Friday, June 30, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Jun 30

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 30, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

New technique elucidates the inner workings of neural networks trained on visual data

Optical nanomotors: Tiny 'motors' are driven by light

Could Apple's next big thing be a car?

Half-a-degree of warming boosted extreme weather

Blood doping doesn't work, at least not in amateurs: study

Rare, exceptionally preserved fossil reveals lifestyle of ancient armor-plated reptile

Popular class of drugs reverse potentially harmful genetic changes from heart disease

Genes may cause tumor aggressiveness and drug resistance in African-American prostate cancer

Japan reveals plans to put a man on moon by 2030

The first galaxies were even more violent than expected

Prebiotic atmosphere discovered on accretion disk of baby star

Table top plasma gets wind of solar turbulence

New system makes fast, customized antibiotic treatments possible

Gene identified that produces protein that helps volatile chemicals be released from flowers

Tree rings pinpoint eruption of Icelandic volcano to half a century before human settlement

Astronomy & Space news

Japan reveals plans to put a man on moon by 2030

Japan has revealed ambitious plans to put an astronaut on the Moon around 2030 in new proposals from the country's space agency.

The first galaxies were even more violent than expected

An international team of researchers has shown that the hot diffuse gas that fills the space between the galaxies has the same concentration of iron in all galaxy clusters that were studied in sufficient detail by the Japanese Suzaku satellite. It seems that most of the iron inside the intergalactic gas arose long before the first clusters of galaxies were formed. The results will be presented this Friday at the annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society, EWASS2017, in Prague, Czech Republic by Norbert Werner, leader of the MTA-Eötvös University Lendület "Hot universe" research group in Budapest, Hungary and associate professor at the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and Hiroshima University in Japan.

Prebiotic atmosphere discovered on accretion disk of baby star

An international research team, led by Chin-Fei Lee of the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA, Taiwan), has used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect complex organic molecules for the first time in the atmosphere of an accretion disk around a very young protostar. These molecules play a crucial role in producing the rich organic chemistry needed for life. The discovery suggests that the building blocks of life are produced in such disks at the very beginning of star formation and that they are available to be incorporated into planets that form in the disk subsequently. It could help us understand how life came to be on Earth.

Hubble eyes a powerful galaxy with a password name

Not all galaxies have the luxury of possessing a simple moniker or quirky nickname. This impressive galaxy imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is one of the unlucky ones, and goes by a name that looks more like a password for a computer: 2XMM J143450.5+033843.

Mid-infrared images from the Subaru telescope extend Juno spacecraft discoveries

Subaru Telescope images reveal weather in Jupiter's atmosphere in the mid-infrared. Those images, taken multiple times over several months, support Juno spacecraft mission of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This article is part of a joint press release with ones from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at California Institute of Technology and Gemini Observatory.

How a speck of light becomes an asteroid

On the first day of the year 1801, Italian astronomer Gioacchino Giuseppe Maria Ubaldo Nicolò Piazzi found a previously uncharted "tiny star" near the constellation of Taurus. The following night Piazzi again observed this newfound celestial object, discovering that the speck had changed its position relative to the nearby stars. Piazzi knew that real stars were so far away that they never wandered—that they always appeared in the sky as fixed in location relative to each other. Due to the movement of this new object, the astronomer to the king of the two Sicilies suspected he had discovered something much closer—something within our solar system. Piazzi made history's first asteroid discovery. He named it after the Roman goddess for agriculture: Ceres.

Image: 3-D printed planetary models

3-D-printed scale models of asteroids and other planetary bodies are used for real-life testing of spacecraft navigation and landing systems – martian moon Phobos seen in the foreground here.

Ariane 5 launch proves reliability and flies new fairing

An Ariane 5 carrying two telecom satellites inside a new lighter fairing lifted off on the fourth mission from Europe's Spaceport in two months.

NASA simulates asteroid impacts to help identify possible life-threatening events

When an asteroid struck the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013, the blast from the asteroid's shock wave broke windows and damaged buildings as far away as 58 miles (93 kilometers), injuring more than 1,200 people.

Neutron stars could be our GPS for deep space travel

NASA's Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, or NICER, is an X-ray telescope launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in early June 2017. Installed on the International Space Station, by mid-July it will commence its scientific work – to study the exotic astrophysical objects known as neutron stars and examine whether they could be used as deep-space navigation beacons for future generations of spacecraft.

