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Category: Biology


Scientists find that people use the touch of a handshake to sample and sniff signaling molecules. A sterile glove was used to identify signaling molecules transmitted via a handshake.
Limp or firm, your handshake conveys subliminal social cues. Now, research reveals it also transmits chemical signals that could explain why the greeting evolved in the first place.

Full articleMarch 3, 2015 06:39 PM521 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Scientists at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology have discovered a new hormone that fights the weight gain caused by a high-fat Western diet and normalizes the metabolism - effects commonly associated with exercising.

Full articleMarch 3, 2015 06:39 PM614 views
Category: Biology


Scientists mapped and read sound memories in rat brains.
Lights, sound, action: we are constantly learning how to incorporate outside sensations into our reactions in specific situations. In a new study, brain scientists have mapped changes in communication between nerve cells as rats learned to make specific decisions in response to particular sounds. The team then used this map to accurately predict the rats' reactions. These results add to our understanding of how the brain processes sensations and forms memories to inform behavior.

Full articleMarch 3, 2015 06:39 PM394 views
Category: Biology


The queen bee in this image is marked with a green dot.
Researchers from North Carolina State University, Indiana University and Wellesley College have characterized the gut microbiome of honey bee queens. This is the first thorough census of the gut microbiome - which consists of all the microorganisms that live in the gut of the organism - in queen bees.

Full articleMarch 2, 2015 06:03 PM880 views
Category: Microbiology


Bacteria and archaea "remember " viral infections by inserting short spacer sequences (toe-tagged) of genetic information stolen from the invader between repeat elements (gray) of the host's genomic CRISPR loci.
A powerful genome editing tool may soon become even more powerful. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have unlocked the key to how bacteria are able to "steal" genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological memory system.

Full articleMarch 2, 2015 06:03 PM666 views
Category: AIDS & HIV

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinburgh, and others. The scientists, led by Martine Peeters from Montpellier, conducted a comprehensive survey of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in African gorillas. Beatrice Hahn, MD, a professor of Medicine and Microbiology, and others from Penn were part of the team, whose findings appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Full articleMarch 2, 2015 06:03 PM696 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Cold Spring Harbor, NY - It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: researchers slice a brain into thin little sections and, just by measuring the properties of specific neurons, they can determine what an organism learned before it died. In fact, this sort of mind reading has become a reality. In work published today in Nature, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) describe how postmortem brain slices can be "read" to determine how a rat was trained to behave in response to specific sounds. The work provides one of the first examples of how specific changes in the activity of individual neurons encode particular acts of learning and memory in the brain.

Full articleMarch 2, 2015 06:03 PM660 views
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 PM1744 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 PM1904 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 PM1412 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 PM2860 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 PM1547 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 PM1701 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 PM2961 views

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