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Category: Environment


In May 2014, a group of recreational divers spotted an adult lionfish -- the voracious invader Pterois volitans -- in the rocky reefs of southeastern Brazil.
A single fish caught with a hand spear off the Brazilian coast is making big waves across the entire southwestern Atlantic. In May 2014, a group of recreational divers spotted an adult lionfish--the voracious invader Pterois volitans--in the rocky reefs of southeastern Brazil. A group of researchers, including scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, used genetic analysis to link the lionfish to the infamous Caribbean population of invaders. In light of a separate study detailing the lionfish penchant for eating critically endangered Caribbean reef fish, news of lionfish in Brazilian waters raises alarm for Atlantic reefs and the region's already-threatened marine life. The discovery is published this week in PLOS ONE.

Full articleApril 22, 2015 06:17 PM1930 views
Category: Bioinformatics


This image shows a colony of Trichodesmium.
Scientists have found something they can't quite explain in one of the most barren environments on Earth: a bacterium whose DNA sequence contains elements usually only found in a much higher organism.

Full articleApril 22, 2015 06:17 PM6686 views
Category: Health & Medicine

In the most comprehensive study ever on the impact of smoking on cardiovascular disease in older people, epidemiologist Dr. Ute Mons from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) analyzed 25 individual studies, compiling data from over half a million individuals age 60 and older.

Full articleApril 22, 2015 06:17 PM1414 views
Category: Environment


Predatory fish are extremely important for maintaining a balanced ecosystem on the Great Barrier Reef.
New research shows that fishing is having a significant impact on the make-up of fish populations of the Great Barrier Reef.

Full articleApril 21, 2015 06:52 PM1896 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

New research from the Monell Center reveals that tumor necrosis factor (TNF), an immune system regulatory protein that promotes inflammation, also helps regulate sensitivity to bitter taste. The finding may provide a mechanism to explain the taste system abnormalities and decreased food intake that can be associated with infections, autoimmune disorders, and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Full articleApril 21, 2015 06:52 PM1617 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Genes usually always be expressed as in Western writing: from left to right on the white canvas of our DNA. So when we speak of the activity of our genome, in fact we are referring to the expression of genes in this sense of the double-stranded DNA.

Full articleApril 21, 2015 06:52 PM1570 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Nerve cells have different shapes: while the cell body (red) is found in a central position in rats, it is located at the end of a cell prolongation in flies.
Nerve cells come in very different shapes. Researchers at the Bernstein Center Berlin now reveal why, in insects, the cell body is usually located at the end of a separate extension. Using mathematical models, they show that this increases the strength of electrical signal transmission at no additional energetic cost.

Full articleApril 21, 2015 06:52 PM1367 views
Category: Bioinformatics


Upland allotetraploid cotton (right) comes from two extant diploid species, closely related to today's G. raimondii (left) and G. arboreum (middle) or G. herbacieum.
A University of Texas at Austin scientist, working with an international research team, has developed the most precise sequence map yet of U.S. cotton and will soon create an even more detailed map for navigating the complex cotton genome. The finding may help lead to an inexpensive version of American cotton that rivals the quality of luxurious Egyptian cotton and helps develop crops that use less water and fewer pesticides for a cotton that is easier on the skin and easier on the land.

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM1350 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

In results presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015, a collaborative study by the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that the TERT gene promoter was altered in 69 percent of 54 cases of bladder cancer due to variants that occur after birth (called "somatic") and in 56 percent of bladder cancers due to inherited variants (called "germline"). The study shows these TERT alterations frequently co-occur with alterations in recently identified bladder cancer genes such as the stromal antigen 2 (STAG2), and the lysine-specific demethylase 6A (KDM6A).

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM1446 views
Category: Biology

Among soft-bodied cephalopods, vampire squid live life at a slower pace. At ocean depths from 500 to 3,000 meters, they don't swim so much as float, and they get by with little oxygen while consuming a low-calorie diet of zooplankton and detritus. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 20 have found that vampire squid differ from all other living coleoid cephalopods in their reproductive strategy as well.

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM1692 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Researchers from the University of Birmingham have identified an important new way in which our immune systems are regulated, and hope that understanding it will help tackle the debilitating effects of type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious diseases.

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM1303 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Poor quality medicines are a real and urgent threat that could undermine decades of successful efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to the editors of a collection of journal articles published today. Scientists report up to 41 percent of specimens failed to meet quality standards in global studies of about 17,000 drug samples. Among the collection is an article describing the discovery of falsified and substandard malaria drugs that caused an estimated 122,350 deaths in African children in 2013. Other studies identified poor quality antibiotics, which may harm health and increase antimicrobial resistance. However, new methodologies are being developed to detect problem drugs at the point of purchase and show some promise, scientists say.

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM1025 views
Category: Biotechnology


Cacao seeds after harvest. A mixture of lipids called cocoa butter makes up about half of each seed.
The discovery of a gene involved in determining the melting point of cocoa butter -- a critical attribute of the substance widely used in foods and pharmaceuticals -- will likely lead to new and improved products, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM1277 views
Category: Biotechnology

Access to high-quality medicine is a basic human right, but over four billion people live in countries where many medications are substandard or fake. Marya Lieberman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and Abigail Weaver a postdoctoral associate in the University's Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Earth Sciences took up the challenge of how people in developing countries could detect low quality antimalarial drugs without expensive equipment and without handling dangerous chemicals.

Full articleApril 20, 2015 07:58 PM961 views

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