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November 4, 2013 | By Lauren Beale, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Elon Musk, who heads electric-car company Tesla Motors, has shelled out $6.75 million on the former Gene Wilder estate in Bel-Air, property records show. That's a lot of clams for a cracked driveway. [Updated 10:59 a.m. PST Nov. 5: The sellers are financier Paul Kessler and his wife, attorney and businesswoman Diana Derycz-Kessler, who invest in real estate. ] The three-quarter-acre promontory home, overlooking the 13th green and 14th fairway of the Bel-Air Country Club, was described in the listing as an “opportunity to develop a view property.” The existing ranch-style home of 2,800 square feet has three bedrooms and 4.5 bedrooms.
October 12, 2013 | By Lance Pugmire
Rock 'n' roll legends Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band KISS have cut back their concert schedule to about 70 shows a year now. Stanley is finishing his autobiography. The pair are opening a chain of restaurants/bars. And they're anticipating the start of the Arena Football League season, where the new team they own, the L.A. KISS, will debut at the Honda Center in Anaheim. In video interviews with The Times this week at the Ducks' home opener at Honda Center, Simmons and Stanley discussed their vision and hopes for the team.
October 9, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Scientists have discovered two gene mutations that they believe are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia often run in families, but these eating disorders are complex, and it has proved difficult  to identify the paths. But, using two families with very high incidences of eating disorders, scientists say they found rare mutations, one in each family, that were associated with the people who had the disorders. The study suggests that mutations that decrease the activity of a protein that turns on the expression of other genes - called a transcription factor - increase the risk.
September 26, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Examining the molecular profiles of tumors from 12 different types of cancers, scientists working with the National Institutes of Health-backed Cancer Genome Atlas said Thursday they had found striking similarities between tumors originating in different organs. Their discoveries, made possible by improvements in sequencing technologies and computing methods, could herald a day when cancers are treated based on their genetic profiles, rather than on their tissue of origin, said UC Santa Cruz biomolecular engineer Josh Stuart , a participant in the project and coauthor of a commentary discussing its findings released Thursday by the journal Nature Genetics . Eventually, such a shift in thinking could lead researchers to new treatments for hard-to-treat cancers, Stuart said, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
September 21, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Three decades ago, when so many of his friends were dying of AIDS, Stephen Crohn wondered why he - a gay man whose longtime companion had been one of the first to die from the disease--had managed to avoid it. Was it just a matter of time before he caught the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS? Was there something wrong with the HIV antibody tests he took that always came back negative? Crohn, an artist and freelance editor, lived with the questions for 14 years before he finally learned the answer was in his genes.
August 21, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
A new statistical analysis suggests that alcohol dependence and binging and purging behaviors, all believed to be influenced by genetic factors, may actually be influenced by the same genes. Writing in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs , Washington University School of Medicine postdoctoral researcher Melissa Munn-Chernoff and colleagues reported that genetic risk factors that make people susceptible to alcoholism also appear to influence risk for binge eating in both men and women and for “compensatory behaviors” such as starvation, laxative use and self-induced vomiting in women.
August 16, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
What makes a female turkey swoon? The secret isn't better genes, but better use of them, according to a new study. In most cases, the more masculine a male's physical traits, the more attractive he is to females. But why are some males more masculine than others, even when they're brothers with similar DNA? Could the answer have to do with epigenetics: how genes are expressed -- turned on or turned off -- in different individuals? Researchers at Oxford University and University College London turned to wild turkeys to answer the question, because the males come in two types.
July 25, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
If you've spent any time in the dirt, you might have seen firsthand that earthworms and snails squirm through life just fine after losing their heads - they simply grow a new one. What is their secret for regenerating? One of the keys is to block a specific gene that makes head growth a one-time thing. Scientists discovered this in a series of experiments published Wednesday by the journal Nature. The trick worked so well that scientists surprised themselves by growing worms with heads on both ends.
July 16, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Researchers have further unraveled how a version of a gene linked to obesity risk causes people to gain weight - it makes them more likely to feel hungry after a meal and to prefer high-calorie foods. Their study, published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that individuals who inherited the high-risk version of the FTO gene from both of their parents have higher levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin in their bloodstream, which leaves them hungry even after eating.
July 15, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
People living at some of the world's highest elevations seem to have evolved to cope with the thinner air, according to a new study. A team led by Rasmus Nielsen and Emilia Huerta-Sanchez of UC Berkeley have pinpointed a gene, BHLHE41, that appears responsible for high-altitude Ethiopians' ability to adapt to low-oxygen environments. Anyone who has climbed Half Dome or played baseball in Colorado knows that high elevation causes shortness of breath and other symptoms of “hypobaric hypoxia,” due to low pressure and oxygen.
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