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Dangerous pathogens use this sophisticated machinery to infect hosts

Pathogens illustration (stock image). Credit: © beawolf / Adobe Stock Gastric cancer, Q fever, Legionnaires' disease, whooping cough -- though the infectious bacteria that cause these dangerous diseases are each different, they all utilize the same molecular machinery to infect human cells. Bacteria use this machinery, called a Type IV secretion system (T4SS), to inject…

Researchers unravel mechanisms that control cell size

Dividing cells illustration. Credit: © Kateryna_Kon / Adobe Stock Working with bacteria, a multidisciplinary team at the University of California San Diego has provided new insight into a longstanding question in science: What are the underlying mechanisms that control the size of cells? Nearly five years ago a team led by Suckjoon Jun, a biophysicist…

Owning a dog is influenced by our genetic make-up

Woman and dog. Credit: © Vasyl / Adobe Stock A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The new study suggests that genetic variation explains more than half of the variation in dog ownership, implying that the choice…

How a new father views his relationship with his partner

Father, baby and mother. Credit: © Syda Productions / Adobe Stock A new father's views on his changing relationship with his wife or partner may depend in part on how much support he feels from her when he is caring for their baby, a new study suggests. Researchers found that a first-time father tended to…

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research...

Neanderthal vs human skull (stock image). Credit: © Bruder / Adobe Stock Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research by a UCL academic. The research, published in Science Advances, analysed dental evolutionary rates across different hominin species, focusing on early…

How a member of a family of light-sensitive proteins adjusts skin...

Skin colors concept. Credit: © luaeva / Adobe Stock A team of Brown University researchers found that opsin 3 -- a protein closely related to rhodopsin, the protein that enables low-light vision -- has a role in adjusting the amount of pigment produced in human skin, a determinant of skin color. When humans spend time…

Dangerous pathogens use this sophisticated machinery to infect hosts

Pathogens illustration (stock image). Credit: © beawolf / Adobe Stock Gastric cancer, Q fever, Legionnaires' disease, whooping cough -- though the infectious bacteria that cause these dangerous diseases are each different, they all utilize the same molecular machinery to infect human cells. Bacteria use this machinery, called a Type IV secretion system (T4SS), to inject…

Ultra-clean fabrication platform produces nearly ideal 2D transistors

2D graphene illustration (stock image). Credit: © Ambelrip / Adobe Stock Semiconductors, which are the basic building blocks of transistors, microprocessors, lasers, and LEDs, have driven advances in computing, memory, communications, and lighting technologies since the mid-20th century. Recently discovered two-dimensional materials, which feature many superlative properties, have the potential to advance these technologies, but…

Wearable cooling and heating patch could serve as personal thermostat and...

Jacket (stock image). Credit: © Liaurinko / Adobe Stock Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a wearable patch that could provide personalized cooling and heating at home, work, or on the go. The soft, stretchy patch cools or warms a user's skin to a comfortable temperature and keeps it there as…

Polymers jump through hoops on pathway to sustainable materials

Plastic recycling concept. Credit: © Andrey Popov / Adobe Stock Recyclable plastics that contain ring-shaped polymers may be a key to developing sustainable synthetic materials. Despite some promising advances, researchers said, a full understanding of how to processes ring polymers into practical materials remains elusive. In a new study, researchers identified a mechanism called "threading"…

Amount of carbon stored in forests reduced as climate warms

Altai Mountains, Russia. Credit: © tilpich / Adobe Stock Accelerated tree growth caused by a warming climate does not necessarily translate into enhanced carbon storage, an international study suggests. The team, led by the University of Cambridge, found that as temperatures increase, trees grow faster, but they also tend to die younger. When these fast-growing…

Dangerous pathogens use this sophisticated machinery to infect hosts

Pathogens illustration (stock image). Credit: © beawolf / Adobe Stock Gastric cancer, Q fever, Legionnaires' disease, whooping cough -- though the infectious bacteria that cause these dangerous diseases are each different, they all utilize the same molecular machinery to infect human cells. Bacteria use this machinery, called a Type IV secretion system (T4SS), to inject…

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research...

Neanderthal vs human skull (stock image). Credit: © Bruder / Adobe Stock Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research by a UCL academic. The research, published in Science Advances, analysed dental evolutionary rates across different hominin species, focusing on early…

True identity of imposter ‘pigs’ on 17th century map overturns early...

Peccary. Credit: © buteo / Adobe Stock Which came first, the pigs or the pioneers? In Barbados, that has been a historical mystery ever since the first English colonists arrived on the island in 1627 to encounter what they thought was a herd of wild European pigs. A recent discovery by an SFU archaeologist is…

Scientists propose rethinking ‘endangered species’ definition to save slow-breeding giants

Elephants. Credit: © Chaiphorn / Adobe Stock Conservation decisions based on population counts may fail to protect large, slow-breeding animals from irrevocable decline, according to new research coinciding with Endangered Species Day. "Critical thresholds in so-called vital rates -- such as mortality and fertility rates among males and females of various ages -- can signal…

Owning a dog is influenced by our genetic make-up

Woman and dog. Credit: © Vasyl / Adobe Stock A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The new study suggests that genetic variation explains more than half of the variation in dog ownership, implying that the choice…

Earliest evidence of the cooking and eating of starch

Fire in hearth (stock image). Credit: © Alexander / Adobe Stock New discoveries made at the Klasies River Cave in South Africa's southern Cape, where charred food remains from hearths were found, provide the first archaeological evidence that anatomically modern humans were roasting and eating plant starches, such as those from tubers and rhizomes, as…

Sedimentary, my dear Johnson: Is NASA looking at the wrong rocks...

Mars robotic rover illustration. Credit: © elenaed / Adobe Stock In 2020, NASA and European-Russian missions will look for evidence of past life on Mars. But while volcanic, igneous rock predominates on the Red Planet, virtually the entire Earth fossil record comes from sedimentary rocks. Addressing the problem in Frontiers in Earth Science, Swedish scientists…

How we make complex decisions

Complex decision concept. Credit: © anyaberkut / Adobe Stock When making a complex decision, we often break the problem down into a series of smaller decisions. For example, when deciding how to treat a patient, a doctor may go through a hierarchy of steps -- choosing a diagnostic test, interpreting the results, and then prescribing…

Death of the middleman? Imagining a cheaper, fairer marketplace for digital...

E-commerce concept. Credit: © NicoElNino / Adobe Stock E-commerce is sizzling. Last year, consumers spent more than $517 billion online with US merchants, up 15 percent from the year before, according to Internet Retailer. However, independent musicians, self-published authors and others have sometimes found it difficult to participate in the e-commerce revolution. That's because they…

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