Friday, August 9, 2019

Science X Newsletter Friday, Aug 9

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 9, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A new metric to capture the similarity between collider events

Controlling the shape-shifting skeletons of cells

New retroreflective material could be used in nighttime color-changing road signs

Printing flattens polymers, improving electrical and optical properties

Physicists solve 2,000-year-old optical problem

Researchers make case for dominant-negative effect with TP53 mutations

Researchers find electron current direction in photon-drag effect is dependent on surrounding environment

Leaping larvae! How do they do that without legs?

Adding MS drug to targeted cancer therapy may improve glioblastoma outcomes

Blood clotting factors may help fight multi-drug resistant superbugs

Puzzling shapes: Unlocking the mysteries of plant cell morphology

Hidden mysteries lie in wait inside Kenya's fossil treasury

Security sleuths eye attack devices planted in packages

Disrupted genetic clocks in schizophrenia-affected brains reveal clues to the disease

A new method of tooth repair? Scientists uncover mechanisms to inform future treatment

Astronomy & Space news

Tardigrades: We're now polluting the moon with near indestructible little creatures

An Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet almost made it to the moon in April. It took a selfie with the lunar surface in the background, but then lost contact with Earth and presumably crashed onto the lunar surface. Now it's been revealed that the mission was carrying a cargo of dehydrated microscopic lifeforms known as tardigrades.

Asteroid's features to be named after mythical birds

Working with NASA's OSIRIS-REx team, the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) approved the theme "birds and bird-like creatures in mythology" for naming surface features on asteroid (101955) Bennu.

Technology news

Security sleuths eye attack devices planted in packages

How is this for irony. Everyone talks about security exploits getting more sophisticated. Yet an up and coming threat to the digital world, aka the hair-pulling mischief universe, could not be more elementary: hiding, in a package, a low-cost, low-power computer designed for access attack and sending it off in the mail.

Guided by AI, robotic platform automates molecule manufacture

Guided by artificial intelligence and powered by a robotic platform, a system developed by MIT researchers moves a step closer to automating the production of small molecules that could be used in medicine, solar energy, and polymer chemistry.

The brain inspires a new type of artificial intelligence

Machine learning, introduced 70 years ago, is based on evidence of the dynamics of learning in the brain. Using the speed of modern computers and large datasets, deep learning algorithms have recently produced results comparable to those of human experts in various applicable fields, but with different characteristics that are distant from current knowledge of learning in neuroscience.

An algorithm to detect outside influences on the media

EPFL researchers recently developed an algorithm that maps out the media landscape and reveals biases and hidden influences in the news industry.

Fukushima nuclear plant out of space for radioactive water

The utility company operating Fukushima's tsunami-devastated nuclear power plant said Friday it will run out of space to store massive amounts of contaminated water in three years, adding pressure on the government and the public to reach a consensus on what to do with it.

Report: Facebook offering 'millions' to publishers for news

Facebook is reportedly in talks with news publishers to offer "millions of dollars" for the rights to publish their material on its site. The move follows years of criticism over its growing monopolization of online advertising to the detriment of the struggling news industry.

Huawei launches own operating system to rival Android

Chinese telecom giant Huawei unveiled its own operating system on Friday, as it faces the threat of losing access to Android systems amid escalating US-China trade tensions.

Minding the gap between mass transit and ride-hailing apps

If it's a Friday evening and you're leaving the office to meet a friend across town, modern transportation technology offers you a few options. You could walk to the nearest subway station, wait for the next train, sit through a series of stops, and then walk the additional distance to your location. Or, you could pull out your phone, request an Uber or Lyft, and have a personal driver ferry you from where you stand to the door of where you're going.

Oslo wants to reduce its emissions by 95 percent by 2030

The Norwegian capital Oslo announced Friday it was aiming to reduce CO2-emissions by 95 percent by 2030.

Enhancing the quality of AI requires moving beyond the quantitative

Artificial Intelligence engineers should enlist ideas and expertise from a broad range of social science disciplines, including those embracing qualitative methods, in order to reduce the potential harm of their creations and to better serve society as a whole, a pair of researchers has concluded in an analysis that appears in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence.

