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Category: Bioinformatics

Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands' numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot research vessel. All shared a single goal: Be the first research group to bring a DNA sequencer out into the field to do remote sequencing in real time. Against an ocean of odds, they succeeded.

Full articleAugust 19, 2014 05:16 PM431 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Handwashing with antibacterial soap exposes hospital workers to significant and potentially unsafe levels of triclosan, a widely-used chemical currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a study led by researchers from UC San Francisco.

Full articleAugust 19, 2014 05:16 PM444 views
Category: Biology


The arapaima fish, which once dominated Amazon fisheries, is long and can weigh as much as 400 pounds.
An international team of scientists has discovered that a large, commercially important fish from the Amazon Basin has become extinct in some local fishing communities.

Full articleAugust 13, 2014 06:16 PM2385 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


A peptide responsible for cell communication in the brain, Vip (green) is reduced in the brains of mice that have little or no Lhx1 (right).
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a gene that regulates sleep and wake rhythms.

Full articleAugust 13, 2014 06:16 PM1765 views
Category: Health & Medicine

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has brought a lot of attention to the deadly virus. According to the World Health Organization, up to 90% of those infected with Ebola die from the virus. Now, researchers publishing August 13 in the Cell Press journal Cell Host & Microbe reveal how Ebola blocks and disables the body's natural immune response. Understanding how Ebola disarms immune defenses will be crucial in the development of new treatments for the disease.

Full articleAugust 13, 2014 06:16 PM1745 views
Category: Bioinformatics

Few animals can boast of being as tough as the Antarctic midge. Its larvae develop over not one but two Antarctic winters, losing nearly half their body mass each time. It endures high winds, salt, and intense ultraviolet radiation. As an adult, the midge gets by without wings and lives for only a week or so before starting its life cycle all over again.

Full articleAugust 12, 2014 05:46 PM1466 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

With a featured publication in the Aug. 7 issue of Science, Montana State University researchers have made a significant contribution to the understanding of a new field of DNA research, with the acronym CRISPR, that holds enormous promise for fighting infectious diseases and genetic disorders.

Full articleAugust 7, 2014 07:27 PM2672 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Researchers with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have completed the largest, most diverse tumor genetic analysis ever conducted, revealing a new approach to classifying cancers. The work, led by researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other TCGA sites, not only revamps traditional ideas of how cancers are diagnosed and treated, but could also have a profound impact on the future landscape of drug development.

Full articleAugust 7, 2014 07:27 PM2468 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


This is a black truffle.
Black truffles, also known as Périgord truffles, grow in symbiosis with the roots of oak and hazelnut trees. In the world of haute cuisine, they are expensive and highly prized.

Full articleAugust 6, 2014 05:38 PM2007 views
Category: Biology

Spider silk is an impressive material; lightweight and stretchy yet stronger than steel. But the challenge that spiders face to produce this substance is even more formidable. Silk proteins, called spidroins, must convert from a soluble form to solid fibers at ambient temperatures, with water as a solvent, and at high speed. How do spiders achieve this astounding feat? In new research publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology on August 5, Anna Rising and Jan Johansson show how the silk formation process is regulated. The work was done at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with colleagues in Latvia, China and USA.

Full articleAugust 5, 2014 04:55 PM2742 views
Category: Biology


Yale University scientists have performed the first artificial selection on a structural color, using butterfly wings. This image shows a male Bicyclus anynana butterfly
Yale University scientists have chosen the most fleeting of mediums for their groundbreaking work on biomimicry: They've changed the color of butterfly wings.

Full articleAugust 5, 2014 04:55 PM2186 views
Category: Biology

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus)—which grow more than 30 feet long—are the largest fish in the world's ocean, but little is known about their movements on a daily basis or over years. A newly discovered juvenile whale shark aggregation off Saudi Arabia is giving researchers a rare glimpse into the lives of these gentle giants.

Full articleAugust 5, 2014 05:36 AM1716 views
Category: Biology


A member of the Martu Aboriginal community in western Australia sets fire to mature spinifex grass as a way to expose burrows occupied by sand monitor lizards
Australia's Aboriginal Martu people hunt kangaroos and set small grass fires to catch lizards, as they have for at least 2,000 years. A University of Utah researcher found such man-made disruption boosts kangaroo populations – showing how co-evolution helped marsupials and made Aborigines into unintentional conservationists.

Full articleAugust 5, 2014 05:36 AM1253 views
Category: Stem Cell Research

When embryonic cells get the signal to specialize the call can come quickly. Or it can arrive slowly. Now, new research from Rockefeller University suggests the speed at which a cell in an embryo receives that signal has an unexpected influence on that cell's fate. Until now, only concentration of the chemical signals was thought to matter in determining if the cell would become, for example, muscle, skin, brain or bone.

Full articleAugust 5, 2014 05:36 AM1146 views

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