Friday, February 10, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Feb 10

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 10, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Liposomes modified with temperature-responsive polymers are tuned for cellular uptake

Monkey fights help explain tipping points in animal societies

Brazilian peppertree packs power to knock out antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Malaria vaccine target's invasion partner uncovered

Sea-level change in Southeast Asia 6,000 years ago has implications for today

Brilliant Control sports smart lighting, can work with other smart home devices

Fossil treasure trove reveals post-extinction world ruled by sponges

NASA demonstrates electronics for longer Venus surface missions

Super-resolution system reveals mechanics of tiny 'DNA walker'

Researchers invent process to produce renewable car tires from trees, grass

Nanotube growth moving in the right direction

Brain network connections may underlie social behavior linked to autism

Car drivers cause the most pollution in London – but are least exposed to it themselves

Simulation suggests two plumes involved in producing Deccan Traps

Researchers use artificial neural network to simulate a quantum many-body system

Astronomy & Space news

NASA demonstrates electronics for longer Venus surface missions

A team of scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland recently completed a technology demonstration that could enable new scientific missions to the surface of Venus. The team demonstrated the first prolonged operation of electronics in the harsh conditions found on Venus.

Hubble sees spiral in Andromeda

The Andromeda constellation is one of the 88 modern constellations and should not be confused with our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. The Andromeda constellation is home to the pictured galaxy known as NGC 7640.

Technique to prevent the falsification of Galileo navigational signals

The European Union activated its Galileo satellite navigation system in December 2016. The EU is dedicated to setting this system apart from other navigation systems such as GPS—the U.S. counterpart of Galileo. Researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium) have now risen to this challenge as well, designing authentication features that will make it difficult to transmit false Galileo signals.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx begins Earth-Trojan asteroid search

A NASA spacecraft begins its search Thursday for an enigmatic class of near-Earth objects known as Earth-Trojan asteroids. OSIRIS-REx, currently on a two-year outbound journey to the asteroid Bennu, will spend almost two weeks searching for evidence of these small bodies.

Black holes are even stranger than you can imagine

Our love of black holes continues to grow as our knowledge of these celestial bodies expands. The latest news is the discovery of a rare "middleweight" black hole, a relative newcomer to the black hole family.

NASA approves first commercial airlock for space station science and SmallSat deployment

In a significant move towards further expansion of the International Space Station's (ISS) burgeoning research and commercial space economy capabilities, NASA has approved the development of the first privately developed airlock and is targeting blastoff to the orbiting lab complex in two years.

Technology news

Brilliant Control sports smart lighting, can work with other smart home devices

(Tech Xplore)—A California-based tech company Brilliant on Wednesday announced Brilliant Control, and in so doing showed its ambitions in the smart home marketplace.

New chip would thwart the counterfeiting that plagues the market for wired device chargers

Counterfeit chargers for portable electronics are a major problem. At the end of 2016, Apple claimed that of 100 Apple-branded charging accessories it bought on Amazon, 90 were counterfeits. Around the same time, Britain's Chartered Trading Standards Institute reported that of 400 counterfeit chargers it bought from a range of online retailers, 397 failed a basic safety test.

How Google Chromebooks conquered schools

The Google Chromebook, a type of stripped-down laptop, isn't a practical mobile device for many people—mostly because it basically turns into an expensive paperweight whenever it can't find a Wi-Fi connection.

Protecting bulk power systems from hackers

Reliability measures of electrical grid has risen to a new norm as it involves physical security and cybersecurity. Threats to either can trigger instability, leading to blackouts and economic losses.

Apoorva Mehta had 20 failed startups before Instacart

The gig: Apoorva Mehta, 30, is the founder and chief executive of San Francisco grocery delivery startup Instacart. Over the last four years, he has grown the company to more than 300 full-time employees and tens of thousands of part-time grocery shoppers. The startup offers on-demand and same-day grocery delivery in hundreds of cities in 20 states.

Sentencing of hacker in $55M scam is a rare win for feds (Update)

A prolific Russian-speaking hacker behind cyberattacks that netted an estimated $55 million is facing sentencing by a U.S. judge on a conviction considered an unusual win for law enforcement officials who have identified, but failed to arrest, hundreds of others like him.

Taiwan Uber drivers protest fine hike as app halts service

Protesting Uber drivers circled Taiwan's transport ministry Friday as the ride-hailing app halted operations on the island following an impasse with the government which deems the service illegal.

