Humans

Science • Humans
Scientists rename human genes to avoid Microsoft Excel misreading them as dates
Scientists rename human genes to avoid Microsoft Excel misreading them as dates

Scientists have renamed some 27 human genes over the past year to avoid Microsoft Excel misinterpreting their alphanumeric codes as dates.

These codes are used as a shorthand method for researchers to identify the genes in the human genome. Sometimes, though, they end up reading as something else. For instance, the gene symbol for Septin 2, SEPT2, defaults to the date '2-Sep' when typed into Excel, while Membrane-Associated Ring Finger, aka MARCH1, becomes '1-Mar'.

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) defined guidelines for naming protein-coding genes, RNA genes, and pseudogenes to avoid such mishaps. The instructions further say gene symbols should only contain Latin letters and Arabic numerals; should not contain common abbreviations; should not refer to any particular species; should not be offensive, and should be unique.

Science • Humans
Vast neolithic monument found near Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Stonehenge Credit: Sumit Surai (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Archaeologists discovered a circle of deep shafts 3km from Stonehenge. The discovery is considered the largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain.

The structure, that surrounded the settlement of Durrington Walls, consists of a 2km wide circle of large shafts measuring more than 10 meters in diameter by 5 meters depth and was excavated more than 4,500 years ago.

Science • Humans
Smart contact lenses could help diagnose and treat diabetes
Smart contact lenses could help diagnose and treat diabetes
Credit: pixabay.com/@slavoljubovski

A team of researchers at POSTECH, Pohang University of Science and Technology, developed a smart contact lens technology for "both continuous glucose monitoring and treatment of diabetic retinopathy". The contact lenses were tested on diabetic rabbits and were able to measure glucose levels in tears that matched their blood glucose levels. The team has also confirmed that the technology could trigger the release of drugs encased in the contact lenses to treat diabetic retinopathy.