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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: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:12:01 EDT

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

Sugars in human mother's milk are new class of antibacterial agents

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Vanderbilt University) A new study has found that sugars in mother's' milk do not just provide nutrition for babies but also help protect them from bacterial infections, making them a new class of antimicrobial agent.

Wood frogs research clarifies risks posed to animals by warming climate

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Penn State) As conditions warm, fish and wildlife living at the southern edge of their species' ranges are most at risk, according to Penn State researchers who led a major collaborative study of how wood frogs are being affected by climate change.

Ocean channel in Bahamas marks genetic divide in Brazilian free-tailed bats

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Florida Museum of Natural History) Brazilian free-tailed bats are expert flyers, capable of migrating hundreds of miles and regularly traveling more than 30 miles a night. But they pull up short at a narrow ocean channel that cuts across the Bahamas, dividing bat populations that last shared an ancestor hundreds of thousands of years ago.

New bioimaging technique is fast and economical

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) A new approach to optical imaging makes it possible to quickly and economically monitor multiple molecular interactions in a large area of living tissue -- such as an organ or a small animal; technology that could have applications in medical diagnosis, guided surgery, or pre-clinical drug testing.

Research reveals how physical exercise protects the heart

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) A study by the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil, published recently in the journal Autophagy, helps to elucidate part of the mechanism whereby aerobic exercise protects the sick heart. The benefits of exercise range from prevention of cachexia -- severe loss of weight and muscle mass -- and control of arterial blood pressure to improved cardiac function, postponing a degenerative process that causes progressive heart cell death. About 70% of heart failure patients die from the condition within five years.

Paper: Clinical signs best predictors of mortality in critically ill calves

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Clinical signs such as gastrointestinal problems may be better predictors of mortality in neonatal calves with diarrhea than blood pH levels and other laboratory findings, suggests a new study co-written by University of Illinois veterinary medicine dean Peter Constable; Florian M. Trefz and Annette Lorch, both of the Center of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; and Ingrid Lorenz, of the Bavarian Animal Health Service.

GIST tumors linked to NF1 mutations, genetic testing needed

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - San Diego) Researchers at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, with colleagues from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center, have determined that a specific region of the small bowel, called the duodenal-jejunal flexure or DJF, shows a high frequency of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) with mutations of the NF1 gene.

GA4GH 5th Plenary Meeting

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Global Alliance for Genomics and Health) Francis Collins and Harold Varmus will discuss the importance of international open science in a joint keynote address at the 5GA4GH 5th Plenary Meeting in Orlando, Florida, USA on Oct. 17, 2017. The event is an official ASHG ancillary meeting and will afford attendees the opportunity to learn more about important changes to GA4GH that aim to enable responsible, real-world genomic data sharing by 2022.

Mechanisms explaining positional diversity of the hindlimb in tetrapod evolution

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Nagoya University) Elucidating how body parts in their earliest recognizable form are assembled in tetrapods during development is essential for understanding the nature of morphological evolution. Nagoya University researchers found in eight tetrapod species that the position of the sacral vertebrae and the hindlimbs is determined by the initiation timing of Gdf11 gene expression. This will contribute to a forthcoming model explaining the coupling of spine and hindlimb positioning - a major step in fully understanding tetrapod evolution.

Organ crosstalk: Fatty liver can cause damage to other organs

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Deutsches Zentrum fuer Diabetesforschung DZD) Scientists of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) in Tübingen discovered that a fatty liver can cause damage to other organs. In two just-published studies they demonstrate the effects of fatty liver disease on the function of the hormone-producing islet cells in the pancreas and on renal function.

A map of the cell's power station

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Freiburg) Researchers from the University of Freiburg are mapping the distribution of all proteins in mitochondria for the first time.

Researchers discover new chemical process that could reduce nitrogen oxides from diesel exhaust

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Notre Dame) Chemical engineers at the University of Notre Dame have discovered a catalytic process that could help curb emissions of nitrogen oxides from diesel-powered vehicles, a priority air pollutant that is a key ingredient in smog.