Technology news

New technique elucidates the inner workings of neural networks trained on visual data

Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing large sets of training data, are responsible for today's best-performing artificial intelligence systems, from speech recognition systems, to automatic translators, to self-driving cars.

Could Apple's next big thing be a car?

Is an Apple Car about to hit the road?

An encryption system that hides your travel data from Uber

Researchers from EPFL and UNIL have developed an encryption protocol that can put drivers in touch with passengers while keeping their personal data secret.

Self-powered system makes smart windows smarter

Smart windows equipped with controllable glazing can augment lighting, cooling and heating systems by varying their tint, saving up to 40 percent in an average building's energy costs.

Generic, situation-aware guidelines to help robots co-exist successfully alongside humans

Artificial intelligence experts from the University of Hertfordshire, Dr Christoph Salge and Professor Daniel Polani, have designed a concept which could lead to a new set of generic, situation-aware guidelines to help robots work and co-exist successfully alongside humans.

Context is king when advocating for renewable energy policies, according to political science professor

The first rule of advocating for climate change-related legislation is: You do not talk about "climate change." The term has become so polarizing that its mere mention can cause reasonable people to draw seemingly immutable lines in the political sand.

Energy-harvesting phone works without battery

(Tech Xplore)—What would you say to a cell phone that works without a battery? A barest-bone keypad and LD light as quite unsnazzy components? If you cannot live without showy capabilities of smartphones then you might have a good laugh—or consider this a step in a direction of further research you don't want to miss.

Advanced prosthetic arms developed by Pentagon set for sale

Fred Downs, a 72-year-old Vietnam war veteran, remembers fighting back tears when he regained the ability to pick up objects with his left arm after a gap of 40 years.

New method of measurement could lead to cheaper, more accurate sensors

A new method for measuring extremely tiny objects could lead to cheaper, more accurate sensors for use in fields including medical research and gas detection.

Why politically motivated cyberattacks might be the new normal

An international cyberattack struck parts of Europe, Asia, and the United States on Tuesday, crippling tens of thousands of computers at banks, hospitals, and government offices worldwide. Initial analysis found that the attack was designed for profit, with the hackers demanding $300 in Bitcoin in exchange for unlocking victims' screens. But further evidence now suggests that the malware was a "wiper," designed to destroy data on targets' storage systems regardless of whether they gave in to the monetary demand.

Building codes not enough to protect homes against water damage in severe storms

When Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall in North Queensland early in 2017, it led to nearly A$1 billion in insured losses. Fortunately, there were no deaths or serious injuries where people sheltered in buildings.

SFU researchers chart a path to decarbonizing Canadian transport in new report

A new report from researcher Tiffany Vass and professor Mark Jaccard in Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental Management challenges several assumptions about decarbonizing Canadian transport.

Bayer stock plunges on profit warning

Shares in German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer plummeted in Frankfurt Friday, after it issued a profit warning over weak performance at its agrochemical and over-the-counter medicines units.

Team accelerates rendering with AI

Modern films and TV shows are filled with spectacular, computer-generated sequences which are computed by rendering systems that simulate the flow of light in a 3D scene. However, computing many light rays is an immensely labor-intensive and time-consuming process. The alternative is to render the images using only a few light rays, but this shortcut results in inaccuracies that show up as objectionable noise in the final image.

Medicine & Health news

Blood doping doesn't work, at least not in amateurs: study

Use of the EPO hormone to boost athletic performance did nothing for amateur cyclists in a road-race trial, according to a study Friday that questioned whether blood doping is worth the risk.

Popular class of drugs reverse potentially harmful genetic changes from heart disease

Beta blockers are commonly used world-wide to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions, such as arrhythmias and heart failure. Scientists have known for decades that the medications work by slowing the heart rate and reducing the force of contraction - lessening the burden of work carried out by the heart. However, new research out of York University has now shown that these drugs also reverse a number of potentially detrimental genetic changes associated with heart disease.

Genes may cause tumor aggressiveness and drug resistance in African-American prostate cancer

A form of genetic variation, called differential RNA splicing, may have a role in tumor aggressiveness and drug resistance in African American men with prostate cancer. Researchers at the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center published their findings in Nature Communications.

How blood vessels control their destiny

The endothelial cells that comprise blood vessels are uniquely responsive to cues from other organs, since their role is to integrate intimately into tissues and provide a means for delivery of oxygen and nutrients and waste removal. However, they also exert control over their own responses to external cues, in part by producing proteins that act to blunt the effects of the incoming signals.

