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Life Sciences - Health - 06.12.2019
How do you cultivate a healthy plant microbiome?
Plant leaves harbor a diverse microbial community, as seen in this plate of agar stamped with the leaf of a greenhouse-grown tomato plant. After incubating for two days, the bacteria from the leaf grew into visible colonies. (Photo courtesy of Britt Koskella lab) Scientists are homing in on what a healthy human microbiome looks like, mapping the normal bacteria that live in and on the healthy human body.

Environment - Life Sciences - 05.12.2019
Wildlife in tropics hardest hit by forests being broken up
Wildlife in tropics hardest hit by forests being broken up
Tropical species are six times more sensitive to forests being broken up for logging or farming than temperate species, says new research. A team led by Oregon State University and including Imperial College London scientists found that sensitivity to forest fragmentation - the breakup of forests by human activities like logging or farming - increased six-fold at low versus high latitudes, putting tropical species at greater risk of extinction.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.12.2019
Delirium linked to brain injury after severe surgery
In a new study published today [Dec. 5, 2019] in the journal Brain, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health have discovered that delirium following severe surgery may be associated with brain injury. "For a long time it has been thought that delirium, a state of confusion that can arise in sick patients, may lead to dementia and long-term cognitive problems," says study leader Robert Sanders, assistant professor of anesthesiology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.12.2019
NeuroRestore Center: aimed at restoring lost neurological function
NeuroRestore Center: aimed at restoring lost neurological function
The Defitech Foundation has teamed up with EPFL, CHUV and UNIL to widen access to the groundbreaking neurotechnology developed under the 2018 STIMO study, which allowed paraplegic patients to walk again. Their aim is also to develop new neurosurgical treatments for people suffering from Parkinson's disease or from neurological disorders following a head injury or stroke.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 05.12.2019
Social influencers: what can we learn from animals?
Research from Oxford University calls us to reconsider how behaviours may spread through societies of wild animals, and how this might provide new insights into human social networks. Our social connections to one another, whether it be online or in real life, give rise to our 'social networks'. Previously, it has often been assumed that the individuals with the most social connections are the primary 'social influencers' and most likely to acquire, and spread, new behaviours.

Environment - Life Sciences - 05.12.2019
Hybrids increase fish biodiversity in lakes of East Africa
Hybrids increase fish biodiversity in lakes of East Africa
When two individuals from different species mate, the offspring is known as a hybrid. As a result of the genomes being mixed, sometimes phenotypes are produced that deal with new environmental conditions better than the two parent species. Very often, hybrids are not able to reproduce, but there are quite a number of exceptions to this, including the cichlids.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.12.2019
Being active reduces risk of prostate cancer
This new study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology today [5 December], was led by the University of Bristol and co-funded by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK). It found that people with the variation in their DNA sequence that makes them more likely to be active, had a 51 per cent reduced risk of prostate cancer than people who did not have this particular variation.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.12.2019
With cellular blueprint for lungs, researchers look to organ regeneration
Using sophisticated screening across animal species, researchers at Yale have created a cellular blueprint of the human lung that will make it easier to understand the design principles behind lung function and disease - and to bioengineer new lungs. The research, published Dec.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.12.2019
Failure of the molecular bodyguard in Parkinson's disease
Failure of the molecular bodyguard in Parkinson’s disease
Scientists from ETH Zurich and the University of Basel's Biozentrum have shown that chaperone proteins dynamically bind to the Parkinson protein -synuclein. If this interaction is disturbed, it leads to cell damage and the formation of aggregates typical for the disease. Parkinson's disease is characterised by the progressive death of nerve cells in the brain.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 04.12.2019
Drugs that quell brain inflammation reverse dementia
UC Berkeley scientists propose a radical new theory that the memory loss and cognitive dysfunction of aging is due to a leaky barrier between the blood stream and the brain. (iStock image) Drugs that tamp down inflammation in the brain could slow or even reverse the cognitive decline that comes with age.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.12.2019
Big data toolkit to mine the dark genome for precision medicine
Big data toolkit to mine the dark genome for precision medicine
EPFL researchers have developed Big Data tools for identifying new gene functions. The work identifies millions of connections between genes and their functions, and can facilitate the development of precision medicine. Genes are the functional units of heredity, and the understanding of gene function is the major focus of biomedical research, serving as the basis of precision medicine.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.12.2019
World first as artificial neurons developed to cure chronic diseases
Artificial neurons on silicon chips that behave just like the real thing have been invented by scientists - a first-of-its-kind achievement with enormous scope for medical devices to cure chronic diseases, such as heart failure, Alzheimer's, and other diseases of neuronal degeneration. Critically the artificial neurons not only behave just like biological neurons but only need one billionth the power of a microprocessor, making them ideally suited for use in medical implants and other bio-electronic devices.

