Feed aggregator

Why allergies aren’t nuts at all

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Вт, 2018-08-14 11:00
Faced with airline peanut bans, it’s easy to dismiss allergies as imaginary modern maladies. They’re not – and we need to understand why they’re on the up
Категорії: Science and society

Google just made it much harder to build a serious quantum computer

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Вт, 2018-08-14 10:00
To reach quantum supremacy, a quantum computer has to do a task no ordinary computer can. Google has made that harder with an algorithm that beefs up regular PCs
Категорії: Science and society

Master mimic insect is indistinguishable from a leaf on forest floor

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Вт, 2018-08-14 09:00
Panama's Cocobolo Nature Reserve is a crucial pit stop for migratory species and holds a huge array of wildlife, including this master of disguise: a leaf-mimic katydid
Категорії: Science and society

Why are RNA virus mutation rates so damn high?

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Пн, 2018-08-13 23:00

by Siobain Duffy

The high mutation rate of RNA viruses is credited with their evolvability and virulence. This Primer, however, discusses recent evidence that this is, in part, a byproduct of selection for faster genomic replication.
Категорії: Biology, Journals

Evolutionary diversification of the HAP2 membrane insertion motifs to drive gamete fusion across eukaryotes

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Пн, 2018-08-13 23:00

by Juliette Fedry, Jennifer Forcina, Pierre Legrand, Gérard Péhau-Arnaudet, Ahmed Haouz, Mark Johnson, Felix A. Rey, Thomas Krey

HAPLESS2 (HAP2) is a broadly conserved, gamete-expressed transmembrane protein that was shown recently to be structurally homologous to viral class II fusion proteins, which initiate fusion with host cells via insertion of fusion loops into the host membrane. However, the functional conformation of the HAP2 fusion loops has remained unknown, as the reported X-ray structure of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii HAP2 lacked this critical region. Here, we report a structure-guided alignment that reveals diversification of the proposed HAP2 fusion loops. Representative crystal structures show that in flowering plants, HAP2 has a single prominent fusion loop projecting an amphipathic helix at its apex, while in trypanosomes, three small nonpolar loops of HAP2 are poised to interact with the target membrane. A detailed structure-function analysis of the Arabidopsis HAP2 amphipathic fusion helix defines key residues that are essential for membrane insertion and for gamete fusion. Our study suggests that HAP2 may have evolved multiple modes of membrane insertion to accommodate the diversity of membrane environments it has encountered during eukaryotic evolution.
Категорії: Biology, Journals

Provenance and risk in transfer of biological materials

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Пн, 2018-08-13 23:00

by Jane Nielsen, Tania Bubela, Don R. C. Chalmers, Amber Johns, Linda Kahl, Joanne Kamens, Charles Lawson, John Liddicoat, Rebekah McWhirter, Ann Monotti, James Scheibner, Tess Whitton, Dianne Nicol

Whereas biological materials were once transferred freely, there has been a marked shift in the formalisation of exchanges involving these materials, primarily through the use of Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). This paper considers how risk aversion dominates MTA negotiations and the impact it may have on scientific progress. Risk aversion is often based on unwarranted fears of incurring liability through the use of a material or loss of control or missing out on commercialisation opportunities. Evidence to date has suggested that complexity tends to permeate even straightforward transactions despite extensive efforts to implement simple, standard MTAs. We argue that in most cases, MTAs need do little more than establish provenance, and any attempt to extend MTAs beyond this simple function constitutes stifling behaviour. Drawing on available examples of favourable practice, we point to a number of strategies that may usefully be employed to reduce risk-averse tendencies, including the promotion of simplicity, education of those engaged in the MTA process, and achieving a cultural shift in the way in which technology transfer office (TTO) success is measured in institutions employing MTAs.
Категорії: Biology, Journals

Ancient natural nuclear reactors show how to store radioactive waste

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 22:00
Billions of years ago, uranium in the Earth’s crust underwent nuclear reactions on its own, and the remnants demonstrate a way to keep nuclear waste under control
Категорії: Science and society

We’ve identified the brain cells that let you control urination

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 18:00
We’ve all been there – desperately holding on for a toilet. Now the brain cells that help us do it have been identified, which may lead to new incontinence treatments
Категорії: Science and society

Asteroid strike may have forged the oldest rocks ever found on Earth

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 18:00
The oldest rocks ever found are over four billion years old and we don’t know how they formed – but a massive asteroid bombardment may be responsible
Категорії: Science and society

Exploring the Future webinar

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 17:54
Join our panel of experts discussing the emerging technologies that are set to change our lives by 2030
Категорії: Science and society

Orca who carried her dead infant is not alone – many animals grieve

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 16:49
A female orca has been seen carrying the body of her dead calf for 17 days, apparently grieving. Such displays of grief are remarkably common in nature
Категорії: Science and society

This doctor risked her career to end Flint’s water-poisoning crisis

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 15:00
The people of Flint, Michigan, were drinking poisoned water, and the authorities were doing nothing. That’s when Mona Hanna-Attisha decided to take action
Категорії: Science and society

Rock layers show our sun has been in same cycle for 700 million years

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 14:29
Our star gets more and less active in a repeating cycle that lasts 11 years, and ancient rocks suggest it behaved the same way over 700 million years ago
Категорії: Science and society

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on its way to the sun, via Venus

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 14:15
After a false start on Saturday, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe blasted off on Sunday to begin a mission to enter the sun’s scorching atmosphere
Категорії: Science and society

Extreme tales from a record-breaking dive in the Antarctic

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 14:00
Jon Copley dived deep for Blue Planet II. He reveals the risks of falling rocks, leaks and fires inside the sub, and highlights the extraordinary "death star"
Категорії: Science and society

New Scientist Live: sneak preview of this year’s mission to Mercury

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 13:31
It’s time to return to the planet Mercury. At New Scientist Live, Emma Bunce will be revealing all about the BepiColombo mission set to launch in October
Категорії: Science and society

Cybersecurity is failing us – and will continue to do so unless we act

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 12:00
Our current model of internet security is too vulnerable to the mistakes of individual programmers. Better alternatives exist – and should be deployed
Категорії: Science and society

Cybersecurity is failing us – and will continue to do so unless we act

Genetics - Пн, 2018-08-13 12:00
Our current model of internet security is too vulnerable to the mistakes of individual programmers. Better alternatives exist – and should be deployed
Категорії: Biology

Buzz: A beautiful book shows why modern bees are hippy wasps at heart

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Пн, 2018-08-13 11:00
A beautifully illustrated new book details the evolutionary path that created modern bees from their ancient wasp ancestors - and why the apians’ future is uncertain
Категорії: Science and society

Buzz: A beautiful book shows why modern bees are hippy wasps at heart

Genetics - Пн, 2018-08-13 11:00
A beautifully illustrated new book details the evolutionary path that created modern bees from their ancient wasp ancestors - and why the apians’ future is uncertain
Категорії: Biology