By Elizabeth Pennisi
Science – Despite a slow economy, business in genomics has boomed and has directly and indirectly boosted the U.S. economy by $965 billion since 1988, according to a new study. In 2012 alone, genomics-related research and development, along with relevant industry activities, contributed $31 billion to the U.S. gross national product and helped support 152,000 jobs, the biomedical funding advocacy group United for Medical Research announced today in Washington, D.C.
Impact of Genomics on the U.S. Economy is an update to an industry-conceived report from 2011 by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. At the time, Battelle calculated that the $3.8 billion U.S. federal investment in the Human Genome Project produced a return of $141 in economic output per dollar invested, a figure that President Barack Obama rounded off in his State of the Union address in February. Today’s update factors in an additional $8.5 billion in relevant federal support and, based on the total U.S. investment, concludes a 65 to 1 return on the government’s spending (adjusted to 2012 dollars).
Advocates for federal funding of biomedical research hope such rosy numbers will help persuade Congress to sustain support for the field.
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By Karina Toledo
Agência FAPESP – Although vital for the survival of plants, lignin, the structural material responsible for the rigidity, impermeability and resistance of vegetable tissue – is one of the major impediments to the use of sugarcane bagasse in ethanol production.
Given its strong bond to cellulose, this molecule impedes sugar found in the cellular wall from becoming hydrolyzed and released for fermentation. Although there is a pre-treatment capable of separating lignin from cellulose, it is expensive, laborious and can leave toxic residues for the fermentation microorganisms.
Read complete article at Agência FAPESP, 30 January 2013
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Abstract – For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ~1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model.
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Source: Nature, November 15th 2012
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