Uber posts biggest quarterly loss ever after stock payouts

Uber lost $5.24 billion in the second quarter—its largest quarterly loss ever—after making huge stock-based payouts in the months following its initial public offering.

Republicans vow to not buy Twitter ads after McConnell blocked

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign and leading Republicans on Thursday vowed to not buy Twitter ads after the social media platform froze Senator Mitch McConnell's re-election account for breaking site rules.

Broadcom to buy Symantec enterprise unit for $10.7 bn

Broadcom announced plans Thursday to buy the enterprise unit of cybersecurity firm Symantec Corp. for $10.7 billion in a move to further diversify the US semiconductor maker.

3D printer gun plans seller pleads guilty to sex with minor

The founder of a Texas company that sells plans for making untraceable 3D printed guns pleaded guilty Friday to having sex with an underage girl.

Walmart pulls violent game displays but will still sell guns

Walmart has ordered workers to remove video game signs and displays that depict violence from stores nationwide after 22 people died in a shooting at one of its Texas stores but will continue to sell guns.

Expert: Many Wisconsin elections clerks use outdated systems

Hundreds of local clerks are using outdated computer systems and aren't installing security patches on their current systems, leaving Wisconsin's election system vulnerable to potentially devastating cyberattacks, state elections officials fear.

Medicine & Health news

Researchers make case for dominant-negative effect with TP53 mutations

A large team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. and one in Germany has found evidence that makes a case for a dominant-negative effect with TP53 mutations. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of such gene mutations and their work, which involved editing genes to test theorized outcomes, and what they learned. David Philip Lane with the Karolinska Institutet has published a Perspective piece in the same journal issue discussing the work, along with issues involved in reconciling the findings with those found in previous studies.

Adding MS drug to targeted cancer therapy may improve glioblastoma outcomes

Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer that infiltrates surrounding brain tissue, making it extremely difficult to treat with surgery. Even when chemotherapy and radiation successfully destroy the bulk of a patient's glioblastoma cells, they may not affect the cancer stem cells. This small population of tumor cells have the capacity to grow and multiply indefinitely, and can lead to tumor recurrence.

Disrupted genetic clocks in schizophrenia-affected brains reveal clues to the disease

Rhythms in gene expression in the brain are highly disrupted in people with schizophrenia, according to a new University of Pittsburgh-led study.

A new method of tooth repair? Scientists uncover mechanisms to inform future treatment

Stem cells hold the key to wound healing, as they develop into specialised cell types throughout the body—including in teeth.

Cellular engines of wound repair have distinct roles

Following tissue injury, fibroblast cells activate, divide and play key roles in both tissue repair and pathological scarring—fibrosis—that can drive organ failure.

Hormonal therapy has a long-term effect in breast cancer

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have investigated the long-term effect of hormonal therapy in women with the most common types of hormone-sensitive breast cancer. The results, presented in the journal JAMA Oncology, show that the treatment has a protective effect against distant metastatic cancer for both so-called Luminal A and Luminal B breast cancer subtypes, and a long-term effect for women diagnosed with Luminal A cancer.

Predicting the risk of cancer with computational electrodynamics

Researchers from Northwestern University are using Argonne supercomputers to advance the development of an optical microscopy technique that can predict and quantify cancer risks at extremely early stages.

Abundant screen time linked with overweight among children

A recently completed study indicates that Finnish children who spend a lot of time in front of screens have a heightened risk for overweight and abdominal obesity, regardless of the extent of their physical activity.

Killer cells the key to potentially life‑saving cancer vaccines

"I'll be honest, when I first started working on this I didn't fully accept it." That's Dr. Andrew Makrigiannis, head of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, discussing his groundbreaking research on natural killer cells that was published in the leading journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Direct toxic action of beta-amyloid identified

Hyperactive neurons in specific areas of the brain are believed to be an early perturbation in Alzheimer's disease. For the first time, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to explain the reasons and mechanisms underlying this early and therefore important neuronal dysfunction. They found that the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate persists for too long near active neurons. This causes a pathological overstimulation of those neurons—most likely contributing critically to impaired learning and memory loss in Alzheimer's patients.

