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A no-deal Brexit could lead to a catastrophe for science in the UK

HIV and AIDS - Mon, 2018-07-16 12:00
The flurry of cabinet resignations in the aftermath of the Chequers agreement leaves the UK at serious risk of crashing out of the EU without a deal

Honeybees gang up to roast invading hornets alive — at a terrible cost

HIV and AIDS - Mon, 2018-07-16 12:00
The worker bees that form “hot defensive bee balls” are effectively kamikaze fighters, with the heat from the ball shortening their life expectancy

Don’t miss: amateur surgery, aqua-activism and a twisted Turing test

Genetics - Mon, 2018-07-16 11:00
Wield a scalpel under expert direction, discover in a new book how beavers will transform our planet, and join a debate to choose what other worlds to settle
Categories: Biology

Don’t miss: amateur surgery, aqua-activism and a twisted Turing test

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Mon, 2018-07-16 11:00
Wield a scalpel under expert direction, discover in a new book how beavers will transform our planet, and join a debate to choose what other worlds to settle
Categories: Science and society

A new data-driven idea of warfare doesn’t quite add up

Genetics - Sun, 2018-07-15 12:00
Mathematical models of conflict are seductive, but we shouldn’t throw out the lessons of the past, warns David Betz
Categories: Biology

A new data-driven idea of warfare doesn’t quite add up

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sun, 2018-07-15 12:00
Mathematical models of conflict are seductive, but we shouldn’t throw out the lessons of the past, warns David Betz
Categories: Science and society

Globetrotting film sends scientists on “relay race” of inquiry

Genetics - Sat, 2018-07-14 12:00
A documentary called The Most Unknown uses a global game of science “tag” as a cute way to frame humanity’s big questions – but it can all get a bit earnest
Categories: Biology

Eye of the shoal: Inside the surprising world of fish

Genetics - Sat, 2018-07-14 12:00
Why do some fish sport beautiful colours? Can they feel pain? What’s special about lanternfish? The piscine world is awash with surprises, reveals a new book
Categories: Biology

Globetrotting film sends scientists on “relay race” of inquiry

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2018-07-14 12:00
A documentary called The Most Unknown uses a global game of science “tag” as a cute way to frame humanity’s big questions – but it can all get a bit earnest
Categories: Science and society

Eye of the shoal: Inside the surprising world of fish

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2018-07-14 12:00
Why do some fish sport beautiful colours? Can they feel pain? What’s special about lanternfish? The piscine world is awash with surprises, reveals a new book
Categories: Science and society

DeepMind AI takes IQ tests to probe its ability for abstract thought

Genetics - Sat, 2018-07-14 10:00
AIs that can match humans at abstract reasoning would be very useful, but testing them is difficult. Now Google DeepMind says it has a solution
Categories: Biology

DeepMind AI takes IQ tests to probe its ability for abstract thought

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Sat, 2018-07-14 10:00
AIs that can match humans at abstract reasoning would be very useful, but testing them is difficult. Now Google DeepMind says it has a solution
Categories: Science and society

DeepMind AI takes IQ tests to probe its ability for abstract thought

HIV and AIDS - Sat, 2018-07-14 10:00
AIs that can match humans at abstract reasoning would be very useful, but testing them is difficult. Now Google DeepMind says it has a solution

Species in ecosystems and all that jazz

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Fri, 2018-07-13 23:00

by Oswald J. Schmitz

Ecosystem ecologists explore how different kinds of species fit together to drive ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and productivity. This research is motivated by theories that assume that the suite of traits that characterize a species’ form determines its function, that these traits have become fixed over evolutionary time, and that ensuing ecosystem process are not resilient to environmental change. Here, I explore new research that re-evaluates this theory. Recent results suggest that functional traits are malleable, enabling species to rapidly respond and adapt to each other as environmental conditions change with predictable effects on ecosystem processes. These basic research findings suggest that species adaptations may impart in ecosystems an inherent capacity to weather environmental changes, thereby offering deeper understanding about which biological attributes protect ecological functions and which are needed to restore damaged ecosystems.
Categories: Biology, Journals

