Anna Johansen

Anna is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and a summer intern for WORLD.

Associated Press/Photo by Ronald Zak (file)

Austria grants asylum to a few stranded Iranians

by Anna Johansen
Posted 7/24/18, 12:29 pm

The Austrian government has granted asylum to four Christian refugees from Iran, but more than 100 remain stranded. The group fled persecution in Iran more than a year ago. The United States initially offered the refugees asylum under a law known as the Lautenberg Amendment only to later reject their applications without explanation. The mass denial left the group in limbo until a member of the Austrian Parliament began lobbying on the refugees’ behalf earlier this year.

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Associated Press/Photo by Noah Berger

Wildfire threatens Yosemite

by Anna Johansen & Lynde Langdon
Posted 7/17/18, 10:38 am

The Ferguson fire in Mariposa County, Calif., has claimed the life of one firefighter and threatens Yosemite National Park. The fire covered 4,000 acres on Sunday and by Monday had devoured more than 9,000 acres. The park remains open to visitors for now, though one main entrance is closed. Firefighter Braden Varney died Saturday when his bulldozer tumbled down a canyon while plowing a fire line. Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power for the area, hoping to reduce fire risk. Some say sparks from the company’s power lines were responsible for at least three wildfires last fall.

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iStock.com/Mccallk69

Boy or girl? A surprise discovery

Science | Research finds ‘noncoding’ DNA plays a critical role in sex development
by Anna Johansen
Posted 6/28/18, 04:59 pm

Scientists used to tout “junk” DNA as useless debris leftover from evolution, but a recent study shows that the microscopic strands hold another surprise: the power to determine sex.

Researchers from the Francis Crick Institute used a genetic technique to remove a small section of noncoding DNA from male mice embryos. As the mice developed, they grew ovaries instead of testes. It’s not the first time researchers have experimented with sex reversal in mice, but it’s the first time they’ve done so by tampering with noncoding DNA instead of the kind of DNA that creates proteins.

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