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A Computer on the Inside

Rather than thinking about computers in terms of their speed and memory, Stanford University's Drew Endy writes in an essay in The New York Times that people should consider computers' abilities to use important information. "A better way to think about the future of computing might be to ask when and where we could improve our ability to compute upon information that we greatly care about," he writes. And, as people care greatly about their health, simple computers could be made using biological materials like DNA or RNA to monitor people's health from inside their own cells. "I dream of much broader achievements," Endy adds. "For example, suppose we could partner with microbes and plants to record events, natural or otherwise, and convert this information into easily observed signals. That would greatly expand our ability to monitor the environment."

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.