Viral Zone Best of the Web, Genetic Engng & Biotech News

BestWeb_ViralZoneSource: | Best of the Web | GEN ViralZone |

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News//

Jun 15, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 12)

“Do you know your DNA viruses from your RNA viruses, and can you spot a retrotranscribing virus when you see one? If not, the ViralZone from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is a fantastic web resource for virologists and other scientists who use viral tools in their research. ViralZone includes description pages for over 500 viruses, and site visitors can access these pages either by a targeted search for a specific virus or by browsing the virus pages by a virus’ Baltimore classification, host, or virion. The website also includes a great deal of general information about viral molecular biology, including topics such as virus entry/exit, replication, and genome evolution. On the homepage, site visitors will find a news section (including a weekly podcast) so that they can keep up to date on the latest viral happenings.”



Scientists unveil a new Tree of Life


Bacteria dominate newly drawn tree of life
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Waterloo in Canada studied more than 3,000 species and pieced together bits of DNA to update the tree of life. The tree is dominated by bacteria, while all the eukaryotes are represented on a slender twig. The work is published in the journal Nature Microbiology.” The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/11)

APRIL 11, 2016

“A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016, on page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: The Tiniest Beings Writ Large.A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016, on page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: The Tiniest Beings Writ Large.”

From FBR SmartBrief <> Wed., April 13, 2016


Arctic Matters day, according to the National Research Council of the National Academies is January 14th.  Go to to read about it.  Link to their Interactive web tool, or download a PDF of their 32-page, well-illustrated booklet or download a poster.  What happens in the Arctic, affects the whole globe.

Interactive web tool: see the global effects of changes in the arctic

Arctic Matters interactive web tool:
see the global effects of changes in the arctic


MIndShift — Website for Educational Technology

From Library Journal, Vol. 140 (18), p45 (November 1, 2015):


comes from KQED, the NPR station in San Francisco.  the site offers research, information and ideas via videos, blogs, radio interviews, etc. illustrating use of technology in education for all levels.



National Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

This article collects the notable data changes made to MEDLINE during annual National Library of Medicine (NLM) maintenance known as Year-End Processing (YEP) for 2016:

MEDLINE Data Changes — 2016

Tybaert S. NLM Tech Bull. 2015 Nov-Dec;(407):e8.

2015 December 08 [posted]

Brand new concepts include: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Olive Oil, Origin of Life, Open Access Publishing, War-Related Injuries, RNAi Therapeutics, and many more terms.  Medline thesaurus terms are remapped when changes occur, so as to include articles under former headings.

Life on Earth, 4.1billion years old?

Life on Earth likely started 4.1 billion years ago, much earlier than scientists thought

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 12:41 PM PDT

“Geochemists have found probable evidence for life on Earth at least 4.1 billion years ago — 300 million years earlier than previously documented, pushing the origin of life close to when the planet formed, 4.54 billion years ago.


Carbon in 4.1 billion year old zircon.
Credit: Stanford/UCLA.

University of California – Los Angeles. “Life on Earth likely started 4.1 billion years ago, much earlier than scientists thought: Evidence that early Earth was not dry and desolate.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2015.

Go to <>. to read more about this, or see the journal reference.

Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth A. Bell, Patrick Boehnke, T. Mark Harrison, and Wendy L. Mao. Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon. PNAS, October 19, 2015 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517557112

The New Geopolitics of Climate Change — Reports from Nations


Continuing this week, Greater Expectations: The New Geopolitics of Climate Change exposes the on-the-ground reality of developing countries challenged by a world that will require every nation to cut carbon emissions. Go to the special report.

Source: E&E Publishing

ENERGYWIRE — Tue., October 13, 2015

NSF Special Report: Understanding the Brain

  •“In 2013, President Obama unveiled “The Brain Initiative,” a ten-year, nearly one billion dollar effort to unlock the mysteries of the brain. With contributions by everyone from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Google, the initiative focuses on diverse fields and research methodologies. Readers will find much to explore on this accompanying website from NSF, including several dozen beautifully produced videos designed for classroom use. The videos, most of which are about five-minutes in length, cover topics such as the thinking brain, the perceiving brain, brain states and consciousness, the evolving brain, the emotional brain, the effects of musical training on the brain, and interviews with a number of groundbreaking brain researchers. Additionally, readers may peruse information about the brain initiative on the site, including Funding, Events, Resources, and News related to the project.”[CNH]
  • Source:  Scout Report, Univ. of Wisc., 7/17/2015, Vol. 21 (27)

Greenhouse Gas Emissions have increased based on data from 32 global energy providers

US “Thomson Reuters releases greenhouse gas emissions data on Global Energy Providers – 21 May 2015

Thomson Reuters has released a new research Global 500 Greenhouse Gas Report: The Fossil Fuel Energy Sector, revealing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data from 32 global energy companies, a key subset of the world’s largest publically traded businesses. The report, written in collaboration with global sustainability consultancy BSD Consulting, is the second in a series of GHG reports designed to create transparency and enable sound management of global GHG emissions.

Building on the previous report, the new report includes data around consumers’ use of a company’s products, called Scope 3 data, to present a fuller view of the business’s overall contribution to GHG emissions. Among the data included in the report, 31 percent of GHG emitted globally on an annual basis comes from 32 global energy companies and the population’s use of their products.

From 2010 to 2013, GHG emissions from the 32 energy companies and use of their products increased by 1.3 percent, a sharp contrast to the 2014 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report, which recommended a 4.2 percent reduction of GHG emissions over the same time period to keep global temperatures within manageable limits.

In addition to contributions from the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Climate Accountability Institute, self-reported GHG emissions data was gathered from energy sector businesses and combined with estimates pulled from Thomson Reuters ASSET4, a provider of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) data. ASSET4 gathers standardised, objective, quantitative and qualitative ESG data on more than 4,800 publicly listed companies.”

Knowledgespeak Newsletter 21 May, 2015

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets


“This image sparked scientific debate when it was released last year, with researchers arguing over whether newly forming planets were responsible for gaps in the dust and gas swirling around the young star.”
Credit: Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)
“University of Toronto, May 5, 2015.  Summary: A recent and famous image from deep space marks the first time we’ve seen a forming planetary system, according to a study by astrophysicists. The team found that circular gaps in a disk of dust and gas swirling around the young star HL Tau are in fact made by forming planets.”
Daniel Tamayo, Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Kristen Menou, Hanno Rein. Dynamical Stability of Imaged Planetary Systems in Formation: Application to HL Tau. Astrophysical Journal, 2015 [link]
University of Toronto. “Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2015.