Biology

Ultrahot planets bust up molecules then rebuild them into clouds

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 22:36
The hottest planets in the universe are half star, half cloudy oasis. In the light, it’s too hot for molecules to hold together, but they reform into clouds on the dark side
Категории: Biology

We’re beginning to understand how some people can control HIV

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 21:00
A few people are able to keep the HIV virus in check for decades without getting ill. At last we’re beginning to understand what’s special about their bodies
Категории: Biology

Ripples in Saturn’s rings unravel mystery of how fast it spins

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 20:18
Saturn’s rotating magnetic field should reveal how fast the gas giant spins, but it has led to conflicting results. The planet’s rings may hold the true answer
Категории: Biology

Enjoy a season of science with our 2018 UK festival picks

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 20:00
Stumble into surprises all over the UK, from the physics of gin at WOMAD, to mind-reading at Green Man, to time deconstructed at New Scientist Live
Категории: Biology

Vultures that feed on rubbish dumps are making themselves sick

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 14:30
A study looking at the health of  birds that supplement their diets at rubbish dumps and landfill sites suggests they may be paying heavy price for easy calories and weight gain
Категории: Biology

So-called ‘holy grail’ cancer test would miss thousands of cases

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 13:59
Newspaper reports have hailed a blood test for detecting several types of cancer as the “holy grail of cancer research”, but it is far from accurate enough
Категории: Biology

Some scorpions can hiss by rubbing themselves with ‘sandpaper’

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 13:24
Club-tailed scorpions in the Americas make a hissing sound, warning potential predators to back off, by rubbing a “comb” against a sheet of sandpaper-like exoskeleton
Категории: Biology

Can an app tell if you have dementia years before your doctor?

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 12:50
Many games and apps claim to identify the earliest signs of dementia – if they work, we might be able to catch the condition early enough to treat it
Категории: Biology

The gene that led to the human intelligence boom has been found

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 12:06
A gene that evolved in humans over 3 millions years ago accelerated brain growth  - but it came with a serious catch
Категории: Biology

Feedback: Are fruitloopy healing stones costing the earth?

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 12:00
We have just the solution for any bad vibes. Plus: how to spot a narcissist, the science of cute puppies, a dog named latte and more...
Категории: Biology

The dreams you forget are the most important for learning

Genetics - пт, 2018-06-01 09:00
Dreams help us store memories, enabling us to learn. Now a study has revealed that it’s the boring dreams we have during deep sleep that are the most important
Категории: Biology

Import volumes and biosecurity interventions shape the arrival rate of fungal pathogens

PLOS Biology (new articles) - чт, 2018-05-31 23:00

by Benjamin A. Sikes, Jennifer L. Bufford, Philip E. Hulme, Jerry A. Cooper, Peter R. Johnston, Richard P. Duncan

Global trade and the movement of people accelerate biological invasions by spreading species worldwide. Biosecurity measures seek to allow trade and passenger movements while preventing incursions that could lead to the establishment of unwanted pests, pathogens, and weeds. However, few data exist to evaluate whether changes in trade volumes, passenger arrivals, and biosecurity measures have altered rates of establishment of nonnative species over time. This is particularly true for pathogens, which pose significant risks to animal and plant health and are consequently a major focus of biosecurity efforts but are difficult to detect. Here, we use a database of all known plant pathogen associations recorded in New Zealand to estimate the rate at which new fungal pathogens arrived and established on 131 economically important plant species over the last 133 years. We show that the annual arrival rate of new fungal pathogens increased from 1880 to about 1980 in parallel with increasing import trade volume but subsequently stabilised despite continued rapid growth in import trade and recent rapid increases in international passenger arrivals. Nevertheless, while pathogen arrival rates for crop and pasture species have declined in recent decades, arrival rates have increased for forestry and fruit tree species. These contrasting trends between production sectors reflect differences in biosecurity effort and suggest that targeted biosecurity can slow pathogen arrival and establishment despite increasing trade and international movement of people.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Quantitative proteomic characterization and comparison of T helper 17 and induced regulatory T cells

