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How microbes generate and use their energy to grow

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast) illustration (stock image). Credit: © Kateryna_Kon / Adobe Stock How do cells generate and use energy? This question might seem simple, but the answer is far from simple. Furthermore, knowing how microbial cell factories consume energy and how proteins are allocated to do so is crucial when working with industrial fermentations.…

Nano-thermometer takes temperature inside cells

Cells illustration (stock image). Credit: © rost9 / Adobe Stock How do you know a cell has a fever? Take its temperature. That's now possible thanks to research by Rice University scientists who used the light-emitting properties of particular molecules to create a fluorescent nano-thermometer. The Rice lab of chemist Angel Martí revealed the technique…

A novel technology for genome-editing a broad range of mutations in...

Gene editing concept (stock image). Credit: © vchalup / Adobe Stock The ability to edit genes in living organisms offers the opportunity to treat a plethora of inherited diseases. However, many types of gene-editing tools are unable to target critical areas of DNA, and creating such a technology has been difficult as living tissue contains…

Hear them roar: How humans and chickadees understand each other

Black-capped chickadee (stock image). Credit: © Riverwalker / Adobe Stock Is there something universal about the sounds we make that allows vocal learners -- like songbirds -- to figure out how we're feeling? Sounds like it, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists. The researchers examined the elements within vocalizations that indicate a…

Insects feel persistent pain after injury, evidence suggests

Fruit fly (stock image). Credit: © Tomasz / Adobe Stock Scientists have known insects experience something like pain since 2003, but new research published today from Associate Professor Greg Neely and colleagues at the University of Sydney proves for the first time that insects also experience chronic pain that lasts long after an initial injury…

Saving Beethoven: Preventing hereditary deafness

Lab mouse (stock image). Credit: © filin174 / Adobe Stock Scientists at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital have used a novel gene-editing approach to salvage the hearing of mice with genetic hearing loss and succeeded in doing so without any apparent off-target effects as a result of the treatment. The animals -- known…

New antibiotics developed

Bacterial culture (stock image). Credit: © sinhyu / Adobe Stock Not only are they effective against Gram-positive and negative multi-resistant bacteria, they also appear not to trigger resistance when used to treat infection in mice. Such are the promises of the two new antibiotics created by Prof. Brice Felden and his team at the Inserm…

Coral reefs shifting away from equator

Coral reef (stock image). Credit: © drew / Adobe Stock Coral reefs are retreating from equatorial waters and establishing new reefs in more temperate regions, according to new research in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. The researchers found that the number of young corals on tropical reefs has declined by 85 percent -- and…

Researchers can finally modify plant mitochondrial DNA

Rice in field (stock image). Credit: © orijinal_x / Adobe Stock Researchers in Japan have edited plant mitochondrial DNA for the first time, which could lead to a more secure food supply. Nuclear DNA was first edited in the early 1970s, chloroplast DNA was first edited in 1988, and animal mitochondrial DNA was edited in…

‘Mystical’ psychedelic compound found in normal brains of rats

Colorful brain concept (stock image). Credit: © frittipix / Adobe Stock In the past few years, thrill-seekers from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond have been travelling to South America to take part in so-called Ayahuasca retreats. Their goal: to partake in a brewed concoction made from a vine plant Banisteriopsis caapi, traditionally used by indigenous…

‘Mystical’ psychedelic compound found in normal brains of rats

Colorful brain concept (stock image). Credit: © frittipix / Adobe Stock In the past few years, thrill-seekers from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond have been travelling to South America to take part in so-called Ayahuasca retreats. Their goal: to partake in a brewed concoction made from a vine plant Banisteriopsis caapi, traditionally used by indigenous…

Space station mold survives high doses of ionizing radiation

International Space Station illustration (stock image, elements furnished by NASA). Credit: © Sasa Kadrijevic / Adobe Stock The International Space Station, like all human habitats in space, has a nagging mold problem. Astronauts on the ISS spend hours every week cleaning the inside of the station's walls to prevent mold from becoming a health problem.…

Translating proteins into music, and back

Abstract musical notes (stock image). Credit: © flashmovie / Adobe Stock Want to create a brand new type of protein that might have useful properties? No problem. Just hum a few bars. In a surprising marriage of science and art, researchers at MIT have developed a system for converting the molecular structures of proteins, the…

What made humans ‘the fat primate’?

Obesity and genetics concept (stock image). Credit: © iQoncept / Adobe Stock Blame junk food or a lack of exercise. But long before the modern obesity epidemic, evolution made us fat too. "We're the fat primates," said Devi Swain-Lenz, a postdoctoral associate in biology at Duke University. The fact that humans are chubbier than chimpanzees…

Honeybees infect wild bumblebees through shared flowers

Honeybee on flower (stock image). Credit: © Antony Cooper / Adobe Stock Many species of wild bumblebees are in decline -- and new research shows that diseases spread by domestic honeybees may be a major culprit. Several of the viruses associated with bumblebees' trouble are moving from managed bees in apiaries to nearby populations of…

Some corals can survive in acidified ocean conditions, but have lower...

Coral reef (stock image). Credit: © mychadre77 / Adobe Stock Coral reefs face many challenges to their survival, including the global acidification of seawater as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. A new study led by scientists at UC Santa Cruz shows that at least three Caribbean coral species can survive…

New therapy targets gut bacteria to prevent and reverse food allergies

Bacteria illustration (stock image). Credit: © Maksym Yemelyanov / Adobe Stock A new study identifies the species of bacteria in the human infant gut that protect against food allergies, finding changes associated with the development of food allergies and an altered immune response. Every three minutes, a food-related allergic reaction sends someone to the emergency…

How octopus arms make decisions

Octopus (stock image). Credit: © Michal Adamczyk / Adobe Stock Researchers studying the behavior and neuroscience of octopuses have long suspected that the animals' arms may have minds of their own. A new model being presented in Bellevue, Washington State, is the first attempt at a comprehensive representation of information flow between the octopus's suckers,…

Finding ‘Nemo’s’ family tree of anemones

Clownfish in anemone (stock image). Credit: © crisod / Adobe Stock Thanks in part to the popular film Finding Nemo, clownfishes are well known to the public and well represented in scientific literature. But the same can't be said for the equally colorful sea anemones -- venomous, tentacled animals -- that protect clownfishes and that…

Risky business: New data show how manatees use shipping channels

Manatee with a white scar, one of the lucky ones to survive an incident with a boat. Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan A new publication in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science tracks West Indian manatee movements through nearshore and offshore ship channels in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. The publication, "Linking Use of Ship Channels…

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