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Thousands of security flaws found on UK government websites

HIV and AIDS - Sat, 2019-03-23 08:00
Investigation uncovers thousands of security vulnerabilities on UK government websites, including the National Archives and the Scottish prosecution service

Thousands of security flaws found on UK government websites

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2019-03-23 08:00
Investigation uncovers thousands of security vulnerabilities on UK government websites, including the National Archives and the Scottish prosecution service
Categories: Science and society

Thousands of security flaws found on UK government websites

Genetics - Sat, 2019-03-23 08:00
Investigation uncovers thousands of security vulnerabilities on UK government websites, including the National Archives and the Scottish prosecution service
Categories: Biology

A blueprint of mammalian cortical connectomes

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Fri, 2019-03-22 23:00

by Alexandros Goulas, Piotr Majka, Marcello G. P. Rosa, Claus C. Hilgetag

The cerebral cortex of mammals exhibits intricate interareal wiring. Moreover, mammalian cortices differ vastly in size, cytological composition, and phylogenetic distance. Given such complexity and pronounced species differences, it is a considerable challenge to decipher organizational principles of mammalian connectomes. Here, we demonstrate species-specific and species-general unifying principles linking the physical, cytological, and connectional dimensions of architecture in the mouse, cat, marmoset, and macaque monkey. The existence of connections is related to the cytology of cortical areas, in addition to the role of physical distance, but this relation is attenuated in mice and marmoset monkeys. The cytoarchitectonic cortical gradients, and not the rostrocaudal axis of the cortex, are closely linked to the laminar origin of connections, a principle that allows the extrapolation of this connectional feature to humans. Lastly, a network core, with a central role under different modes of network communication, characterizes all cortical connectomes. We observe a displacement of the network core in mammals, with a shift of the core of cats and macaque monkeys toward the less neuronally dense areas of the cerebral cortex. This displacement has functional ramifications but also entails a potential increased degree of vulnerability to pathology. In sum, our results sketch out a blueprint of mammalian connectomes consisting of species-specific and species-general links between the connectional, physical, and cytological dimensions of the cerebral cortex, possibly reflecting variations and persistence of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms and cellular phenomena. Our framework elucidates organizational principles that encompass but also extend beyond the wiring economy principle imposed by the physical embedding of the cerebral cortex.
Categories: Biology, Journals

It’s not just reality TV - all media must help to prevent suicides

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2019-03-22 18:04
Coverage of high-profile deaths such as Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis often falls short – we can and must do better, says psychologist Rory O’Connor
Categories: Science and society

It’s not just reality TV - all media must help to prevent suicides

Genetics - Fri, 2019-03-22 18:04
Coverage of high-profile deaths such as Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis often falls short – we can and must do better, says psychologist Rory O’Connor
Categories: Biology

It’s not just reality TV - all media must help to prevent suicides

HIV and AIDS - Fri, 2019-03-22 18:04
Coverage of high-profile deaths such as Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis often falls short – we can and must do better, says psychologist Rory O’Connor

We’ve found 4000 exoplanets but almost zero are right for life

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2019-03-22 16:37
The chemical reactions that give rise to life need enough liquid water and not too much ultraviolet light, which seems to be a rare combination in the galaxy
Categories: Science and society

We’ve found 4000 exoplanets but almost zero are right for life

Genetics - Fri, 2019-03-22 16:37
The chemical reactions that give rise to life need enough liquid water and not too much ultraviolet light, which seems to be a rare combination in the galaxy
Categories: Biology

We’ve found 4000 exoplanets but almost zero are right for life

HIV and AIDS - Fri, 2019-03-22 16:37
The chemical reactions that give rise to life need enough liquid water and not too much ultraviolet light, which seems to be a rare combination in the galaxy

A genetic switch for worker nutrition-mediated traits in honeybees

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Thu, 2019-03-21 23:00

by Annika Roth, Christina Vleurinck, Oksana Netschitailo, Vivien Bauer, Marianne Otte, Osman Kaftanoglu, Robert E. Page, Martin Beye

Highly social insects are characterized by caste dimorphism, with distinct size differences of reproductive organs between fertile queens and the more or less sterile workers. An abundance of nutrition or instruction via diet-specific compounds has been proposed as explanations for the nutrition-driven queen and worker polyphenism. Here, we further explored these models in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) using worker nutrition rearing and a novel mutational screening approach using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) method. The worker nutrition-driven size reduction of reproductive organs was restricted to the female sex, suggesting input from the sex determination pathway. Genetic screens on the sex determination genes in genetic females for size polyphenism revealed that doublesex (dsx) mutants display size-reduced reproductive organs irrespective of the sexual morphology of the organ tissue. In contrast, feminizer (fem) mutants lost the response to worker nutrition-driven size control. The first morphological worker mutants in honeybees demonstrate that the response to nutrition relies on a genetic program that is switched “ON” by the fem gene. Thus, the genetic instruction provided by the fem gene provides an entry point to genetically dissect the underlying processes that implement the size polyphenism.
Categories: Biology, Journals

