Genotyped at birth (Nature)
Several hundred upcoming babies are going to have their genomes sequenced at birth as part of the Genomic Sequencing and Newborn Screening Disorders program. The program organizers say this will "test how useful and ethically sound it is for parents to know about their child’s comprehensive genetic makeup at birth and through childhood." This is interesting, because testing for ethical soundness seems like a curious activity. I mean, how do they detect it? Since they seem to have very little clue about it...
Tools and words together (Science)
The origin and evolution of language is is a very frustrating question, since language leaves no fossils. Research in this area consists of fine-drawn conjectures. A new conjecture draws on the fact that making and using tools uses many of the same brain areas as speech. So maybe hominids were more articulate the better their tools were.
Fading memory protein (Science)
Memory tends to become less efficient with age. Does that mean everyone gets Alzheimer's, just at different rates? Or is there some other mechanism? It seems that there is: a protein with the catchy name of RbAp48 declines in production with age. It's found in the hippocampus, a brain area especially involved in forming memories. Some parts of the hippocampus are particularly hit by Alzheimer's, but RbAp48 doesn't decline there faster than anywhere else.
Pulseword (New Scientist)
Tired of remembering passwords? A Toronto company, Bionym, has invented a device that identifies you by your electrocardiogram, and reads it through a wrist strap.
Electrowrap (Science News)
Researchers at Harvard have developed a clear, stretchy material like plastic wrap that conducts electricity.