NEWSWEEK: Media Lead Sheet/December 10, 2007 Issue (on newsstands Monday, December 3).
"A Changing Portrait of DNA" (p. 63). General Editor Mary Carmichaelreports on some of the latest insights into the complex machinery of geneticsand life itself. For years scientists have known that certain genes can beturned on and off by chemical switches, but only recently have they begun tounderstand that these switches are a crucial link between the DNA and theoutside world. Researchers once saw the order of the base pairs in DNA as asort of unchanging blueprint. Researchers now know that chemical switches areresponsible for directing almost all of the body's fundamental functions. Asmuch as the genes themselves, they are the biological builders that make uswho we are.
"Jogging Your Memory" (p. 68). Reporter Anne Underwood reports on memoryloss and the ways people can keep their minds sharper than ever. There aremany hypotheses about why our powers of recall go awry over time, but it'sclear that both committing new information to memory and retrieving it becomemore difficult. Now scientists are busy looking into the workings of how themind creates and stores memories to better understand age-related declines inretention as well as developing drugs and exercises that help push your agingbrain to recall more.
"Bones of Invention" (p. 88). Contributing Editor Barbara Kantrowitzreports on the new research and insights into the complex hormonal symphonysustaining the human skeleton, and why fractures are caused by the most commonbone disease, osteoporosis. In the last 15 years, scientists have focused ondrugs that slow bone loss; the most well known of these are part of a groupcalled bisphosphonates. But a new generation of drugs aims to build bone.These could work in concert with bisphosphonates or other medications thatslow bone loss to re-create the balance necessary for the growth of healthybone. Other researchers are looking at ways of using stem-cell technology toproduce new bone.
IRAN: "The Gates Keeper" (p. 32). Deputy Washington Bureau Chief DanEphron, Senior Editor Michael Hirsh and Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas reportthat Defense Secretary Robert Gates is seen as the best insurance that theBush administration will not leave a legacy of ashes in Iran. Gates gives theWashington foreign-policy establishment hope that the pendulum is swingingback, that it is possible to forge a foreign policy by consensus and commonsense and not wishful thinking or righteous zeal.
IRAQ: "The Sunni Civil War" (p. 36). Baghdad Correspondent Larry Kaplowand Chief Foreign Correspondent Rod Nordland report that divisions are growingwithin the Sunni community-between the new tribal levies and old politicians,Baathists and anti-Baathists, fundamentalist mosque-goers and secular w
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