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Life Sciences - Health - 17.01.2020
Why we differ in our ability to fight off gut infections
Why we differ in our ability to fight off gut infections
Scientists at EPFL have published two papers showing how genetics affects the ability of different individuals to fight off gut infections. ?he ability of the immune system to fight off bacterial, viral and other invading agents in the gut differs between individuals. However, the biological mechanism by which this happens is not well understood, but at least part of this difference may be explained by genetic factors.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Scientists uncover how an explosion of new genes explain the origin of land plants
Scientists have made a significant discovery about the genetic origins of how plants evolved from living in water to land 470 million years ago. The new study, led by scientists from the universities of Bristol and Essex and published today [16 January] in Current Biology , challenge the established view of the origin of plants on land, and reveal that compared to the origin of animals, plants are better at inventing new genes during periods of evolution.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.01.2020
Latest tech in clinical grafts' A 'universal' blood vessel
Latest tech in clinical grafts’ A ’universal’ blood vessel
Yale doctors have developed a way to create vascular grafts from stem cells that are as strong as the original blood vessels they would replace. The advance, demonstrated in an animal model, may lead to bioengineered grafts suitable for transplant into any human patient using universally compatible cell lines, said the researchers.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.01.2020
Mosquitoes Engineered to Repel Dengue Virus
Researchers develop the first mosquitoes synthetically designed to neutralize many types of the widespread infectious disease An international team of scientists has synthetically engineered mosquitoes that halt the transmission of the dengue virus. Led by biologists at the University of California San Diego, the research team describes details of the achievement in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the insects that spread dengue in humans, on January 16 in the journal PLOS Pathogens .

Life Sciences - 16.01.2020
Giant squid’s full genome revealed, providing clues about mysterious creature
The monstrous giant squid, which can grow to the size of a school bus with eyes as big as dinner plates, is rarely sighted and has never been caught and kept alive-meaning its biology (even how they reproduce) is still largely a mystery. But science just took a huge step forward with the publication of the squid's full genome sequence.

Life Sciences - Computer Science / Telecom - 16.01.2020
Artificial intelligence used to predict 3D structure of proteins
A deep learning system can predict the structure of a protein using its genetic sequence more accurately than any previous modelling system, according to a study by researchers at DeepMind and UCL. Nearly every function our body performs relies on proteins. Predicting the intricate 3D structure of a protein is important because its structure largely determines its function and, once the structure is known, scientists can develop drugs that target this unique shape.

Life Sciences - 16.01.2020
No Difference for Beneficials between GM Plants with One or More Bt-Toxins
The Biosafety Research Group at Agroscope has conducted a review of the literature on genetically modified plants that produce several insect-active Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins simultaneously. The experts were able to show that the toxins did not pose an increased risk for non-target organisms such as beneficials.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 16.01.2020
Probiotic drink could offer new way to combat antibiotic resistance
A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key genetic element that can tackle the genetic basis of resistance. The team is now seeking funding for a clinical trial for the drink which has potential to work against many resistant bacteria commonly found in the human gut including E. coli, Salmonella and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Life Sciences - 16.01.2020
Controlling molecular glue protects connections between brain cells
Controlling molecular glue protects connections between brain cells
A way in which some connections between brain cells can resist degeneration - a hallmark of traumatic brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases — has been discovered by researchers at The University of Queensland. Dr Sean Coakley and Professor Massimo Hilliard from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research uncovered a way in which cells control the stickiness of a molecular glue that protects connections between brain cells and prevent neurodegeneration.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.01.2020
Glimpse into ancient hunting strategies of dragonflies and damselflies
Dragonflies and damselflies are animals that may appear gentle, but are - in fact - ancient hunters. The closely related insects shared an ancestor over 250 million years ago - long before dinosaurs - and provide a glimpse into how an ancient neural system controlled precise and swift aerial assaults.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 15.01.2020
New Mechanisms Describe How the Genome Regulates Itself
An organism's genome contains all of the information necessary for each of its cells and tissues to develop and function properly. Written in DNA, each individual gene encodes for something, whether it is a structural protein that helps define a tissue's shape, an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reactions of life, or a signaling protein that cells use to communicate.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Analysis: Women who have more sex may enter the menopause later
Megan Arnot (UCL Anthropology) discusses a new study conducted with Professor Ruth Mace (UCL Anthropology) which found that women's sexual behaviour is connected with menopause timing. Globally, on average, women experience the menopause at around the age of 50. But there's a great deal of variation in this age both within and between countries.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Women who have less sex enter the menopause earlier
Megan Arnot (UCL Anthropology) discusses a new study conducted with Professor Ruth Mace (UCL Anthropology) which found that women's sexual behaviour is connected with menopause timing. Globally, on average, women experience the menopause at around the age of 50. But there's a great deal of variation in this age both within and between countries.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Animals reduce the symmetry of their markings to improve camouflage
Animals reduce the symmetry of their markings to improve camouflage
Some forms of camouflage have evolved in animals to exploit a loophole in the way predators perceive their symmetrical markings. The University of Bristol findings, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B today [15 Jan], describe how animals have evolved to mitigate this defensive disadvantage in their colouration.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Animals should use short, fast movements to avoid being located
Most animals need to move, whether this is to seek out food, shelter or a mate. New research has shown that movement doesn't always break camouflage and if an animal needs to move, animals that are unpatterned and use short, fast movements are less likely to be located by predators. In most cases, most of the visual field of a predator does not fall within a high-resolution area and so, when an undetected prey moves, that motion will often be in peripheral vision.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Into leading cause of stillbirth awarded £2.4 million funding
Researchers have been awarded over £2.4 million to investigate the best technique to manage poor growth in babies during the later stages of pregnancy Fetal growth restriction (FGR) can lead to stillbirth, accounting for half of the cases of stillbirth in the UK. The new international study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will investigate the best time to deliver babies who are diagnosed with FGR in late preterm pregnancy.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Zebra finches learn their courtship song efficiently
Zebra finches learn their courtship song efficiently
Zebra finches are very efficient at learning their courtship songs, as researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich have shown. In the morning, the birds remember the positive learning progress of the previous day, but forget the failures overnight. Some principles and mechanisms of learning are identical, for example, in both language acquisition and in learning different motor skills.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
Having less sex linked to earlier menopause
Having less sex linked to earlier menopause
Women who engage in sexual activity weekly or monthly have a lower risk of entering menopause early relative to those who report having some form of sex less than monthly, according to a new UCL study. The researchers observed that women, who reported engaging in sexual activity weekly, were 28% less likely to have experienced menopause at any given age than women who engaged in sexual activity less than monthly.

Music - Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
How Zebra Finches Learn to Sing
How Zebra Finches Learn to Sing
Complex learning processes like speaking or singing follow similar patterns. Using the example of zebra finches, researchers at UZH and ETH Zurich have investigated how young birds imitate the courtship songs of their fathers and practice them thousands of times. The study has revealed what aspects of the song are remembered overnight, and that sleep allows the bird to optimally build upon the progress made on the previous day.

Life Sciences - 15.01.2020
The heat is on for Australia's beloved marsupials
The heat is on for Australia’s beloved marsupials
As Australia's weather heats up, it could have serious consequences for some of our country's most iconic animals, according to new research from The Australian National University (ANU). The research shows marsupials like koalas, possums and gliders are forced to change their eating habits in hot weather because of the toxins found in Eucalyptus leaves.
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