intent

Expect to see as much development in computing through the next 10 years as there was in the past 10, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told a group of technology workers in Charlotte on Friday.

He described computer systems that can figure out what you meant to do and devices as flexible as a sheet of paper as the technologies that would change the way we live in the next few years.

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