US to lift ban on blood donations from gay men

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to end a lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men that has been in place since 1983. The current ban covered all men who have had sex with men at any time since 1977, and was intended to prevent the spread of the HIV virus but was seen by gay-rights activists as discriminatory.  Read more

PNAS narrows pathway to publication

One door to publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has slammed shut. In an editorial this week, Editor-in Chief Inder Verma said the prestigious US journal will no longer accept submitted papers that come with a pre-arranged editor (who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences).  Read more

Digital mapping uncovers ‘super henge’ that dwarfed Stonehenge

Digital mapping uncovers 'super henge' that dwarfed Stonehenge

Every summer solstice, tens of thousands of people throng to Stonehenge, creating a festival-like atmosphere at the 4,400-year-old stone monument. For the 2015 solstice, they will have a bit more room to spread out. A just-completed four-year project to map the vicinity of Stonehenge reveals a sprawling complex that includes 17 newly discovered monuments and signs of 1.5 kilometre-round “super henge”.  Read more

UK moves to legalize controversial IVF technique

The United Kingdom today inched closer to legalizing a controversial method of reproduction, known as mitochondrial replacement, or ‘three-parent IVF’. The Department of Health announced a public consultation of draft legislation that would allow the procedures, which are intended to prevent children from inheriting diseases caused by faulty mitochondria.  Read more

Frederick Sanger, father of DNA sequencing, dead at 95

Fred Sanger

Frederick Sanger, who won two Nobel Prizes for his work on DNA and protein sequencing, died yesterday, according to a spokesperson at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, UK. He was 95.  Read more