New clues found to common respiratory virus

By age 2, most children have been infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which usually causes only mild cold symptoms. But people with weakened immune systems, such as infants and the elderly, can face serious complications, including pneumonia and—in some cases—death.

Turning risk association to biological insight in type 2 diabetes

Following up on findings from a an earlier genome-wide association study (GWAS) of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Latinos, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) traced an association detected in that study to variants in a specific gene, SLC16A11, and uncovered two distinct mechanisms by which those variants disrupt the gene's function in liver cells, possibly contributing to the pathogenesis of T2D. The findings, which appear this week in Cell, offer insights into the biology underlying T2D and suggest new leads in the search for therapeutics.

Lack of a hormone in pregnant mice linked to preeclampsia

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from Singapore, the Netherlands and Turkey has isolated a hormone in pregnant mice that appears to be associated with preeclampsia—a pregnancy-related condition characterized by high blood pressure and kidney problems. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they studied the hormone elabela in pregnant mice and their hope that their findings may lead to a treatment for preeclampsia in humans.

Picture overload hinders children's word learning from storybooks

Less is more when it comes to helping children learn new vocabulary from picture books, according to a new study.

Older Americans don't get—or seek—enough help from doctors, pharmacists on drug costs

The majority of Americans over age 50 take two or more prescription medicines to prevent or treat health problems, and many of them say the cost weighs on their budget, a new poll finds.

Overactive scavenger cells may cause neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's

For the first time, researchers from the University of Zurich demonstrate a surprising effect of microglia, the scavenger cells of the brain: If these cells lack the TDP-43 protein, they not only remove Alzheimer's plaques, but also synapses. This removal of synapses by these cells presumably leads to neurodegeneration observed in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Subtle molecular changes along the upper digestive tract could guide cancer therapy

Based on a new molecular study of tissues biopsied from various parts of the upper digestive tract, researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified significant, if subtle, differences in gene mutations and other factors that could help in developing more tailored treatment options for cancer patients. This finding is notable because as the digestive tract winds its way down from the mouth to the rectum, a continuum of cancers can arise, each of which may be amenable to precision treatment.

Researchers build SEQSpark to analyze massive genetic data sets

Uncovering rare susceptibility variants that contribute to the causes of complex diseases requires large sample sizes and massively parallel sequencing technologies. These sample sizes, often made up of exome and genome data from tens to hundreds of thousands of individuals, are often too large for current analytical tools to process. A team at Baylor College of Medicine, led by Dr. Suzanne Leal, professor of molecular and human genetics, has developed new software called SEQSpark to overcome this processing obstacle. A study on the new technology appears in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Renting for longer increases risk of depression and lowers wellbeing

A team of researchers from The University of Manchester have found that people who rent their homes for longer have more symptoms of depression and lower levels of wellbeing, while the opposite is true for those who live in owned homes for a longer part of their lives.

Stiff vessels, low blood flow in the brain forewarn of dementia

A combination of high blood pressure and decreased blood flow inside the brain may spur the build-up of harmful plaque and signal the onset of dementia, USC researchers have found.

Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders lag in emotional understanding

A new study reveals that children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) show a striking developmental delay in their understanding of emotions. Even in those children with an average IQ, researchers found that their emotional understanding was lagging by two to five years behind their typically developing peers.

Development of RNAi-based anti-cancer therapeutics

Understanding the interactions between miRNAs with their specific cancer gene targets is an on-going effort to identify new therapeutic strategies. Researchers from University of Malaya carried out investigations to study the relationship between natural compound and miRNA expression in cancer cells.

Review links flaxseed consumption to weight reduction

(HealthDay)—Whole flaxseed consumption is associated with significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference, according to a review published online June 21 in Obesity Reviews.

Doctors urged to take care with electronic communications

(HealthDay)—Care should be taken when conveying electronic messages to patients, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Health of the nation presented in 40th annual CDC report

(HealthDay)—The health of the United States is summarized in the 40th annual report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Genetic differences may contribute to changes in astronauts' eyes

Researchers have found that genetic variation may increase susceptibility of some astronauts to develop higher-than-normal carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which may contribute to eye abnormalities, including grooved bands on the retina in the eye and swelling of the optic nerve. The study is published in Physiological Reports.

Scientists discover how the liver unclogs itself

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore (MBI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR, and BioSyM, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology have described the mechanical principles adopted by liver cells as they remove excess bile during obstructive cholestasis. This study was published online in the Journal of Hepatology earlier this year.