Environment - Life Sciences - 03.12.2019
For some corals, meals can come with a side of microplastics
Under a black light, fluorescent green microplastics are seen in the water during a small demonstration experiment. In the 2018 experiment described in the paper, cauliflower coral (above) ingested microplastics when prey was also present in the water, but avoided eating microplastics when no prey was there.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.12.2019
Rare Disease Q&A: What Rare Diseases Are and Why That Matters
Rare Disease Q&A: What Rare Diseases Are and Why That Matters
Rare diseases are … rare, right? Not as rare as you might think. As much as 10% of the population is thought to have a "rare disease." Unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding, many rare diseases remain very difficult to diagnose and treat. Inspired by the enormous unmet needs of people with rare diseases, a group of scientists from across the globe has teamed up to develop open-access tools and resources for sharing disease characteristics and treatment information.

Environment - Life Sciences - 02.12.2019
Reveals climate change impact on Antarctic penguins | University of Oxford
Reveals climate change impact on Antarctic penguins | University of Oxford
Antarctic†penguins have been on the†forefront†of†climate change,†experiencing massive changes to their natural habitat as the world's temperatures and human activity in the region have increased. Now, new research has revealed how†penguins have dealt with more than a century of human impacts in Antarctica and why some species are winners or losers in this rapidly changing ecosystem.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 02.12.2019
1940s blood samples reveal historical spread of malaria
DNA from 75-year old eradicated European malaria parasites uncovers the historical spread of one of the two most common forms of the disease, Plasmodium vivax, from Europe to the Americas during the colonial period, finds a new study co-led by UCL. The research published in Molecular Biology and Evolution reports the genome sequence of a malaria parasite sourced from blood-stained medical microscope slides used in 1944 in Spain, one of the last footholds of malaria in Europe.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 02.12.2019
Designing and re-purposing cell receptors
Designing and re-purposing cell receptors
EPFL scientists have developed a computational method modeling and designing protein allostery that allows the accurate and rational engineering and even re-purposing of cell receptors. The method can be a significant tool for drug development. Called the "second secret of life", allostery is one of the most fundamental processes of biology and has been a central focus among scientists across the life sciences spectrum, from fundamental biology to drug development.

Life Sciences - Environment - 02.12.2019
Genomic gymnastics help sorghum plant survive drought
A new study led by UC Berkeley researchers reveals how sorghum crops alter the expression of their genes to adapt to drought conditions. Understanding how sorghum survives harsh conditions could help researchers design crops that are more resilient to climate change. (UC Berkeley photo by Peggy Lemaux) Scorching temperatures and parched earth are no match for the sorghum plant - this cereal crop, native to Africa and Australia, will remain green and productive, even under conditions that would render other plants brown, brittle and barren.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2019
A Matchmaker for Microbiomes
A Matchmaker for Microbiomes
New tool will enable important insights into the microbial communities in the environment and inside our bodies Microbiomes play essential roles in the natural processes that keep the planet and our bodies healthy, so it's not surprising that scientists' investigations into these diverse microbial communities are leading to advances in medicine, sustainable agriculture, cheap water purification methods, and environmental clean-up technology, just to name a few.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2019
Carnegie Mellon Invention Among The Scientist’s Top Innovations of 2019
Janus bases, a bivalent nucleic acid recognition platform, are being used to develop treatments for rare genetic diseases The Scientist Magazine has named Janus bases as one of its Top 10 Innovations of 2019 . Carnegie Mellon University Chemistry Professor Danith Ly invented the molecules, and they are being used to create new treatments for genetic diseases and disorders.
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