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Life Sciences - Health - 22.12.2016
Study named as People’s Choice for Science magazine’s ‘Breakthrough of the Year 2016’
Cambridge research that will enable scientists to grow and study embryos in the lab for almost two weeks has been named as the People's Choice for Science magazine's 'Breakthrough of the Year 2016' It's a natural human instinct to be curious about where we come from, but until now, technical hurdles have meant there's been a huge gap in our understanding of how embryos develop Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz The work, led by Professor Magdalena Zernicka

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Protein that activates immune response harms body’s ability to fight HIV
UCLA-led researchers suggest that blocking type I interferon may help combat the virus that causes AIDS Enrique Rivero In findings they call counterintuitive, a team of UCLA-led researchers suggests that blocking a protein, which is crucial to initiating the immune response against viral infections, may actually help combat HIV.

Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Predictive kinetic model paves the way for designing microbial factories
A representation of k-ecoli457 model of E. coli metabolism. Red X's denote the location of reaction deletions in the mutant data sets. Reactions in the previously developed core model15 are shown in grey (no flux data) and blue (with flux data) while the additional reactions in k-ecoli457 are shown in green (no flux data).

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Study provides roadmap to more personalized cancer treatment
FINDINGS Researchers have found that people with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and the KRAS-variant inherited genetic mutation have significantly improved survival when given a short course of the drug cetuximab in combination with standard chemotherapy and radiation. The study was led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Joanne Weidhaas in collaboration with colleagues at the NRG Oncology RTOG.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 22.12.2016
How Social Factors Can Influence Hunting
How Social Factors Can Influence Hunting
Due to a shortage of natural predators, wild animal populations are often controlled through hunting. Whether a hunter shoots at an animal depends not only on specific hunting criteria, but is also significantly influenced by social factors - such as competition with other hunters. This was demonstrated in a study directed by Florian Diekert, economist at Heidelberg University.

Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Solved: mystery that was holding back development of next-generation solar cells
Solved: mystery that was holding back development of next-generation solar cells
Scientists have identified an unexpected cause of poor performance in a new class of flexible and cheap solar cells, bringing them closer to market. Solar cells are the building blocks of photovoltaic solar panels. They are made from light-absorbing materials that convert sunlight into electricity. Normally the light-absorbing material is silicon, which has an energy-intensive manufacturing process.

Life Sciences - Environment - 22.12.2016
Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates
Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates
It helps to have a larger brain if you're living in an extreme climate, according to a study of birds published in Nature Communications . The research suggests that birds have evolved larger brains to cope in harsh environments where the tasks of finding food, evading predators and finding shelter are more demanding.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Global warming disrupts fish stocks
Global warming disrupts fish stocks
The global catches of fishes would largely benefit from achieving the 1.5°C global warming target.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Forces at play: A new infection route for bacteria
Forces at play: A new infection route for bacteria
Snapshots from a Molecular Dynamics simulation of a single shigella toxin particle binding to its lipid partners in the vesicle membrane (side and top views).

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2016
New disease could signal hope for sufferers of brain ageing conditions
New disease could signal hope for sufferers of brain ageing conditions
New disease could signal hope for sufferers of brain ageing conditions A new genetic disease which results in neurodegeneration has been discovered by experts at the University of Sussex. In a study published today, Wednesday 21 December, in the top scientific journal Nature, the team from the University of Sussex's Genome Damage and Stability Centre (GDSC) reveal they have discovered the disease, ataxia oculomotor apraxia type XRCC1 , which is caused by a genetic mutation that disrupts the repair of our DNA.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 21.12.2016
Light-induced vesicle explosions to mimic cellular reactions
Light-induced vesicle explosions to mimic cellular reactions
Cells are the site of a multitude of chemical reactions, the precision of which is envied by scientists.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2016
Optical control of a neuroreceptor alleviates chronic pain
Optical control of a neuroreceptor alleviates chronic pain
Pain serves as a valuable warning signal, but when it becomes chronic, pain should be considered as a real disease.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2016
Stressed snakes strike first
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Whether a wild cottonmouth snake will attempt to strike in an encounter depends on its baseline stress level, according to a team of scientists led by undergraduate researcher Mark Herr. "Most people think a snake is more likely to strike after you have handled or harassed it," said Tracy Langkilde , professor and department head of biology.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2016
Distinctive brain pattern may underlie dyslexia
Distinctive brain pattern may underlie dyslexia
A distinctive neural signature found in the brains of people with dyslexia may explain why these individuals have difficulty learning to read, according to a new study from MIT neuroscientists. The researchers discovered that in people with dyslexia, the brain has a diminished ability to acclimate to a repeated input - a trait known as neural adaptation.

Life Sciences - Environment - 21.12.2016
The blob can learn—and teach!
The blob can learn—and teach!
It isn't an animal, a plant, or a fungus. The slime mold ( Physarum polycephalum ) is a strange, creeping, bloblike organism made up of one giant cell. Though it has no brain, it can learn from experience, as biologists at the Research Centre on Animal Cognition (CNRS, Université Toulouse III—Paul Sabatier) previously demonstrated.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2016
Aging & cancer: An enzyme protects chromosomes from oxidative damage
Aging & cancer: An enzyme protects chromosomes from oxidative damage
EPFL scientists have identified a protein that caps chromosomes during cell division and protects them from oxidative damage and shortening, which are associated with aging and cancer. When cells divide, they pack up all of their genetic material in the tightly wrapped chromosomes. The ends of our chromosomes have a unique structure, named a telomere.

Life Sciences - 21.12.2016
Store and Supply - How the Brain Saves Time
Store and Supply - How the Brain Saves Time
Neurons in the brain store RNA molecules - DNA gene copies - in order to rapidly react to stimuli. This storage dramatically accelerates the production of proteins. This is one of the reasons why neurons in the brain can adapt quickly during learning processes. The recent results of a research group at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have been published in the current issue of 'Neuron'.

Life Sciences - Administration - 21.12.2016
Jaws open long-term shark population information
An international study led by University of Queensland researchers seeks to understand how white and tiger shark populations have changed over time. UQ School of Biomedical Sciences' Associate Professor Jenny Ovenden and Professor Mike Bennett hope the project will provide a better understanding of shark population sizes and potential changes in their distributions, information that is likely to help with the species' conservation and management.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.12.2016
Gene discovery helps children with movement disorder walk again
Gene discovery helps children with movement disorder walk again
UCL researchers have discovered a new genetic cause for dystonia, a movement disorder, enabling treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation which has been so successful that children have been able to walk again. The team of researchers from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University of Cambridge and the NIHR Rare Disease Bioresource have identified mutations in a gene, called KMT2B, in 28 patients with dystonia.  In most cases, the patients - many of whom were young children who were thought to have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy - were unable to walk.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.12.2016
Researchers model how 'publication bias' does - and doesn't - affect the 'canonization' of facts in science
Researchers model how ’publication bias’ does - and doesn’t - affect the ’canonization’ of facts in science
Arguing in a Boston courtroom in 1770, John Adams famously pronounced , "Facts are stubborn things,” which cannot be altered by "our wishes, our inclinations or the dictates of our passion.” But facts, however stubborn, must pass through the trials of human perception before being acknowledged - or "canonized” - as facts.
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