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Preview: EurekAlert! - Biology

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: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:12:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



No adverse health impacts from long term vaping -- Study

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Aspect Consulting) A new peer-reviewed clinical trial to be published in the February edition of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology shows that regular use of e-cigarettes does not have any negative health impact on smokers.



A primer in access and benefit-sharing for DNA barcoders

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Pensoft Publishers) Molecular biodiversity approaches, such as DNA barcoding, areaiding in the globalization of research efforts and practical applications in important areas of human activity. A new open-access book by Canadian experts provides an overview of the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention of Biological Diversity and offers practical tips for scientists and practitioners working in the field of DNA barcoding on adhering to best practices and ensuring legal compliance of their international collaborative activities.



Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University) Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating or even preventing it.



New 'Buck' naked barley: Food, feed, brew

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(American Society of Agronomy) Researchers are giving an ancient grain a new life: 'Buck' barley is naked, but not in an indecent way. Naked barley does not require pearling, allowing it to hold onto the bran and whole grain status.



Light-splitting greenhouse film could improve photosynthetic efficiency

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado at Boulder) University of Colorado Boulder engineers have received a $2.45 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a scalable, cost-effective greenhouse material that splits sunlight into photosynthetically efficient light and repurposes inefficient infrared light to aid in water purification.



Hazardous contamination found around lead battery recycling plants in 7 African countries

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(OK International) We collected 118 soil samples from seven African countries and analyzed them for lead. Contamination levels ranged up to 14% lead. As the lead battery industry continues to expand, it is expected that the number and size of lead battery recycling plants will increase. There is an immediate need to address ongoing exposures, restrict emissions, and to regulate site closure financing procedures to ensure that we do not leave behind a legacy of lead contamination.



New light on the mysterious origin of Bornean elephants

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia) In a study published in Scientific Reports, a research team led by Lounes Chikhi from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC, Portugal) and CNRS, Universite Paul Sabatier (France), and Benoit Goossens, from Cardiff University (Wales), and Sabah Wildlife Department (Malaysia), found that elephants might have arrived on Borneo at a time of the last land bridge between the Sunda Islands in Southeast Asia.



Timing of spring birdsong provides climate insights

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(American Ornithological Society Publications Office) Climate change has scientists worried that birds' annual migration and reproduction will be thrown out of sync with the seasons. Because birds' songs are correlated with their breeding behavior and are easily identifiable to species, monitoring birdsong can be a good way to keep tabs on this possibility, and a new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications takes advantage of this approach to provide new baseline data for the birds of northern California.



Genetic drift caught in action in invasive birds

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(American Ornithological Society Publications Office) Studies of island bird populations have taught us a lot about evolution, but it's hard to catch birds in the act of naturally colonizing new islands. Instead, a new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances examines what's happened by looking at the genetics of a species that arrived in Hawaii in the twentieth century through decidedly unnatural means--us.



Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Thomas Jefferson University) Micro metal beads and magnets help deliver a biologic where it's needed to improve constipation or rectoanal incontinence in animal models of the disorders.



Biodegradable sensor could help doctors monitor serious health conditions

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Connecticut) University of Connecticut engineers have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient's body.



New study suggests shark declines can lead to changes in reef fish body shapes

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science) Scientists studying nearly identical coral reef systems off Australia discovered something unusual on the reefs subjected to nearly exclusive fishing of sharks--fish with significantly smaller eyes and tails. The study is the first field evidence of body shape changes in fish due to human-driven shark declines from overfishing. These findings shed new light on the cascading effects the loss of the ocean's top predators is having on marine ecosystems.



Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) In a study published today in the scientific journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Kaufman and Curtis Brandt, a fellow professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UW-Madison, showed an improved tactic for delivering new genes into the eye's fluid drain, called the trabecular meshwork. It could lead to a treatment for glaucoma.