Struggling retailers seek silver bullet in Amazon era

Want a coffee while you shop? A glass of wine? Those are just few of the gimmicks being rolled out by retailers as they fight to boost store traffic—and ensure their survival in the Amazon era.

A sewage system that 'digests' and 'cooks' human waste

Student volunteers Susannah Duck and Izhan Khan describe working with a Tanzanian community to install a system that turns sewage into essential products.

Engineers developing advanced robotic systems that will become surgeon's right hand

In the operating room of the future, robots will be an integral part of the surgical team, working alongside human surgeons to make surgeries safer, faster, more precise and more automated. In the lab of electrical engineering professor Michael Yip at the University of California San Diego, engineers are developing advanced robotic systems that could make this vision a reality.

How machine learning is changing crime-solving tactics

Modern forensic DNA analyses are crucial to crime scene investigations; however the interpretation of the DNA profiles can be complex. Two researchers from the Forensics and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI) have turned to computer technology to assist complicated profile interpretation, specifically when it comes to samples containing DNA from multiple people.

Researchers simulate global potential of electricity generated using hydropower

TU Delft researchers have completed a detailed account of the global potential of hydropower. The results of their research were published in the scientific journal PLOS One on Wednesday, 8 February 2017.

Scientist calls for industrial scale-up of greenhouse gas-eating microbe technology in UK

A leading green energy scientist who uses bacteria to turn greenhouse gases into usable chemicals is calling for more investment from industry and government subsidies to scale up this newest of technologies.

Review: The affordable speaker that keeps party going strong, lets you sing along

My wife's family is from southern Louisiana, and every summer we head down there for a family reunion.

Facebook to have outside audit of ad data

Facebook on Friday promised an outside audit of data it provides advertisers in a move apparently aimed at quelling concerns about accuracy.

Ford invests $1B in robotics startup in driverless car quest

Ford Motor will spend $1 billion to take over a robotics startup to acquire more of the expertise needed to reach its ambitious goal of having a fully driverless vehicle on the road by 2021.

CEO of recruiting software company focuses on diversity

At first glance, Jon Bischke would seem an unlikely spokesman for diversity.

Uber vows to fight in Denmark after law tightened

The Danish branch of the ride-sharing service Uber says it will stay in Denmark to "fight" after the government proposed toughening standards for cabs.

The school with the largest solar facade in the world

he Copenhagen International School's new building is covered by 12,000 colored solar panels based on a technology developed at EPFL. It is one of the largest building-integrated solar power plants in Denmark.

Spanish software optimizes design of new mobile device chargers

An electronic power converter is a system that adapts electric energy from a source to a specific load need. "For example, it's the system that obtains energy from the electricity grid through a socket and adapts it to charge the battery of a mobile telephone or other devices," said Andrés Barrado, one of the UC3M professors who created this company.

A new open source dataset links human motion and language

Researchers have created a large, open source database to support the development of robot activities based on natural language input. The new KIT Motion-Language Dataset will help to unify and standardize research linking human motion and natural language, as presented in an article in Big Data.

Medicine & Health news

Brazilian peppertree packs power to knock out antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The red berries of the Brazilian peppertree—a weedy, invasive species common in Florida—contain an extract with the power to disarm dangerous antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria, scientists at Emory University have discovered.

Brain network connections may underlie social behavior linked to autism

Evaluating the strength of connections in the brain is one avenue researchers have been exploring to help identify children at risk for autism spectrum disorder earlier in life.

Research suggests wearing a police uniform changes the way the brain processes info

New research from a team of cognitive neuroscientists at McMaster University suggests that simply putting on a uniform, similar to one the police might wear, automatically affects how we perceive others, creating a bias towards those considered to be of a low social status.

Laser-based camera improves view of the carotid artery

Strokes and heart attacks often strike without warning. But, a unique application of a medical camera could one day help physicians know who is at risk for a cardiovascular event by providing a better view of potential problem areas.

Stressed out interferons reveal potential key to alternative lupus treatment

Only one new drug has become available over the past 50 years for the estimated 1.5 million Americans and five million-plus people worldwide suffering from lupus, but new research has identified a previously unknown mechanism involved in the immune response that could provide an alternative therapy target.

Do older guys always prefer younger women? Maybe not

The stereotype that older men are usually attracted to much younger women may not fully reflect reality, a new study suggests.

