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New Geniuses

Twenty-three new MacArthur Fellows have been named for 2012, reports The New York Times. The awards go to artists and scientists, and composers and engineers. Among the new fellows are Sarkis Mazmanian at the California Institute of Technology, who studies symbiotic relationships between humans and their microbiomes, Melody Swartz from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne who is using a variety of approaches to model how fluids move through biological tissues, and Yale University's Daniel Spielman who studies coding theory as well as why optimization algorithms can work better than theory predicts.

The "genius grants" awards each fellow $100,000 a year for five years for the winners to use as they wish. "You usually have to apply for something, and it's a lot of work," says Natalia Almada, a new fellow and filmmaker from Mexico, in the Times. "It's such freedom to think I can count on something. It's huge. It's validating."

The Scan

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.