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Life Sciences - 06.05.2021
Fast changing smells can teach mice about space
Mice can sense extremely fast and subtle changes in the structure of odours and use this to guide their behaviour, according to a new study by UCL and Francis Crick Institute researchers. Odour plumes, like the steam off a hot cup of coffee, are complex and often turbulent structures, and can convey meaningful information about an animal's surroundings, like the movements of a predator or the location of food sources.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.05.2021
Researchers identify blood markers that indicate labor is approaching
About three weeks before delivery, a pregnant woman's body shifts into a pre-labor phase characterized by changes in immune, hormonal and blood-clotting signals. For the first time, researchers have found a way to predict when a pregnant woman will go into labor by analyzing immune and other biological signals in a blood sample, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 05.05.2021
Tracking down the tiniest of forces: how T cells detect invaders
Tracking down the tiniest of forces: how T cells detect invaders
T cells use their antigen receptors like sticky fingers - a team from TU Wien and MedUni Vienna was able to observe them doing so. T-cells play a central role in our immune system: by means of their so-called T-cell receptors (TCR) they make out dangerous invaders or cancer cells in the body and then trigger an immune reaction.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.05.2021
Fundamental regulation mechanism of proteins discovered
Fundamental regulation mechanism of proteins discovered
A research team led by Göttingen University find novel switch in proteins with wide-ranging implications for medical treatments Proteins perform a vast array of functions in the cell of every living organism with critical roles in almost every biological process. Not only do they run our metabolism, manage cellular signaling and are in charge of energy production, as antibodies they are also the frontline workers of our immune system fighting human pathogens like the coronavirus.

Agronomy / Food Science - Life Sciences - 04.05.2021
Pea plants make smart investment decisions that could help inform sustainable agriculture | University of Oxford
Pea plants make smart investment decisions that could help inform sustainable agriculture | University of Oxford
Researchers at the have shown that pea plants are able to make smart investment decisions when it comes to interactions with their symbiotic bacterial partners. Better understanding of how plants manage these interactions could help with the move towards sustainable agriculture.  Researchers at the have shown that pea plants are able to make smart investment decisions when it comes to interactions with their symbiotic bacterial partners.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.05.2021
Northern Red Sea corals pass heat stress test with flying colors
Northern Red Sea corals pass heat stress test with flying colors
Scientists are beginning to understand why corals in the Gulf of Aqaba, along with their symbiotic algae and bacteria, resist higher temperatures particularly well. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, most of the coral reef ecosystems on our planet - whether in Australia, the Maldives or the Caribbean - will have disappeared or be in very bad shape by the end of this century.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.05.2021
Nanoplastics - an underestimated problem?
Nanoplastics - an underestimated problem?
The images leave no one cold: giant vortices of floating plastic trash in the world's oceans with sometimes devastating consequences for their inhabitants - the sobering legacy of our modern lifestyle. Weathering and degradation processes produce countless tiny particles that can now be detected in virtually all ecosystems.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 04.05.2021
Aggressive brain tumours can mimic normal brain repair processes
Aggressive brain tumours can mimic normal brain repair processes
Scientists at the UCL have made a 'surprising' discovery that glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, mimics normal brain repair in white matter, which leads to the tumour becoming less malignant. In the study on mice to harness this response (feature) and treat the cancer. Using the pre-clinical mouse models, the researchers found that Pranlukast, a drug clinically approved for treating asthma in people, suppressed glioblastoma growth.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.05.2021
A sweet solution to hard brain implants
Study uses sugar to make and deliver pudding-like brain implants that reduce foreign body response Brain implants are used to treat neurological dysfunction, and their use for enhancing cognitive abilities is a promising field of research. Implants can be used to monitor brain activity or stimulate parts of the brain using electrical pulses.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.05.2021
To restrict growth, spread of head and neck cancers
Researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry have discovered a key molecule that allows cancer stem cells to bypass the body's natural immune defenses, spurring the growth and spread of head and neck squamous cell cancers. Their study, conducted in mice, also demonstrates that inhibiting this molecule derails cancer progression and helps eliminate these stem cells.

Environment - Life Sciences - 03.05.2021
Genetically engineered grass cleanses soil of toxic pollutants left by military explosives
Genetically engineered grass cleanses soil of toxic pollutants left by military explosives
Large swaths of U.S. military land are covered with munitions components, including the explosive chemical RDX. This molecule is toxic to people and can cause cancer. It also doesn't naturally break down and can contaminate groundwater. Now researchers have genetically engineered a grass commonly used to fight soil erosion so that it can remove RDX from the soil, according to a new paper published May 3.

Physics - Life Sciences - 30.04.2021
Physicists reveal how motion can be generated by frustration
University of Chicago scientists lay out a theory for the emerging field of non-reciprocal matter When two people want different things, frustration is inevitable. But these non-reciprocal interactions can also occur not just between people, but in the natural world. In a paper published April 14 in the journal Nature , a team of University of Chicago scientists described how systems composed of many objects that have such non-reciprocal interactions can evolve in surprising ways.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.04.2021
Discarded ostrich shells provide timeline for our African ancestors
Fragments of ostrich eggshells from the Ysterfontein 1 site near Cape Town, South Africa. Researchers have determined that these eggshells are about 120,000 years old, discarded by early Homo sapiens who lived along the coast and exploiting marine food resources as well as ostrich eggs. The scale bar at lower right is 1 centimeter (0.4 inches).

Life Sciences - 30.04.2021
Breaking the egg barrier: A sperm story
Breaking the egg barrier: A sperm story
Sperm doesn't shift into high gear in mammals just to show off, new research shows. It originally needed that extra speed to break the egg barrier. Later on, evolution enabled sperm to use its souped-up swimming to navigate tricky reproductive pathways even before reaching the egg. That is the finding of a new study led by Jean-Ju Chung , an assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology at the Yale School of Medicine.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 29.04.2021
How diet controls RNA maturation
How diet controls RNA maturation
Two UNIGE teams have discovered a new mechanism for regulating RNA maturation that depends on diet. Particularly sensitive to chemical modifications, messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are molecules responsible for transmitting the information encoded in our genome, allowing for the synthesis of proteins, which are necessary for the functioning of our cells.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.04.2021
A bacterial toxin facilitating chronic infection
A bacterial toxin facilitating chronic infection
Some pathogens persist in the body causing chronic infections. Researchers at the University of Basel have now discovered a mechanism of highly selective targeting of host proteins by a bacterial toxin that is critical for the bacteria to establish chronic infection. The study recently published in PNAS provides new insights into the activity and function of bacterial toxins.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.04.2021
'Pokemonas': bacteria closely related to lung parasites discovered and named after Pokémon
’Pokemonas’: bacteria closely related to lung parasites discovered and named after Pokémon
'Pokemonas' live in round amoebae, similar to Pokémon, which are caught inside balls in the popular video game A research team at the University of Cologne has discovered previously undescribed bacteria in amoebae that are related to Legionella and may even cause disease. The researchers from Professor Dr Michael Bonkowski's working group at the Institute of Zoology have named one of the newly discovered bacteria 'Pokemonas' because they live in spherical amoebae, comparable to Pokémon in the video game, which are caught in balls.

Life Sciences - 29.04.2021
Corals That ’Spit’ Algae
Microalgae of the dinoflagellate group are known for their ability to survive in other animal cells. These tiny single-cell organisms have engaged in mutually beneficial relationships with corals since primeval times. By passing on critical nutrients to their hosts, dinoflagellates allow corals to thrive even in barren areas.

Life Sciences - Environment - 29.04.2021
Eastern and Western house mice took parallel evolutionary paths
A house mouse from a southern population (left) is much smaller than a house mouse from a northern population (right), even when raised in the same environment, showing that the body size difference is the result of genetic variation caused by adaptation, presumably to cold temperatures. (UC Berkeley photos by Katya Mack) The European house mouse has invaded nearly every corner of the Americas since it was introduced by colonizers a few hundred years ago, and now lives practically everywhere humans store their food.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.04.2021
The Vertebrate Genome Project marks the beginning of a new era for the genomics of biodiversity
With the publication of 16 high quality reference genomes of vertebrates, an international team sets the standards for the new era of the genomics of biodiversity and shows how it will allow research in comparative biology, conservation and health. Published in Nature, the flagship study of the VGP is one of the biggest efforts towards standardization in the field of genomics with the involvement of over 50 institutions from 12 different countries since it began more than a decade ago.