The specifics of the Mediterranean diet for colorectal health

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet (MD) are well-known when it comes to colorectal protection, but it's hard to know specifically what elements of the diet are the healthiest.

Want a satisfying relationship? Don't present yourself as a sex object

When Joan Holloway – the bombshell office worker on the show "Mad Men" – enters a room, she knows she looks good and is going to turn heads. Every morning, Joan meticulously does her makeup and hair and puts on a skintight dress. The men in her office take notice and are quick with the catcalls and sexual comments.

Alcohol awareness campaigns like Dry July can work, but not for everyone

Julie Robert, University of Technology Sydney

Zika vaccine research—guidance for including pregnant women

New guidance for including pregnant woman and their babies in Zika vaccine research has been published today. It has been issued by a group of international experts in vaccinology, maternal and child health, public health and ethics.

Communication the key to helping farmers with mental health problems

Knowing just how to speak to farmers to gain their trust and engagement could be a key factor in protecting the mental health of one of Australia's highest risk groups for suicide.

Opioid epidemic takes toll on those with chronic pain

It is not a good time to be a pain patient, says Mark Bailey, D.O., Ph.D., a pain specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It's not a good time to be a pain doctor, or a pharmacist either, he says. The nation is dealing with an opioid epidemic, and the field of pain management has gotten very complicated.

Study shows that people finds sport less strenuous if they believe it's doing them good

""Sport" is too much like hard work." For many, that is reason enough to take a pass on exercise. But does sport really have to make you break a sweat? Psychologist Hendrik Mothes of the Department of Sport Science at the University of Freiburg and his team discovered that one's own expectations have a major influence on just how strenuous one perceives a unit of sport to be. The researchers also found that how the person doing the sport felt about himself or herself played a big role in the feeling of strain. Moreover, it can sometimes be smart to enlist help from supposedly useful sports products—if you believe in them. The results of the study have been published in PLOS ONE.

I spent three days as a hunter-gatherer to see if it would improve my gut health

Mounting evidence suggests that the richer and more diverse the community of microbes in your gut the lower your risk of disease. Diet is key to maintaining diversity and was strikingly demonstrated when an undergrad student went on a McDonald's diet for ten days and after just four days experienced a significant drop in the number of beneficial microbes.

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis. It was the first to look at use of multiple substances in a nationally representative group of U.S. women age 18 to 44.

Timing of mutation determines the outcome

A single genetic mutation can lead to completely different diseases, depending on the time and location at which the mutation occurs. This finding emerged from the PhD study conducted by Rocio Acuña-Hidalgo of Radboudumc. For example, a mutation in the SETBP1 gene that occurs early in development leads to Schinzel-Giedion syndrome, but later in life it results in myeloid leukemia. "Determining the timing of mutation is crucial for its interpretation and for providing careful genetic counseling," explained Acuña-Hidalgo.

New bowel cancer drug starts clinical trials

Today, a new drug will become available for patients with bowel cancer as part of a national clinical trial; based on a scientific discovery made only two years ago at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology.

Patients with multiple sclerosis may benefit from over-the-counter therapy

Treatment options currently are limited for people suffering from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. However, an OHSU pilot study suggests over-the-counter antioxidant lipoic acid holds promise in improving patients' lives.

A new way out of the cycle of rejection

Have you ever hosted a party, but as the day approaches, your closest friends say they won't be able to attend? Or maybe you sent a friend request to someone on Facebook who never responded, or weren't invited to an event that most of your friends are attending.

New study reveals new drug target for gout and other inflammatory diseases

Particle-driven diseases sound exotic and include things like silicosis and asbestos, but actually also include much more common diseases like Alzheimer's, gout and even atherosclerosis. A new report published online in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests a potential drug target for particle-driven diseases like these and many others. Specifically, the study reveals that particle-induced cell death depends on multiple redundant cathepsins, or enzymes used to digest proteins. By inhibiting or silencing these cathepsins in macrophages (white blood cells that ingest foreign particles), the researchers found that several key proinflammatory events induced by sterile particles are blocked, including cell death.

Japanese children learn to write through rhythm

How do we learn to write? Associate Professor NONAKA Tetsushi (Kobe University Graduate School of Human Development and Environment) looked at the development of writing skills in Japanese first-grade students learning the hiragana script. By quantifying their pen movements, he revealed the process of learning distinct temporal patterns of movement in such a way to differentiate a set of subtle features of each symbol. These aspects of handwriting development have been largely neglected in research carried out in Latin alphabet communities. The findings were published on June 13 in Developmental Psychobiology.