Newfound effect of cancer drug may expand its use

A drug first designed to prevent cancer cells from multiplying has a second effect: it switches immune cells that turn down the body's attack on tumors back into the kind that amplify it. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published recently in Cancer Immunology Research.

Valsartan cuts microalbuminuria in impaired glucose tolerance

(HealthDay)—For patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), valsartan is associated with reduced incidence of microalbuminuria, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Infection risk lower for etanercept vs monoclonal antibody treatment

(HealthDay)—For patients with rheumatoid arthritis, etanercept is associated with lower risk for general infections and tuberculosis compared with monoclonal antibody treatment, according to a meta-analysis published online Feb. 3 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Adherence to bronchiolitis guidelines cuts LOS, costs

(HealthDay)—Adherence to bronchiolitis clinical pathway recommendations is associated with reduced length of stay (LOS) and costs, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Pediatrics.

Emflaza approved for duchenne muscular dystrophy

(HealthDay) —Emflaza (deflazacort) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy in people five years and older, the agency said Thursday in a news release.

Chinese air pollution linked to respiratory and cardiovascular deaths

In the largest epidemiological study conducted in the developing world, researchers found that as exposures to fine particulate air pollution in 272 Chinese cities increase, so do deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

One step closer to personalized antibiotic treatment

Microbes in the gut can "disarm" antibiotics, leading to antibiotic resistance and incurable infections. A new method makes it possible to quickly detect resistance genes and, hence, choose the most efficient type of antibiotic treatment.

Neural network learns to select potential anticancer drugs

Scientists from Mail.Ru group Insilico Medicine and MIPT have for the first time applied a generative neural network to create new pharmaceutical medicines with the desired characteristics. Generative adversarial networks (GANs) developed and trained to "invent" new molecular structures may produce a dramatic reduction in the time and cost of searching for substances with potential medicinal properties. The researchers intend to use these technologies in the search for new medications within various areas from oncology to CVDs and even anti-infectives. The first results were submitted to Oncotarget in June 2016. Since that time, the group has made many improvements to the system and engaged with some of the leading pharmaceutical companies.

Researchers find potential treatments for hemoglobinopathies

An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 242, Issue 3, February, 2017) identifies microRNAs (miRNAs) as key factors in some hemoglobinopathies, genetic disorders characterized by alterations in the level or structure of the globin proteins that are responsible for oxygen transport in the blood. The study, led by Dr. Thais Fornari, from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Campinas in Brazil demonstrated that differential expression of miRNAs may be responsible for the variations in globin gene expression observed in patients with two hemoglobinopathies: hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin deletion type 2 (HPFH-2) and Sicilian-δβ–thalassemia.

Research suggests link between family history and higher risk of violence in bipolar patients

A large population worldwide is affected by bipolar disorder and the heritability stands at around 80 percent.

How a travel ban could worsen doctor shortages in US hospitals and threaten primary care

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Feb. 9 upheld the restraining order on President Trump's immigration ban. A key argument used by the States of Washington and Minnesota was the negative impact of the ban on higher education, but an important corollary is the impact on medical care in the U.S. While the world waits for a final decision on the matter, potentially from the Supreme Court, it's critical to look at the potential ramifications of the ban.

Peroxisomes—the hybrid organelle

Like the human body itself, cells have structures within them that perform special tasks. These cellular structures are called organelles, and discovering more about organelles is key to unlocking the reasons why certain cells misbehave, causing diseases such as Parkinson's, for example.

Prevent diabetic kidney function deterioration

Since the progress of diabetic kidney disease is difficult to slow, many patients have to undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation. However, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have managed to prevent diabetic kidney function deteriorating in mice using a new treatment method, and are confident that it could be a possible treatment for humans as well. The study is published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Research suggests zebrafish models may be efficient resource for identifying drugs for clinical use

"Bench-to-bedside" describes research that has progressed from basic science in animal models that has led to therapies used in patients. Now, a study in the journal Brain describes what could be considered a direct "aquarium-to-bedside" approach, taking a drug discovered in a genetic zebrafish model of epilepsy and testing it, with promising results, in a small number of children with the disease. The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Study suggests product reviews posted on shopping sites do not accurately reflect product benefits

Research from the University of Aberdeen suggests that product reviews posted on shopping sites like Amazon do not provide an accurate reflection of the actual benefit of the product.

