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Last updated on  December 11th, 2017
Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration, ion transport into cells: Click here
Nanometer-scale pores etched into layers of graphene can provide a simple model for the complex operation of ion channels, researchers have demonstrated.
Sandy claws: Like holiday enthusiasts, majoid crabs decorate their shells: Click here
Majoid crabs -- known as decorator crabs -- adorn themselves with items secured from their surroundings such as sponges, algae and other marine debris. Scientists are exploring what factors drive this behavior.
Many more bacteria have electrically conducting filaments: Click here
The microbiologists who have discovered electrically conducting microfilaments or 'nanowires' in the bacterium Geobacter, announce in a new article that they have discovered the unexpected structures in many other species, greatly broadening the research field on electrically conducting filaments.
Marine mammal beachings not likely due to space weather: Click here
After a collaboration between NASA scientists and marine biologists, new research rules out space weather as a primary cause of animal beachings.
Toxoplasmosis: How a cat parasite exploits immune cells to reach the brain: Click here
Scientists have previously shown that a parasite from cats can infect people's brain and affect our behaviour. Now, researchers at Stockholm University have discovered how the parasite takes control of our cells.
Study finds ways to avoid hidden dangers of accumulated stresses on seagrass: Click here
A new study has found ways to detect hidden dangers of repeated stresses on seagrass using statistical modelling. The research found cumulative maintenance dredging which affected the light on the sea floor increased risks on seagrass survival. It found, globally, seagrass meadows can be at risk of collapse from accumulated effects of repeated dredging and natural stress.
Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk: Click here
Scientists show for the first time that fast insects can change their gait -- like a mammal's transition from trot to gallop. These new insights could contribute to making the locomotion of robots more energy efficient.
Marine organisms can shred a plastic bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows: Click here
A single plastic grocery bag could be shredded by marine organisms into 1.75 million microscopic fragments, according to new research.
Controlled burns limited severity of Rim Fire: Click here
Controlled burning of forestland helped limit the severity of one of California's largest wildfires, according to geographers.
Acrobatic duo in the cells: Click here
Just like an acrobatic duo, some proteins lend each other stability. Researchers have discovered that the protein 'Trigger factor' recognizes a partner by unstable, flexible domains, to then together form a stable protein duo.
Life of an albatross: Tackling individuality in studies of populations: Click here
Ecologists commonly round off the individuality of individuals, treating animals of the same species, sex, and age like identical units. But individual differences can have demographic effects on interpretation of data at the scale of whole populations, if due to an underlying variability in individual quality, not chance. Researchers examined in the peculiarities that make some wandering albatrosses more successful than others.
Suite of papers shed light on decade-long stem cell mystery: Click here
A series of studies has shed light on vital, yet previously unclear, aspects of cell reprogramming.
Brittle starfish shows how to make tough ceramics: Click here
Nature inspires innovation. An international team of scientists has discovered how a brittle star can create material like tempered glass underwater. The findings may open new bio-inspired routes for toughening brittle ceramics in various applications that span from optical lenses to automotive turbochargers and even biomaterial implants.
Algae could feed and fuel planet with aid of new high-tech tool: Click here
Vast quantities of medicines and renewable fuels could be produced by algae using a new gene-editing technique, a study suggests.
Right-handed and left-handed molecules: Click here
The subtle properties of mirror molecules have been revealed by a new study. The researchers examined camphor photoionization using an ultrafast laser. Circularly polarized light directed at camphor molecules allowed the measurement of electron emission, giving the first precise measurement of the asymmetry in the reaction of a camphor molecule. It confirms that more electrons are emitted in one direction, but also leads to the discovery that they are emitted seven attoseconds earlier than in the opposite.
New algorithm recognizes distinct dolphin clicks in underwater recordings: Click here
Scientists have developed a new algorithm that can identify distinct dolphin click patterns among millions of clicks in recordings of wild dolphins. This approach could potentially help distinguish between dolphin species in the wild.
