Feed aggregator

China’s struggle to overcome technological imperialism

Genetics - Sun, 2017-09-24 12:00
The Chinese Typewriter tells the fascinating story of technological colonialism, racism and the complexities of a language unlike any other
Categories: Biology

Jurassic Perk: A wine-loving dinosaur for your kitchen

Genetics - Sun, 2017-09-24 09:00
Crack open a bottle of wine and let this prehistoric sommelier do the rest – it’ll let you know when the first glass is poured
Categories: Biology

Jurassic Perk: A wine-loving dinosaur for your kitchen

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sun, 2017-09-24 09:00
Crack open a bottle of wine and let this prehistoric sommelier do the rest – it’ll let you know when the first glass is poured
Categories: Science and society

AI could put a stop to electricity theft and meter misreadings

HIV and AIDS - Sat, 2017-09-23 16:00
An algorithm developed to detect electricity theft for companies in Latin America could also uncover billing errors

AI could put a stop to electricity theft and meter misreadings

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2017-09-23 16:00
An algorithm developed to detect electricity theft for companies in Latin America could also uncover billing errors
Categories: Science and society

AI could put a stop to electricity theft and meter misreadings

Genetics - Sat, 2017-09-23 16:00
An algorithm developed to detect electricity theft for companies in Latin America could also uncover billing errors
Categories: Biology

Our terrifying energy future leaves us with uncertainties

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2017-09-23 12:00
We could outrun environmental disaster by ditching fossil fuels for safer options, but will we? Three new books paint a scary picture by refusing to commit
Categories: Science and society

Our terrifying energy future leaves us with uncertainties

Genetics - Sat, 2017-09-23 12:00
We could outrun environmental disaster by ditching fossil fuels for safer options, but will we? Three new books paint a scary picture by refusing to commit
Categories: Biology

Beating the battery barrier

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2017-09-23 11:00
Electric cars need batteries that store plenty of energy, deliver it quickly and then recharge in the time it takes to gulp a cup of coffee. BASF researchers are developing the solution
Categories: Science and society

Beating the battery barrier

Genetics - Sat, 2017-09-23 11:00
Electric cars need batteries that store plenty of energy, deliver it quickly and then recharge in the time it takes to gulp a cup of coffee. BASF researchers are developing the solution
Categories: Biology

A new discrete dynamic model of ABA-induced stomatal closure predicts key feedback loops

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Fri, 2017-09-22 23:00

by Réka Albert, Biswa R. Acharya, Byeong Wook Jeon, Jorge G. T. Zañudo, Mengmeng Zhu, Karim Osman, Sarah M. Assmann

Stomata, microscopic pores in leaf surfaces through which water loss and carbon dioxide uptake occur, are closed in response to drought by the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). This process is vital for drought tolerance and has been the topic of extensive experimental investigation in the last decades. Although a core signaling chain has been elucidated consisting of ABA binding to receptors, which alleviates negative regulation by protein phosphatases 2C (PP2Cs) of the protein kinase OPEN STOMATA 1 (OST1) and ultimately results in activation of anion channels, osmotic water loss, and stomatal closure, over 70 additional components have been identified, yet their relationships with each other and the core components are poorly elucidated. We integrated and processed hundreds of disparate observations regarding ABA signal transduction responses underlying stomatal closure into a network of 84 nodes and 156 edges and, as a result, established those relationships, including identification of a 36-node, strongly connected (feedback-rich) component as well as its in- and out-components. The network’s domination by a feedback-rich component may reflect a general feature of rapid signaling events. We developed a discrete dynamic model of this network and elucidated the effects of ABA plus knockout or constitutive activity of 79 nodes on both the outcome of the system (closure) and the status of all internal nodes. The model, with more than 1024 system states, is far from fully determined by the available data, yet model results agree with existing experiments in 82 cases and disagree in only 17 cases, a validation rate of 75%. Our results reveal nodes that could be engineered to impact stomatal closure in a controlled fashion and also provide over 140 novel predictions for which experimental data are currently lacking. Noting the paucity of wet-bench data regarding combinatorial effects of ABA and internal node activation, we experimentally confirmed several predictions of the model with regard to reactive oxygen species, cytosolic Ca2+ (Ca2+c), and heterotrimeric G-protein signaling. We analyzed dynamics-determining positive and negative feedback loops, thereby elucidating the attractor (dynamic behavior) repertoire of the system and the groups of nodes that determine each attractor. Based on this analysis, we predict the likely presence of a previously unrecognized feedback mechanism dependent on Ca2+c. This mechanism would provide model agreement with 10 additional experimental observations, for a validation rate of 85%. Our research underscores the importance of feedback regulation in generating robust and adaptable biological responses. The high validation rate of our model illustrates the advantages of discrete dynamic modeling for complex, nonlinear systems common in biology.
Categories: Biology, Journals

