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Scientists explain how wombats drop cubed feces

How do wombats produce cube-shaped feces? Scientists have investigated the hydrodynamics of fluids, including blood, processed food and urine, in the bodies of animals. She was curious how the differences in wombats' digestive processes and soft tissue structures might explain their oddly shaped scat.

New treatment to protect people with peanut allergies ready for FDA review

Medical researchers have developed a new treatment for protection against accidental exposure to peanut.

Virtual reality simulation of a supermassive black hole

The black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, has been visualized in virtual reality for the first time.

A molecule for fighting muscular paralysis

Myotubular myopathy is a severe genetic disease that leads to muscle paralysis. Although no treatment currently exists, researchers have identified a molecule that not only greatly reduces the progression of the disease but also boosts life expectancy in animal models by a factor of seven. Since the molecule -- known as tamoxifen -- is already used for breast cancer, the researchers hope to soon set up a clinical trial.

Spanking in developing countries does more harm than good, study suggests

Spanking may be increasingly harmful for children on a more global scale than previously known, a new study indicates.

Geneticist solves long-standing finch beak mystery

Biologist have compared the genes of large-beaked Cameroonian finches to those of their smaller-beaked counterparts, found the answer to a 20-year old mystery: 300,000 base pairs, apparently inherited as a unit, always varied between them, and right in the middle of that genetic sequence was the well-known growth factor, IGF-1.

Selling plants on Amazon: A forest of untapped opportunity

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which horticultural businesses were directly selling live plant products online, either through Amazon, Ebay, or from their own websites.

Treated superalloys demonstrate unprecedented heat resistance

Researchers have discovered how to make 'superalloys' even more super, extending useful life by thousands of hours. The discovery could improve materials performance for electrical generators and nuclear reactors.

Newborn babies' brain responses to being touched on the face measured for the first time

A newborn baby's brain responds to being touched on the face, according to new research. Babies use this sense of touch -- facial somatosensation -- to find and latch onto their mother's nipple, and should have this ability from birth. Premature babies often have difficulty feeding, and underdevelopment of their facial sensitivity may be one of the main causes.

Color coded: Matching taste with color

Color can impact the taste of food, and our experiences and expectations can affect how we taste food, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest this may have implications for how food and beverage industries should market their products.

Dodging antibiotic resistance by curbing bacterial evolution

Lowering mutation rates in harmful bacteria might be an as yet untried way to hinder the emergence of antimicrobial pathogens. One target for drug development might be a protein factor, DNA translocase Mfd, that enables bacteria to evolve rapidly by promoting mutations in many different bacterial species. This action speeds antibiotic resistance, including multi-drug resistance. Working on drugs to block Mfd and similar factors could be a revolutionary strategy to address the worldwide crisis of treatment-resistant infectious diseases.

A new lead on a 50-year-old radiation damage mystery

For half a century, researchers have seen loops of displaced atoms appearing inside nuclear reactor steel after exposure to radiation, but no one could work out how.

From the ashes of a failed pain drug, a new therapeutic path emerges

A surprising discovery about a failed pain drug -- and specifically, the pathway it targets, BH4 -- could have implications for autoimmunity and cancer. Neuroscientists report that BH4 also functions as a kind of immunological thermostat, raising and lowering the activity levels of T cells. Inhibiting BH4 could relieve atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, lupus, polyarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease; boosting it could help the immune system attack cancers.

Overflowing crater lakes carved canyons across Mars

Today, most of the water on Mars is locked away in frozen ice caps. But billions of years ago it flowed freely across the surface, forming rushing rivers that emptied into craters, forming lakes and seas. New research has found evidence that sometimes the lakes would take on so much water that they overflowed and burst from the sides of their basins, creating catastrophic floods that carved canyons very rapidly, perhaps in a matter of weeks.

Majority of HIV persistence during ART due to infected cell proliferation

Study confirms biological mechanism responsible for latent HIV reservoirs; suggests strategies for a functional HIV cure.

Communal rearing gives mice a competitive edge

Scientists suggest that being raised communally makes mice more competitive when they're older. It is well known that in many animals, including humans, early-life experiences have long-lasting effects on the development of behaviors later in life. Researchers have investigated the effects of communal rearing on competitive and exploratory behaviors in adult male house mice.

PNW woodlands will be less vulnerable to drought, fire than Rocky Mountain, Sierra forests

Forests in the Pacific Northwest will be less vulnerable to drought and fire over the next three decades than those in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada, computer modeling shows.

Different types of physical activity offer varying protection against heart disease

While it is well known that physical activity is important for heart health, neither research nor recommendations consistently differentiate between the benefits of different types of physical activity. New research found that while all physical activity is beneficial, static activities -- such as strength training-- were more strongly associated with reducing heart disease risks than dynamic activities like walking and cycling.