Monkey feel, monkey do: Microstimulation in premotor cortex can instruct movement: Click here
Finding ways to get around those broken networks in the brain is an important area of research for those seeking to develop treatment interventions. Now researchers are showing in monkeys that stimulation delivered directly to the premotor cortex can elicit a feeling or experience that can instruct different movements, even when the stimulus is too small to induce any response directly.
CRISPR-Cas9 technique targeting epigenetics reverses disease in mice: Click here
Scientists report a modified CRISPR-Cas9 technique that alters the activity, rather than the underlying sequence, of disease-associated genes. The researchers demonstrate that this technique can be used in mice to treat several different diseases.
Heart monitors on wild narwhals reveal alarming responses to stress: Click here
Stress from human disturbances could cause behavioral responses in narwhals that are inconsistent with their physiological capacities, researchers say. They found that narwhals released after entanglement in nets and outfitted with heart monitors performed a series of deep dives, swimming hard to escape, while their heart rates dropped to unexpectedly low levels of three to four beats per minute.
Crafty crows know what it takes to make a good tool: Click here
Biologists have discovered how New Caledonian crows make one of their most sophisticated tool designs -- sticks with a neatly shaped hooked tip. New Caledonian crows are the only species besides humans known to manufacture hooked tools in the wild. The study reveals how crows manage to fashion particularly efficient tools, with well-defined 'deep' hooks.
Physiochemical 'fingerprint' of parasitic 'American murderer' uncovered: Click here
The physical and chemical 'fingerprint' profile of a parasitic worm, which infects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, has been uncovered by researchers -- a discovery that could allow for more effective and earlier treatment. They have captured detailed movies reproducing the process the worm goes through as it enters the body and sheds its skin allowing them to interrogate the worm surface and its sheath in unprecedented detail.
Hydropower dam energy without sacrificing Mekong food supply: New research offers solution: Click here
Nearly 100 hydropower dams are planned for construction along tributaries off the Mekong River's 2,700-mile stretch. In a new article, researchers present a mathematical formula to balance power generation needs with the needs of fisheries downstream.
It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals: Click here
A new study has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals.
The unique pentraxin-carbonic anhydrase protein regulates the ability of fish to swim: Click here
A study has shown that carbonic anhydrase VI (CA VI) is present in some species as a combination of two proteins.
A spring-loaded sensor for cholesterol in cells: Click here
New research explains how an enzyme acts as a kind of thermostat that responds to and adjusts levels of cholesterol in the cell. This insight could lead to new strategies for combating high cholesterol.
One wet winter can shake up San Francisco Bay's invasive species: Click here
For many Californians, last year's wet winter triggered a case of whiplash. After five years of drought, rain from October 2016 to February 2017 broke more than a century of records. In San Francisco Bay, biologists discovered a hidden side effect: All that freshwater rain can turn the tables on some of the bay's invasive species.
The molecular structure of a forest aroma deconstructed: Click here
The fresh, unmistakable scent of a pine forest comes from a medley of chemicals produced by its trees. Researchers have now accurately determined the chemical structure of one compound in its gas phase, a molecule called alpha-pinene. The analysis can help scientists better detect and understand how alpha-pinene reacts with other gases in the atmosphere, a process that can affect health and climate.
Common fungus helps dengue virus thrive in mosquitoes: Click here
A species of fungus that lives in the gut of some Aedes aegypti mosquitoes increases the ability of dengue virus to survive in the insects, according to a study.
Innovative system images photosynthesis to provide picture of plant health: Click here
Researchers have developed a new imaging system that is designed to monitor the health of crops in the field or greenhouse. The new technology could one day save farmers significant money and time by enabling intelligent agricultural equipment that automatically provides plants with water or nutrients at the first signs of distress.