Highly diverged novel subunit composition of apicomplexan F-type ATP synthase identified from <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i>

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Fri, 2018-07-13 23:00

by Rahul Salunke, Tobias Mourier, Manidipa Banerjee, Arnab Pain, Dhanasekaran Shanmugam

The mitochondrial F-type ATP synthase, a multisubunit nanomotor, is critical for maintaining cellular ATP levels. In T. gondii and other apicomplexan parasites, many subunit components necessary for proper assembly and functioning of this enzyme appear to be missing. Here, we report the identification of 20 novel subunits of T. gondii F-type ATP synthase from mass spectrometry analysis of partially purified monomeric (approximately 600 kDa) and dimeric (>1 MDa) forms of the enzyme. Despite extreme sequence diversification, key FO subunits a, b, and d can be identified from conserved structural features. Orthologs for these proteins are restricted to apicomplexan, chromerid, and dinoflagellate species. Interestingly, their absence in ciliates indicates a major diversion, with respect to subunit composition of this enzyme, within the alveolate clade. Discovery of these highly diversified novel components of the apicomplexan F-type ATP synthase complex could facilitate the development of novel antiparasitic agents. Structural and functional characterization of this unusual enzyme complex will advance our fundamental understanding of energy metabolism in apicomplexan species.
Categories: Biology, Journals

Decoding the chromatin proteome of a single genomic locus by DNA sequencing

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Fri, 2018-07-13 23:00

by Tessy Korthout, Deepani W. Poramba-Liyanage, Ila van Kruijsbergen, Kitty F. Verzijlbergen, Frank P. A. van Gemert, Tibor van Welsem, Fred van Leeuwen

Transcription, replication, and repair involve interactions of specific genomic loci with many different proteins. How these interactions are orchestrated at any given location and under changing cellular conditions is largely unknown because systematically measuring protein–DNA interactions at a specific locus in the genome is challenging. To address this problem, we developed Epi-Decoder, a Tag-chromatin immunoprecipitation-Barcode-Sequencing (TAG-ChIP-Barcode-Seq) technology in budding yeast. Epi-Decoder is orthogonal to proteomics approaches because it does not rely on mass spectrometry (MS) but instead takes advantage of DNA sequencing. Analysis of the proteome of a transcribed locus proximal to an origin of replication revealed more than 400 interacting proteins. Moreover, replication stress induced changes in local chromatin proteome composition prior to local origin firing, affecting replication proteins as well as transcription proteins. Finally, we show that native genomic loci can be decoded by efficient construction of barcode libraries assisted by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9). Thus, Epi-Decoder is an effective strategy to identify and quantify in an unbiased and systematic manner the proteome of an individual genomic locus by DNA sequencing.
Categories: Biology, Journals

Tiny sensors in your phone could be made from recycled wood

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2018-07-13 18:38
Minuscule machines that act as sensors in smartphones and other devices can be made from crystals extracted from discarded wood instead of silicon
Categories: Science and society

Tiny sensors in your phone could be made from recycled wood

Genetics - Fri, 2018-07-13 18:38
Minuscule machines that act as sensors in smartphones and other devices can be made from crystals extracted from discarded wood instead of silicon
Categories: Biology

Tiny sensors in your phone could be made from recycled wood

HIV and AIDS - Fri, 2018-07-13 18:38
Minuscule machines that act as sensors in smartphones and other devices can be made from crystals extracted from discarded wood instead of silicon

Explore nature’s dark side with the Natural History Museum

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Fri, 2018-07-13 18:30
Life in the Dark, a new show at London’s Natural History Museum, is a powerful and creepy exercise in letting go of the normal in nature. It’s also very beautiful…
Categories: Science and society