Size matters when it comes to keeping blood sugar levels in check

Keeping blood sugar levels within a safe range is key to managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In a new finding that could lead to fewer complications for diabetes patients, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that changes in the size of mitochondria in a small subset of brain cells play a crucial role in safely maintaining blood sugar levels.

Sports-related concussion negatively affects heart rate, blood pressure

A new study finds that concussion causes short-term impairment of the cardiovascular system but that these cardiovascular symptoms typically resolve within three days of the injury. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Mitochondrial lipids as potential targets in early onset Parkinson's disease

A team of researchers led by Patrik Verstreken (VIB–KU Leuven) have identified an underlying mechanism in early onset Parkinson's. Using flies, mice and patient cells, the team focused on cardiolipin, a fat unique to cells' mitochondria, organelles that produce energy. They demonstrated that reducing the effects of the protein FASN influences the mitochondria, leading to increased cardiolipin levels and reduced Parkinson's symptoms. These results could pave the way to therapies for Parkinson's disease that target lipids. The team's research was published in the scientific magazine Journal of Cell Biology.

New method reduces adverse effects of rectal cancer treatment

A new study from Karolinska Institutet shows that short-course preoperative radiotherapy combined with delayed surgery reduces the adverse side-effects of rectal cancer surgery without compromising its efficacy. The results are presented in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

MicroRNAs protect the precursors of neurons from apoptosis

Programmed cell death is an integral part of embryonic development. Exploring the regulation of the process, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have shown that so-called microRNAs protect the precursors of neurons from 'precocious' elimination.

New insights into the roles of different subareas in the prefrontal cortex

Whether the brain responds to an external stimulus or not depends significantly on the balance between areas of excitation and inhibition in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Synaptic connections in the front of the cerebral cortex enable the brain to make a conscious decision on whether to react to a stimulus with movement or not. However, the roles of the individual regions in the PFC and how they work together in this decision-making process were unknown until now. An international team led by Stefanie Hardung from the research group of Professor Ilka Diester, a member of Bernstein Center Freiburg and the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools, has now identified the roles five subareas in the prefrontal cortex play in making decisions on movement. Their results were now published in the journal Current Biology. This study may be of particular significance for the further investigation of impulse control disorders.

'World's heaviest woman' to fly to India for surgery

An Egyptian believed to be the world's heaviest woman will fly to India for weight reduction surgery Saturday after intervention from the country's foreign minister ensured her a visa.

Meadowsweet decoction showed its activity in cancer preventing

Artificially increasing risks of rodents for developing cancer, researchers proved that those given a meadowsweet decoction instead of water had reduced numbers of brain and spinal cord tumors by two and three times respectively. According to the scientists, the work opens a new research path in the field of natural cancer inhibitors. The experiment results were reported in Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

Gut bacteria may play a role in Alzheimer's disease

New research from Lund University in Sweden has shown that intestinal bacteria can accelerate the development of Alzheimer's disease. According to the researchers behind the study, the results open up the door to new opportunities for preventing and treating the disease.

Pre-eclampsia deaths are avoidable

Pregnancy in the UK has never been safer, say scientists from King's College London writing in the latest edition of The Lancet.

Scientists can predict in the lab whether a drug will be effective for individual colorectal tumours

Colorectal carcinomas arise in different forms, so all treatments do not work for all patients. OncoTrack, a public-private consortium supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking, has conducted one of Europe's largest collaborative academic-industry research projects to develop and assess novel approaches for identification of new markers for colon cancer. Scientists from the OncoTrack Consortium, including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin and the Institute's spin-off Alacris Theranostocs, have analysed tumour samples from patients with this type of cancer in a preclinical study. In particular, the scientists looked for biomarkers, i.e. molecules that are typical of the different tumour sub-groups and provide valuable information for diagnosis and potential treatment. Among other things, the research team discovered molecules that can predict the effectiveness of two drugs commonly used to treat this disease: Cetuximab, which inhibits the receptor for the epidermal growth factor (EGFR), and the chemotherapy drug 5FU.

Disparities in economic opportunities lead minorities to take more hazardous jobs, study finds

Latino immigrants and African-American men work in jobs with the highest risk of injury, according to a new study of workplace injuries and disability.

Prebiotics may help to cope with stress

What are some ways you cope with stresses in your life? Do you do yoga? Meditate? Exercise? Perhaps you should add taking prebiotics to that list.