Novel lenses enable X-ray microscopy with record resolution: Click here
Scientists have developed novel lenses that enable X-ray microscopy with record resolution in the nanometer regime. Using new materials, the research team has perfected the design of specialized X-ray optics and achieved a focus spot size with a diameter of less than 10 nanometers. The researchers successfully used their lenses to image samples of marine plankton.
Bacteria activate their own killer: Click here
A new photothermal treatment could help to overcome antibiotic resistance. In this method, an agent transforms near-infrared light into local heating, which kills the pathogens. However, this 'transformer' must first be activated. In this case the target bacteria do this themselves. Other types of bacteria do not switch the agent on and remain unharmed.
New discovery, more bees mark Michigan's first, full bee census: Click here
The first complete bee census in Michigan has confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier estimates.
Life under the surface in live broadcast: Click here
Researchers have invented new systems to study the life of microorganisms in the ground. Without any digging, the researchers are able use microchips to see and analyze an invisible world that is filled with more species than any other ecosystem.
Forests are the key to fresh water: Click here
Freshwater resources are critical to both human civilization and natural ecosystems, but researchers have discovered that changes to ground vegetation can have as much of an impact on global water resources as climate change.
Exploring a world without food animals: Click here
What would happen if U.S. farmers stopped producing animals for food and Americans went vegan? Some have called for a move in that direction to address increasing concerns about U.S. health, eating habits, and climate change. Researchers recently explored those questions and found surprising results.
New species of extinct marsupial lion discovered in Australia: Click here
A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. The findings are based on fossilized remains of the animal's skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote northwestern Queensland.
A 100-fold leap to GigaDalton DNA nanotech: Click here
A research team has leapfrogged their 'DNA bricks' technology by two orders of magnitude, enabling next-generation DNA bricks to self-assemble into three-dimensional nanostructures that are 100 times more complex than those created with existing methods. The study provides user-friendly computational tools to design DNA nanostructures with complex cavities (and possibly surfaces) that have the potential to serve as building components in numerous nanotechnological applications in medicine and engineering.
Drones more damaging than bird strikes to planes, study finds: Click here
A new study focused on unmanned aerial systems is helping quantify the dangers associated with drones sharing airspace with planes.
Satellite tracking provides clues about South Atlantic sea turtles' 'lost years': Click here
Biologists have been tracking the movements of sea turtle yearlings in the South Atlantic Ocean, and have come up with some surprising results.
Decades-past logging still threatens spotted owls in national forests: Click here
Logging of the largest trees in the Sierra Nevada's national forests ended in the early 1990s after agreements were struck to protect species' habitat. But new research by ecologists shows that spotted owls, one of the iconic species logging restrictions were meant to protect, have continued to experience population declines in the forests.
Unique field survey yields first big-picture view of deep-sea food webs: Click here
A new article documents the first comprehensive study of deep-sea food webs, using hundreds of video observations of animals caught in the act of feeding off the Central California coast. The study shows that deep-sea jellies are key predators, and provides new information on how deep-sea animals interact with life near the ocean surface.
Optimal amount of rainfall for plants: Click here
Researchers have determined what could be considered a 'Goldilocks' climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. But those landscapes are likely to shrink and become less productive in the future through climate change.
Needle in a haystack: Research in mice paves way to teasing out cause and effect between gut microbes and disease: Click here
Overcoming a major hurdle in the field of microbiome research, scientists have developed a method to elucidate cause-effect relationships between gut bacteria and disease. The approach could help identify disease-modulating microbes and open doors to precision-targeted therapies derived from microbial molecules. The work identifies new class of gut bacteria that regulate intestinal inflammation and colitis in mice.
Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's: Click here
Using a bioinformatics and experimental approach, scientists have found that rendering mitochondria resistant to damage can halt diseases caused by amyloid toxicity, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Synchrotron sheds light on the amphibious lifestyle of a new raptorial dinosaur: Click here
A well-preserved dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia unites an unexpected combination of features that defines a new group of semi-aquatic predators related to Velociraptor. Detailed 3-D synchrotron analysis allowed an international team of researchers to present the bizarre 75-million-year-old predator, named Halszkaraptor escuilliei. The study not only describes a new genus and species of bird-like dinosaur that lived in Mongolia but also sheds light on an unexpected amphibious lifestyle for raptorial dinosaurs.
