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Last updated on  August 16th, 2017
Problems with DNA replication can cause epigenetic changes that may be inherited for several generations: Click here
Scientists reveal that a fault in the process that copies DNA during cell division can cause epigenetic changes that may be inherited for up-to five generations. They also identified the cause of these epigenetic changes, which is related to the loss of a molecular mechanism in charge of silencing genes. Their results will change the way we think about the impact of replication stress in cancer and during embryonic development, as well as its inter-generational inheritance.
Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth solved: Click here
Research has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would not exist.
Using barcodes to trace cell development: Click here
There are various concepts about how blood cells develop. However, they are based almost exclusively on experiments that solely reflect snapshots. Scientists now present a novel technique that captures the process in a dynamic way. Using a 'random generator,' the researchers label hematopoietic stem cells with genetic barcodes that enable them to trace which cell types arise from the stem cell.
Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related: Click here
As corals face threats from ocean warming, a new study uses the latest genetic-sequencing tools to help unravel the relationships between three similar-looking corals.
Soil microbes persist through National Mall facelift: Click here
It's not every day United States history mixes with microbes in the soil. But when the turf on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was replaced, it offered scientists the opportunity to study changes in the soil microbiome underneath.
Biophysics explains how immune cells kill bacteria: Click here
A new data analysis technique, moving subtrajectory analysis defines the dynamics and kinetics of key molecules in the immune response to an infection. These biophysical descriptions are expected to clarify the TCR microcluster, an essential assembly for a T cell to initiate its attack on a pathogen.
New plant discovered in Shetland: Click here
Scientists have discovered a new type of plant growing in Shetland -- with its evolution only having occurred in the last 200 years.
Turning pollen into a low-cost fertilizer: Click here
As the world population continues to balloon, agricultural experts puzzle over how farms will produce enough food to keep up with demand. One tactic involves boosting crop yields. Toward that end, scientists have developed a method to make a low-cost, biocompatible fertilizer with carbon dots derived from rapeseed pollen. The study found that applying the carbon dots to hydroponically cultivated lettuce promoted its growth by 50 percent.
Popular sungazer lizards under threat from poaching: Click here
The sungazer (Smaug giganteus), a dragon-like lizard species endemic to the Highveld regions of South Africa, is facing an assault on two fronts as farming and industrialization encroaches on its natural habitat -- which already consist of only a several hundred square kilometers globally -- while the illegal global pet trade is adding pressure on pushing the species into extinction.
A decade of monitoring shows the dynamics of a conserved Atlantic tropical forest: Click here
Characterized with high levels of biodiversity and endemism, the Atlantic Tropical Forest has been facing serious anthropogenic threats over the last several decades. Having put important ecosystem services at risk, such activities need to be closely studied as part of the forest dynamics. Thus, a Brazilian team of researchers spent a decade monitoring a semi-deciduous forest located in an ecological park in Southeast Brazil.
David Attenborough gains new species namesake: Click here
A new species of damselfly from the Cretaceous period has been named after the iconic naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough.
Predators preserve existing animal species: Click here
A new study increases knowledge of how boundaries and barriers are maintained between different species in the animal world. According to theory, crosses between two species, known as hybrids, may not survive encounters with natural predators to the same degree as their parents. Now, researchers show that reality confirms this theory.
Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas: Click here
Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments.
The key to drought-tolerant crops may be in the leaves: Click here
Scientists are exploring how to generate plants that are more drought-resistant as the water supplies decline in major agricultural states.
Seven complete specimens of new flower, all 100 million years old: Click here
A Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus rex bulling its way through a pine forest likely dislodged flowers that 100 million years later have been identified in their fossilized form as a new species of tree.
Eating habits affect skin's protection against sun: Click here
Sunbathers may want to avoid midnight snacks before catching some rays, new research recommends. A study in mice shows that eating at abnormal times disrupts the biological clock of the skin, including the daytime potency of an enzyme that protects against the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Frogs that adapt to pesticides are more vulnerable to parasites: Click here
Amphibians can evolve increased tolerance to pesticides, but the adaptation can make them more susceptible to parasites, according to a team of scientists.
