SciTech Briefs

Sketch of bovine genome published

Scientists have released Bos Taurus, a sketch of the genome of the cow. Researchers hope to publish a full version of the genome next year, and plan to use the data to improve meat and dairy production in cows. The international research team analyzing the genome has already read the entire sequence three times, and will consider its work final after six reads.

Source: BBC

Stem cells shown to help body heal

New research shows that stem cells, already known for their ability to turn into any other cell in the body, produce chemicals that help the healing process. Researcher Robert Benezra of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and his team found that chemicals secreted by stem cells helped create important proteins in other cells, allowing them to live for much longer than they otherwise would have been able to.
The team studied mouse embryos that lacked a protein from a group known as Id, which prevents cardiac cells from developing normally and so kills the embryos; with the stem cells, several mice survived.

Source: Scientific American

Anti-spyware bills pass House floor

Members of the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to support two bills aimed at ending the spyware problem by targeting distributors. The bills must still go through the Senate to become law, and supporters of the bills are concerned that the Senate will not have enough time to pass them before its next recess.
The first bill, which passed 415?0, would put some convicted distributors of spyware in jail for up to five years. The second, which passed 399?1, would fine distributors every time they installed spyware on a computer.

Source: The Washington Post

Google launches online book store

Google has launched a new search technology, dubbed Google Print, designed to help people sell books online, following rival launch of, a search engine that can be used for general queries or books-only queries. Google made an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in August, and its value rose quickly due to expectations of a new search technology or web browser in the pipeline.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Better evidence of Mars water found

New data from the NASA rover Opportunity provided the strongest evidence yet that water once existed on Mars. A rock named ?Escher,? located in the Endurance Crater, contained a network of cracks that looked like dried mud would on Earth. According to NASA analysts, the new findings differ enough from previous findings that they point to a separate ?water event?; the area was likely flooded on two separate occasions.

Source: New Scientist