Virus with an eggshell

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Wiley) Avian flu can be transmitted from birds to humans; transmission among humans, however, is limited. The reason may be an eggshell-like mineral layer that the virus acquires due to the high calcium concentration in the intestines of birds. As reported by Chinese researchers in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these mineralized viruses are significantly more infectious and, in addition, more robust and heat stable than the native viruses.

Smart computers

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Freiburg) Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during performed and imagined movements.

New study rebuts the claim that antidepressants do not work

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Gothenburg) A theory that has gained considerable attention in international media, including Newsweek and the CBS broadcast 60 minutes, suggest that antidepressant drugs, such as the SSRIs, do not exert any actual antidepressant effect. A research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy has now analyzed data from clinical trials and can rebut this theory.

The power of perovskite

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University) OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications.

How whip-like cell appendages promote bodily fluid flow

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Nagoya University) Researchers at Nagoya University revealed that a molecule called Daple is essential for the correct orientation and coordinated beating of cilia on the surface of cells lining ventricles in the brain. Without Daple, the cilia develop a random arrangement and cannot produce a uniform flow of CSF. This in turn leads to a build-up of fluid, which is associated with swelling of the head, known as hydrocephalus.

Drug resistance in an intestinal parasite of piglets confirmed for the first time

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna) Cystoisospora suis causes diarrhea especially in newborn piglets and spreads quickly across farms. European farmers preventively use toltrazuril to control parasite development. In contrast to congeneric chicken parasites, no resistance to toltrazuril was described in pig parasites until recently. Researchers of Vetmeduni Vienna now confirmed ineffectivness of toltrazuril against a Dutch isolate. Although the resistance develops slowly, monitoring should be intensified due to the lack of alternative treatment options and hygiene measures should be increased.

Initial preliminary assessment of the health risks posed by longer-term consumption of foods contaminated with fipronil

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) Based on currently available knowledge, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) assumes that illegal applications of products containing fipronil have apparently been carried out over an extended period of time. For this reason, the longer term consumption of foods contaminated with fipronil has to be given due consideration when assessing the risks.

Lasers used to detect risk of heart attack and stroke

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Warwick) Patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes may be spotted earlier thanks to a diagnosis tool that uses near-infrared light to identify high-risk arterial plaques, according to research carried out at WMG, University of Warwick, the Baker Institute and Monash University.

Fipronil in foods containing eggs: Estimations of maximum tolerable daily consumption

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has prepared a health risk assessment based on limited available data on fipronil levels in foods (containing eggs) in Germany.

Allergies: Cross-reactivity between cypress pollen and peaches/citrus fruits explained

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Hokkaido University) In collaboration with teams from the Czech Republic and Japan, researchers from the Institut Pasteur, (AP-HP), and (AP-HM) have identified the likely origin of the cross-reactivity between cypress pollen, peaches and citrus fruits. Their work has shown that these sources contain allergens belonging to a new family of proteins involved in pollen food associated syndrome. This discovery, published in JACI on Aug. 3, paves the way for the development of novel allergy diagnostic tests.

Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Stockholm University) Society's ability to solve environmental problems is tied to how different actors collaborate and the shape and form of the networks they create, says a new study from researchers at Stockholm Resilience Centre which is published in the journal Science.

CAS scientists make autism advance using monkey model

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters) Recently, researchers from Dr. Zhang Yongqing's group at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) found neurodevelopmental abnormality in a SHANK3-deficient non-human primate for the first time.

Gene variant activity is surprisingly variable between tissues

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) Every tissue has its own pattern of active alleles, a large-scale study led by an international team of scientists at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has found. Researchers of the former group of Denise Barlow were able to show that the differential allele activity is regulated by tissue-specific, regulatory DNA elements known as enhancers - a process that could also be involved in many diseases.