Chronotopic maps in human supplementary motor area

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Thu, 2019-03-21 23:00

by Foteini Protopapa, Masamichi J. Hayashi, Shrikanth Kulashekhar, Wietske van der Zwaag, Giovanni Battistella, Micah M. Murray, Ryota Kanai, Domenica Bueti

Time is a fundamental dimension of everyday experiences. We can unmistakably sense its passage and adjust our behavior accordingly. Despite its ubiquity, the neuronal mechanisms underlying the capacity to perceive time remains unclear. Here, in two experiments using ultrahigh-field 7-Tesla (7T) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we show that in the medial premotor cortex (supplementary motor area [SMA]) of the human brain, neural units tuned to different durations are orderly mapped in contiguous portions of the cortical surface so as to form chronomaps. The response of each portion in a chronomap is enhanced by neighboring durations and suppressed by nonpreferred durations represented in distant portions of the map. These findings suggest duration-sensitive tuning as a possible neural mechanism underlying the recognition of time and demonstrate, for the first time, that the representation of an abstract feature such as time can be instantiated by a topographical arrangement of duration-sensitive neural populations.
Categories: Biology, Journals

Comprehensive profiling of the STE20 kinase family defines features essential for selective substrate targeting and signaling output

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Thu, 2019-03-21 23:00

by Chad J. Miller, Hua Jane Lou, Craig Simpson, Bert van de Kooij, Byung Hak Ha, Oriana S. Fisher, Natasha L. Pirman, Titus J. Boggon, Jesse Rinehart, Michael B. Yaffe, Rune Linding, Benjamin E. Turk

Specificity within protein kinase signaling cascades is determined by direct and indirect interactions between kinases and their substrates. While the impact of localization and recruitment on kinase–substrate targeting can be readily assessed, evaluating the relative importance of direct phosphorylation site interactions remains challenging. In this study, we examine the STE20 family of protein serine–threonine kinases to investigate basic mechanisms of substrate targeting. We used peptide arrays to define the phosphorylation site specificity for the majority of STE20 kinases and categorized them into four distinct groups. Using structure-guided mutagenesis, we identified key specificity-determining residues within the kinase catalytic cleft, including an unappreciated role for the kinase β3–αC loop region in controlling specificity. Exchanging key residues between the STE20 kinases p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) and Mammalian sterile 20 kinase 4 (MST4) largely interconverted their phosphorylation site preferences. In cells, a reprogrammed PAK4 mutant, engineered to recognize MST substrates, failed to phosphorylate PAK4 substrates or to mediate remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. In contrast, this mutant could rescue signaling through the Hippo pathway in cells lacking multiple MST kinases. These observations formally demonstrate the importance of catalytic site specificity for directing protein kinase signal transduction pathways. Our findings further suggest that phosphorylation site specificity is both necessary and sufficient to mediate distinct signaling outputs of STE20 kinases and imply broad applicability to other kinase signaling systems.
Categories: Biology, Journals

AI can mistakenly see cancer in medical scans after tiny image tweaks

Genetics - Thu, 2019-03-21 20:00
Medical artificial intelligence is brittle. Although it promises to quickly analyse medical scans, it can trip up on seemingly innocuous issues
Categories: Biology

AI can mistakenly see cancer in medical scans after tiny image tweaks

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2019-03-21 20:00
Medical artificial intelligence is brittle. Although it promises to quickly analyse medical scans, it can trip up on seemingly innocuous issues

AI can mistakenly see cancer in medical scans after tiny image tweaks

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2019-03-21 20:00
Medical artificial intelligence is brittle. Although it promises to quickly analyse medical scans, it can trip up on seemingly innocuous issues
Categories: Science and society

Child abuse may change brain structure and make depression worse

Genetics - Thu, 2019-03-21 17:54
Brain scans suggest that mistreatment during childhood is linked to changes in brain structure that may make depression more severe in later life
Categories: Biology

Child abuse may change brain structure and make depression worse

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2019-03-21 17:54
Brain scans suggest that mistreatment during childhood is linked to changes in brain structure that may make depression more severe in later life

Child abuse may change brain structure and make depression worse

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2019-03-21 17:54
Brain scans suggest that mistreatment during childhood is linked to changes in brain structure that may make depression more severe in later life
Categories: Science and society

Stunning picture shows dead star racing away from a massive explosion

Genetics - Thu, 2019-03-21 17:06
A speedy pulsar moving 1100 kilometres per second is racing away from the supernova explosion that created it in this image taken by the Very Large Array radio telescope
Categories: Biology