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Category: Environment

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting a serious threat to wheat production in the UK, according to research published in Genome Biology. The research uses a new surveillance technique that could be applied internationally to respond to the spread of a wide variety of plant diseases.

Full articleFebruary 26, 2015 07:59 PM834 views
Category: Biology


Feeding experiment with different potato leaves: Detached leaves of unmodified plants were compared to plants with an altered chloroplast genome.
Colorado potato beetles are a dreaded pest of potatoes all over the world. Since they do not have natural enemies in most potato producing regions, farmers try to control them with pesticides. However, this strategy is often ineffective because the pest has developed resistances against nearly all insecticides. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institutes of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam-Golm and Chemical Ecology in Jena have shown that potato plants can be protected from herbivory using RNA interference (RNAi). They genetically modified plants to enable their chloroplasts to accumulate double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeted against essential beetle genes. (Science, February 2015).

Full articleFebruary 26, 2015 07:59 PM858 views
Category: Biology


Mantis shrimp attack their dinners with the help of spring-loaded claws.
DURHAM, N.C. -- The miniweight boxing title of the animal world belongs to the mantis shrimp, a cigar-sized crustacean whose front claws can deliver an explosive 60-mile-per-hour blow akin to a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun.

Full articleFebruary 26, 2015 07:59 PM683 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

U.S. and Australian scientists have found the mechanism a novel gene uses to affect brain function and elicit behavior related to neuropsychiatric disease.

Full articleFebruary 25, 2015 06:29 PM1774 views
Category: Microbiology

A new study demonstrates that sewage is an effective means to sample the fecal bacteria from millions of people. Researchers say the information gleaned from the work provides a unique opportunity to monitor, through gut microbes, the public health of a large population without compromising the privacy of individuals.

Full articleFebruary 25, 2015 06:29 PM956 views
Category: Bioinformatics

Scientists and breeders working with poultry and livestock species will get a new set of tools from an international project that includes the University of California, Davis.

Full articleFebruary 24, 2015 06:22 PM1163 views
Category: Environment


These are corals on the Great Barrier Reef.
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution.

Full articleFebruary 24, 2015 06:22 PM1964 views
Category: Health & Medicine

When diagnosing a case of Ebola, time is of the essence. However, existing diagnostic tests take at least a day or two to yield results, preventing health care workers from quickly determining whether a patient needs immediate treatment and isolation.

Full articleFebruary 24, 2015 04:27 AM2056 views
Category: Biology

With apologies to the poet John Donne, and based on recent work from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science user facility, it can be said that no plant is an island, entire of itself. Unseen by the human eye, plants interact with many species of fungi and other microbes in the surrounding environment, and these exchanges can impact the plant's health and tolerance to stressors such as drought or disease, as well as the global carbon cycle.

Full articleFebruary 24, 2015 04:27 AM1294 views
Category: Health & Medicine

A large Australian study of more than 200,000 people has provided independent confirmation that up to two in every three smokers will die from their habit if they continue to smoke.

Full articleFebruary 24, 2015 04:27 AM1709 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Single-letter genetic variations within parts of the genome once dismissed as 'junk DNA' can increase cancer risk through wormhole-like effects on far-off genes, new research shows.

Full articleFebruary 19, 2015 06:33 PM2944 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Jens Hjerling-Leffler and Sten Linnarsson are principal investigators at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
Using a process known as single cell sequencing, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have produced a detailed map of cortical cell types and the genes active within them. The study, which is published in the journal 'Science', marks the first time this method of analysis has been used on such a large scale on such complex tissue. The team studied over three thousand cells, one at a time, and even managed to identify a number of hitherto unknown types.

Full articleFebruary 19, 2015 06:33 PM2462 views
Category: Bioinformatics

While genomics is the study of all of the genes in a cell or organism, epigenomics is the study of all the genomic add-ons and changes that influence gene expression but aren't encoded in the DNA sequence. A variety of new epigenomic information is now available in a collection of studies published Feb. 19 in Nature by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap Epigenomics Program. This information provides a valuable baseline for future studies of the epigenome's role in human development and disease.

Full articleFebruary 18, 2015 06:07 PM2537 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have discovered a promising new approach to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). In a new study, they've identified a previously unknown change in the spinal cord related to MS, and a way to alter this change to reduce the nerve cell damage that occurs with the disease.

Full articleFebruary 17, 2015 06:18 PM3401 views

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