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A Different Use for Scientific Literature

Purdue University chemist David Nichols says he never intended for the compounds he invented to become harmful street drugs, reports the Associated Press's Seth Borenstein. Chemicals Nichols made as possible treatments to Parkinson's disease or depression, and which were roughly similar to ecstasy and LSD, have been exploited by black market labs as recreational drugs instead, Borenstein says. Nichols, who recently wrote an editorial in Nature, says he never intended his work to become dangerous, and didn't know that papers he had published would be mined by marginally legal labs looking for easier ways to make drugs. Bioethicist Art Caplan tells Borenstein that Nichols' editorial "should lead to more careful thinking about the unintended consequences of scientific advances."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

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.