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SCIENCE
June 1, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Harvard biologists have brought new meaning to the term "fine print" by devising microscopic tiles made of DNA that self-assemble into letters, Chinese characters, emoticons and other shapes. More than mere doodling , their advance, detailed this week in the journal Nature, could make it easier and cheaper to build tiny DNA devices capable of delivering drugs or aiding the study of biochemistry, scientists said. "This technique will accelerate the research field of DNA nanotechnology," said Ebbe Sloth Andersen, a researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark who collaborated on an editorial that accompanied the report.
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SCIENCE
May 22, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Researchers reported Wednesday that they had sequenced the genome of the Norway spruce, a giant evergreen native to Europe that has also been planted widely in parts of North America. Published in the journal Nature, the catalog of the tree's DNA was notable for its length. The human genome is made up of about 3 billion pairs of DNA base letters, which store all the genetic information needed to make a person. The Norway spruce genome was nearly seven times longer, at 20 billion base pairs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 | By Anh Do
DNA evidence helped authorities nab a suspect in a Rancho Cucamonga murder nearly 17 years after the killing, authorities said Friday. Gabriel Bencomo was arrested Thursday in the Aug. 4, 1996, shooting death of Joseph Anguiano. Bencomo allegedly targeted Anguiano in front of Anguiano's home in the 8800 block of Hermosa Avenue. Anguiano later died at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The case remained unsolved until this week's development. The sheriff's cold case team reopened the investigation in 2010, combing through more evidence, according to officials.
NATIONAL
October 25, 2012 | By Jenny Deam and Michael Muskal
GOLDEN, Colo. - A Colorado teenager has confessed to authorities in the abduction and killing of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, prosecutors said Thursday as suspect Austin Reed Sigg made his first court appearance in the case that galvanized a suburban Denver community. Wearing green jail pants and a separate top, Sigg, 17, seemed alert. He said little as he appeared before District Judge Ann Gail Meinster in what was technically a juvenile proceeding. The judge decided to hold Sigg without bail, pending an appearance Tuesday where he will be charged as an adult.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Authorities say they were able to use DNA evidence to track down a man who they say brutally beat and raped a 29-year-old woman in her apartment in 2012. The woman, who has not been identified, woke up at 6 a.m. Oct. 27 in her Rowland Heights apartment as Pablo Reyes Bautista, 26, attacked her, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The break in the case came when DNA recently entered by the suspect resulted in a match from a national database. Bautista was arrested "after an extensive manhunt" in Atwater Village, the department said.
SCIENCE
June 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Junk DNA may not be so useless after all. Scientists coined the term to describe the genetic wasteland within the human genome that consists of long stretches of DNA for which there was no known function. But researchers from Harvard Medical School said Wednesday that within junk DNA in the yeast genome they had discovered a new class of gene. It does not produce a protein or enzyme to carry out its function. But when it is turned on, it regulates a neighboring gene.
SCIENCE
August 1, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
We all smell things a little differently, and new research shows why: By examining the DNA of hundreds of individuals and testing their sense of smell, scientists found the genetic basis for why we smell certain scents. Although smell is a huge part of our sensory experience (the inability to smell is called anosmia ), little research has been done on what controls it. Richard Newcomb, a geneticist at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and senior author on the study in Current Biology , had spent much of his career examining smell in insects (they use their antennae)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A criminal grand jury this week indicted a former Santa Clara County supervisor for false personation after he allegedly fabricated campaign mailers to discredit a San Jose City Council candidate. George Shirakawa was indicted Monday for one felony count of false personation. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office said the false personation occurred roughly between May 1 and June 8, 2010, when he "falsely personated the campaign committee entitled 'Neighbors for Magdalena Carrasco for Council 2010.' " According to the San Jose Mercury News , Shirakawa, 51, was arrested for false personation in June, but that case was quickly mired in legal maneuvers and his pending sentencing on other charges from another case.
MAGAZINE
January 17, 1993
It's interesting that people who support DNA testing are prosecutors, expert witnesses for prosecutors and people who own testing laboratories. Those who oppose it are scientists with good credentials. As a scientist--a pharmacologist--I believe that lawyers and police officers desperately want science to produce a magic bullet that will ferret out criminals. Unfortunately, many of those justice officials will grasp at any technology if they believe that it will help them win convictions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2008
State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has tentatively decided to provide police with partial DNA matches from California's offender database that would enable authorities to search for an unknown offender's relatives when all other leads in an investigation had been exhausted. The decision, expected to be finalized this month, means California would join at least eight other states authorized to do a form of familial searching in DNA databases. The goal is to find an offender through a relative in the database who has a similar genetic profile.
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