Living on thin air -- microbe mystery solved: Click here
Scientists have discovered that microbes in Antarctica have a previously unknown ability to scavenge hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air to stay alive in the extreme conditions. The find has implications for the search for life on other planets, suggesting extraterrestrial microbes could also rely on trace atmospheric gases for survival.
Probiotic gets a boost from breast milk: Click here
Supplementation with probiotics can improve a person's gut health, but the benefits are often fleeting, and colonization by the probiotic's good microbes usually doesn't last. Breast milk may help sustain those colonies in the long run, say researchers.
The world's smallest Mona Lisa: Click here
New techniques in DNA self-assembly allow researchers to create the largest to-date customizable patterns with nanometer precision on a budget.
Deadly cryptococcal fungi found in public spaces in South Africa: Click here
Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii have been found large numbers on trees in South Africa.
Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes: Click here
Researchers test the effects of carbon nanotubes on the growth of wheatgrass. While some showed no effect, purified single-walled nanotubes dispersed in water enhanced the plants' growth, while the same nanotubes in an organic solvent retarded their development.
A South American amphibian could potentially hold the key to curing cirrhosis: Click here
The unique liver function of a South American amphibian, Siphonops annulatus, could pave the way to finding a cure to the devastating liver condition cirrhosis, according to a new study.
It's good to be rare, for some species: Click here
For many species, rarity is not a guarantee of impending extinction. Instead, the traits that enable some species to be rare may hold the ticket to their survival. A new paper predicts what these traits might be and how having them could place chronically rare species at an advantage during crises.
Invasive 'supervillain' crab can eat through its gills: Click here
Invasive green shore crabs can 'eat' by absorbing nutrients across its gills -- the first demonstration of this ability in crustaceans -- scientists have found.
High prevalence of bacteria that carry gene mcr-1 in ecosystem, study shows: Click here
Bacteria that carry the colistin resistance gene mcr-1 commonly exist in human and various types of food and environmental samples collected from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. The prevalence of mcr-1 in our ecosystem challenges the role of colistin as the last resort antibiotic to treat infections caused by carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, say researchers.
Head start through human intervention: Study on the spread of European plant species on other continents: Click here
A new study has investigated the spread of European plant species on other continents.
Hydrogen gas from enzyme production: Click here
Researchers have uncovered a crucial reaction principle of hydrogen-producing enzymes. The scientists investigated the production of molecular hydrogen in single-cell green algae. They were able to demonstrate how the enzyme succeeds in transferring two electrons in succession to two hydrogen ions and thereby assume stable intermediate states.
Bioelectronic 'nose' can detect food spoilage by sensing the smell of death: Click here
Strong odors are an indicator that food has gone bad, but there could soon be a new way to sniff foul smells earlier on. As reported in ACS Nano, researchers have developed a bioelectronic
Separated since the dinosaurs, bamboo-eating lemurs, pandas share common gut microbes: Click here
A new study finds that bamboo lemurs, giant pandas and red pandas share 48 gut microbes in common -- despite the fact that they are separated by millions of years of evolution.
Go with the flow (or against it): Click here
Researchers are using magnetic fields to influence a specific type of bacteria to swim against strong currents, opening up the potential of using the microscopic organisms for drug delivery in environments with complex microflows- - like the human bloodstream.
Cell tissue must not freeze!: Click here
Nature has evolved sugars, amino acids, and special antifreeze proteins as cryoprotectants. People use organic solvents and synthetic polymers as additives to prevent cell cultures from freezing damage. Now, scientists have combined both methods: They introduced polyproline, a polypeptide made of the natural amino acid proline, as an effective cryoprotectant for monolayers of cells.
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