Coastal wetlands will survive rising seas, but only if we let them
(Virginia Institute of Marine Science) A global study addresses a major uncertainty in how saltmarshes and mangroves will respond to sea-level rise; stresses importance of preserving 'accommodation space' for landward migration. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers make major breakthrough in controlling the 3D structure of molecules
(Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY) Scientists from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (GC/CUNY) have made a major breakthrough in chemical synthesis that now makes it possible to quickly and reliably modify the 3D structure of molecules used in drug discovery, according to a paper appearing in the current issue of the journal Science. The new method allows scientists to employ cross-coupling reactions to generate new compounds while controlling their 3D architecture. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Hookworms employ live fast/die young strategy in fur seal pup hosts
(Morris Animal Foundation) Hookworms exploit a live fast/die young strategy in their South American fur seal pup hosts, report Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Georgia. As a result, they often kill their host, rather than finding a happy equilibrium. Scientists are concerned that this type of hookworm infection could eventually pose a risk to critically endangered populations of fur seals. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

€ 100 million Arctic project will survey changes in the declining sea ice
(University of Huddersfield) Geophysicist and seasoned Arctic researcher Dr Phil Hwang join what will be the largest Arctic expedition ever undertaken involving 16 countries. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New evidence for coordinated hedgehog and Wnt pathway activation in appendage regeneration
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) Researchers have made a significant new discovery concerning the signaling mechanisms that enable newts to regrow their tails after injury. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Manganese plays a key role in bacterial infection
(PLOS) The ability to acquire manganese during infection is essential for the virulence of Enterococcus faecalis in animals, according to a study published Sept. 20, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Jos é Lemos of the University of Florida College of Dentistry, and colleagues. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Why do people share? It's contagious, six-year study of Hadza people shows
(Cell Press) In the modern world, people cooperate with other people including strangers all the time. We give blood, tip providers of various services, and donate to charity even though there is seemingly nothing in it for us. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 20 who've studied Hadza hunter-gatherer people in Tanzania over a six-year period have new and surprising insight into why people work together. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - September 20, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

MDMA (a.k.a. ecstasy) makes octopuses more social too
(Cell Press) When people take MDMA, the drug popularly known as ecstasy, a rush of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin produces feelings of emotional closeness and euphoria, making people more interested than normal in connecting with other people. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 20 have made the surprising discovery that a species of octopus considered to be primarily solitary and asocial responds to MDMA similarly: by becoming much more interested in engaging with one other. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - September 20, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Mathematics meets biology to uncover unexpected biorhythms
(Baylor College of Medicine) A novel mathematical approach has uncovered that some animal cells have robust 12-hour cycles of genetic activity, in addition to circadian or 24-hour cycles. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - September 20, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

A naturally occurring antibiotic active against drug-resistant tuberculosis
(Penn State) A naturally occurring antibiotic called kanglemycin A is effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, even in drug-resistant strains, according to an international team of researchers who used chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and X-ray crystallography to show how the compound maintains its activity. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - September 20, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Mediterranean-style diet may lower women's stroke risk
(University of East Anglia) Following a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce stroke risk in women over 40 but not in men -- according to new research led by the University of East Anglia.A new report, published today in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke, reveals that a diet high in fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts and beans, and lower in meat and dairy, reduces stroke risk among white adults who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Test could detect patients at risk from lethal fungal spores
(University of Manchester) Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a genetic mutation in humans linked to a 17-fold increase in the amount of dangerous fungal spores in the lungs.The study, published in Nature Communications could allow doctors to screen patients at risk from Aspergillus, and could easily be developed into a test. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Can a common heart condition cause sudden death?
(Gladstone Institutes) About one person out of 500 has a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition causes thickening of the heart muscle and results in defects in the heart's electrical system. Under conditions of environmental stress such as exercise, HCM can result in sudden death. In other cases, patients may go undiagnosed, with their heart function declining gradually over decades. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 20, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cellular checkpoint control using programmable sequential logic
We present genetic circuits that encode sequential logic to instruct Escherichia coli to proceed through a linear or cyclical sequence of states. These are built with 11 set-reset latches, designed with repressor-based NOR gates, which can connect to each other and sensors. The performance of circuits with up to three latches and four sensors, including a gated D latch, closely match predictions made by using nonlinear dynamics. Checkpoint control is demonstrated by switching cells between multiple circuit states in response to external signals over days. (Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - September 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Andrews, L. B., Nielsen, A. A. K., Voigt, C. A. Tags: Engineering, Molecular Biology, Online Only r-articles Source Type: news