Better tools, better cancer immunotherapy

In the journal Science Immunology, researchers from DTU Health Technology and Jacobs University in Bremen have just published their cutting-edge research demonstrating advancement in detection of a certain type of immune cells, called T cells. Improved detection of T cells have several therapeutic implications. For example, in cancer immunotherapy (a therapeutic approach that engages patients own immune cells) characterization of T cells that recognize cancer cells is crucial for tailoring personalized treatment strategies.

Novel dual stem cell therapy improving cardiac regeneration

As a medical emergency caused by severe cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infarction (MI) can inflict permanent and life-threatening damage to the heart. A joint research team comprising scientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has recently developed a multipronged approach for concurrently rejuvenating both the muscle cells and vascular systems of the heart by utilizing two types of stem cells. The findings give hope to develop a new treatment for repairing MI heart, as an alternative to the existing complex and risky heart transplant for seriously-ill patients.

Nanoparticles' movements reveal whether they can successfully target cancer

Targeted drug-delivery systems hold significant promise for treating cancer effectively by sparing healthy surrounding tissues. But the promising approach can only work if the drug hits its target.

Manipulating dose, timing of two therapies reduces relapse in mouse models of breast cancer

Changing the standard dose and timing of two therapies greatly cut tumor relapse and reduced side effects in mouse models of kinase mutated breast cancer and lung cancer, UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center researchers have found.

The mind-muscle connection: For aesthetes, not athletes?

The 'mind-muscle connection'. Ancient lore for bodybuilders, latest buzz for Instragram fitness followers.

Oral appliances may be highly effective in treating a type of sleep apnea

Certain traits may define a type of obstructive sleep apnea that can be effectively treated with an oral appliance, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Researchers prove a simple device can reduce rates of child diarrhea

It kills a child under 5 every minute on average. Diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death for children globally, could become even more difficult to control as poor urban areas with limited clean water access expand. An international team of researchers led by a Stanford epidemiologist finds reason for hope in a low-cost water treatment device that reduces rates of diarrhea in children, provides good-tasting water and avoids the need for in-home treatment—improvements over other purification strategies that could significantly increase uptake. Their results were published Aug. 8 in The Lancet Global Health.

Cancer survivors in high-deductible health plans more likely to have delayed care

A new study from American Cancer Society investigators finds cancer survivors in high-deductible health plans were more likely to report delaying or foregoing care. The study appears in the Journal of Oncology Practice. The lead author of the study is Zhiyuan "Jason" Zheng, Ph.D., principal scientist, health services research at the American Cancer Society.

Study identifies 69 genes that increase the risk for autism

A UCLA-led research team has identified dozens of genes, including 16 new genes, that increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder. The findings, published in the journal Cell, were based on a study of families with at least two children with autism.

Can experts determine who might be a mass killer? 3 questions answered

After mass shootings, people naturally search for answers. We also want to find the root cause. One subject that often arises is mental illness. People, and politicians, raise questions about "red flags," or warning signs a person might commit a violent act, and whether someone could have intervened to stop a mass murderer. Psychiatrist Arash Javanbakht answers some questions about mental illness, mass murder and whether it's possible to prevent horrific shootings.

Six epidemics from American history show how urban design affects our health

Cities that are organized on grids are more than just convenient. They're good for your health too, according to Sara Jensen Carr, assistant professor of architecture. Americans learned that the hard way in the 1800s during the cholera outbreaks, when infected water would pool in crooked, unpaved streets.

What people with musical anhedonia might tell us about social interaction

Once upon a time, there was a man. He loved art and photography, but when friends would talk about the concerts they'd gone to over the weekend, he couldn't bring himself to care.

Major surgery is associated with minor cognitive decline

A new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has revealed that major surgery is associated with only a minor decline in cognitive ability.

Low-level alcohol use increases miscarriage risk

Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy—even in small amounts—have a 19 percent greater risk of miscarriage than women who don't use alcohol, according to a new study by Vanderbilt researchers.

