No more lying about your age: your DNA chemistry will let the world know exactly how old your cells are.
One scientist has put together an enormous amount of available bioinformatic information to conclude that the modifications of methylation in each cell’s DNA, which are part of the epigenetics of the cell, can be used as predictors of age.
Steve Horvath, from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has published a paper in the open access journal Genome Biology with a new approach to the information already published by different laboratories in the past years. Importantly, he collected and analyzed large databases of DNA sequences, that were independently compiled in the past, but that could all be compared because they were obtained using the same DNA sequencing technology. The author acknowledges the “ generosity of hundreds of researchers” that provided the “unprecedented collection of DNA methylation data” in publicly available databases.
With a little help from my friends – Scientists tool up via Facebook
Do you want to read an article from a journal that you don’t subscribe? Your University’s library does not give you institutional access to the journals you need?
It seems that you need a little help from your friends… at facebook! There is a well-kept gem of social networking that you will find worth discovering: a facebook group that can send you the papers you have asked for, right to your email, in as little as a few minutes!
There are so many journals out there and most papers do not come in the now fashionable open-access format. So, scientists have to be lucky to work in a University or Institute that subscribes a wide variety of journals and makes those available to their employees. Otherwise, you may be left with the abstracts only, and we all know how abstracts can be VERY different from the actual content of a paper.
Also, you want to see the figures and decide about the results yourself, as well as check the methods section to maybe use some of the techniques in your future work. If you can’t access the full version of that paper you really need, don’t feel desperate because there is a very simple way to get the article delivered to your email in minutes or hours. It’s not illegal, don’t worry, it’s based on sharing resources with your friends, which, I believe we all agree, it’s how science should work. The Facebook group is called “Bájame este paper por fa !!” (yes, in Spanish/Castilian, which means something like “download this paper for me plea”) and although it is a closed group, you will have no difficulty in joining once you ask for permission. Being part of the group means that you can start asking for – and getting – papers.