Compounds in desert creosote bush could treat giardia, 'brain-eating' amoeba infections: Click here
Researchers have found that compounds produced by the creosote bush, a desert plant common to the Southwestern United States, exhibit potent anti-parasitic activity against the protozoa responsible for giardia infections and an amoeba that causes an often-lethal form of encephalitis.
Understanding antibiotic resistance: Click here
Researchers have uncovered new insights into how bacteria respond to stress. When deprived of nutrients, strains of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae mount a coordinated defense. When exposed to antibiotics, the bacterial response is highly disorganized, revealing the bacteria are far less familiar with antibiotics and do not recognize how to respond.
Adding silicon to soil to strengthen plant defenses: Click here
Researchers have examined the addition of silicon to the soil in which plants are grown to help strengthen plants against potential predators.
How a nutrient, glutamine, can control gene programs in cells: Click here
Researchers show that an intracellular metabolite of glutamine, alpha-ketoglutarate, plays a role in regulating cellular differentiation programs by changing the DNA-binding patterns of the transcription factor CTCF and by altering genome interactions. As an added level of gene program control complexity, they have found that the genome's context near the binding sites -- such as epigenetic changes or altered genome topology -- affects whether the binding turns on or turns off gene programs.
The lining of our intestines uses business process for fast digestion: Click here
Every time we swallow food, cells that line the intestines must step up their activity in a sudden and dramatic manner. According to a new study, they rise to the challenge in the most economic fashion.
Climate change projected to significantly increase harmful algal blooms in US freshwaters: Click here
Harmful algal blooms known to pose risks to human and environmental health in large freshwater reservoirs and lakes are projected to increase because of climate change.
Rhapsody in red violet: Click here
A new study has now opened the way to numerous potential uses of betalains, the highly nutritious red-violet and yellow pigments known for their antioxidant properties and commonly used as food dyes.
Epigenetic drugs show promise as antivirals: Click here
Some epigenetic pharmaceuticals have the potential to be used as broad spectrum antivirals, according to a new study. The study demonstrated that histone methyltransferases EZH2/1 inhibitors, which are being used in cancer clinical trials, have activity against a variety of viruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Neural mechanisms for gregariousness and monogamy in zebra finches: Click here
Researchers describe neural mechanisms for gregariousness and monogamy in zebra finches in a new article.
'Acidic patch' regulates access to genetic information: Click here
Researchers have uncovered new details about the way in which DNA, which is tightly packed into the cell's nucleus, is unwound so that it can be read and transcribed into proteins.
How head-on collisions of DNA protein machines stop replication: Click here
Head-on collisions between the protein machines that crawl along chromosomes can disrupt DNA replication and boost gene mutation rates. This may be one of the ways bacteria control their evolution by accelerating mutations in key genes when coping with new conditions. Some mutations may help bacteria survive hostile environments, resist antibiotics or fend off immune attacks.
Plant-produced polio vaccines could help eradicate age-old disease: Click here
Plants have been used to produce a new vaccine against poliovirus in what is hoped to be a major step towards global eradication of the disease.
Human intrusion on fruit bat habitats raises exposure risk to Hendra virus in Australia: Click here
There is a rising risk of human and domestic animal exposure to deadly Hendra virus (HeV) carried by fruit bats in Eastern Australia due to human intrusion into their habitats, human proximity to woodlands and vegetation loss, a new study reveals.
New genomic insights reveal a surprising two-way journey for apple on the Silk Road: Click here
New research reveals surprising insights into the genetic exchange along the Silk Road that brought us the modern apple.
