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3-D-printed minifactories

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 03:15 PM PST

Researchers have developed a biocompatible ink for 3-D printing using living bacteria. This makes it possible to produce biological materials capable of breaking down toxic substances or producing high-purity cellulose for biomedical applications.

How saturated fatty acids damage cells

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 03:15 PM PST

Researchers have developed a new microscopy technique that allows for the direct tracking of fatty acids after they've been absorbed into living cells. What they found using this technique could have significant impact on both the understanding and treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Placenta consumption offers few benefits for new moms, small study shows

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 03:15 PM PST

Consuming encapsulated placentas has little to no effect on postpartum mood and maternal bonding; detectable changes shown in hormones.

From Alaska to Amazonia: First global maps of traits that drive vegetation growth

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 12:09 PM PST

Detailed global maps of key traits in higher plants have been made available for the first time.

Graphene nano 'tweezers' can grab individual biomolecules

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 12:09 PM PST

Researchers have found yet another remarkable use for the wonder material graphene -- tiny electronic 'tweezers' that can grab biomolecules floating in water with incredible efficiency. This capability could lead to a revolutionary handheld disease diagnostic system that could be run on a smart phone.

Bottle gourd genome provides insight on evolutionary history, relationships of cucurbits

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:55 AM PST

Researchers have produced the first high-quality genome sequence for the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) and a reconstructed genome of the most recent Cucurbitaceae ancestor.

Why do we see similarities across languages? Human brain may be responsible

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:55 AM PST

For years, researchers have been interested in the similarities seen across human languages. New research suggests that those similarities may stem from the brain's preference for efficient information processing.

Dropping out of high school linked to child abuse

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:16 AM PST

Children who have been victims of violence are more likely to drop out of high school before graduation than their peers, according to a new study. One in five people in the United States drop out of high school before graduation, which decreases their lifetime earning potential by 20 percent. More than 30 percent of the survey sample were victims of violence before the age of 16.

Sperm RNA may serve as biomarkers of future health, researchers find

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:16 AM PST

Human sperm may hold the potential to serve as biomarkers of the future health of newborn infants, according to a new study.

The microbiological art of making a better sausage

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:16 AM PST

Fermented sausages can vary in taste quality depending on whether the fermentations begin 'spontaneously,' or using a commercial starter culture. A team of investigators found that commercial starter culture produced sausages with higher acidity, and inferior taste, as compared with spontaneous fermentation.

Fighting myocardial infarction with nanoparticle tandems

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

How can damaged cardiac tissue following a heart attack best be treated with replacement muscle cells? A research team is now presenting an innovative method on mice: Muscle replacement cells, which are to take over the function of the damaged tissue, are loaded with magnetic nanoparticles. These cells are then injected into the damaged heart muscle and held in place by a magnet, causing the cells to engraft better onto the existing tissue.

Turbulence in astrophysical plasmas

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

Researchers provides better explanations of the turbulent behavior of plasmas in space.

Kids and screen time: Signs your child might be addicted

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

It's a familiar sight in the majority of young families: young children bent over a screen for hours, texting or gaming, lost in a digital world.

Gene regulation: Risk-free gene reactivation

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

Chemical modification of DNA subunits contribute to the regulation of gene expression. Researchers have now deciphered a new pathway can reactivate genes that have been silenced in this way, while avoiding the risk of damaging the DNA.

Drought-resistant plant genes could accelerate evolution of water-use efficient crops

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

Scientists have identified a common set of genes that enable different drought-resistant plants to survive in semi-arid conditions, which could play a significant role in bioengineering and creating energy crops that are tolerant to water deficits.

Belowground fungal interactions with trees help explain non-native plant invasions

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

The invasion of nonnative plants above-ground is strongly related to what type of mycorrhizal fungi are dominant below-ground in forest ecosystems.