Think safety first when dining outdoors

(HealthDay)—When you're hosting picnics in the park or patio barbecues, you might be totally focused on creating the menu and doing your grocery shopping.

Heat deaths in U.S. cities could jump 10-fold if climate change isn't slowed

(HealthDay)—America's exit from the Paris climate change agreement will lead to more punishing summer heat waves and thousands of additional heat-related deaths each year in major U.S. cities, a new report claims.

Alzheimer's disease patients with psychosis more likely to be misdiagnosed, study suggests

People with Alzheimer's disease who experience psychosis—including delusions and hallucinations—are five times more likely to be misdiagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies compared to patients who do not, new research suggests.

Altering gut bacteria pathways may stimulate fat tissue to prevent obesity

Cleveland Clinic researchers have uncovered a biological link between gut bacteria metabolism and obesity. The team showed that blocking a specific intestinal microbial pathway can prevent obesity and insulin resistance, as well as cause fat tissue to become more metabolically active. The study was recently published in Cell Reports.

In urban Baltimore, poor neighborhoods have more mosquitoes

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that in Baltimore, Maryland, neighborhoods with high levels of residential abandonment are hotspots for tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). This environmental injustice may leave low-income urban residents more vulnerable to mosquito-borne disease.

Are hot dogs healthier without added nitrites?

Backyard cooks looking to grill this summer have another option: hot dogs without "added nitrites."

Exploiting acidic tumor microenvironment for the development of novel cancer nano-theranostics

Cancer is one of leading causes of human mortality around the world. The current mainstream cancer treatment modalities (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) only show limited treatment outcomes, partly owing to the complexities and heterogeneity of tumor biology. In recent decades, with the rapid advance of nanotechnology, nanomedicine has attracted increasing attention as promising for personalized medicine to enable more efficient and reliable cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 helps to treat diabetic wounds

Researchers at the Lomonosov Moscow State University used a mouse model of a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant to study treatment of diabetic wounds, and are publishing their results in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.

How bills to replace Obamacare would especially harm women

As members of Congress are heading back to their districts over Fourth of July break, the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), America's health care system and millions of Americans continues to hang in the balance.

Doctors divided about tutoring future colleagues

Professionally active doctors increasingly hesitate to take on the task of tutoring students from undergraduate medical education. Stress and pressure from higher up, and sometimes also from colleagues, contributes to this ambivalence, according to a thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy.

Exposure to cardiovascular risk factors linked with arterial distensibility in adolescence

The longitudinal study on children and adolescents conducted by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, Finland, is unique worldwide. The study shows that cardiovascular risk factors, such as overweight, high blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and insulin resistance, are associated with arterial distensibility in adolescence.

Liquid biopsies—a non-invasive look at treatment response

A new study, to be presented at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, shows that so-called "liquid biopsies", blood tests that detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), may not only sound an early alert that a treatment's effect is diminishing, but may also help explain why -sometimes offering clues about what to do next.

Nigeria says meningitis outbreak over, after 1,166 deaths

Nigeria's health minister has declared that the outbreak of meningitis in the country is over, but only after it killed 1,166 people, most', of' them children.

Biology news

Gene identified that produces protein that helps volatile chemicals be released from flowers

(—A team of researchers at Purdue University in the U.S. and the University of Amsterdam and Université catholique de Louvain in the Netherlands has isolated the gene responsible for producing a protein that aids the release of volatile chemicals in flowering plants. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they isolated the gene and showed that it was responsible for producing the carrier protein. Franziska Eberl and Jonathan Gershenzon with the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology offer a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue outlining their findings and the implications the work will likely have on the field of plant research.

Preserving the active chromatin state

If cellular identity is to be maintained, it is important that actively transcribed chromatin stretches remain in a loose configuration as long as these genes are needed. Marc Bühler and his group have uncovered a novel positive feedback loop – crucially involving the histone acetyltransferase Mst2 – which ensures that (transcriptionally active) euchromatin cannot be easily converted into (inactive) heterochromatin. Because some of the players in this feedback loop have been implicated in cancer, these findings are relevant to our understanding of human diseases.

