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Researchers from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization have developed a genetic "clock" that can predict the lifespans of vertebrate species, including extinct ones. Using reference genomes of 252 vertebrate species with known lifespans, the scientists identified 42 genes in which the density of cytosine-phosphate-guanosine (CpG) sites — which are targets of DNA methylation — is highly predictive of maximum lifespan in vertebrates.

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Nature News reports that recent proposed changes to the US National Science Foundation have raised concerns about a shift away from the agency's focus on basic research.

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