Researchers Discover ‘Insulin-Producing’ Viruses
An international team of scientists led by Harvard Medical School’s Joslin Diabetes Center has identified four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones. Reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the discovery brings new possibilities for revealing biological mechanisms that may cause disease. By analyzing large research databases that hold viral genomic sequences, [...]
Scientists Develop Nanowiring for Optical Control of Neuron Activation
Researchers have designed silicon nanowires that allow modulation neuronal activity using light, allowing manipulation of specific neural circuits without genetic engineering for the first time. Modern technologies have revolutionized our understanding of the neural basis of human cognition. Nevertheless, fundamental aspects of the brain remain obscure as scientists have been limited in their ability to [...]
New insight into how magma feeds volcanic eruptions
Researchers have provided new insights into how molten rock (magma) moves through the Earth's crust to feed volcanic eruptions. Using laboratory experiments involving water, jelly and laser imaging, researchers were able to demonstrate how magma magma flows through the Earth's crust to the surface through magma-filled cracks called dykes.
Fertility breakthrough: New research could extend egg health with age
Researchers have identified a key protein in old, poor-quality C. elegans eggs. When they blocked this protein midway through the fertile window, the equivalent of a woman in her early thirties, they successfully extended egg viability beyond the normal span. Another experiment that knocked out this protein's genes entirely extended the worms' fertility by about 10 percent. If applied to humans, that could represent a 3- to 6-year extension of female fertility.
Drier conditions could doom Rocky Mountain spruce and fir trees
Drier summers and a decline in average snowpack over the past 40 years have severely hampered the establishment of two foundational tree species in subalpine regions of Colorado's Front Range, suggesting that climate warming is already taking a toll on forest health in some areas of the southern Rocky Mountains.
Stagnation in the South Pacific
A team led by geochemist has discovered important evidence that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the end of the last ice age was triggered by changes in the Antarctic Ocean.
Cancer risk associated with key epigenetic changes occurring through normal aging process
Some scientists have hypothesized that tumor-promoting changes in cells during cancer development -- particularly an epigenetic change involving DNA methylation -- arise from rogue cells escaping a natural cell deterioration process called senescence. Now, researchers have demonstrated that instead, tumor-associated epigenetic states evolve erratically during early stages of tumor development, eventually selecting for a subset of genes that undergo the most changes during normal aging and in early tumor development.
Decoding the structure of huntingtin
Determining the three dimensional structure of the huntingtin protein could help develop new treatments for Huntington's disease.
Color of judo uniform has no effect on winning
Contrary to previous studies and widespread belief, new research on competitive judo data finds a winning bias for the athlete who is first called, regardless of the color of their uniform.
Could interneuron migration explain macrocephaly?
Researchers have discovered a new crosstalk between the migrating inhibitory interneurons and the stem cells that generate the excitatory neurons. The researchers discovered that this cellular dialogue controls the growth of the cerebral cortex and that its impairment leads a cortical malformation previously associated with autism in mice.
Reprogramming adult cells into induced pluripotency with unprecedented efficiency
A team of scientists has reported a more efficient approach to reprogramming a patient's diseased skin cells into stem cells, raising hopes for future clinical trials and potential cures for critical illnesses.
A look at the space between mouse brain cells
Between the brain's neurons and glial cells is a critical but understudied structure that's been called neuroscience's final frontier: the extracellular space. With a new imaging paradigm, scientists can now see into and study this complex fluid-filled matrix.
How bats carry viruses without getting sick
Bats are known to harbor highly pathogenic viruses like Ebola or Marburg and yet they do not show clinical signs of disease. Scientists find that in bats, an antiviral immune pathway called the STING-interferon pathway is dampened, and bats can maintain just enough defense against illness without triggering a heightened immune reaction.
Loops, loops, and more loops: This is how your DNA gets organized
A living cell is able to neatly package a big jumble of DNA into chromosomes while preparing for cell division. For over a century, scientists have been puzzled for decades on how the process works. Researchers now managed for the first time to isolate and film the process, and witnessed -- in real time -- how a single protein complex called condensin reels in DNA to extrude a loop.
In living color: Seeing cells from outside the body with synthetic bioluminescence
Glowing creatures like fireflies and jellyfish are captivating to look at but also a boon for science, as their bioluminescent molecules contribute to visualizing a host of biological processes. Now, scientists have supercharged these molecules, making them hundreds of times brighter in deep tissues and allowing for imaging of cells from outside the body. The bioengineered light source was used to track cancer cells in mice and brain-cell activity in monkeys, but its applications extend beyond the lab.
Looking for the origins of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia may be related to neurodevelopment changes, including brain's inability to create the appropriate vascular system, according to new study. The results broaden the understanding about the causes of this severe and disabling disorder, which affects about 1 percent of the world's population.
Monkey Vocabulary Decoded
From short 'tsiks' and 'ekks' to drawn-out 'phees' -- all the sounds produced by marmoset monkeys are made up of individual syllables of fixed length, according to a new study. The smallest units of vocalization and their rhythmic production in the brain of our relatives could also have been a prerequisite of human speech.
Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans
Scientists have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world's oldest known cave paintings -- suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own.
The Australian government's plan for the biocontrol of the common carp presents several risks
Scientists are calling on the Australian authorities to review their decision to introduce the carp herpes virus as a way to combat the common carp having colonized the country's rivers. They not only believe that this measure will be ineffective but that it also represents a risk to ecosystems.
Quantum recurrence: Everything goes back to the way it was
When a complex system is left alone, it will return to its initial state with almost perfect precision. Gas particles in a container, for example, will return almost exactly to their starting positions after some time. For decades, scientists have investigated how this 'Poincaré Recurrence Theorem' can be applied to the world of quantum physics. Now, researchers have successfully demonstrated a kind of 'Poincaré recurrence' in a multi-particle quantum system.
Top science news
Measles Cases in Europe Quadrupled in 2017
Outbreaks across the continent infected 21,000 and killed at least 35 people. Now governments are moving to make vaccinations mandatory.