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Sir James Black Dies

Sir James Black, best known for his work in creating beta-blocker drugs in the 1960s, died yesterday, the BBC reports. He was 85. Black is also credited with inventing the first effective non-surgical treatment for peptic ulcers. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988, and he was recognized with the UK's highest honor, the Order of Merit, in 2000. His discovery of the drugs propranolol and pronethalol was "one of the few things that really deserves the moniker 'Landmark,'" Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association, told the Associated Press. "Easily millions of patients have been helped with beta-blocking therapies."

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.