New window on fibrosis

DDR1 is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)—a cell surface receptor—that regulates multiple functions including the maintenance of the normal structure of tissues, but which also contributes to pathological conditions including cancer, inflammation and fibrosis.

Epigenetic markers reveal tumor progression and metastasis in multiple cancer types

New University of Otago research into tell-tale markers of cancer cells could help doctors identify whether the cells are more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Building lung capacity, lung-first

The disembodied living lungs in one Yale researcher's lab show that a standalone bioengineered lung is well along the road to reality.

Tricky interfaces: Brain-computer interfaces are still a long way off

It will still be a long time before brain-computer interfaces are able to read thoughts. And many limitations need to be considered, according to Roger Gassert.

Patient survey reveals flaws in cancer treatment

An international survey of more than 4000 cancer patients and carers, including 850 Australians, has highlighted the need to tackle shortcomings in diagnosis, treatment and psychological support as well as high medical costs.

Drugs commonly taken to improve cognition only boost short-term focus – at high cost

The use of prescription stimulants by those without medically diagnosed conditions marks a growing trend among young adults—particularly college students seeking a brain boost. But according to a study led by the University of California, Irvine, taking a nonprescribed psychostimulant may slightly improve a person's short-term focus but impede sleep and mental functions that rely on it—such as working memory.

Why do we keep having debates about video-game violence?

After the series of tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Tex., and Dayton, Ohio, and shocking murders in Ontario and British Columbia, all on the heels of the horrific events in Christchurch, New Zealand, we once again are having debates about the effects of video-game violence on society. We need to stop.

What 'The Lion King' teaches us about children's grief

The Lion King is a movie about a young lion cub named Simba, who idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and is eager for his own royal destiny. Scar, former heir to the throne before Simba's birth, sends Mufasa to his death and convinces Simba that the king's death is the young cub's own fault.

What is sepsis and how can it be treated?

Sepsis, colloquially known as blood poisoning, occurs as a result of an infection, usually from bacteria. Bacteria can enter the blood stream via an open wound, from another part of the body after a surgical procedure, or even from a urinary tract infection.

Bone strength could be linked to when you reached puberty

A new study from the University of Bristol has linked bone strength to the timing of puberty.

Depression symptoms in Alzheimer's could be signs for cognitive decline

BOSTON -Increasingly, Alzheimer's disease (AD) research has focused on the preclinical stage, when people have biological evidence of AD but no or minimal symptoms, and when interventions might have the potential to prevent future decline of older adults. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have shed important new light on this area, reporting in a study published in JAMA Network Open that depression symptoms in cognitively healthy older individuals together with brain amyloid, a biological marker of AD, could trigger changes in memory and thinking over time.

Artificial intelligence could yield more accurate breast cancer diagnoses

UCLA researchers have developed an artificial intelligence system that could help pathologists read biopsies more accurately and to better detect and diagnose breast cancer.

Children at risk of sexual exploitation need better support, report concludes

Children who are constantly moved around the social care system are more likely to be vulnerable to sexual exploitation, new research concludes.

Researchers urge better support for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes

University of South Australia researchers are appealing for greater support mechanisms to help women diagnosed with gestational diabetes return to or maintain a healthy weight post pregnancy.

Tuberculosis epidemic causes lasting damage to lungs

New research from the University of Dundee has revealed that the worldwide tuberculosis (TB) epidemic is leaving a legacy of chronic lung disease.

Irish three-year-olds are consuming up to 10 teaspoons of sugar a day

Researchers from the Dublin Dental University Hospital at Trinity College have found that 3 year olds in Ireland are consuming on average 10 level teaspoons of 'free sugar' a day. Free sugars includes those sugars added during the production or processing of food and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. Dietary free sugars are the most important risk factor for dental caries and can contribute to excess energy intake with little nutrient benefit.

Medical research ranked higher by people receiving health-related news while they wait

Could large TV monitors in waiting rooms, informing visitors about current local medical research, be a good idea? A study shows that people provided with news in this way are more interested in medical research than those randomly excluded from the news flow.

Pure CBD won't make you fail a drug test, but...

As the CBD craze sweeps the nation, some users may wonder whether the cannabis extract can make them fail a drug test. A preliminary study suggests the answer is "no"—at least if the CBD is pure.

