Brain inflammation dramatically disrupts memory retrieval networks, UCI study finds

Brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences, according to UC Irvine neuroscientists Jennifer Czerniawski and John Guzowski.

Stanford-led study assesses the environmental costs and benefits of fracking

This is a fracking operations at a well pad near a farm over the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania.A strange thing happened on the way to dealing with climate change: Advances in hydraulic fracturing put trillions of dollars' worth of previously unreachable oil and natural gas within humanity's...

You can classify words in your sleep

When people practice simple word classification tasks before nodding off -- knowing that a "cat" is an animal or that "flipu" isn't found in the dictionary, for example -- their...

Conjecture on the lateral growth of Type I collagen fibrils

(a) From the planar configuration of the layering to a helicoidal one, the strong lines are triple helices in double-twist, and (b) quadrant of a phyllotactic pattern showing the increase of the spacing between grain boundaries when moving away from the center.Whatever the origin and condition of extraction of type I collagen fibrils, in vitro as well as in vivo, the radii of their circular circular cross sections stay distributed in...

From worm muscle to spinal discs

The marine worm <i>Platynereis</i> has a muscle (red) which develops in the same place and has the same genetic signature as the notochord (blue) that develops into our spinal discs.Thoughts of the family tree may not be uppermost in the mind of a person suffering from a slipped disc, but those spinal discs provide a window into our evolutionary...

Our microbes are a rich source of drugs, UCSF researchers discover

A scientific team led by UCSF microbiome expert Michael Fischbach, PhD, identified more than 3,000 clusters of bacterial genes at different body sites that contain the blueprints for cellular factories that make drug-like molecules. One of the molecules discovered based on gene-cluster identification, an antibiotic the researchers named lactocillin, is assembled by enzymes encoded by genes within the circular DNA plasmid of the bacterium, <i>Lactobacillus gasseri</i>, a common resident of the vagina. Lactocillin kills pathogenic bacteria that are found in the vagina, the researchers discovered.Bacteria that normally live in and upon us have genetic blueprints that enable them to make thousands of molecules that act like drugs, and some of these molecules might serve...

Some male scientists willing to forsake careers for family

One third of men in academic science are willing to scale back their careers to focus on family life, according to researchers.

Inflammation may be key to diabetes/heart disease link

Inflammation may be the reason high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels, raising the possibility that anti-inflammatory medications might someday be used to lower the risk of blood vessel disease...

How bacteria battle fluoride

Researchers have determined key structural differences that allow a subset of CLC transporters to preferentially select fluoride over chloride, which can help bacteria expel toxic fluoride. The binding site of a standard CLC transporter is shown here.He's not a dentist, but Christopher Miller is focused on fluoride. Two studies from his Brandeis University lab provide new insights into the mechanisms that allow bacteria to resist fluoride...

NJIT researchers working to safeguard the shoreline

An NJIT research team has estimated the total mass of oil that reached the Gulf of Mexico shore in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. It's the first...

Cells put off protein production during times of stress

A color-enhanced electron micrograph shows the nucleus of a cell (blue) adjacent to the rough endoplasmic reticulum (green), where proteins are manufactured from mRNA templates produced by the nucleus.Living cells are like miniature factories, responsible for the production of more than 25,000 different proteins with very specific 3-D shapes. And just as an overwhelmed assembly line can begin...

Scientists show that nicotine withdrawal reduces response to rewards across species

Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is associated with approximately 440,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but nearly 20 percent of the U.S....

Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy

The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation...

The sound of an atom has been captured

On the right, an artificial atom generates sound waves consisting of ripples on the surface of a solid. The sound, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is picked up on the left by a "microphone" composed of interlaced metal fingers. According to theory, the sound consists of a stream of quantum particles, the weakest whisper physically possible. The illustration is not to scale.Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are first to show the use of sound to communicate with an artificial atom. They can thereby demonstrate phenomena from quantum physics with sound...

Cutting the cloud computing carbon cost

Cloud computing involves displacing data storage and processing from the user's computer on to remote servers. It can provide users with more storage space and computing power that they can...

New species of electrons can lead to better computing

In a research paper published this week in Science, the collaboration led by MIT's theory professor Leonid Levitov and Manchester's Nobel laureate Sir Andre Geim report a material in which...

NASA research gives guideline for future alien life search

Left: Ozone molecules in a planet's atmosphere could indicate biological activity, but ozone, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide -- without methane, is likely a false positive. Right: Ozone, oxygen, carbon dioxide and methane -- without carbon monoxide, indicate a possible true positive.Astronomers searching the atmospheres of alien worlds for gases that might be produced by life can't rely on the detection of just one type, such as oxygen, ozone, or methane,...

Facebook posts reveal personality traits, but recent changes could make it harder to do so

A study from the University of Kansas finds that people can accurately detect the personality traits of strangers through Facebook activity; however, changes to the social media site in the...

Seismic gap may be filled by an earthquake near Istanbul

When a segment of a major fault line goes quiet, it can mean one of two things: The "seismic gap" may simply be inactive -- the result of two tectonic...

Ceramics don't have to be brittle

This sequence shows how the Greer Lab's three-dimensional, ceramic nanolattices can recover after being compressed by more than 50 percent. Clockwise, from left to right, an alumina nanolattice before compression, during compression, fully compressed, and recovered following compression.Imagine a balloon that could float without using any lighter-than-air gas. Instead, it could simply have all of its air sucked out while maintaining its filled shape. Such a vacuum...

Malaria parasites sense and react to mosquito presence to increase transmission

Female Culex mosquito blood feeding on the feet of a common canary (panel A: photo Flickr, Rachel Cramer and B: photo Jacques Denoyelle) translates into higher levels of <i>Plasmodium oocysts</i> (colored in blue) in mosquito gut (panel C; photo by Antoine Nicot and Jacques Denoyelle).Many pathogens are transmitted by insect bites. The abundance of vectors (as the transmitting insects are called) depends on seasonal and other environmental fluctuations. An article published on September 11thin...

Two new species of carabid beetles found in Ethiopia

This is a drawing of <i>Calathus carballalae</i>, one of the new species found in Ethiopia.There are more than 150 species of beetles in the genus Calathus, 17 of which have only been found in the mountains of the Ethiopian Highlands. Now scientists have found...

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