Unique imaging of a dinosaur's skull tells evolutionary tale: Click here
Researchers using Los Alamos' unique neutron-imaging and high-energy X-ray capabilities have exposed the inner structures of the fossil skull of a 74-million-year-old tyrannosauroid dinosaur nicknamed the Bisti Beast in the highest-resolution scan of tyrannosaur skull ever done.
An immune signaling pathway for control of yellow fever virus infection: Click here
Researchers have uncovered a critical role for a new immune signaling pathway in controlling infection by the flavivirus Yellow Fever Virus (YFV).
Mercury is altering gene expression: Click here
Mercury causes severe neurological disorders in people who have consumed highly contaminated fish. Whereas we know about the element's extreme toxicity, what happens further down the food chain, all the way down to those microalgae that are the first level and the gateway for mercury? By employing molecular biology tools, a team of researchers measured the way mercury affects the gene expression of algae, even when its concentration in water is very low.
3D printing living tissues to form living structures: Click here
Scientists have developed a new method to 3D-print laboratory- grown cells to form living structures. The approach could revolutionize regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that would potentially support, repair or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.
Probiotics help poplar trees clean up contaminated groundwater: Click here
Researchers have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic -- or natural microbe -- to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE.
A way to stabilize haploidy in animal cells: Click here
The emergence, in recent years, of the first mammalian haploid cell lines has raised great expectations in the scientific community. Despite their potential, these cultures present some issues that make their use complicated because haploidy is unstable and can be lost quickly. Researchers now offer an explanation of this phenomenon and proposes a way to overcome it.
Viruses up their game in arms race with immune system: Click here
Myxoma virus -- introduced to control the rabbit population in Australia in 1950 -- has developed a deadly ability to suppress the immune response in host rabbits. This example of an evolutionary arms race highlights the potential for escalating virus virulence and host resistance to produce more dangerous viruses with implications for agriculture and human vaccination, where resistance to viruses is artificially increased through selective breeding, genetic engineering, and immunization, potentially accelerating the arms race.
How testosterone regulates singing in canaries: Click here
Testosterone controls specific features of birdsong in two distinct regions of the canary brain that resemble the human motor cortex, according to a new study. The research points to a role for sex hormones in the regulation of this complex behavior that is more precise than merely increasing motivation to sing.
Seeing a virus in action: Click here
Imaging the movement of a virus demonstrates that single-particle X- ray scattering has the potential to shed new light on key molecular processes, like viral infection, when paired with powerful new algorithms.
Killing bacteria by hacking plastics with silver and electricity: Click here
Researchers have developed an innovative way of hacking conducting plastics so as to prevent bacterial growth using silver nanoparticles and a small electrical current. The method could prove to be useful in preventing bacterial infections in hospitals.
Tiny fraction of oceans could meet world's fish demand: Click here
Covering 70 percent of Earth's surface, the world's oceans are vast and deep. So vast, in fact, that nearly every coastal country has the potential to meet its own domestic seafood needs through aquaculture. In fact, each country could do so using a tiny fraction of its ocean territory.
Neonics put bumblebees at risk of extinction by hindering colony formation, study reveals: Click here
Bumblebees are less able to start colonies when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide, according to a new study. The research has shown that exposure to thiamethoxam reduces the chances of a bumblebee queen starting a new colony by more than a quarter. Using a mathematical model, the researchers found that this rate of decline could threaten extinction of wild bumblebee populations.
Varroa mites -- bees' archenemies -- have genetic holes in their armor: Click here
Seemingly indestructible Varroa mites have decimated honeybee populations and are a primary cause of colony collapse disorder, or CCD. Scientists have found genetic holes in the pests' armor that could potentially reduce or eliminate the marauding invaders. The team's results have identified four genes critical for survival and two that directly affect reproduction.
Meadow of dancing brittle stars shows evolution at work: Click here
Newly-described fossil shows how brittle stars evolved in response to pressure from predators, and how an 'evolutionary hangover' managed to escape them.
