MI weekly selection #33

Methane released from Arctic permafrost could cost trillions worldwide

Scientists warn that large amounts of methane that could be released from the melting Arctic permafrost could have a huge global economic impact. The release of 50-gigatonnes of methane over 10 years could cost $60 trillion worldwide, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

BBC

New observatory produces images of sun’s interface region

Images from NASA’s new IRIS solar observatory have given researchers their first close look at a layer of the sun known as the interface region. The scientists hope the two-year IRIS project will lead to a better understanding of sunspots and their effects on the sun’s atmosphere.

LA Times/ScienceNow

Genetic study finds possible mechanism for Alzheimer’s treatment

A study published in the journal Nature discovered a molecular pathway linking the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a finding that researchers argue offers a potential avenue for treatment. Researchers found that people with high-risk APOE status showed similar gene expression patterns as those found in the brains of people with late-onset AD, and they said the regulatory mediators SV2A and RFN219 offer potential therapeutic targets.

GenomeWeb (free registration required)

Researchers devise new methods for producing nanoscale patterns

Northwestern University chemists have developed do-it-yourself methods that utilize heat or light to produce nanoscale patterns. “This is a massive integration of chemistry and mechanical engineering, and with engineering comes control and the ability to manufacture and fabricate,” said nanotechnology expert Joseph M. DeSimone.

Chemical & Engineering News

Cell transplant offers path forward on blindness therapy

Researchers at University College London say they’ve grown retinal photoreceptor cells in a lab and transplanted them into blind mice, where they matured and established connections with nerves transmitting visual signals to the brain. The process could be used to cure many forms of blindness if it can be repeated using human stem cells.

New Scientist

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