PLOS Biology (new articles) - чт, 2018-05-31 23:00

by Imran Mohammad, Kari Nousiainen, Santosh D. Bhosale, Inna Starskaia, Robert Moulder, Anne Rokka, Fang Cheng, Ponnuswamy Mohanasundaram, John E. Eriksson, David R. Goodlett, Harri Lähdesmäki, Zhi Chen

The transcriptional network and protein regulators that govern T helper 17 (Th17) cell differentiation have been studied extensively using advanced genomic approaches. For a better understanding of these biological processes, we have moved a step forward, from gene- to protein-level characterization of Th17 cells. Mass spectrometry–based label-free quantitative (LFQ) proteomics analysis were made of in vitro differentiated murine Th17 and induced regulatory T (iTreg) cells. More than 4,000 proteins, covering almost all subcellular compartments, were detected. Quantitative comparison of the protein expression profiles resulted in the identification of proteins specifically expressed in the Th17 and iTreg cells. Importantly, our combined analysis of proteome and gene expression data revealed protein expression changes that were not associated with changes at the transcriptional level. Our dataset provides a valuable resource, with new insights into the proteomic characteristics of Th17 and iTreg cells, which may prove useful in developing treatment of autoimmune diseases and developing tumor immunotherapy.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Microsaccade-rhythmic modulation of neural synchronization and coding within and across cortical areas V1 and V2

PLOS Biology (new articles) - чт, 2018-05-31 23:00

by Eric Lowet, Bart Gips, Mark J. Roberts, Peter De Weerd, Ole Jensen, Jan van der Eerden

Primates sample their visual environment actively through saccades and microsaccades (MSs). Saccadic eye movements not only modulate neural spike rates but might also affect temporal correlations (synchrony) among neurons. Neural synchrony plays a role in neural coding and modulates information transfer between cortical areas. The question arises of how eye movements shape neural synchrony within and across cortical areas and how it affects visual processing. Through local field recordings in macaque early visual cortex while monitoring eye position and through neural network simulations, we find 2 distinct synchrony regimes in early visual cortex that are embedded in a 3- to 4-Hz MS-related rhythm during visual fixation. In the period shortly after an MS (“transient period”), synchrony was high within and between cortical areas. In the subsequent period (“sustained period”), overall synchrony dropped and became selective to stimulus properties. Only mutually connected neurons with similar stimulus responses exhibited sustained narrow-band gamma synchrony (25–80 Hz), both within and across cortical areas. Recordings in macaque V1 and V2 matched the model predictions. Furthermore, our modeling provides predictions on how (micro)saccade-modulated gamma synchrony in V1 shapes V2 receptive fields (RFs). We suggest that the rhythmic alternation between synchronization regimes represents a basic repeating sampling strategy of the visual system.
Категории: Biology, Journals

People with big brains have a different brain structure too

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-31 21:00
If you have a large brain, certain regions are much bigger than expected and others are smaller – but we don’t know how this affects brain function yet
Категории: Biology

Methane ice and winds on Pluto make strange ‘sand’ dunes

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-31 21:00
Pluto doesn’t have much of an atmosphere, but it does have just enough wind to blow methane ice grains into a field of dunes at the foot of a huge mountain range
Категории: Biology

Bent bird feathers repair themselves when soaked in water

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-31 20:10
Elastic fibres inside a feather can spring back to their original shape when soaked in water, helping it straighten even after being bent nearly in half
Категории: Biology

Art that brings meaning to medicine

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-31 20:00
Edinburgh's Surgeons' Museums have launched their new art programme with a show by Chinese artist Zhang Yanzi that's at once sincere and spectacular
Категории: Biology

US ‘right to try’ drugs law could hurt terminally ill people

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-31 19:20
A new law in the US allows terminally ill people access to unproven medicine, but it’s not clear who will pay if treatments go horribly wrong
Категории: Biology

Scientists turned a car into a giant flytrap to count insects

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-31 14:41
The experience of having your windscreen spattered with dead insects has inspired an innovative new study designed to look at what effect traffic has on local insects
Категории: Biology