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Category: Biology


Pond snails used in the experiment, Lymnaea stagnalis, have been used for over 25 years to study learning and memory.
Animals, like humans, excel at some tasks but not others according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Full articleMay 27, 2015 06:52 PM672 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Surveys of the genomic terrain of cancer have turned up a curious phenomenon in some tumor cells: a massive rearrangement of DNA in one or a few chromosomes, thought to be produced during a single cell cycle. In a new study, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute demonstrate how this sudden, isolated shuffling of genetic material - known as chromothripsis - can occur.

Full articleMay 27, 2015 06:52 PM700 views
Category: Bioinformatics

Millions of genetic variants have been discovered over the last 25 years, but interpreting the clinical impact of the differences in a person's genome remains a major bottleneck in genomic medicine. In a paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine on May 27, a consortium including investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Partners HealthCare present ClinGen, a program to evaluate the clinical relevance of genetic variants for use in precision medicine and research.

Full articleMay 27, 2015 06:52 PM499 views
Category: Biology


Shown here is a panther chameleon.
Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the biotopes of hundreds of species, including the panther chameleon, a species with spectacular intra-specific colour variation. A new study by Michel Milinkovitch, professor of genetics, evolution, and biophysics at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), led in close collaboration with colleagues in Madagascar, reveals that this charismatic reptilian species, which is only found in Madagascar, is actually composed of eleven different species. The results of their research appear in the latest issue of the Molecular Ecology journal. They also discuss the urgent need to protect Madagascar's habitats.

Full articleMay 26, 2015 06:51 AM1223 views
Category: Biology


Chema and Rumumba, two low-ranking immigrant female chimpanzees, take turns grooming each other in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.
Low-ranking "new girl" chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with similar status, finds a new study of social relationships in the wild apes.

Full articleMay 21, 2015 06:51 PM1987 views
Category: Biology


The Tara Oceans expedition collected these small zooplanktonic animals in the Indian Ocean: a molluscan pteropod on the right, and 2 crustacean copepods. On the left is a fragment of...
In five related reports in this issue of the journal Science, a multinational team of researchers who spent three and a half years sampling the ocean's sunlit upper layers aboard the schooner Tara unveil the first officially reported global analyses of the Tara Oceans consortium. Planktonic life in the ocean is far more diverse than scientists knew, these reports show. They provide new resources for cataloguing the ocean's numerous planktonic organisms, which -- though critical to life on Earth, providing half the oxygen generated annually through photosynthesis, for example -- have largely been uncharacterized. The reports also reveal how planktonic life is distributed and how planktonic species interact, and they suggest that these organisms' interactions, more so than environmental conditions, help explain their community structures.

Full articleMay 21, 2015 06:51 PM1553 views
Category: Microbiology


Phages infect bacteria and are able to transfer genes during this process.
Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are on the rise. There are different explanations for how resistances are transferred. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna found phages in chicken meat that are able to transfer antimicrobial resistance to bacteria. Phages are viruses that exclusively infect bacteria. They can contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. The findings may also be relevant for clinical settings. The study was published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Full articleMay 21, 2015 06:51 PM1653 views
Category: Biology


This image shows the epithelial lining of the gut.
Scientists and clinicians on the Norwich Research Park have carried out the first detailed study of how our intestinal tract changes as we age, and how this determines our overall health.

Full articleMay 21, 2015 06:51 PM1602 views
Category: Biology

A cartwheeling spider, a bird-like dinosaur and a fish that wriggles around on the sea floor to create a circular nesting site are among the species identified by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) as the Top 10 New Species for 2015.

Full articleMay 21, 2015 06:51 PM1569 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Axons in red and neuronal cell bodies in green show cell bodies following the red axons
When nerve cells form in an embryo they do not start off in the right place but have to be guided to their final position by navigating a kind of molecular and cellular "map" in order to function properly. In a recent research study published in Nature Communications neurobiologist Sara Wilson, UmeƄ University, found that during embryonic development different parts of the nerve cell are important for guiding other nerve cells into their physical positions.

Full articleMay 19, 2015 06:24 PM2312 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Using nature for inspiration, a team of Northwestern University scientists is the first to develop an entirely artificial molecular pump, in which molecules pump other molecules. This tiny machine is no small feat. The pump one day might be used to power other molecular machines, such as artificial muscles.

Full articleMay 19, 2015 06:24 PM1611 views
Category: AIDS & HIV

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has proven lifesaving for people infected with HIV; however, the medications are a lifelong necessity for most HIV-infected individuals and present practical, logistical, economic and health-related challenges. A primary research goal is to find an HIV cure that either clears the virus from an infected person's body or enables HIV-infected individuals to suppress virus levels and replication to extremely low levels without the need for daily ART.

Full articleMay 19, 2015 06:24 PM1551 views
Category: Microbiology

It's no wonder that giant pandas are always chewing and eating, say Chinese researchers: their gut bacteria are not the type for efficiently digesting bamboo.

Full articleMay 19, 2015 06:24 PM1750 views
Category: Biology


In a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists found that our inherent risk-taking preferences affect how we view and act on information from other...
The hottest hairstyle, the latest extreme sport, the newest viral stunt -- trends happen for a reason and now scientists have a better understanding of why.

Full articleMay 18, 2015 05:27 PM2120 views

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