New treatment to help children with autism overcome phobias

Following research showing that a unique immersive virtual reality can help children with autism spectrum disorder overcome their fears and phobias, the service known as the Newcastle Blue Room is now being offered on the NHS.

Researchers develop new model for earlier treatments for AMD

An international team of researchers from Queen's University Belfast, University College London and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA have developed a cell culture model that could help to develop earlier treatment strategies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

What's next for the Obamacare insurance exchanges?

(HealthDay)—Americans who buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces could have fewer health plan choices and face new enrollment hurdles and cost pressures in 2018, health policy analysts say.

Winning the veggie wars with kids

(HealthDay)—For every parent who's ever pleaded with their young child to eat "just one more bite," a nutrition expert says there are ways to get kids to eat and even enjoy vegetables.

College students seem to take longer to recover from concussion

(HealthDay)—College students seem to take longer to recover from concussion than the average in the United States, a new study suggests.

Twelve percent of women fill opioid rx after vaginal delivery

(HealthDay)—Twelve percent of women fill an outpatient opioid prescription within five days of vaginal delivery, according to a study published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

About one in three ob-gyns relocated in past 10 years

(HealthDay)—About one-third of obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) moved at least once in the past 10 years, according to a study published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Rx adherence reminders no more effective at 'fresh start' dates

(HealthDay)—Sending medication adherence reminders following fresh-start dates (life and calendar events indicating the start of new cycles) is not effective for increasing medication adherence, according to a research letter published online Feb. 8 in JAMA Cardiology.

Rhytidectomy litigation usually resolved in defendant's favor

(HealthDay)—Most cases of rhytidectomy malpractice litigation are resolved in the defendant's favor, according to research published online Feb. 9 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Anterior segment parameters tied to gonioscopic angle closure

(HealthDay)—Baseline anterior segment parameters are associated with development of incident gonioscopic angle closure after four years, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Duty hour restrictions don't impair thyroid surgery outcomes

(HealthDay)—Implementation of duty hour reform does not negatively impact thyroid and parathyroid procedure outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Review: noncomplete mesorectal excision up with laparoscopy

(HealthDay)—Patients undergoing laparoscopic rectal resection (LRR) have increased risk for noncomplete mesorectal excision versus those undergoing open rectal resection (ORR), according to a review and meta-analysis published online Feb. 8 in JAMA Surgery.

How to reset your body clock, and get better sleep, with hiking boots and a tent

Are you sick of going to bed late and waking up tired? Then grab your hiking boots and a tent. A new study suggests that a couple days of camping in the great outdoors can reset your circadian clock and help you get more sleep.

Trying to solve the Alzheimer's puzzle

Despite a 99 percent failure rate and another major setback recently, Alzheimer's researchers are plowing ahead with hundreds of experiments - and a boost in federal money - to try to a crack a deadly disease that has flummoxed them for decades.

New treatments to extend life for multiple myeloma patients

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells that reside inside bone marrow. Plasma cells produce certain proteins that build up the immune system. In abnormal quantities, these proteins damage the body and compromise the immune system.

X-ray to study micronutrients in human minibrains

Micronutrients and minerals play a key role during human fetal development. A study published in PeerJ this week describes the composition and distribution of some elements in human minibrains created in the lab.

Appeals court OKs NYC salt-warning rule for some restaurants

An appeals court says New York City's pioneering requirement for chain restaurants to flag salty items on their menus is both legal and "salutary."

Cancer research UK announces grand challenge teams to answer biggest questions in cancer

Cancer Research UK today (Friday) announces that four international teams are the first recipients of its global £100m Grand Challenge competition, which aims to overcome the biggest challenges facing cancer researchers in a global effort to beat cancer sooner.

Obamacare critic confirmed as US health secretary

The US Senate narrowly confirmed Tom Price as President Donald Trump's pick for health secretary Friday, appointing a fierce Obamacare critic who aims to implement a Republican promise to tear up the divisive health care reform law.

Better than a pill: Team to develop new arthritis treatment via silk

A twisted ankle, broken hip or torn knee cartilage are all common injuries that can have medical ramifications long after the initial incident that causes them. Associated pain, inflammation, joint degeneration and even osteoarthritis can sideline a variety of different people: athletes, weekend warriors and patients who are either aging or inactive.