Clockwork under the microscope

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Würzburg) Circadian clocks regulate the behaviour of all living things. Scientists from the University of Würzburg have now taken a closer look at the clock's anatomical structures and molecular processes in the honeybee.



New peer-reviewed journal Bioelectricity announced, preview issue launching summer 2018

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) Bioelectricity, an influential and dynamic meeting place for the rapidly growing bioelectricity community and the peer-reviewed journal of record will be published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.



Drones confirm importance of Costa Rican waters for sea turtles

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Duke University) A new drone-enabled population survey -- the first ever on sea turtles -- shows that larger-than-anticipated numbers of turtles aggregate in waters off Costa Rica's Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Scientists from Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill estimate turtle densities may reach up to 2,086 animals per square kilometer. The study underscores the importance of the Ostional habitat; it also confirms that drones are a reliable tool for surveying sea turtle abundance.



Study finds black children face higher risk of death post surgery

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Le Bonheur Children's Hospital) A recent study, Race, Preoperative Risk Factors, and Death After Surgery, has found that black children are more than twice as likely to die following surgery than white children and describes race-specific models to predict surgical outcomes. The study is published in the February 2018 issue of Pediatrics.



Pregnant women in NC exposed to less secondhand nicotine after 'smoking ban'

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Duke University Medical Center) A new study from Duke Health has found pregnant women experienced less secondhand smoke exposure since the 2009 passage of the 'smoking ban' in North Carolina, which outlawed smoking inside public places such as bars and restaurants.



In sweet corn, workhorses win

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) When deciding which sweet corn hybrids to plant, vegetable processors need to consider whether they want their contract growers using a workhorse or a racehorse. Is it better to choose a hybrid with exceptional yields under ideal growing conditions (i.e., the racehorse) or one that performs consistently well across ideal and less-than-ideal conditions (i.e., the workhorse)? New research from the University of Illinois suggests the workhorse is the winner in processing sweet corn.



Insilico to present the latest advances in AI for drug discovery at Advanced Pharma Analytics Summit

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(InSilico Medicine, Inc.) Insilico's Sr Research Scientist, Polina Mamoshina, will present with the lecture 'Deep Learning for Drug Discovery: Applying Deep Adversarial Autoencoders for New Molecule Development' at the Advanced Pharma Analytics Europe. The presentation will cover the recent advances in the applications of generative adversarial networks (GANs) for new molecules development in drug discovery.



Memory gene goes viral

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Two independent teams of scientists from the University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered that a gene crucial for learning, called Arc, can send its genetic material from one neuron to another by employing a strategy commonly used by viruses. The studies, both published in Cell, unveil a new way that nervous system cells interact.



Are amoebae safe harbors for plague?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Colorado State University) Amoebae, single-celled organisms common in soil, water and grade-school science classrooms, may play a key role in the survival and spread of deadly plague bacteria. New Colorado State University research shows that plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, not only survive, but thrive and replicate once ingested by an amoeba. The discovery could help scientists understand why plague outbreaks can smolder, stay dormant for years, and re-emerge with a vengeance.



Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Dallas) For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain. Campbell, who researches pain on the molecular level at the University of Texas at Dallas, recently published a study in the journal Nature Communications that describes a new method of reducing pain-associated behaviors with RNA-based medicine, creating a new class of decoy molecules that prevent the onset of pain.



Cleveland Clinic researchers find new gene variant linked to deadly prostate cancer

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Cleveland Clinic) Cleveland Clinic researchers have confirmed for the first time a mechanistic link between the gene HSD17B4 and deadly, treatment-resistant prostate cancer. The research, led by Nima Sharifi, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Department of Cancer Biology, shows that men who lack a certain subtype of the gene may be more susceptible to aggressive prostate cancer that does not respond to treatment.



NIH invests in collaborative research to understand mechanisms controlling cell division

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Donald Danforth Plant Science Center) A three-year, $675,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to understand cell-size control in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Chlamydomonas).