Uranium to replace plastic? Chemistry breakthrough could pave the way for new materials

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

Uranium can perform reactions that previously no one thought possible, which could transform the way industry makes bulk chemicals, polymers, and the precursors to new drugs and plastics, according to new findings.

New method to determine before surgery which prostate tumors pose a lethal threat

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:29 AM PST

A team of researchers reports success in a small-scale test of a new analytical method to improve the early detection of potentially lethal prostate cancer. Based on diagnostic biopsy samples, the method promises to more accurately parse men who need surgery from those who do not.

What’s the largest terrestrial organism?

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:49 AM PST

The Giant Sequoya? Nope. The African elephant? Not even close. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) December 1 Soils Matter blog post shares that the largest land organism is—a fungus!

Skepticism takes many forms

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:47 AM PST

Not every kind of science skepticism is the same. For example, skepticism about climate change is linked to political ideology, whereas skepticism about vaccinations consistently correlates with religious beliefs. In contrast, skepticism about genetically modified foods is not fuelled by religious or political ideology. These are some of the major findings of a new research study among North Americans.

Researchers validate five new genes responsible for ALS

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:41 AM PST

New experiments validate the identification of five new genes linked to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The new study results were validated through five different methods.

Robot learning improves student engagement

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:40 AM PST

Online students who use the innovative robots feel more engaged and connected to the instructor and students in the classroom, the first-ever study of a pioneering robot-learning course shows.

Protein associated with ALS points to possible targets for therapeutic intervention

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:40 AM PST

Scientists may have found possible targets for therapeutic interventions in the fight against Lou Gehrig's disease. A research team conducted the first single-molecule study of folding in the protein superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), an antioxidant whose misfolding is linked to the neurodegenerative disease ALS. They found that it has much more complex folding than previously thought.

African protected area saving endangered megafauna

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:40 AM PST

One of Africa's last remaining wilderness areas is in good shape and could potentially support 50,000 elephants and 1000 lions, a study has found. Niassa National Reserve is Mozambique's largest protected area and has large populations of threatened species, but it's one of the least biologically explored places on Earth.

Brain is still 'connected' during non-REM sleep

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:40 AM PST

When we sleep, our organism goes through different phases of sleep, however the brain remains interconnected during non-REM sleep, which was thought not to happen. This finding has also made it possible to analyze the scientific basis of consciousness, an increasingly important field of neuroscience.

Teens get more sleep when school starts later

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

A later school start time could mean teens are more likely to get adequate amounts of sleep, according to researchers.

'Poop pill' capsule research paves the way for simpler C. difficile treatment

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

A clinical trial has shown Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is effective in treating clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections whether delivered by colonoscopy or by swallowing capsules. The finding could revolutionize and broaden the use of FMT, which restores the healthy balance of bacteria living in the intestine by transferring a healthy donor's stool to the gut of a person with C. difficile.

Study suggests a way to stop HIV in its tracks

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

When HIV-1 infects an immune cell, the virus travels to the nucleus so quickly there's not enough time to set off the cell's alarm system. Researchers have discovered the protein that helps the virus travel so fast. Without this protein, the virus became stranded in the cytoplasm, where it was detected by the viral defense system.

Weight loss and risk of death: Rheumatoid arthritis findings may have wider implications

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

Results suggest that the findings from previous studies regarding lower weight being associated with higher mortality may not be directly related to RA and instead reflect a more generalized phenomenon.

3-D-printed prosthetic implants could improve treatment for hearing loss

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

Researchers using CT scans and 3-D printing have created accurate, custom-designed prosthetic replacements for damaged parts of the middle ear, according to a new study. The technique has the potential to improve a surgical procedure that often fails because of incorrectly sized prosthetic implants, researchers said.

Ultrasound imaging needle to transform heart surgery

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

Heart tissue can be imaged in real-time during keyhole procedures using a new optical ultrasound needle. The revolutionary technology has been successfully used for minimally invasive heart surgery in pigs, giving an unprecedented, high-resolution view of soft tissues up to 2.5 cm in front of the instrument, inside the body.