In an age of political anger, the science behind human prejudice

Increasing political polarisation in western democracies was starkly highlighted in 2016 with the UK's vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Such polarisation will likely continue to be a key societal factor as 2017 unfolds and consequently, more attention is being placed on a need to understand the scientific and psychological reasons that drive humans to identify enemies based on race, political beliefs and other perceived threats.

How does penis length change after prostate cancer surgery?

Many patients who have their prostate glands removed as a treatment for prostate cancer complain of shortening in the length of the penis.

Study provides new insights on how diabetes drug works

Many individuals with type 2 diabetes produce abnormally low levels of a gut hormone called GLP-1, which normally stimulates insulin release from the pancreas.

Progress toward HIV cure highlighted

A comprehensive collection of articles describing the broad scope and current status of this global effort is published in a special issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

COPD treatment with two types of bronchodilators

Dear Mayo Clinic: I was recently diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Why do I have different inhalers?

Biology news

Monkey fights help explain tipping points in animal societies

Previous studies of flocks, swarms, and schools suggest that animal societies may verge on a "critical" point—in other words, they are extremely sensitive and can be easily tipped into a new social regime. But exactly how far animal societies sit from the critical point and what controls that distance remain unknown.

Malaria vaccine target's invasion partner uncovered

A team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has discovered how a promising malarial vaccine target - the protein RH5 - helps parasites to invade human red blood cells. Published today in Nature Communications, the study reveals that a previously mysterious protein on the surface of the parasite called P113 anchors the RH5 protein, and provides a molecular bridge between the parasite and a red blood cell.

Scientists solve fish evolution mystery

A University of Wyoming researcher is part of an international team that has discovered how more than 700 species of fish have evolved in East Africa's Lake Victoria region over the past 150,000 years.

Newly discovered beetle species catches a ride on the back of army ants

A new species of beetle has been spotted hitchhiking on the back of army ants as a means of transportation, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Zoology.

Hundreds of whales wash up dead on New Zealand beach

More than 400 whales were stranded on a New Zealand beach Friday, with most of them dying quickly as frustrated volunteers desperately raced to save the survivors.

Warm ocean water triggered vast seabird die-off, experts say

A year after tens of thousands of common murres, an abundant North Pacific seabird, starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska, researchers have pinned the cause to unusually warm ocean temperatures that affected the tiny fish they eat.

Plasmas promote protein introduction in plants

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO, have developed a technique for introducing proteins into plant cells using plasma treatment. Their method could have multiple applications in plant research and industry.

Adaptor proteins control ion channel gating mechanism

Ion channels are proteins that form pores in cellular membranes, which can be opened and shut like lock gates to allow the passage of electrically charged atoms (ions). Members of this class of proteins are crucial components involved in a wide range of processes that are essential for survival. In order to ensure that they correctly perform these functions, however, the opening and closing of these pores must be carefully regulated. LMU researchers led by Professor Dr. Michael Mederos y Schnitzler and Dr. Ursula Storch at the Walter Straub Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at LMU have now uncovered an activation mechanism in which an accessory molecular adaptor acts as a fail-safe mechanism to prevent inappropriate opening of two related ion channels. Their results have now been published in the journal PNAS.

Major breakthrough in search for environmentally friendly pesticide

A 'new generation' of environmentally friendly pesticides is a step closer as researchers make an important breakthrough in pest control efficiency thanks to an insect-killing fungus.

Fish express a form of fever related to that of humans

Fish express a form of fever in response to infection. This can save their live. A study, lead by Professor Alain Vanderplasschen of the Laboratory of Immunology-Vaccinology of the Univeristy of Liège (FARAH), reveals that it is induced by the same molecule that triggers fever in humans.

Bluebells may fail to flourish as warmer days speed start of spring

Carpets of bluebells have long been a feature of spring woodlands - but the flowers may not be at their best in years to come as climates get warmer, research suggests.

Alzheimer's may be linked to defective brain cells spreading disease

Rutgers scientists say neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may be linked to defective brain cells disposing toxic proteins that make neighboring cells sick.

Whale beachings: some notable events

The mass stranding of more than 400 pilot whales on the beaches of New Zealand on Friday ranks among the worst in a nation accustomed to the phenomenon.

Super-additive leading the way to more sustainable aquaculture feed

Fish farmers are always looking for sustainable feed that can make fish strong and healthy. A new study led by the CSIC in Spain concludes that marine feed ingredients in aquaculture can potentially be replaced by plant ingredients without detrimental effects, when appropriate feed additives are added.


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