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Health - Life Sciences - 18.12.2020
A step toward understanding why COVID-19 boosts stroke risk
A UCLA-led study may help explain how COVID-19 increases the risk for stroke. Scientists made the finding by running fluid spiked with a COVID-19-like protein through a 3D-printed model of the arteries of a patient who had suffered a stroke. Although COVID-19 was first identified by its severe respiratory symptoms, the virus has caused strokes in young people who had no known risk factors.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2020
A weather station for epilepsy
A weather station for epilepsy
To do this, Baud collaborated with Vikram Rao, neurologist at UCSF, to obtain neuronal activity data collected over several years using devices implanted long-term in the brains of patients with epilepsy. After confirming that there were indeed cycles of cerebral epileptic activity, the scientists turned their attention to statistical analysis.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.12.2020
Spotting elephants from space: a satellite revolution
Using the highest resolution satellite imagery currently available - Worldview 3 - from Maxar Technologies and deep learning, (TensorFlow API, Google Brain) researchers at the University of Oxford Wildlife Conservation Research Unit and Machine Learning Research Group have detected elephants from space with comparable accuracy to human detection capabilities.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.12.2020
Muscling RNA Polymerase Off the DNA
Muscling RNA Polymerase Off the DNA
Researchers elucidate a unique molecular mechanism for efficient gene expression in pathogenic bacteria No 256/2020 from Dec 18, 2020 Three international research teams, including a consortium coordinated at Freie Universität Berlin, find that a motor protein, called HelD, acts like a "molecular bully" to pry the central enzyme of transcription, RNA polymerase, away from the DNA template, setting it free for the continued production of genetic messages.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.12.2020
Downstream passage facilities with signals that are understood by fish
Downstream passage facilities with signals that are understood by fish
Europe still has barely any downstream passage facilities that guide fish past the turbines of run-of-river power stations unharmed. Now, an interdisciplinary team of engineers from ETH Zurich and fish biologists from Eawag have developed a rack that uses pressure and flow differences to guide fish out of the main flow and into the safe fish passage.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.12.2020
How climate change is disrupting ecosystems
How climate change is disrupting ecosystems
When it gets warmer, organisms rise higher from the lowlands. Researchers from ETH and WSL investigated what could happen to plant communities on alpine grasslands if grasshoppers from lower elevations settled there. The world is getting warmer and warmer - and many organisms native to lower latitudes or elevations are moving higher.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.12.2020
Driving force behind cellular ’protein factories’ could have implications for neurodegenerative disease
Researchers have identified the driving force behind a cellular process linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and motor neurone disease. There is still so much to learn about this system, which is incredibly important to fundamental biomedical science Clemens Kaminski In a study published today in Science Advances , researchers from the University of Cambridge show that tiny components within the cell are the biological engines behind effective protein production.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.12.2020
New research highlights impacts of weedkiller on wildlife
Prolonged exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of the weedkiller Roundup causes significant harm to keystone species according to new research at the University of Birmingham. A team in the University's School of Biosciences used waterfleas, or Daphnia, to test the effects prolonged exposure to concentrations of Roundup deemed safe by regulatory agencies.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.12.2020
Alzheimer’s Disease: Regulating Copper in the Brain Stops Memory Loss Among Mice
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the presence of amyloid plaques 1 in the patient's brain. These plaques sequester copper, and contain approximately five times as much as a healthy brain. Two CNRS scientists from the Coordination Chemistry Laboratory recently developed, with their colleagues from the Guangdong University of Technology and Shenzhen University (China), a molecule that regulates the circulation of copper in the brain.

Agronomy / Food Science - Life Sciences - 16.12.2020
Variety: spice of life for bumble bees
Variety: spice of life for bumble bees
The yield and quality of many crops benefit from pollination, but it isn-t just honey bees that do this work: bumble bees also have a role. However, placing honey bee or bumble bee colonies next to the field does not guarantee that they will visit the desired plants since there may be other plant species flowering at the same time that prove more attractive.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.12.2020
Fishing alters fish behaviour and features in exploited ecosystems
The research study was carried out in two different habitats: in the Cíes Islands (Vigo), a protected marine area where recreational fishing is not allowed, and in contiguous areas open to fishing. Photo: Lluís Cardona. Recerca Not all specimens of the same species are the same: there is a marked variability within the same population and sometimes these morphological differences are translated into a different behaviour.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 16.12.2020
New use for an old drug: How does ketamine combat depression?
A group of proteins called 4E-BPs, involved in memory formation, is the key to unlocking the antidepressant effect of ketamine in the brain, according to researchers from three Canadian universities. The discovery could lead to better and safer treatments for certain patients suffering from major depression.

Life Sciences - 16.12.2020
Ringo Starr of the bird world heading for extinction
New research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows palm cockatoos, renowned for their human-like musical drumming behaviour, are threatened with extinction.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 15.12.2020
What does contagious laughter sound like?
Feel like a good laugh? Then why not take part in a listening experiment designed by UvA psychologists. Listen to someone else laughing out loud and rate how contagious you find their laughter. You can also add your own laughter fragment and thereby help the researchers find out what contagious laughter sounds like.

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.12.2020
Are Britain’s land animals eating plastic?
Programmes such as the BBC's Blue Planet and Hugh's War on Plastic , have drawn attention to the threat plastics pose to sea-life. But little is known about the impacts on Britain's land-based species, such as hedgehogs, rabbits and voles. Now, a new research project from the University of Sussex and the Mammal Society, aims to assess the exposure of wild mammals to waste plastics across Britain.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.12.2020
What loneliness looks like in the brain
Neural "signature" may reflect how we respond to feelings of social isolation This holiday season will be a lonely one for many people as social distancing due to COVID-19 continues, and it is important to understand how isolation affects our health. A new study shows a sort of signature in the brains of lonely people that make them distinct in fundamental ways, based on variations in the volume of different brain regions as well as based on how those regions communicate with one another across brain networks.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.12.2020
Apathy could predict onset of dementia years before other symptoms
Apathy - a lack of interest or motivation - could predict the onset of some forms of dementia many years before symptoms start, offering a 'window of opportunity' to treat the disease at an early stage, according to new research from a team of scientists led by Professor James Rowe at the University of Cambridge.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.12.2020
No association between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome
Neuroscientists at UCL have found no significant association between COVID-19 and the potentially paralysing and sometimes fatal neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome. Researchers say the findings, published in the journal  Brain*,  along with a linked scientific commentary** by UCL and other international experts, should provide the public with reassurance, as the UK's national coronavirus vaccination programme is rolled out.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.12.2020
Thinking afresh about how cells respond to stress
Thinking afresh about how cells respond to stress
Just like people, cells get stressed too. A sudden drop in oxygen, overheating, or toxins can trigger a cascade of molecular changes that lead cells to stop growing, produce stress-protective factors, and form stress granules - proteins and RNA molecules huddled together into membrane-less organelles.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.12.2020
RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
By Susanne Eigner Researchers from TU Graz and acib succeed in the first enzyme-driven biocatalytic synthesis of nucleic acid building blocks. This facilitates the development of antiviral agents and RNA-based therapeutics. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the associated intensive search for therapeutics and vaccines, the chemical substance class of nucleosides is experiencing an enormous increase in interest.