Tips for preventing diverticulitis

Although colonoscopy screens for cancer, it can also uncover a common condition called diverticulosis.

Are you still putting off colon cancer screening?

No one looks forward to a colonoscopy, but it can save your life. So you might be wondering whether a home test is a good alternative.

Warnings issued to companies illegally selling E-liquid, hookah products

Warning letters about 44 flavored e-liquid and hookah tobacco products being sold illegally in the United States have been sent to four companies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Medicare to cover CAR-T therapy for leukemia, lymphoma

A breakthrough gene therapy will be covered for certain types of lymphoma and leukemia, Medicare says.

Region hit hard by opioids embraces jail-based treatment

As western Massachusetts struggles with a dramatic spike in fatal overdoses, officials are embracing a controversial solution: sending men who have not committed any crimes to jails and prisons for court-ordered addiction treatment.

When working with animals can hurt your mental health

While it might sound like fun to work around pets every day, veterinarians and people who volunteer at animal shelters face particular stressors that can place them at risk for depression, anxiety and even suicide, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Scientists discover how chronic stress causes brain damage

DGIST announced on July 2 that Professor Seong-Woon Yu's team in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences discovered that chronic stress causes autophagic death of adult hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs). These findings are expected to open up new strategies for combatting stress-associated neural diseases.

Study finds bowel preparation for colon surgery unnecessary

In recent decades, patients in Europe coming in for colectomies, or surgical procedures targeted at the colon, have not been routinely subjected to what is known as bowel preparation, where the bowel is emptied before the operation. In the United States , on the other hand, cleansing the bowel is relatively common.

New diagnostic method for fungal infections could combat a major global health risk

A new study from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) has demonstrated how dual DNA barcoding could help improve the diagnosis of invasive fungal diseases, giving patients access to potentially life-saving treatment much sooner.

Take a break! Brain stimulation improves motor learning

The ability to learn new motor skills is a lifelong prerequisite for mastering everyday tasks independently and flexibly. There are many skills that we do automatically every day without thinking, such as operating a smartphone, typing on a keyboard, or riding a bicycle. But these had to initially be acquired, through repeated practice. The learning of new motor skills takes place both during the active practice of new processes and during breaks between learning sessions, even though one is not practicing. The pauses after practice are particularly important for motor learning. What has been learned solidifies in the brain so that it can be better recalled and executed later.

Microneedling improves appearance of acne scars

It turns out creating tiny injuries on your face with needles actually helps decrease the appearance of acne scars.

Deciphering the regenerative potential of newborn mammalian hearts

Unlike lower vertebrates, mammals are unable to repair their adult hearts after injuries that include heart attacks. This inability in humans leads to heart failure—a deadly and costly disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.

Health effects of eating marijuana is subject of a new study

Researchers have conducted a study in which mice voluntarily ate a dough containing THC, the primary psychoactive component in marijuana. That opens the door to additional studies that will help shed light on behavioral and physiological effects that occur in people when they eat food infused with marijuana.

Regular exercise may slow decline in those at risk of Alzheimer's

Moderate exercise is not only good for memory as people age, it also appears to help prevent the development of physical signs of Alzheimer's, known as biomarkers, in those who are at risk for the disease, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Heat waves brought by climate change could prove deadly for kidney patients

(HealthDay)—New research uncovers yet another population that will be vulnerable to the heat waves that climate change is delivering with increasing frequency: people with kidney disease.

AHA news: Here's why stroke survivors need to pay attention to bone health

People who have had a stroke, and the doctors who treat them, have a lot to be concerned about: regaining mobility and function, controlling risk factors for a second stroke, guarding against depression that can result from a newly limited life.