Why expensive wine appears to taste better: It's the price tag: Click here
Price labels influence our liking of wine: The same wine tastes better to participants when it is labeled with a higher price tag. Scientists have discovered that the decision-making and motivation center in the brain plays a pivotal role in such price biases to occur. The medial pre-frontal cortex and the ventral striatum are particularly involved in this.
'Inefficient' sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive: Click here
Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to 'inefficient' traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.
Trees and shrubs offer new food crops to diversify the farm: Click here
What if we could design a landscape that would provide a variety of nutritious foods, high-quality habitat, and ecosystem services, while also delivering a healthy profit to the landowner? According to researchers, it is not only possible, it should be adopted more widely, now.
Highly hazardous pesticides: Bans not secure storage: Click here
Global policies on access to highly hazardous pesticides -- commonly ingested in acts of self-poisoning and suicide in rural Asia -- should focus on national bans, rather than safe storage, according to two new studies.
Scientists map sex chromosome evolution in pathogenic fungi: Click here
Researchers recently mapped the evolutionary turning point that transformed the pathogenic Cryptococcus fungus from an organism with thousands of sexes to only two. They found that during evolution, a reshuffling of DNA known as translocation brought together separate chunks of sex-determining genes onto a single chromosome, essentially mimicking the human X or Y chromosome. Surprisingly, these translocations occurred at the chromosome's centromeres, regions so dense that they were once thought to suppress recombination.
Sweet! Sugar-coated probe yields better acid test: Click here
When our cells' acid-alkaline balance goes wrong, it can go wrong in a big way -- think cancer and cystic fibrosis. New fluorescent probes make it easier to detect pH and sweetened the deal by adding sugar to his acid-sensitive probes, making them much friendlier to living tissue.
Plastic films incorporating N-halamines could sanitize food production facilities: Click here
Specially designed plastic films can prevent bacterial contamination in the food and biomedical industries, according to new research.
Almonds may help boost cholesterol clean-up crew: Click here
Eating almonds on a regular basis may help boost levels of HDL cholesterol while simultaneously improving the way it removes cholesterol from the body, according to researchers.
Canary in a coal mine: Survey captures global picture of air pollution's effects on birds: Click here
Writing Aug. 11 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Tracey Holloway, an expert on air quality, and her former graduate student Olivia Sanderfoot sort through nearly 70 years of the scientific literature to assess the state of knowledge of how air pollution directly affects the health, well-being, reproductive success and diversity of birds.
Night vision for bird- and bat-friendly offshore wind power: Click here
ThermalTracker software analyzes video with night vision, the same technology that helps soldiers see in the dark, to help birds and bats near offshore wind turbines.
Chemical profile of ants adapts rapidly: Click here
Biologists recently established that ants can adapt their hydrocarbon profile quickly during the course of evolution and rapidly adapt to external selection pressures.
Jackdaws flap their wings to save energy: Click here
For the first time, researchers have observed that birds that fly actively and flap their wings save energy. Biologists have now shown that jackdaws minimize their energy consumption when they lift off and fly, because the feathers on their wing tips create several small vortices instead of a single large one. The discovery could potentially be applied within the aeronautical industry.
Material-independent nanocoating antimicrobial spray extends the shelf life of produce: Click here
Scientists have developed a sprayable nanocoating technique using plant-derived polyphenol that can be applied to any surface. This new nanocoating process can be completed in seconds to form nanometer-thick films, allowing for the coating of commodity goods, such as shoe insoles and fruits, in a controlled fashion.
How goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen: Click here
Scientists have uncovered the secret behind a goldfish's remarkable ability to produce alcohol as a way of surviving harsh winters beneath frozen lakes.
Small molecule inhibitor prevents or impedes tooth cavities in a preclinical model: Click here
Researchers have created a small molecule that prevents or impedes tooth cavities in a preclinical model. The inhibitor blocks the function of a key virulence enzyme in an oral bacterium, a molecular sabotage that is akin to throwing a monkey wrench into machinery to jam the gears.
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