Oral microbiota indicates link between periodontal disease, esophageal cancer

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:09 AM PST

An analysis of bacteria present in the mouth showed that some types of bacteria that lead to periodontal disease were associated with higher risk of esophageal cancer.

Genetic link found between the immune system and lymphoma

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:09 AM PST

People who inherit genetic changes which alter the function of their immune system are at increased risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma, a major new study reports.

Scientists propose efficiency 'rules' for enhancing use of new gene editing technology

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:09 AM PST

Scientists have developed a streamlined method and accompanying efficiency 'rules' for introducing new DNA sequences into cells after using the gene-cutting tool known as CRISPR. The scientists say the method, which they based on tests with mouse embryos and thousands of human cells, could improve consistency and efficiency of genome editing.

Reading information aloud to yourself improves memory of materials

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:09 AM PST

You are more likely to remember something if you read it out loud, a study has found.

Cannabis linked to bipolar symptoms in young adults

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:49 PM PST

Cannabis use in youth is linked to bipolar symptoms in young adults, finds new research.

Cancer drug leads to 'drastic decrease' in HIV infection in lung cancer patient

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:49 PM PST

The first evidence that a cancer drug may be able to eradicate HIV-infected cells in humans has now been revealed by researchers. They report that while treating an HIV-infected lung cancer patient with the cancer drug nivolumab, they observed a 'drastic and persistent decrease' in the reservoirs of cells in the body where the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is able to hide away from attack by antiretroviral therapy.

Type 1 diabetes as common in adults as children, but many adults misdiagnosed

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:49 PM PST

Type 1 diabetes is not predominantly a 'disease of childhood' as previously believed, but is similarly prevalent in adults, new research shows.

New laser technology could reduce accidents on icy roads

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:49 PM PST

Researchers have proposed an innovative new solution to dealing with dangerous icy roads in winter, putting forward an improved, safer method.

Researchers advance technique to detect ovarian cancer

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 02:02 PM PST

Researchers refine and run the first in vivo tests that use fluorescent nanotube-based probes to locate specific tumors in the body. The ability to pinpoint them with submillimeter accuracy could improve early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.

Diet success may depend on your DNA

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 02:02 PM PST

We can add one more thing to the list of traits affected by genetics: how our bodies respond to a particular diet. Research in animal models with different genetics shows that one diet really doesn't fit all, and what works for some may not be best for others, according to a new study.

Fish oil component preconditions vision cells to survive future injury or disease

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 02:02 PM PST

Scientists discovered that a component of fish oil not only protects cells critical to vision from potentially lethal initial insults, but also from those that occur in the future. The study showed that the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, and its derivatives 'precondition' photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to survive.

Southern Ocean drives massive bloom of tiny phytoplankton

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 02:02 PM PST

Scientists have uncovered the ocean conditions that support a massive summertime bloom of algae that spans 16 percent of the global ocean. Known as the Great Calcite Belt, this dense group of a microscopic phytoplankton, coccolithophores, can be seen in satellite images as turquoise swirls in the dark blue water of the Southern Ocean.

Vulnerability identified for subtypes of glioblastoma

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

Glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, typically fails to respond to treatment or rapidly becomes drug resistant. Researchers have now identified a strategy that pinpoints a genetically distinct subpopulation of patients with glioblastoma that is particularly sensitive to drugs like cilengitide that target a specific cell adhesion receptor.

To proliferate or not to proliferate? A cellular spring replies

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:11 AM PST

The epithelium is subjected to multiple types of mechanical stretch. Researchers have discovered that the proteins ZO-1 and ZO-2, which contribute to the tightness of the epithelium, perceive these physical signals and activate cellular responses accordingly. These results reveal a novel process by which mechanical forces can regulate the structure of epithelia, their dynamic equilibrium and the establishment of tissue barriers. Targeted inhibition of ZO-1 in tumors could therefore be a pathway to explore.