news 2018


Life Sciences

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Life Sciences - Health - 31.12.2018
The glow of science
From gaseous jets shooting out the center of supermassive black holes to fluorescent tags elucidating the intricacies of the brain, science has a close relationship with light. As a multi-purpose tool, light can reveal hidden functions, magnify areas of interest, provide a means of measurement and trigger activity.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 28.12.2018
Brain scans help predict drug relapse
Brain scans help predict drug relapse
In a small trial, brain scans revealed who was most at risk of relapsing after being treated for addiction to stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine. The finding could identify people who need help staying drug-free. Predicting who will remain drug-free and who will relapse following treatment for drug addiction has been impossible - so far.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.12.2018
Imperial takes the fight to cancer in 2018
This year, researchers at Imperial made several important breakthroughs in understanding and potentially treating aggressive cancer types. The past few decades have seen remarkable progress in the survival rates of some cancers - particularly in the developed world, and particularly for cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and bowel.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 21.12.2018
A novel antibiotic resistance mechanism
A novel antibiotic resistance mechanism
Bacteria make use of a number of natural resistance strategies to overcome antibiotics. And it seems that this bacterial toolbox may be much more varied than previously thought. Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, in collaboration with Inserm, INRA, the CNRS and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have recently revealed an entirely unknown resistance mechanism in Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Life Sciences - Environment - 21.12.2018
Forget-me-not: Scientists pinpoint memory mechanism in plants
Plant scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham have unravelled a mechanism that enables flowering plants to sense and 'remember' changes in their environment. The research, published , reveals potential new targets that could support the development of new plant varieties, including cereals and vegetables, that can adapt to different environmental conditions.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.12.2018
Earliest records of three plant groups uncovered in the Permian of Jordan
Earliest records of three plant groups uncovered in the Permian of Jordan
A "hidden cradle of plant evolution" has been uncovered in Jordan. In Permian sedimentary rocks exposed along the east coast of the Dead Sea, palaeobotanists discovered well-preserved fossils of plant groups bearing characteristics typical of younger periods of Earth history. The Permian began some 300 million years ago and ended around 250 million years ago.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.12.2018
Q&A with Steve Palumbi on saving coral
Q&A with Steve Palumbi on saving coral
Heeding a growing call for action, a committee of scientists scrutinized every tool  available to save coral reefs and described a wealth of possibilities. As the climate warms up, ocean heat waves are damaging coral - causing what's known as coral bleaching. Scientists have established this fact and detailed the present and future consequences.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
Bacteria rely on classic business model
Bacteria rely on classic business model
The pneumonia causing pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has developed a twin-track strategy to colonize its host. It generates two different cells - motile spreaders and virulent stickers. Researchers at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have now elucidated how the germ attaches to tissue within seconds and consecutively spreads.

Life Sciences - Physics - 20.12.2018
Do colder temperatures affect lifespan? Depends on genetics
Big Brains Podcast Climate change's human cost with Michael Greenstone Why do we age? Despite more than a century of research, and a vast industry of youth-promising products, what causes our cells and organs to deteriorate with age is still unknown. One known factor is temperature: Many animal species live longer at lower temperature than they do at higher temperatures.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
Sulfate Helps Plants Cope With Water Scarcity
Plants absorb the mineral sulfate from groundwater. An international research team led by scientists from Heidelberg University has uncovered how sulfate controls the production of the drought stress hormone ABA in plants and thus contributes to their drought-resistance. These findings improve scientists' understanding of how the drought-stress signal travels from the roots to the leaves.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
Newborn insects trapped in amber show first fossil evidence of how to crack an egg
Fossilised newborns, egg shells, and egg bursters preserved together in amber provide the first direct evidence of how insects hatched in deep time, according to a new article published today in the journal Palaeontology . One of the earliest and toughest trials that all organisms face is birth. The new findings give scientists evidence on how tiny insects broke the barrier separating them from life and took their first steps into an ancient forest.

Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
Gut-brain connection signals worms to alter behavior while eating
Gut-brain connection signals worms to alter behavior while eating
Study may lead to a better understanding of the digestive tract's nervous system. When a hungry worm encounters a rich food source, it immediately slows down so it can devour the feast. Once the worm is full, or the food runs out, it will begin roaming again. A new study from MIT now reveals more detail about how the worm's digestive tract signals the brain when to linger in a plentiful spot.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.12.2018
Experimental Alzheimer’s drug improves memory in mice
Health + Behavior UCLA RESEARCH ALERT Sarah C.P. Williams FINDINGS An experimental drug known as A03, which was previously developed to treat depression, increases the levels of the enzyme Sirtuin1, or SirT1, and improves memory in mice. The mice were genetically modified to have a protein called ApoE4, the most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease in humans that has been linked to some forms of the disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
The global burden of dementia has doubled since 1990: research
The global burden of dementia has doubled since 1990: research
The number of people living with dementia globally more than doubled between 1990 and 2016 from 20.2 million to 43.8 million, prompting researchers to call for more preventative action. A new paper published in The Lancet Neurology also found that 22.3 per cent of healthy years lost due to dementia in 2016 were due to modifiable risk factors.

Life Sciences - Physics - 19.12.2018
Scientists build flashlights to peek inside the ’garbage disposal’ of cells
Big Brains Podcast Climate change's human cost with Michael Greenstone The story of the lysosome is a classic smear campaign. Once dismissed as the garbage disposal of the cell-it does break down unneeded cell debris-it is now valued by scientists who realized all that dirty work also controls survival, metabolism, longevity and even neurodegenerative diseases.

Life Sciences - Physics - 19.12.2018
Ers Make World's Smallest Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board with DNA
Ers Make World’s Smallest Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board with DNA
Move over Mona Lisa , here comes tic-tac-toe. It was just about a year ago that Caltech scientists in the laboratory of Lulu Qian , assistant professor of bioengineering, announced they had used a technique known as DNA origami to create tiles that could be designed to self-assemble into larger nanostructures that carry predesigned patterns.

Life Sciences - 19.12.2018
Marmoset monkeys expect the melody's closing tone
Marmoset monkeys expect the melody’s closing tone
In speech and music, words and notes depend on each other. Humans are highly sensitive to such dependencies, but the evolutionary origins of this capacity are poorly understood. Cognitive biologists at the University of Vienna conducted playback experiments with common marmoset monkeys and found that sensitivity to dependencies might have been present in the shared ancestor of marmosets and humans.

Life Sciences - 19.12.2018
Game over for Zika? KU Leuven researchers develop promising vaccine
Scientists at the KU Leuven Rega Institute have developed a new vaccine against the Zika virus. This vaccine should prevent the virus from causing microcephaly and other serious conditions in unborn babies.  In 2015 and 2016, the world was shocked by the sudden and massive outbreak of the Zika virus in Latin America.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 18.12.2018
Lithium might work as an anti-aging drug, depending on your genes
There is growing evidence that lithium could be re-purposed as an anti-aging drug, and a new study from King's College London suggests that lithium's protective effects are due to a slowing down of the molecular aging process in cells. The research, published today in Neuropsychopharmacology , also finds some individuals may benefit from lithium's anti-aging properties more than others, depending on their genetics.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2018
Gently stroking babies before medical procedures may reduce pain
Researchers have found that gently stroking a baby seems to reduce activity in the infant brain associated with painful experiences. The results, published in the journal Current Biology , suggest that lightly brushing an infant at a speed of approximately 3cm per second could provide effective pain relief before clinically necessary medical procedures.
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