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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: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 10:12:01 EDT

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



Molecular therapy set to protect at-risk patients against heart attack and stroke

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin) Even a single dose of a specific ribonucleic acid molecule, known as a small interfering RNA (siRNA), offers patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease long-lasting protection against high LDL cholesterol -- one of the main risk factors for heart attack and stroke. This is the result of a clinical study that researchers from Charité and Imperial College London have published as leading authors in the current edition of New England Journal of Medicine.



Weather forecasting technology used to predict where proteins anchor within human cells

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Exeter) Met Office technology used to study climate change is being used by scientists to predict the behavior of vitalsorting and location of proteins cells in cells of the the human body.



New study sheds light on how mosquitoes wing it

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Oxford) The unique mechanisms involved in mosquito flight have been shared for the first time in a new Oxford University collaboration, which could inform future aerodynamic innovations, including tiny scale flying tech.



Larger doses of vitamin C may lead to a greater reduction in common cold duration

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Helsinki) The relationship between vitamin C dosage and its effects on the duration of the common cold symptoms may extend to 6-8 grams per day according to a statistical analysis published in Nutrients.



Melting sea ice may lead to more life in the sea

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Southern Denmark) Every year an increasing amount of sea ice is melting in the Arctic. This can start a chain reaction, which leads to increased production of algae and hence more food for creatures in the sea.



Kidney transplants: White blood cells control virus replication

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Basel) Certain white blood cells play an important role in bringing a harmful virus under control after kidney transplantations. The results of a research group at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel could contribute to improving control of immunosuppression, avoiding transplant rejection and developing relevant vaccines.



The consumption of legumes is associated with a lower risk of diabetes

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Universitat Rovira i Virgili) Recent results from the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterranea) study show a protective association between total legumes consumption, especially lentils, and the risk of developing subsequent type 2 diabetes after more than 4 years of follow-up of 3349 participants at high cardiovascular risk. Moreover, the present study shows that replacing a half a serving/day of eggs, bread, rice or baked potato with a half a serving/day of legumes was also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.



Method identified to boost detection of highly cancerous stem cells

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Tokyo Medical and Dental University) Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)-led researchers discovered a subpopulation of highly cancerous stem cells in a brain cancer cell line. The cells are not identified by standard tumor cell fluorescence detection methods. By investigating the pathways involved in breaking down the fluorescent labeling material, the research team discovered that by reducing the availability of iron they could enhance fluorescence detection of these cells.



Emissions from the edge of the forest

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ) Half of the carbon stored in all of the Earth's vegetation is contained in tropical forests. Deforestation has a correspondingly fatal effect. Scientists estimate that this releases 1,000 million tonnes of carbon every year, which, in the form of greenhouse gasses, drives up global temperatures. A team of scientists from the UFZ and the University of Maryland has discovered that fragmentation of formerly contiguous areas of forest leads to carbon emissions rising by another third.



Fluctuation in the concentration of calcium ions contributes to brain shape

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institutes of Natural Sciences) The first step in shaping the brain is that the neural plate, a sheet-like cell layer, curves to form the neural tube. Assistant Professor Makoto Suzuki of the National Institute for Basic Biology and their colleagues have shown that during the process of neural tube formation a transient increase in the concentration of calcium ions in cells causes these morphological changes and is essential for neural tube formation. This result was published in the journal Development March 28, 2017.



Sleep-inducing herb: The key component identified

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Tsukuba) Can't sleep? Your sleep problems may be improved if you try an Indian herb, Ashwagandha. Researchers in the sleep institute in Japan found that an active component of Ashwagandha leaves significantly induces sleep.



Red and violet light reset the circadian clock in algae via novel pathway

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Nagoya University) A Nagoya University-led team uncovered a pathway in the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that resets its circadian clock on exposure to red or violet light. This color-specific response implies multiple pathways, allowing the alga to differentially modulate its circadian rhythm in response to different light colors. The team identified a gene, CSL, involved in the red- or violet-light response. CSL produces a protein similar to one involved in a major signaling pathway in many different organisms.