Method to calculate central line infections flawed

(HealthDay)—Using the true number of central lines as the denominator improves methods of determining central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates, according to a study published online July 24 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Giant cell arteritis occurs at similar rate in blacks, whites

(HealthDay)—Biopsy-proven giant cell arteritis (BP-GCA) occurs at a similar rate among white and black patients, according to a study published online Aug. 8 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Guidelines issued for managing hidradenitis suppurativa

(HealthDay)—In a two-part guideline, published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the United States and Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundations present recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Comparison between major types of arthritis based on diagnostic ultrasonography

Ultrasound is a non-invasive and relatively inexpensive means of diagnosing a number of medical conditions. This review presents an analysis of the diagnostic value of ultrasound to draw comparison between different types of arthritic conditions. The 7 major arthritic conditions included in this study are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, pseudogout (calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease), psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis and spondyloarthritis.

Quinn on Nutrition: Incomplete proteins

Q: Thanks for your very informative column on the nutritional value of beans. One of the things you said was that beans are high in protein. Many years ago I read that beans were an incomplete protein, so you should eat them with corn, and then the two together made a complete protein.

Could artificial intelligence prevent sepsis in hospital patients? Sentara thinks so.

During your stay in a hospital, computer systems are collecting and analyzing all sorts of data about you.

To boost workforce, medical schools try to sell rural life

On a field trip to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Ashish Bibireddy put on headphones and scrolled through a jukebox of music from an influential 1927 recording session.

Librarians facing new tasks say crisis isn't in the catalog

When Jackie Narkiewicz switched careers and became a librarian, she thought she'd spend her workdays "drinking hot beverages and discussing literature with people."

Study shows we like our math like we like our art: Beautiful

A beautiful landscape painting, a beautiful piano sonata—art and music are almost exclusively described in terms of aesthetics, but what about math? Beyond useful or brilliant, can an abstract idea be considered beautiful?

Study proves hepatitis C drugs reduce liver-related deaths by nearly half

A new study from the UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center demonstrates that antiviral drugs for hepatitis C reduce liver-related deaths by nearly 50% in patients with a history of liver cancer.

Opinion: To lower drug costs, end prescription coupons

When the federal government recently announced that it will allow pilot projects in a few states whereby wholesalers and pharmacists could import drugs from Canada, not all the details were apparent. It will be many years before the average American will be able to import any drug at all. And it is likely that after completion of the lawsuits and the pilot projects, drug prices in Canada will rise, meaning Americans would not see lower costs. In addition, the pilot projects exclude the most expensive prescription drugs, called biological drugs.

Administration moves to enforce abortion restriction

The Trump administration is setting a timetable for federally funded family clinics to comply with a new rule that bars them from referring women for abortions.

eSwatini MP proposes arresting underage children to curb teen pregnancy

A lawmaker in eSwatini has proposed jail time for underage children as a way to curb teenage pregnancy in the kingdom formerly known as Swaziland, gripped by poverty and a high HIV burden.

Oregon paid leave law 1st in US to fully cover lowest wages

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday signed what advocates are calling the nation's most progressive paid family and medical leave measure, making the state the first in the country to offer 100% wage replacement for minimum-wage workers.

Biology news

Controlling the shape-shifting skeletons of cells

You know you have a skeleton, but did you know that your cells have skeletons, too? Cellular skeletons, or cytoskeletons, are shapeshifting networks of tiny protein filaments, enabling cells to propel themselves, carry cargo, and divide. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Caltech researchers has designed a way to study and manipulate the cytoskeleton in test tubes in the lab. Understanding how cells control movement could one day lead to tiny, bioinspired robots for therapeutic applications. The work also contributes to the development of new tools for manipulating fluids on very small scales relevant to molecular biology and chemistry.

Leaping larvae! How do they do that without legs?

Attaching its head to its tail to form a ring, a 3-millimeter larva of the goldenrod gall midge squeezes some internal fluids into its tail section, swelling it and raising the pressure like an inner tube.

Blood clotting factors may help fight multi-drug resistant superbugs

Coagulation factors, which are involved in blood clotting after injury, may offer new strategies for fighting multidrug-resistant bacteria, according to a study published in Cell Research.

Puzzling shapes: Unlocking the mysteries of plant cell morphology

The discovery of the mechanics and molecular mechanism that dictate cell shape formation in plants by a team of McGill researchers offers new clues about the fundamental processes governing tissue formation in multicellular organisms.

