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Genetic Tug of War in the Brain Influences Behavior

Not every mom and dad agree on how their offspring should behave. But in genetics as in life, parenting is about knowing when your voice needs to be heard, and the best ways of doing so. Typically, compromise reigns, and one copy of each gene is inherited from each parent so that the two contribute equally to the traits who make us who we are. Occasionally, a mechanism called genomic imprinting, first described 30 years ago, allows just one parent to be heard by completely silencing the other. Read More

from the U
Leander Anderegg

Drought’s lasting impact on forests

In a global study of drought impacts, forest trees took an average of two to four years to resume normal growth rates, a revelation indicating that Earth’s forests are capable of storing less carbon than climate models have assumed. Read More

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Health Care Providers A Major Contributor to Problem of Antibiotic Overuse

A new study,l ed by the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that differences in the routines of individual providers drives variation in antibiotic prescribing more than differences in patient characteristics, standards of practice at different hospitals, or clinical settings (emergency department, primary care, urgent care). The findings are an important step toward understanding the problem of antibiotic overuse, a major public health concern given the rise in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. Read More

Stephen Good/University of Utah

Where does water go when it doesn’t flow?

More than a quarter of the rain and snow that falls on continents reaches the oceans as runoff. Now a new study helps show where the rest goes. Read More

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Genetic Testing in Kids is Fraught with Complications

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can’t help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared for the future, or to wait? During the last decade, genetic tests have been through a sea change, both in their availability and the technologies behind them. Today there are at least 34 companies that offer direct to consumer (DTC) DNA testing, some of which return health results. And now it is possible to sequence someone’s entire genetic code for the price of a laptop.
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