How head injuries lead to serious brain diseases

Biologists reveal the hidden molecular basis of brain disorders and provide the first cell atlas of the hippocampus -- the part of the brain that helps regulate learning and memory -- as it is affected by traumatic brain injury. The researchers propose gene candidates for treating brain diseases associated with traumatic brain injury such as Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole redefined

In a landmark decision, representatives from 60 countries voted to redefine the International System of Units (SI), changing the world's definition of the kilogram, the ampere, the kelvin and the mole, forever.

Half of the world's annual precipitation falls in just 12 days

Currently, half of the world's measured precipitation that falls in a year falls in just 12 days, according to a new analysis of data collected at weather stations across the globe. By century's end, climate models project that this lopsided distribution of rain and snow is likely to become even more skewed, with half of annual precipitation falling in 11 days.

Playing high school football changes the teenage brain

A single season of high school football may cause microscopic changes in the structure of the brain, according to a new study. A new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed significant changes in the structure of the grey matter in the front and rear of the brain and changes to structures deep inside the brain.

Social isolation linked to higher risk of death

A large study links social isolation with a higher risk of death from all causes combined and heart disease for all races studied, and with increased cancer mortality in white men and women.

Artificial intelligence predicts treatment effectiveness

How can a doctor predict the treatment outcome of an individual patient? Traditionally, the effectiveness of medical treatments is studied by randomized trials, but is this really the only reliable way to evaluate treatment effectiveness, or could something be done differently? How can the effectiveness of a treatment method be evaluated in practice? Could some patients benefit from a treatment that does not cause a response in others? A new method now provides answers to these questions.

Proteins cooperate to break up energy structures in oxygen starved heart cells

Researchers found that the filamin A-Drp1 complex mediates mitochondrial fission in a mouse model of hypoxic heart cells. Results show that hypoxic stress brought about the interaction of filamin A with Drp1 and increased Drp1 activity in heart cells. This process led to mitochondrial fragmentation and cell senescence. Further investigation demonstrated that the drug cilnidipine suppressed Drp1-filamin A complex formation and preserved heart cell function.

Universal laws in impact dynamics of dust agglomerates under microgravity conditions

Scientists have found evidence that when projectiles hit soft clumps of dust or hard clumps of loose glass beads, the scaling laws for energy dissipation and energy transfer are the same in each case. This helps us understand how granular clumps stick together, and how planets are formed.

Affordable catalyst for CO2 recycling

A catalyst for carbon dioxide recycling, Mineral pentlandite may also be a conceivable alternative to expensive precious metal catalysts. Pentlandite had previously been known as a catalyst for hydrogen production. By adding a suitable solvent, the researchers successfully utilised it to convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide. The latter is a common source material in the chemical industry.

The engineering work of ants can influence paleoclimatic studies

The paleontological site of Somosaguas (Madrid) hosts a large colony of ants of the species Messor barbarus. A study has now revealed that the daily activity of these insects modifies soil composition and therefore influences the results obtained in paleoclimatic studies. The researchers also found that the ants transport fossils.

Long-term exposure to road traffic noise may increase the risk of obesity

Long term exposure to road traffic noise is associated with increased risk of obesity.

Cells decide when to divide based on their internal clocks

The time of day, determined by a cell's internal clock, has a stronger influence on cell division than previously thought, reveals a new study.

Eleven seal species narrowly escaped extinction

Population geneticists have found that eleven seal species only narrowly escaped extinction.

Controlling organ growth with light

In optogenetics, researchers use light to control protein activity. This technique allows them to alter the shape of embryonic tissue and to inhibit the development of abnormalities. Now, scientists have enhanced the technique to stop organ-shaping processes in fruit fly embryos. Their results allow control over a crucial step in embryonic development.

Channels for the supply of energy

Scientists elucidate the mechanism for the transport of water-insoluble protein molecules in mitochondria.

3D chemical maps of single bacteria

Researchers used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution.

Gene editing possible for kidney disease

For the first time scientists have identified how to halt kidney disease in a life-limiting genetic condition, which may pave the way for personalised treatment in the future.

Predatory behavior of Florida's skull-collecting ant

New research describes the behavioral and chemical strategies of a Florida ant, Formica archboldi, that decorates its nest with the dismembered body parts of other ant species.

New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease

Researchers have developed a new technique to analyze cell membrane proteins in situ which could revolutionize the way in which we study diseases, such as cancer, metabolic and heart diseases.

Human pharmaceuticals change cricket personality

Crickets that are exposed to human drugs that alter serotonin levels in the brain are less active and less aggressive than crickets that have had no drug exposure, according to a new study.

Severe eczema may best be treated by allergy shots

A medically-challenging case found that allergy shots provided significant benefits to the eczema symptoms suffered by a 48-year-old man.

Milk allergy affects half of US food-allergic kids under age 1

New research found that over two percent of all US children under the age of 5 have a milk allergy, and 53 percent of food-allergic infants under age 1 have a cow's milk allergy.

Sucking your baby's pacifier to clean it may prevent allergies

New research suggests a link between parental sucking on a pacifier and a lower allergic response among young children.