Green turtles eat plastic that looks like their food

Green turtles are more likely to swallow plastic that resembles their natural diet of sea grass, new research suggests.

Upcycling of proteins protects DNA from parasites

Of the three billion base pairs in the human genome, less than two percent contain the information encoding the ~20,000 proteins. That is, because at least half of our genetic material originated from selfish genetic elements such as transposons. Scattered throughout the genomes of plants, fungi and animals, transposons can 'jump' from one genomic position to another. In doing so, they provide an important source of genetic diversity and thereby can promote adaptation of their host. Uncontrolled transposon activity on the other hand leads to widespread DNA damage and mutations, which can result in disease or cell death. To prevent this, organisms have developed effective ways to keep the harmful genome intruders in check.

Research on cholera adds to understanding of the social life of bacteria

Certain strains of cholera can change their shape in response to environmental conditions to aid their short-term survival, according to new research from Dartmouth College.

Researchers prove there are no water molecules between the ions in the selectivity filter of potassium channels

Do potassium ions pass through the selectivity filter of a potassium channel alone, or are there water molecules between the ions, too? This question has been a source of controversy for years. Researchers led by Prof. Adam Lange from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin have now demonstrated that water molecules do not co-migrate through the potassium channel. Since the experiments were carried out on cell membranes under natural conditions for the first time, the researchers have strong proof. Their work has just been published in the journal Science Advances.

Despite temperature shifts, treehoppers manage to mate

During the mating season, male treehoppers—small plant feeding insects—serenade potential mates with vibrational songs sent through plant stems. If a female treehopper's interest is sparked, a male-female duet ensues until mating occurs.

World's largest frogs build their own ponds for their young

The first example of "nest"-building in an African amphibian, the Goliath frog, has been described in a new article in the Journal of Natural History, and could explain why they have grown to be giant.

Forest fragments surprising havens for wildlife

Destruction of tropical rainforests reduces many unprotected habitats to small fragments of remnant forests within agricultural lands, and to date, these remnant forest fragments have been largely disregarded as wildlife habitat.

Trump administration re-authorizes 'cyanide bombs' to kill wildlife

US President Donald Trump's administration has re-authorized the use of controversial poison traps known as "cyanide bombs" to kill wild foxes, coyotes and feral dogs despite overwhelming opposition from conservation groups.

Epigenetic mechanism appears to strongly influence healthy aging

Researchers at the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) have identified an epigenetic mechanism that appears to strongly influence healthy aging. It's a protein that controls muscle integrity, lifespan and levels of an essential sugar. How does one protein have that much power?

Like moths to a colorful flame

A nocturnal moth may be using its colorful wing patterns to attract a female mate, according to new research led by The University of Western Australia and the Adolphe Merkle Institute in Switzerland.

Better diagnostic imaging for pet rabbits

Gastrointestinal issues are the most common emergency that brings pet rabbits—the third most popular companion small mammal in the U.S.—to the Foster Hospital for Small Animals.

Rare baby panda twins born at Belgian zoo

A Belgian zoo announced Friday the "extremely rare" birth of twin baby giant pandas, three years after the arrival of a young male, which was a first for Belgium at the time.

Africa's biggest reserve under threat from Chinese oil deal: Activists

Environmental activists said Friday they have launched a petition to stop the break-up of Niger's Termit and Tin Toumma national nature reserve, the biggest in Africa, to honour an oil deal with China.

US won't approve labels that say glyphosate causes cancer

The US Environmental Protection Agency has said it will no longer approve warning labels that claim the controversial herbicide glyphosate causes cancer, calling the statement "false and misleading."

Making sense of remote sensing data

Remote sensor technologies like cameras, GPS trackers, and weather stations have revolutionized biological data collection in the field. Now researchers can capture continuous datasets in difficult terrain, at a scale unimaginable before these technologies became available. But as this flood of data has rolled into laboratory computers around the world, researchers have found themselves without well-developed analytical tools to make sense of it all. In research presented in a recent issue of Applications in Plant Sciences, Dr. Greice Mariano and colleagues introduce a tool called RadialPheno to analyze leafing patterns of plants based on remote camera data.

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