Scientists manipulate 'signaling' molecules to control cell migration

Johns Hopkins researchers report they have uncovered a mechanism in amoebae that rapidly changes the way cells migrate by resetting their sensitivity to the naturally occurring internal signaling events that drive such movement. The finding, described in a report published online March 28 in Nature Cell Biology, demonstrates that the migratory behavior of cells may be less "hard-wired" than previously thought, the researchers say, and advances the future possibility of finding ways to manipulate and control some deadly forms of cell migration, including cancer metastasis.

Four strains of bacteria work together to produce pigment for food and cosmetics industry

Nature makes the vibrant pigments manufacturers want for foods and cosmetics, but getting them from plants to the products we buy is so difficult that many manufacturers rely on artificial colors. Now, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have shown that four strains of E. coli bacteria working together can convert sugar into the natural red anthocyanin pigment found in strawberries, opening the door to economical natural colors for industrial applications.

Deal or no deal—animals who assist with parenting may simply be playing the market

For centuries evolutionary biologists have been considering a difficult question: why do some animals 'choose' not to have children and instead help others rear their young? Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, with colleagues from the University of Sussex and the University of Exeter, have been studying wasps to try and find the answer.

Dragonflies reveal how biodiversity changes in time and space

An ecological filter in a pond, such as voracious fish that feed on dragonflies and damselflies, can help ecologists predict how biodiversity loss may impact specific habitats, according to Rice University researchers who spent four years studying seasonal changes in ponds across East Texas.

To buzz or to scrabble? To foraging bees, that's the question

Imagine going to the supermarket to stock up on groceries but coming home empty-handed because you just couldn't figure out how to work the shopping cart or figure out how to get to the ice cream tubs in the freezer aisle.

Wilderness areas are being destroyed but the World Heritage Convention can protect them

A University of Queensland-led international study published today urges the UNESCO World Heritage Convention to better conserve wilderness areas within Natural World Heritage Sites.

Scampering dogs in Chile help restore burnt forests

Forest fires in Chile ravaged vast swathes of land this year, leaving patches once thick with sturdy old trees reduced to burnt landscapes. Now, three plucky dogs are helping replant it all.

Exploring the toxin genes of monocled cobra through venom gland transcriptomics

Researchers at University of Malaya investigated the venom-gland transcriptomes of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from Malaysia and Thailand. Their findings unveil a pool of novel bioactive molecules, and provide a solution to the long-standing puzzle of the geographical variability of venom from this important Asian cobra.

Study turns up heat on artichokes

A Texas A&M AgriLife Research-led study recently published in Seed Science and Technology showed how Texas producers interested in growing artichokes may be able to extend their growing season through the use of ethylene regulators.

Cameras light up bats in the dark

An Associate Professor in veterinary public health at Massey University has been involved in developing tools to watch bats as they hibernate that may be key to saving them from a disease decimating their populations.

Geckos and skinks back from the brink

Researchers from The University of Western Australia are supporting a new project to trial the release of critically endangered blue-tailed skinks into a wild enclosure.

Painted Jezebel butterflies deter predators with flashy wing colours

A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has unraveled the mystery behind the wing colours of the Painted Jezebel, a common butterfly found in urban and forested landscapes throughout the Asia-Pacific region, known for its bright yellow and red wing colours.

Birds become immune to influenza

An influenza infection in birds gives a good protection against other subtypes of the virus, like a natural vaccination, according to a new study.

New insight into how telomeres protect cells from premature senescence

Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have further uncovered the secrets of telomeres, the caps that protect the ends of our chromosomes. They discovered that an RNA molecule called TERRA helps to ensure that very short (or broken) telomeres get fixed again. The work, which was recently published in the journal Cell, provides new insights into cellular processes that regulate cell senescence and survival in ageing and cancer.

Mistaken identity of East Asian vine species resolved after 100 years

New light has been shed on a misclassified vine species in the Ryukyu Islands of East Asia. This plant was first discovered in 1917 in Taiwan, when it was provisionally identified as Kadsura japonica. The plant was recently spotted again after 100 years, and further investigation proved that it was in fact a different species: Kadsura matsudae. The findings were published on June 30th in the online edition of Phytotaxa.

Scientists alarmed by six right whales deaths in Canada

Marine scientists are alarmed by the deaths of six endangered North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters during the past three weeks and say humans must help protect them.

Experts indicate new elements responsible for instability in chromosomes

Genome instability is the main risk factor in the development of tumours in humans. Understanding how, where, when and why these mutations are produced in DNA is one of the great objectives of the global scientific community. Therefore, a group of experts from the University of Seville and the Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Cabimer) has published a study that indicates a new element involved in this process: chromatin.

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1 comment:

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