March Madness, Stephen Hawking (Abstract Science: March 12 - 16)
How to win your March Madness pool using science, identifying high-risk breast cancer genes and honoring one of the most notorious physicists of our time.
(Sports Illustrated, 3/13/2018, Mark McClusky)
By now, either your NCAA bracket is in shape or has already fallen apart. If you are anything like me, you pick your alma mater (Go Pirates!) and keep your fingers crossed but that might not be the best strategy for winning your pool. According to SI, to take home the prize, you have to depart from the consensus picks, and make good decisions about lesser-known teams who have a good chance of pulling off surprises. It's great to rely on the wisdom of the crowd, but to win your pool, you have to find teams that are under-valued or over-valued by the masses.
(GEN News Highlights, 3/13/2018)
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research in London have used a high-throughput genetic analysis technique known as Capture Hi-C (CHi-C) to link 110 genes with an increased risk of breast cancer. The high-resolution technique can identify how regulatory genetic elements physically interact with distant protein-coding genes, even when separated by megabases (Mb) of DNA. The ICR researchers used CHi-C to analyze 63 genome regions that previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) had linked with breast cancer. Among the 110 genes identified using CHi-C, 32 were subsequently linked with breast cancer survival.
(NY Times, 3/16/2018, Dennis Overbye)
Stephen W. Hawking, the Cambridge University physicist and best-selling author who roamed the cosmos from a wheelchair, pondering the nature of gravity and the origin of the universe and becoming an emblem of human determination and curiosity, died early Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76. Scientifically, Dr. Hawking will be best remembered for a discovery so strange that it might be expressed in the form of a Zen koan: When is a black hole not black? When it explodes. What is equally amazing is that he had a career at all. As a graduate student in 1963, he learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was given only a few years to live.
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola