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EurekAlert! - Biology



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:12:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Anesthetics have the same effects on plants as they have on animals and humans

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Oxford University Press USA) A new study published in Annals of Botany has shown that plants react to anesthetics similarly to the way animals and humans do, suggesting plants are ideal objects for testing anesthetics actions in future.



Exposure to air pollution just before or after conception raises risk of birth defects

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center) Women exposed to air pollution just prior to conception or during the first month of pregnancy face an increased risk of their children being born with birth defects, such as cleft lip or palate or abnormal hearts.



St. Jude gene therapy improves immunity in babies with 'bubble boy' disease

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) Preliminary findings indicate gene therapy pioneered at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is safe and effective for babies with a devastating inherited disorder that leaves them with little or no immune protection.



Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and their colleagues have demonstrated that nanometer-scale pores etched into layers of graphene can provide a simple model for the complex operation of ion channels.



Boosting the antibiotic arsenal

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT researchers have discovered a way to make bacteria more vulnerable to a class of antibiotics known as quinolones, which include ciprofloxacin and are often used to treat infections such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.



Extreme fieldwork, climate modeling yields new insight into predicting Greenland's melt

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Los Angeles) A new UCLA-led study brings together scientists from land hydrology, glaciology and climate modeling to unravel a meltwater mystery. UCLA professor of geography Laurence Smith and his team of researchers discovered that some meltwater from the lakes and rivers atop the region's glaciers, is being stored and trapped on top of the glacier inside a low-density, porous 'rotten ice.' This phenomenon affects climate model predictions of Greenland's meltwater.



Taurine lends hand to repair cells damaged in multiple sclerosis

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Scripps Research Institute) New research suggests that administering taurine, a molecule naturally produced by human cells, could boost the effectiveness of current multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies.



Report offers framework to guide decisions about Spirit Lake and Toutle River at Mount St. Helens

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a framework to guide federal, tribal, state and local agencies, community groups, and other interested and affected parties in making decisions about the Spirit Lake and Toutle River system, near Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state. The process should include broader participation by groups and parties whose safety, livelihoods, and quality of life are affected by decisions about the lake and river system, the report says.



UIC gets Department of Energy grant to advance combined heat and power systems

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Chicago) The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the US Department of Energy to help industrial, commercial, institutional and utility entities evaluate and install highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.



CU Boulder solar instruments, experiments headed for space

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado at Boulder) A solar instrument package designed and built by the University of Colorado Boulder to help monitor the planet's climate is now set for launch Dec. 12 aboard a SpaceX rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.



Complimentary press registration available for 2018 Winter Rheumatology Symposium

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American College of Rheumatology) The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) welcomes members of the press to write about rheumatology research presented the Winter Rheumatology Symposium in Snowmass Village, CO on January 20-26, 2017.



Sandy claws

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Delaware) Majoid crabs -- known as decorator crabs -- adorn themselves with items secured from their surroundings such as sponges, algae and other marine debris. Scientists and students at the University of Delaware are exploring what factors drive this behavior.



25 species revealed for 25 Genomes Project

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) To commemorate the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute turning 25 in 2018, the Institute and its collaborators* are sequencing 25 new genomes of species in the UK**. The final five species have now been chosen by thousands of school children and members of the public around the globe, who participated in the 25 Genomes Project online vote.



Many more bacteria have electrically conducting filaments

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) Microbiologists led by Derek Lovley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is internationally known for having discovered electrically conducting microfilaments or 'nanowires' in the bacterium Geobacter, announce in a new paper this month that they have discovered the unexpected structures in many other species, greatly broadening the research field on electrically conducting filaments.



Study reveals Viagra to be 'ineffective' for fetal growth restriction

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Liverpool) A University of Liverpool led international clinical trial has found an anti-impotence drug to be ineffective at improving outcomes for pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction.



Molecular beacon signals low oxygen with ultrasound

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Areas of hypoxia, or low oxygen in tissue, are hallmarks of fast-growing cancers and of blockages or narrowing in blood vessels, such as stroke or peripheral artery disease. University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to find hypoxic spots noninvasively in real time. The researchers developed an oxygen-sensitive molecular beacon that emits ultrasound signals in response to light, a process called photoacoustic imaging.



Can data save dolphins?

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) After a collaboration between NASA scientists and marine biologists, new research rules out space weather as a primary cause of animal beachings.



For women with genetic risk, bi-annual MRI beats mammograms

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Chicago Medical Center) Intensive surveillance including a dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) exam every six months was far more effective in detecting breast cancer in younger women with a high-risk genetic profile than an annual mammogram. DCE-MRI every six months performed well for early detection of invasive breast cancer in high-risk women.



Marine organisms can shred a carrier bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Plymouth) A single plastic carrier bag could be shredded by marine organisms into 1.75 million microscopic fragments, according to new research published in Marine Pollution Bulletin and carried out by the University of Plymouth.



Controlled burns limited severity of Rim Fire

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Penn State) Controlled burning of forestland helped limit the severity of one of California's largest wildfires, according to Penn State geographers.



Announcement: Wyss Center workshop on lightsheet microscopy

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering) We are pleased to announce that the first Wyss Center workshop on lightsheet microscopy will be held from 19 - 22 March 2018 at Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland.



ERC grant: €2 million for synthetic biology at TU Darmstadt

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Technische Universitat Darmstadt) The European Research Council awards an ERC Consolidator Grant to professor Heinz Koeppl and supports him for a period of five years with a total of €2 million. This will further strengthen the activities of TU Darmstadt in the domain of synthetic biology.



How developing visual system axons stay in the correct layer

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Tokyo Institute of Technology) Little is known about how axons in the developing visual system stabilize their connections upon reaching the correct layer, but scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), led by Associate Professor Takashi Suzuki, have identified two proteins that provide layer-specific stabilization.



Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cologne) A study scientists from the University of Cologne have published in Frontiers in Zoology shows for the first time that fast insects can change their gait -- like a mammal's transition from trot to gallop. These new insights could contribute to making the locomotion of robots more energy efficient.



Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19 percent efficiency

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19 percent for 1,000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions. The study, carried out by EPFL, is published in Nature Energy.