Life Sciences

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Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 14.02.2019
Explains how rabbits adapted to survive myxomatosis
An unprecedented study of rabbit DNA spanning 150 years and thousands of miles has revealed the genetic basis for the animal's fightback - and ultimate triumph, against the deadly myxoma virus. The revelation of how rabbits evolved genetic resistance to myxomatosis through natural selection, comes as part of an international research collaboration, nearly seventy years after the lethal disease decimated species' populations of Australia, Britain and France.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.02.2019
New Molecular Blueprint Advances Our Understanding of Photosynthesis
New Molecular Blueprint Advances Our Understanding of Photosynthesis
Berkeley Lab research will shed light on the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide into sugar, helping scientists engineer crops that produce sustainable bioproducts including biofuels. Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have used one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to reveal the structure of a large protein complex crucial to photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into cellular energy.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.02.2019
Cannabis use in teens raises risk of depression in young adults
Cannabis use in teens raises risk of depression in young adults
Cannabis use among adolescents is found to be associated with increased risk of depression and anxiety in adulthood. Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug by teenagers worldwide. In Canada, among youth aged 15 to 19 years, the rate of past-year cannabis use is 20.6%, while in England, 4% of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years used cannabis in the last month.

Life Sciences - 14.02.2019
The lizard and the egg: lizards break golden rule of biology
Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have made a remarkable discovery about a group of lizards, and how they've managed to thrive in extreme conditions on one of the world's highest mountain ranges. The Liolaemus lizards - found mainly around South America's Andes Mountains - reproduce in a way that challenges one of biology's best known rules, Dollo's Law.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.02.2019
Biologist's research could lead to more resilient crops
Biologist’s research could lead to more resilient crops
UCLA biologist Steve Jacobsen's research has the potential to have a significant impact on the improvement of crops. Jacobsen, who is a professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, specializes in plant epigenetics — the study of how a gene's function can change without changes to the DNA sequence — and his research could lead to more resilient crops.

Environment - Life Sciences - 13.02.2019
Fate of Meerkats Tied to Seasonal Climate Effects
Fate of Meerkats Tied to Seasonal Climate Effects
Does a drier and hotter climate present a threat to the meerkats in the Kalahari Desert? Researchers from UZH and Cambridge show that climate change is likely to impact meerkats, and seasonal rainfall and temperature will be the key factors. The effects of climate change are especially obvious in arid environments where resources are scarce and subject to seasonal availability.

Life Sciences - 13.02.2019
Movement impairments in autism could be reversible
Researchers from Cardiff University have established a link between a genetic mutation and developmental movement impairments in autism . The study, which found that the mutation of the CYFIP1 gene leads to changes in the development of brain cells, leading to the motor issues, also suggests that motor learning difficulties occur at a young age and can be reversed through behavioural training.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.02.2019
Experts call for caution on reporting long-term effects of head injuries in sports
A group of over 60 leading international neuroscientists have called for caution when reporting on the potential late effects of head injuries in sport. In correspondence, published today in The Lancet Neurology, experts in research and clinical practice in brain injury from around the world have asked for balance when reporting on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Life Sciences - Health - 12.02.2019
Why too much DNA repair can injure tissue
Why too much DNA repair can injure tissue
Overactive repair system promotes cell death following DNA damage by certain toxins, study shows. DNA-repair enzymes help cells survive damage to their genomes, which arises as a normal byproduct of cell activity and can also be caused by environmental toxins. However, in certain situations, DNA repair can become harmful to cells, provoking an inflammatory response that produces severe tissue damage.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.02.2019
Electrical activity early in fruit flies' brain development could shed light on how neurons wire the brain
Electrical activity early in fruit flies’ brain development could shed light on how neurons wire the brain
FINDINGS Neurons somehow know which of their neighbors to connect with and which to avoid in the crowded environment of the central nervous system. But how? Using fruit flies, neuroscientists from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA observed that neurons displayed periodic bursts of electrical activity early in brain development, when the larva is still developing.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.02.2019
New technique to analyse cancer cells’ life history could help provide personalised cancer treatment
A team of researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University has developed a new technique that allows scientists to reliably track genetic errors in individual cancer cells, and find out how these might lead to uncontrollable growth. Despite recognising that cancer cell diversity underlies treatment resistance and recurrence of cancer, previous attempts to track errors in individual cancer cells were very inaccurate, or could only track a few cells at a time.

Life Sciences - Environment - 12.02.2019
To tool or not to tool?
To tool or not to tool?
Orangutans make complex economic decisions about tool use depending on the current 'market' situation Flexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists from the University of Vienna, the University of St Andrews and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna that included Isabelle Laumer and Josep Call, has studied tool related decision-making in a non-human primate species - the orangutan.

Life Sciences - 12.02.2019
The unexpected creates reward when listening to music
Scientists prove difference between expected/actual outcomes cause reward response If you love it when a musician strikes that unexpected but perfect chord, you are not alone. New research shows the musically unexpected activates the reward centre of our brains, and makes us learn about the music as we listen.

Palaeontology - Life Sciences - 11.02.2019
Oldest evidence of mobility on Earth
Ancient fossils of the first ever organisms to exhibit movement have been discovered by an international team of scientists. Discovered in rocks in Gabon and dating back approximately 2.1 billion years, the fossils suggest the existence of a cluster of single cells that came together to form a slug-like multicellular organism that moved through the mud in search of a more favourable environment.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 11.02.2019
Cell component breakdown suggests possible treatment for multiple neural disorders
UW-Madison research published today (Feb. 11, 2019) reveals how one mutation causes fragile X, the most common inherited intellectual disability. "Fragile X syndrome has been studied as a model of intellectual disability because in theory it's comparatively simple," says senior author Xinyu Zhao, a professor of neuroscience in the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Life Sciences - Physics - 11.02.2019
Acoustic waves can monitor stiffness of living cells
Acoustic waves can monitor stiffness of living cells
Technique sheds light on cells' health and development; may be useful for precision medicine. MIT engineers have devised a new, noninvasive way to measure the stiffness of living cells using acoustic waves. Their technique allows them to monitor single cells over several generations and investigate how stiffness changes as cells go through the cell division cycle.

Environment - Life Sciences - 11.02.2019
The search for Selenium: Traces in the high Alps
The search for Selenium: Traces in the high Alps
Up to a billion people around the world are deficient in selenium and do not get sufficient amounts in their diets. This is detrimental to health, as selenium plays an important role in the immune system and is involved in the formation of countless proteins in the body. Animal products and, most of all, grains contain a lot of selenium.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 11.02.2019
Who does (and doesn’t) want a DNA ancestry test?
Stanford sociologists found that racial identity, when ancestors immigrated and knowledge of family history influence people's decision to take a DNA test. At-home DNA testing kits may be the latest fad, but according to new research by Stanford sociologists, not everyone is keen to find out whether they are related to the British royal family or a Neanderthal.

Life Sciences - 08.02.2019
U.S. patent office indicates it will issue third CRISPR patent to UC
Patent involved in interference proceedings will add to university's gene-editing portfolio The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for a University of California patent application covering systems and methods for using single molecule guide RNAs that, when combined with the Cas9 protein, create more efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.02.2019
A child’s genome leads to a new discovery
Discovering a disease's genetic cause depends largely on the expertise of doctors and researchers who interpret the DNA data. Mustafa Khokha, MD, director of the Pediatrics Genomics Discovery Program (PGDP), collaborates with highly trained genetics researchers, including Emily Mis, PhD (right), to identify new genetic variants linked to previously undiagnosed diseases in children.
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