Genome-wide identification of bacterial plant colonization genes

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Fri, 2017-09-22 23:00

by Benjamin J. Cole, Meghan E. Feltcher, Robert J. Waters, Kelly M. Wetmore, Tatiana S. Mucyn, Elizabeth M. Ryan, Gaoyan Wang, Sabah Ul-Hasan, Meredith McDonald, Yasuo Yoshikuni, Rex R. Malmstrom, Adam M. Deutschbauer, Jeffery L. Dangl, Axel Visel

Diverse soil-resident bacteria can contribute to plant growth and health, but the molecular mechanisms enabling them to effectively colonize their plant hosts remain poorly understood. We used randomly barcoded transposon mutagenesis sequencing (RB-TnSeq) in Pseudomonas simiae, a model root-colonizing bacterium, to establish a genome-wide map of bacterial genes required for colonization of the Arabidopsis thaliana root system. We identified 115 genes (2% of all P. simiae genes) with functions that are required for maximal competitive colonization of the root system. Among the genes we identified were some with obvious colonization-related roles in motility and carbon metabolism, as well as 44 other genes that had no or vague functional predictions. Independent validation assays of individual genes confirmed colonization functions for 20 of 22 (91%) cases tested. To further characterize genes identified by our screen, we compared the functional contributions of P. simiae genes to growth in 90 distinct in vitro conditions by RB-TnSeq, highlighting specific metabolic functions associated with root colonization genes. Our analysis of bacterial genes by sequence-driven saturation mutagenesis revealed a genome-wide map of the genetic determinants of plant root colonization and offers a starting point for targeted improvement of the colonization capabilities of plant-beneficial microbes.
Categories: Biology, Journals

This AI reads the news to keep tabs on US police shootings

HIV and AIDS - Fri, 2017-09-22 19:30
There’s no central government database on police-related shootings in the US, but now a machine-learning system is helping record details by scanning the news

This AI reads the news to keep tabs on US police shootings

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2017-09-22 19:30
There’s no central government database on police-related shootings in the US, but now a machine-learning system is helping record details by scanning the news
Categories: Science and society

This AI reads the news to keep tabs on US police shootings

Genetics - Fri, 2017-09-22 19:30
There’s no central government database on police-related shootings in the US, but now a machine-learning system is helping record details by scanning the news
Categories: Biology

Two-colour pixels let you draw pair of images in the same space

HIV and AIDS - Fri, 2017-09-22 18:14
Pixels created with pinholes in aluminium can change colour under different light, which may be useful for fighting forgeries and for storing data

Two-colour pixels let you draw pair of images in the same space

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2017-09-22 18:14
Pixels created with pinholes in aluminium can change colour under different light, which may be useful for fighting forgeries and for storing data
Categories: Science and society

Two-colour pixels let you draw pair of images in the same space

Genetics - Fri, 2017-09-22 18:14
Pixels created with pinholes in aluminium can change colour under different light, which may be useful for fighting forgeries and for storing data
Categories: Biology

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft zooms by Earth on its way to an asteroid

HIV and AIDS - Fri, 2017-09-22 17:40
On its way to collect dust samples from the asteroid Bennu, NASA’S OSIRIS-REx spaceship will slingshot around Earth, passing 17,000 kilometres above Antarctica

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft zooms by Earth on its way to an asteroid

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2017-09-22 17:40
On its way to collect dust samples from the asteroid Bennu, NASA’S OSIRIS-REx spaceship will slingshot around Earth, passing 17,000 kilometres above Antarctica
Categories: Science and society