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  • Artificial organelles created to control cellular behavior
    on August 4, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a method for controlling the phase separation of an emerging class of proteins to create artificial membrane-less organelles within human cells. The advance, similar to controlling how vinegar forms droplets within oil, creates opportunities for engineering synthetic structures to modulate existing cell functions or create entirely new behaviors within cells.

  • Nanostructures modeled on moth eyes effective for anti-icing
    on August 4, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Researchers have been working for decades on improving the anti-icing performance of functional surfaces and new work investigates a unique nanostructure, modeled on moth eyes, that has anti-icing properties. Moth eyes are of interest because they have a distinct ice-phobic and transparent surface. The researchers fabricated the moth eye nanostructure on a quartz substrate that was covered with a paraffin layer to isolate it from a cold and humid environment.

  • Malignant cancer diagnosed in a dinosaur for the first time
    on August 3, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    New research has led to the discovery and diagnosis of an aggressive malignant bone cancer -- an osteosarcoma -- for the first time ever in a dinosaur. No malignant cancers (tumous that can spread throughout the body and have severe health implications) have ever been documented in dinosaurs previously.

  • New species of fungus sticking out of beetles
    on August 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    A comprehensive study on a group of unique ectoparasitic fungi associated with insects and other arthropods in Belgium and the Netherlands has been published. The paper provides identification details about a total of 140 species, including nine species that represent new country records and two species new to science, with one of them named after the 2020 quarantine period, imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • New studies show how to save parasites and why it's important
    on August 1, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    An international group of scientists have laid out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. Another group of researchers found that the responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species.

  • Immune functions traded in for reproductive success
    on July 30, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Researchers have investigated the phenomenon of sexual parasitism in deep-sea anglerfish. The scientists show that this very rare mode of reproduction is associated with the loss of adaptive immunity. In the course of evolution, however, the animals have reorganized their immune systems and only survive with the help of their innate immunity.

  • Metal-breathing bacteria could transform electronics, biosensors, and more
    on July 28, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    When the Shewanella oneidensis bacterium 'breathes' in certain metal and sulfur compounds anaerobically, the way an aerobic organism would process oxygen, it produces materials that could be used to enhance electronics, electrochemical energy storage, and drug-delivery devices. The ability of this bacterium to produce molybdenum disulfide -- a material that is able to transfer electrons easily, like graphene -- is the focus of new research.

  • Exposure to enzymes causes peculiar response in liquid droplets formed by DNA
    on July 28, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    'A watched pot never boils,' as the saying goes, but that was not the case for researchers watching a 'pot' of liquids formed from DNA. In fact, the opposite happened.

  • Deep sea microbes dormant for 100 million years are hungry and ready to multiply
    on July 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Researchers reveal that given the right food in the right laboratory conditions, microbes collected from subseafloor sediment as old as 100 million years can revive and multiply, even after laying dormant since large dinosaurs prowled the planet.

  • Return of the zombie cicadas: Manipulative qualities of fungal-infected flyers
    on July 27, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Cicadas infected with the parasitic fungus Massospora unknowingly engage in trickery with their fellow insects, resulting in effective disease transmission, according to new research. Massospora manipulates male cicadas into flicking their wings like females - a mating invitation - which tempts unsuspecting male cicadas and infects them.

  • In cell studies, seaweed extract outperforms remdesivir in blocking COVID-19 virus
    on July 24, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    In a test of antiviral effectiveness against the virus that causes COVID-19, an extract from edible seaweeds substantially outperformed remdesivir, the current standard antiviral used to combat the disease.

  • Meet Cosmo, a bull calf designed to produce more male offspring
    on July 23, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Scientists have successfully produced a bull calf, named Cosmo, who was genome-edited as an embryo so that he'll produce more male offspring.

  • Giant, fruit-gulping pigeon eaten into extinction on Pacific islands
    on July 22, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    A large fruit-eating bird from Tonga joins the dodo in the lineup of giant island pigeons hunted to extinction.

  • Mitigation of greenhouse gases in dairy cattle through genetic selection
    on July 22, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Researchers propose mitigating methane production by dairy cattle through breeding. Scientists are targeting reduction of enteric methane in the breeding objectives for dairy cattle to select for animals that use feed more efficiently and thus produce less methane. Because livestock farming contributes 13 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, selective breeding can reduce those emissions while increasing milk output.

  • Is it a bird, a plane? Not superman, but a flapping wing drone
    on July 22, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    A drone prototype that mimics the aerobatic manoeuvres of one of the world's fastest birds, the swift, is being developed by an international team of engineers in the latest example of biologically inspired flight.

  • Antibiotics disrupt development of the 'social brain' in mice
    on July 22, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Antibiotic treatment in early life impedes brain signalling pathways that function in social behavior and pain regulation in mice, a new study has found.

  • Invasive lionfish may be a selective predator
    on July 22, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    The invasive lionfish has become a growing threat to the ecological balance of Atlantic waters. To gather insight regarding its impact on reef communities, scientists evaluated the predatory behaviors and diet choices of lionfish in a semi-natural environment. Their experiments revealed that most of them actively selected their prey species.

  • Spider monkey groups as collective computers
    on July 21, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    New research shows that spider monkeys use collective computation to figure out the best way to find food.

  • Ultra-small, parasitic bacteria found in groundwater, moose -- and you
    on July 21, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Saccharibacteria within a mammalian host are more diverse than ever anticipated, according to recent research. The researchers also discovered that certain members of the bacteria are found in the oral cavity of humans, the guts of other mammals, and in groundwater.

  • Recycling Japanese liquor leftovers as animal feed produces happier pigs and tastier pork
    on July 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Tastier pork comes from pigs that eat the barley left over after making the Japanese liquor shochu. A team of professional brewers and academic farmers state that nutrients in the leftover fermented barley may reduce the animals' stress, resulting in better tasting sirloin and fillets. Feeding distillation leftovers to farm animals can improve the animals' quality of life, lower farmers' and brewers' costs, appeal to discerning foodies, and benefit the environment by reducing food waste.

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