Popular Science articles about Biology & Nature

Pluripotent cells created by nuclear transfer can prompt immune reaction, researchers find

Mouse cells and tissues created through nuclear transfer can be rejected by the body because of a previously unknown immune response to the cell's mitochondria, according to a study in mice by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine...

Unexpected cross-species contamination in genome sequencing projects

As genome sequencing has gotten faster and cheaper, the pace of whole-genome sequencing has accelerated, dramatically increasing the number of genomes deposited in public archives. Although these genomes are a...

New paper identifies virus devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast

This is a SSWD-affected star. The fatal disease leads to behavioral changes, lesions, loss of appendages, and disintegration.Museum biological collections are the records of life on Earth and as such, they are frequently used to investigate serious environmental issues. When public health officials were concerned about the...

A kingdom of cave beetles found in Southern China

This is <i>Dongodytes (s.str.) yaophilous</i>, one of the new species of cave dwelling beetles.A team of scientists specializing in cave biodiversity from the South China Agricultural University (Guangzhou) unearthed a treasure trove of rare blind cave beetles. The description of seven new species...

Rutgers Chemistry's Ki-Bum Lee patents technology to advance stem cell therapeutics

NanoScript is the first nanomaterial TF protein that can interact with endogenous DNA.Associate Professor Ki-Bum Lee has developed patent-pending technology that may overcome one of the critical barriers to harnessing the full therapeutic potential of stem cells.

Intimidating chimpanzee males are more likely to become fathers

Chimpanzee males that treat females aggressively father more offspring over time. The findings, in the Cell Press journal <i>Current Biology</i> on Nov. 13, are based on genetic evidence of paternity and suggest that sexual coercion via long-term intimidation is an adaptive strategy for males in chimpanzee society.Chimpanzee males that treat females aggressively father more offspring over time. The findings, in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on November 13, are based on genetic evidence of paternity...

UNC researchers silence leading cancer-causing gene

Using bioluminescence, researchers showed that the novel molecule 'KRAS silencing RNA' or 'KRAS siRNA' (right) reduced the size of a tumor in mice. Researchers used a 'non-KRAS silencing' molecule as the control (left) as a comparison.Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine and colleagues at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a new approach to block the KRAS oncogene, one of...

'Big Data' takes root in the world of plant research

Black pine (<i>Pinus nigra</i>), one of the species whose life history data is part of the database, is seen against a stunning backdrop of New Zealand.Botanists at Trinity College Dublin have launched a database with information that documents significant 'life events' for nearly 600 plant species across the globe. They clubbed together with like-minded individuals...

The tiger beetle: Too fast to see

Speed is an asset for a predator. Except when that predator runs so fast that it essentially blinds itself.

Who will come to your bird feeder in 2075?

The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

Direct generation of neural stem cells could enable transplantation therapy

Induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) created from adult cells hold promise for therapeutic transplantation, but their potential in this capacity has been limited by failed efforts to maintain such cells...

A study led by Princeton University researchers found that one of the world's most prolific bacteria, <i>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</i>, manages to afflict humans, animals and even plants by way of a mechanism not before seen in any infectious microorganism -- a sense of touch. This technique means the bacteria, unlike most pathogens, do not rely on a chemical signal specific to any one host. To demonstrate the bacteria's versatility, the researchers infected ivy cells (blue rings) with the bacteria (green areas) then introduced amoebas (yellow) to the same sample. <i>Pseudomonas</i> immediately detected and quickly overwhelmed the amoebas.

Viruses impaired if their targets have diverse genes

Mice from a single species but of different breeds, shown here, were used in a new University of Utah study that found genetic diversity, even within one species of animal, can make a virus less virulent or severe as it passes from one mouse to the next. By contrast, the virus replicated faster and became more virulent when it was passed from mouse-to-mouse when the mice belonged to one breed and thus lacked genetic diversity.When a viral infection spread through five genetically identical mice in a row, the virus replicated faster and became more virulent or severe. But when the infection spread one-by-one through...

Scripps Research Institute scientists reveal weak spots in Ebola's defenses

The new study provides a 3-D picture of how the antibodies in the experimental drug Zmapp bind to Ebola virus.Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified weak spots on the surface of Ebola virus that are targeted by the antibodies in ZMapp, the experimental drug cocktail administered...

How Campylobacter exploits chicken 'juice' highlights need for hygiene.

This is a false colored scanning electron microscope image of <i>Campylobacter</i> cells attached to chicken juice on a glass slide.A study from the Institute of Food Research has shown that Campylobacter's persistence in food processing sites and the kitchen is boosted by 'chicken juice.'

It's not always the DNA

The Zaher lab has found that that oxidative damage to a single base (bold X) on a messenger RNA (the jagged ribbon) can jam the cellular nanomachine (green) that translates the mRNA into protein (ribbon into beads).Damage to DNA is an issue for all cells, particularly in cancer, where the mechanisms that repair damage typically fail. The same agents that damage DNA also damage its sister...

A tale of two seas: Last Ice Age has shaped sharks across Europe

This depicts a catshark resting in the daytime.Shark populations in the Mediterranean are highly divided, an international team of scientists, led by Dr Andrew Griffiths of the University of Bristol, has shown. Many previous studies on sharks...

Odor that smells like blood: Single component powerful trigger for large carnivores

African wild dogs compete for a log impregnated with blood or a single component. Both were equally attractive.People find the smell of blood unpleasant, but for predatory animals it means food. When behavioural researchers at Linköping University in Sweden wanted to find out which substances of blood...

Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles

A Computed Tomography rendering of a snapping turtle (<I>Chelydra serpentina</I>) showing the skeleton (white), lungs (blue), and abdominal muscles (red and pink) used to ventilate the lungs. Because turtles have locked their ribs up into the iconic turtle shell, they can no longer use their ribs to breathe as in most other animals and instead have developed a unique abdominal muscle based system.Through the careful study of modern and early fossil tortoise, researchers now have a better understanding of how tortoises breathe and the evolutionary processes that helped shape their unique breathing...

Discovering the undiscovered -- advancing new tools to fill in the microbial tree of life

Eddy Rubin, the Director of the DOE Joint Genome Institute said that, "We are poised, armed with a new toolkit of powerful genomic technologies to generate and mine the increasingly large datasets to discover new life that may be strikingly different from those that we catalogued thus far."To paraphrase a famous passage from Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: microbes, microbes everywhere, though most we do not know. This is changing, though.

Before there will be blood

In this multiple confocal analysis of transverse sections from transgenic zebrafish embryos, vasculature is labeled by red fluorescence, NF-kB protein complex that regulates  inflammation by green fluorescence and nuclei by blue fluorescence. The arrowhead indicates a potential hematopoietic stem cell emerging in the dorsal aorta with high expression of NF-kB.  The image at bottom right combines all channels.Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) give rise to all blood and immune cells throughout the life of vertebrate organisms, from zebrafish to humans. But details of their genesis remain elusive, hindering...

Engineered for tolerance, bacteria pump out higher quantity of renewable gasoline

Aindrila Mukhopadhyay and Heather Jansen engineer <i>E. coli</i> to produce biogasoline at JBEI.An international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of...

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