Establishment of the immortalized cell line derived from Okinawa rail (endangered species)

As part of the cellular conservation of endangered species, our group initiated a primary cell culture project aimed at preserving endangered avian species in Japan, such as the Okinawa rail. However, primary cells cannot be cultured indefinitely because of cellular senescence and stresses caused by cell culture. To overcome these cell culture limitations, primary cells must be immortalized. As a result, we succeeded to obtain the immortalized avian cells with cell cycle regulation genes expression.

Safest way to dine out for those with food allergies is using up to 15 strategies

New research examined what tools people who have food allergies use to prevent allergic reactions at restaurants.

Engineered DNA-encoded PCSK9 inhibitors may provide an effective alternative for treating high cholesterol

Researchers have developed novel synthetic DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) directed against PCSK9, a protein key to regulating cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Results of preclinical studies showed a significant cholesterol decrease, opening the door for further development of this approach as a simple, less frequent and cost-effective therapy.

Drop your weapons!

It takes energy to make weapons, but it may take even more energy to maintain them. Because leaf-footed bugs drop their legs, it is possible to measure how much energy they allocate to maintaining this appendage that males use to fight other males.

Climate, life and the movement of continents: New connections

A new study has demonstrated a possible link between life on Earth and the movement of continents. The findings show that sediment, which is often comprised from pieces of dead organisms, could play a key role in determining the speed of continental drift.

Animal populations are shrinking due to their high-risk food-finding strategies

A study using animal-attached technology to measure food consumption in four very different wild vertebrates has revealed that animals using a high-risk strategy to find rarer food are particularly susceptible to becoming extinct, as they fail to gather food for their young before they starve.

Metallic nanoparticles light up another path towards eco-friendly catalysts

Scientists have produced subnano-sized metallic particles that are very effective as catalysts for the oxidation of hydrocarbons. These catalysts can be as much as 50 times more effective than well-known Au-Pd bimetallic nanocatalysts.

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures

A 'smart skin' employs the unique fluorescent characteristics of carbon nanotubes to quickly assess strain in materials. The method is intended for aircraft, spacecraft and critical infrastructures in which mechanical strain needs to be monitored.

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of premature birth

A new review has found that increasing the intake of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) during pregnancy reduces the risk of premature births.

Seeing and smelling food prepares the mouse liver for digestion

The sight or smell of something delicious is often enough to get your mouth watering, but the physiological response to food perception may go well beyond your salivary glands. New research in mice shows that the sight and smell of food alone may be enough to kickstart processes in the liver that promote the digestion of food.

To monitor 'social jet lag,' scientists look to Twitter

Social jet lag -- a syndrome related to the mismatch between the body's internal clock and the realities of our daily schedules -- has been tied to obesity and other health problems. Now, researchers have found a clever way to measure social jet lag in people all over the country: by analyzing patterns of activity on the social media platform Twitter.

Gut hormone and brown fat interact to tell the brain it's time to stop eating

Researchers have shown that so-called 'brown fat' interacts with the gut hormone secretin in mice to relay nutritional signals about fullness to the brain during a meal. The study bolsters our understanding of a long-suspected role of brown adipose tissue (BAT) -- a type of body fat known to generate heat when an animal is cold -- in the control of food intake.

Human activity may influence the distribution and transmission of Bartonella bacteria

A new study suggests that humans play an important role in disease risk, infection patterns, and distribution of Bartonella, advancing current understanding of Bartonella's evolutionary history and how the bacteria may be transmitted between humans and other animal species.

HIV latency differs across tissues in the body

Mechanisms that govern HIV transcription and latency differ in the gut and blood, according to a new study. The findings could inform new therapies aimed at curing HIV.

DICE: Immune cell atlas goes live

Scientists are sharing a trove of data that will be critical for deciphering how a natural genetic variation shapes the immune system's ability to protect our health.

Brain, muscle cells found lurking in kidney organoids grown in lab

New research has identified rogue cells -- namely brain and muscle cells -- lurking within kidney organoids. Such cells make up only 10 to 20 percent of an organoid's cells, but their presence indicates that the 'recipes' used to coax stem cells into becoming kidney cells inadvertently are churning out other cell types.

How electric fish got their big brains

Researchers have mapped the regions of the brain in mormyrid fish in extremely high detail. The new measurements can help illuminate longstanding questions in neuroanatomy. As brains get bigger, do all regions of the brain scale up in a predictable way? Or does natural selection act independently on separate regions of the brain -- such that certain parts of the brain become enlarged in animals that have extra reasons to use them?

Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? Coming to consensus

Which is better, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet -- or is it the type of fat that matters? In a new paper, researchers with diverse expertise and perspectives on the issues laid out the case for each position and came to a consensus and a future research agenda.

New 'SLICE' tool can massively expand immune system's cancer-fighting repertoire

Researchers have devised a CRISPR-based system called SLICE, which will allow scientists to rapidly assess the function of each and every gene in 'primary' immune cells -- those drawn directly from patients. The new method, described in the Nov. 15 issue of Cell, provides researchers with a powerful tool that will guide their decision-making when determining how best to engineer immune cells to fight cancer and a host of other diseases.



 
 

 

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