Is it a boy or is it a girl? New method to ID baby sea turtles' sex

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Florida Atlantic University) Is it a boy or is it a girl? For baby sea turtles it's not that cut and dry. Because they don't have an X or Y chromosome, baby sea turtles' sex is defined during development by the incubation environment. Warmer sand temperatures produce more females and cooler sand temperatures produce more males. A crucial step in the conservation of these animals is estimating hatchling sex ratios, which remains imprecise because of their anatomical makeup.



Biodiversity not a risk factor for emerging diseases and other ecology news

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecological Society of America) Is biodiversity bad for your health? Understanding the underground dynamics of grassland mosaics. Eurasian tree sparrows feed their nestlings hoverflies, reducing biocontrol of aphids in cereals. Defusing conflict around invasive species management. Livestock grazing impact on sage-grouse depends on when and how much boxes not always the best way to understand or boost bird populations



PolyU develops accurate contactless 3-D fingerprint identification system

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The Hong Kong Polytechnic University ) The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a system for three-dimensional (3-D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3-D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, pushing contactless biometric technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of access and forensic applications at an affordable cost.



Cancer cells disguise themselves by switching off genes, new research reveals

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Elsevier) Scientists have uncovered how tumor cells in aggressive uterine cancer can switch disguises and spread so quickly to other parts of the body. In a study published in Neoplasia, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine created a map showing which genes were switched on and off in different parts of the tumor, providing a 'signature' of these switches throughout the genome.



An epigenetic lesion could be responsible for acute T-cell leukemia

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute) Researchers from the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC) led by Dr. Manel Esteller at IDIBELL have discovered how an epigenetic lesion can lead to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The article, published in the journal Leukemia, correlates the lesion with the activation of a powerful oncogen capable of malignizing this type of cells of the immune system.



NUS scientists discover novel vulnerabilities in dengue virus

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National University of Singapore) A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has uncovered hidden vulnerabilities on the surface of the dengue virus.



Napping flies have higher resistance to deadly human pathogen

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Maryland) A new University of Maryland study finds that fruit flies that take frequent naps have the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and to Drosophila 'superbug' bacteria. The unexpected finding of dual resistance to the two different pathogens suggests genes regulating factors involved in general immune system resistance to disease played a bigger role than did the genes conferring disease-specific resistance.



When it comes to biological populations, expect the unexpected

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) More than three decades of data on the physical, chemical and biological variables in 11 Midwestern lakes show that while lake temperatures and nutrient concentrations rise within relatively expected ranges, biological organisms achieve high population extremes.



Anti-cancer drug gets a boost when combined with antirheumatic

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) Scientists at EPFL and NTU have discovered that combining an anticancer drug with an antirheumatic produces improved effects against tumors. The discovery opens a new path for drug-drug synergy.



Discovery of new predatory dinosaur species gives new insight on their evolution

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center) Scientists discovered a new tyrannosaur with an unusual mode of evolution. Findings include that Daspletosaurus horneri, or 'Horner's Frightful Lizard,' evolved directly from its geologically older relative, D. torosus, a rare form of evolution called anagenesis where one species gradually morphs into a new one. The research also changes the face of tyrannosaurs, which was covered by a lipless mask of scales, with patches of armor-like skin and horn, and a highly touch-sensitive snout.



Ludwig scientists reveal new advances in cancer research at 2017 AACR annual meeting

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research) Ludwig Cancer Research released today the full scope of advances to be presented by Ludwig researchers at this year's American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., April 1-5, 2017.



Resilient red blood cells need fuel to adapt their shape to the environment

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Osaka University) An international research team led by Osaka University built a novel 'Catch-Load-Launch' microfluidic device to monitor the resilience of red blood cells after being held in a narrow channel for various periods of time. They found that the time for the red blood cell to spring back into shape was shorter for when starved of adenosine triphosphate or exposed to endotoxins. These findings may help improve treatments for patients with sepsis or malaria.



JNeurosci: Highlights from the March 29 Issue

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Society for Neuroscience) Check out these newsworthy studies from the March 29, 2017, issue of JNeurosci. Media interested in obtaining the full text of the studies should contact media@sfn.org.