The Deeper Code

Researchers are attempting to "define a second genetic code: one that predicts how segments of messenger RNA transcribed from a given gene can be mixed and matched."

"Between DNA and proteins comes RNA, and an expanding realm of complexity," writes Heidi Ledford. "RNA is a shape-shifter, sometimes carrying genetic messages and sometimes regulating them, adopting a multitude of structures that can affect its function." Researchers are attempting to "define a second genetic code: one that predicts how segments of messenger RNA transcribed from a given gene can be mixed and matched to yield multiple products in different tissues, a process called alternative splicing."

Where the water wars of the future will be fought

A new report warns about the increasing likelihood of international conflicts over water.

Abd al-Ibrahim, whose home was destroyed during fighting, as he rests on his trip to supply water to his family at the house they are squatting in the northern Syrian city of Raqa. October 15, 2018. (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A study finds that serious conflicts over water are going to arise around the globe.
  • The 5 hotspots identified by the paper include areas of the Nile, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Tigris-Euphrates, and Colorado rivers.
  • It's still possible to change course if we are prepared to address the effects of climate change.
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A Star Is Born, Warner Bros Pictures
Surprising Science
  • It has to do with two parts of the brain, both of which are thicker in those with better smell and spacial recognition.
  • Your nose can detect about 1 trillion smells.
  • While your nose isn't a full GPS, it can help you pick out a general direction.
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Technology & Innovation
  • A Larry Page-backed company has announced that its flying car will go on sale in 2019.
  • It's called the BlackFly.
  • Not quite the escape from traffic you had in mind, but it's a jaw-dropping start.
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