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Age-related impairments reversed in animal model

Eosinophils surrounded by red blood cells (stock image). Credit: © Kateryna_Kon / stock.adobe.com Frailty and immune decline are two main features of old age. Researchers from the University of Bern and the University Hospital Bern now demonstrate in an animal model that these two age-related impairments can be halted and even partially reversed using a…

Asteroid impact, not volcanoes, made the Earth uninhabitable for dinosaurs

Illustration of dinosaurs and asteroid (stock image). Credit: © lassedesignen / stock.adobe.com Modelling of the Chicxulub asteroid impact 66 million years ago shows it created a world largely unsuitable for dinosaurs to live in. The asteroid, which struck the Earth off the coast of Mexico at the end of the Cretaceous era 66 million years…

Major new paleoclimatology study shows global warming has upended 6,500 years...

Glacier collapse (stock image). Credit: © volki / stock.adobe.com Over the past 150 years, global warming has more than undone the global cooling that occurred over the past six millennia, according to a major study published June 30 in Nature Research's Scientific Data, "Holocene global mean surface temperature, a multi-method reconstruction approach." The findings show…

Driving bacteria to produce potential antibiotic, antiparasitic compounds

Bacteria illustration (stock image). Credit: © Paulista / stock.adobe.com Researchers have developed a method to spur the production of new antibiotic or antiparasitic compounds hiding in the genomes of actinobacteria, which are the source of drugs such as actinomycin and streptomycin and are known to harbor other untapped chemical riches. The scientists report their findings…

Why are plants green?

Leaves in sunlight (stock image). Credit: © Olivier Le Moal / stock.adobe.com When sunlight shining on a leaf changes rapidly, plants must protect themselves from the ensuing sudden surges of solar energy. To cope with these changes, photosynthetic organisms -- from plants to bacteria -- have developed numerous tactics. Scientists have been unable, however, to…

Receptor makes mice strong and slim

Mouse on exercise wheel (stock image). Credit: © Emilia Stasiak / stock.adobe.com Increasing abdominal girth and shrinking muscles are two common side effects of aging. Researchers at the University of Bonn have discovered a receptor in mice that regulates both effects. Experiments with human cell cultures suggest that the corresponding signaling pathways might also exist…

How water in the deep Earth triggers earthquakes and tsunamis

View of the volcanic Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius seen from St. Kitts (stock image). Credit: © eqroy / stock.adobe.com In a new study, published in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists provide the first conclusive evidence directly linking deep Earth's water cycle and its expressions with magmatic productivity and earthquake activity. Water…

Origin of life: Which came first?

Amino acid molecular models (stock image). Credit: © Sergey Tarasov / stock.adobe.com What did the very first proteins look like -- those that appeared on Earth around 3.7 billion years ago? Prof. Dan Tawfik of the Weizmann Institute of Science and Prof. Norman Metanis of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have reconstructed protein sequences that…

Viruses can steal our genetic code to create new human-virus genes

Influenza virus illustration (stock image). Credit: © Kateryna_Kon / stock.adobe.com Like a scene out of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," a virus infects a host and converts it into a factory for making more copies of itself. Now researchers have shown that a large group of viruses, including the influenza viruses and other serious pathogens,…

Scientists decode how the brain senses smell

Illustration of brain with olfactory bulb highlighted (stock image). Credit: © pankajstock123 / stock.adobe.com Scientists have further decoded how mammalian brains perceive odors and distinguish one smell from thousands of others. In experiments in mice, NYU Grossman School of Medicine researchers have for the first time created an electrical signature that is perceived as an…

Diluting blood plasma rejuvenates tissue, reverses aging in mice

Red blood cells in artery illustration (stock image). Credit: © vipman4 / stock.adobe.com In 2005, University of California, Berkeley, researchers made the surprising discovery that making conjoined twins out of young and old mice -- such that they share blood and organs -- can rejuvenate tissues and reverse the signs of aging in the old…

Tomato’s hidden mutations revealed in study of 100 varieties

Tomato varieties (stock image). Credit: © Christian BERND / stock.adobe.com Human appetites have transformed the tomato -- DNA and all. After centuries of breeding, what was once a South American berry roughly the size of a pea now takes all sorts of shapes and sizes, from cherry-like to hefty heirloom fruit. Today, scientists are teasing…

Hunting in savanna-like landscapes may have poured jet fuel on brain...

African savanna (stock image). Credit: © Grispb / stock.adobe.com Ever wonder how land animals like humans evolved to become smarter than their aquatic ancestors? You can thank the ground you walk on. Northwestern University researchers recently discovered that complex landscapes -- dotted with trees, bushes, boulders and knolls -- might have helped land-dwelling animals evolve…

Discovery of oldest bow and arrow technology in Eurasia

Map of Sri Lanka (stock image). Credit: © Yarr65 / stock.adobe.com The origins of human innovation have traditionally been sought in the grasslands and coasts of Africa or the temperate environments of Europe. More extreme environments, such as the tropical rainforests of Asia, have been largely overlooked, despite their deep history of human occupation. A…

Super-potent human antibodies protect against COVID-19 in animal tests

Coronavirus illustration (stock image). Credit: © Mauro Rodrigues / stock.adobe.com A team led by Scripps Research has discovered antibodies in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients that provide powerful protection against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, when tested in animals and human cell cultures. The research, published today in Science, offers a paradigm…

Volcanic activity and changes in Earth’s mantle were key to rise...

Volcanic eruption (stock image). Credit: © Lucie / stock.adobe.com Oxygen first accumulated in the Earth's atmosphere about 2.4 billion years ago, during the Great Oxidation Event. A long-standing puzzle has been that geologic clues suggest early bacteria were photosynthesizing and pumping out oxygen hundreds of millions of years before then. Where was it all going?…

Showtime for photosynthesis

Close-up of green leaf (stock image). Credit: © Quality Stock Arts / stock.adobe.com Using a unique combination of nanoscale imaging and chemical analysis, an international team of researchers has revealed a key step in the molecular mechanism behind the water splitting reaction of photosynthesis, a finding that could help inform the design of renewable energy…

Pinpointing the origins of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

View of the Temple Mount, Western Wall and the golden Dome of the Rock mosque in the old town of Jerusalem (stock image). Credit: © Horváth Botond / stock.adobe.com Integrating radiocarbon dating and microarchaeology techniques has enabled more precise dating of the ancient Wilson's Arch monument at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, according to a study published…

Discovery of ancient super-eruptions indicates the Yellowstone hotspot may be waning

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park (stock image). Credit: © gottsfam / stock.adobe.com Throughout Earth's long history, volcanic super-eruptions have been some of the most extreme events ever to affect our planet's rugged surface. Surprisingly, even though these explosions eject enormous volumes of material -- at least 1,000 times more than the 1980 eruption…

Scientists engineer human cells with squid-like transparency

Swimming squid (stock image). Credit: © Zac / stock.adobe.com Octopuses, squids and other sea creatures can perform a disappearing act by using specialized tissues in their bodies to manipulate the transmission and reflection of light, and now researchers at the University of California, Irvine have engineered human cells to have similar transparent abilities. In a…

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