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Health - Life Sciences - 03.12.2020
What makes certain groups more vulnerable to COVID-19?
What makes the elderly and people with underlying conditions more vulnerable to COVID-19? According to a new study led by McGill University researchers, clues can be found in the proteins involved in initiating infection, as the virus binds to host cells of different animals. Greater cellular oxidation with aging and sickness may explain why seniors and people with chronic illness get infected more often and more severely.

Life Sciences - 02.12.2020
Octopuses have the most flexible limbs known in nature
Octopuses have the most flexible appendages known in nature, according to a new study in Scientific Reports . In addition to being soft and strong, each of the animal's eight arms can bend, twist, elongate and shorten in many combinations to produce diverse movements. But to what extent can they do so, and is each arm equally capable? Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory , which is affiliated with the University of Chicago, filmed 10 octopuses over many months while presenting them with a variety of challenges, and recorded 16,563 examples of these arm movements.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2020
Small and large birth weight linked to genetics of mother and baby - except in tiniest babies
Genetics of mother and baby contribute to most cases where babies are born very large or very small, according to new research. Genetics of mother and baby contribute to most cases where babies are born very large or very small, according to new research. A large scale study, led by the University of Exeter and Cardiff University, has found the strongest evidence to date that genetics play a major role in most cases when babies born at full term are in the top or bottom 10 per cent of the weight spectrum.

Life Sciences - 02.12.2020
Swift action needed to help critically endangered parrot
Swift action needed to help critically endangered parrot
There could be fewer than 300 swift parrots left in the wild, according to new research from The Australian National University (ANU).

Health - Life Sciences - 02.12.2020
Lung-on-chip provides new insight on response to early TB infection
Developing a "lung-on-chip" model, EPFL scientists have uncovered new insights on the body's response to early tuberculosis infections. The findings reveal the early events that take place during tuberculosis infection, and provide a model for future research into respiratory and other infections. Scientists have developed a lung-on-chip model to study how the body responds to early tuberculosis (TB) infection, according to findings published in eLife.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2020
Big data analysis suggests role of brain connectivity in epilepsy-related atrophy
Large multi-site study accurately predicts damage to grey matter by disease An international study has found a link between the brain's network connections and grey matter atrophy caused by certain types of epilepsy, a major step forward in our understanding of the disease. In neuroscience, it is becoming increasingly clear that the brain's connectome is as important as its anatomy when studying human disease.

Life Sciences - 01.12.2020
Fingerprints’ moisture-regulating mechanism strengthens human touch - study
Human fingerprints have a self-regulating moisture mechanism that not only helps us to avoid dropping our smartphone, but could help scientists to develop better prosthetic limbs, robotic equipment and virtual reality environments, a new study reveals. Primates - including humans, monkeys and apes - have evolved epidermal ridges on their hands and feet with a higher density of sweat glands than elsewhere on their bodies.

Life Sciences - 30.11.2020
How insect wings evolved from the legs of an ancestral crustacean
It sounds like a just-so story-"How the Insect Got its Wings"-but it's really a mystery that has puzzled biologists for over a century. Intriguing and competing theories of insect wing evolution have emerged in recent years, but none were entirely satisfactory. Finally, a team from the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, has settled the controversy, using clues from long-ago scientific papers as well as state-of-the-art genomic approaches.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.11.2020
New aggressive alga threatening the health of Caribbean coral reefs
Hurricanes, pollution, disease, bleaching and the effects of an increasingly warmer planet are all negatively impacting the health of coral reefs around the world. However, those in the Caribbean are facing a new threat - an aggressive, golden-brown, crust-like alga that is rapidly overgrowing shallow reefs.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 30.11.2020
Molecular mechanism of long-term memory discovered
Molecular mechanism of long-term memory discovered
Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a molecular mechanism that plays a central role in intact long-term memory. This mechanism is also involved in physiological memory loss in old age. Many life forms, from worms to humans, have differentiated memory functions, such as short-term and long-term memory.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 30.11.2020
Conversing with infants may affect their brain circuitry
Stanford researchers studied fiveto eight-month-old babies and found that caregivers' speech is associated with activation in brain regions that are involved in language comprehension. While babies aren't known for being great conversationalists, talking to them can still be worthwhile. A new Stanford study finds that engaging in "conversations" with adults may help infant brains develop, especially those areas involved in language comprehension.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.11.2020
New Technique Isolates Brain Cells Associated With Parkinson’s Disease
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new technique for isolating a type of brain cell associated with Parkinson's disease symptoms, enabling them to study that cell type in detail. The technique, which works only in specially bred mice, costs less than previous methods for isolating these brain cells, said Alyssa Lawler, a Ph.D.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.11.2020
How epithelial cells ward off viruses
How epithelial cells ward off viruses
The cytosolic sensor NLRP1 identifies viruses as non-self and triggers inflammatory responses The ability to differentiate between self and potentially harmful non-self is vital for the integrity and survival of organisms. In most organisms, the so-called innate immune system is responsible for the recognition of such intruders.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 27.11.2020
Identificat un mecanisme cerebral essencial per a la capacitat de recordar
(C) Image of the hippocampus (blue cells) showing the innervation it receives from medial septum inhibitor axons (red). Under normal conditions, the innervation of the medial septum (GABA) limits the activation of interneurons (PV) in the hippocampus during the memories, thus allowing the reactivation of neurons (pyr) that encode memory.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
Ancient bird with sickle-shaped beak offers insights into evolution
A 68 million-year-old fossil of a crow-sized bird discovered in Madagascar offers new insights into the evolution of face and beak shape of modern birds' ancestors, according to a new study involving UCL researchers. The findings are helping scientists to understand convergent evolution of complex anatomy.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2020
Small molecules control bacterial resistance to antibiotics
Small molecules control bacterial resistance to antibiotics
Jena research team discovers molecule that influences the resistance of cholera bacteria Life Antibiotics have revolutionized medicine by providing effective treatments for infectious diseases such as cholera. But the pathogens that cause disease are increasingly developing resistance to the antibiotics that are most commonly used.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
Natural sewage treatment plants float on the Zambezi River
Natural sewage treatment plants float on the Zambezi River
Sprawling carpets of floating plants are the result of too many nutrients. However, they could become part of solution strategies, Eawag researchers show. They are a beautiful sight to behold: carpets of floating plants such as the water hyacinth ( Eichhornia crassipes ) in the Zambezi catchment. However, they are also an indicator of inadequate wastewater management in urban and industrial regions of tropical developing countries.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2020
Foreign vs. own DNA: How an innate immune sensor tells friend from foe
How do molecules involved in activating our immune system discriminate between our own DNA and foreign pathogens? Researchers from the Thomä group, in collaboration with the EPFL, deciphered the structural and functional basis of a DNA-sensing molecule when it comes in contact with the cell's own DNA, providing crucial insights into the recognition of self vs.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
World’s first research programme to identify scarring gene launched
A world-leading £1.5 million research programme that aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation has been launched today [26 November] by The Scar Free Foundation, the only medical research charity which focuses solely on scarring. The five-year research study led by the University of Bristol will identify the gene(s) that causes scarring and inform future treatments.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2020
Foreign vs own DNA: How an innate immune sensor tells the difference
Scientists at EPFL and the Friedrich Miescher Institute have used cryo-electron microscopy to explain how a DNA-sensing biomolecule that is key to our innate immunity response is inactivated when it comes in contact with the cell's own DNA. A biomolecule that gained considerable attention over the past few years is cGAS, a "DNA sensor" that is involved in kickstarting immune responses in the body.