Engineered CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease with expanded targeting space
The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 cleaves its target DNA and is a powerful genome-editing tool. However, the widely used Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 enzyme (SpCas9) requires an NGG protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) for target recognition, thereby restricting the targetable genomic loci. Here, we report a rationally engineered SpCas9 variant (SpCas9-NG) that can recognize relaxed NG PAMs. The crystal structure revealed that the loss of the base-specific interaction with the third nucleobase is compensated by newly introduced non–base-specific interactions, thereby enabling the NG PAM recognition. We showed that SpCas9-N...
Source: ScienceNOW - September 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Nishimasu, H., Shi, X., Ishiguro, S., Gao, L., Hirano, S., Okazaki, S., Noda, T., Abudayyeh, O. O., Gootenberg, J. S., Mori, H., Oura, S., Holmes, B., Tanaka, M., Seki, M., Hirano, H., Aburatani, H., Ishitani, R., Ikawa, M., Yachie, N., Zhang, F., Nureki, Tags: Engineering, Molecular Biology reports Source Type: news

Programmable protein circuits in living cells
In this study, we show that engineered viral proteases can function as composable protein components, which can together implement a broad variety of circuit-level functions in mammalian cells. In this system, termed CHOMP (circuits of hacked orthogonal modular proteases), input proteases dock with and cleave target proteases to inhibit their function. These components can be connected to generate regulatory cascades, binary logic gates, and dynamic analog signal-processing functions. To demonstrate the utility of this system, we rationally designed a circuit that induces cell death in response to upstream activators of th...
Source: ScienceNOW - September 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Gao, X. J., Chong, L. S., Kim, M. S., Elowitz, M. B. Tags: Molecular Biology reports Source Type: news

Building smarter synthetic biological circuits
(Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - September 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ray, L. B. Tags: Engineering, Molecular Biology twis Source Type: news

Expanding the targeting space of Cas9
(Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - September 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Mao, S. Tags: Engineering, Molecular Biology twis Source Type: news

Programming cells and tissues
(Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - September 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Glass, D. S., Alon, U. Tags: Molecular Biology perspective Source Type: news

Is AI the Key to Diving Deeper into Images and Pathology?
In a tale of two studies, it appears artificial intelligence is helping researchers analyze cells in ways that weren't possible before. In one study, published this week in Nature Methods, scientists at the Allen Institute in Seattle, WA used machine learning to train computers to see parts of the cell that the human eye cannot easily distinguish. Using 3D images of fluorescently labeled cells, the team taught computers to find structures inside living cells without fluorescent labels, using only black and white images generated by an inexpensive technique known as brightfield microscopy. Fluorescence microscop...
Source: MDDI - September 19, 2018 Category: Medical Devices Authors: Amanda Pedersen Tags: Imaging Source Type: news

Oldest-known aquatic reptiles probably spent time on land
(Frontiers) A comprehensive analysis of Mesosaurus fossils shows that bones from adults share similarities with land-dwelling animals -- suggesting older Mesosaurus were semi-aquatic, whereas the juveniles spent their time in the water. This new research emphasizes the importance of thoroughly analyzing fossilized remains from across all stages of a reptile's life to get a full appreciation of its lifestyle and behavior. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Russian scientists applied aerospace technologies to combat fresh water deficit
(Samara University) Young specialists of JSC 'Metallist-Samara' and scientists of Samara University are completing the testing cycle of a modern desalination plant. The project was implemented in the framework of the RF Government Resolution No. 218 " On Measures of State Support for the Development of Cooperation between Russian Higher Educational Institutions and Organizations Implementing Comprehensive Projects for the Creation of High-Technology Production " . Besides, it was carried out within the purpose of import substitution. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

From crystals to climate: 'Gold standard' timeline links flood basalts to climate change
(Princeton University) Princeton geologists used tiny zircon crystals found in volcanic ash to rewrite the timeline for the eruptions of the Columbia River flood basalts, a series of massive lava flows that coincided with an ancient global warming period 16 million years ago. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Origami inspires highly efficient solar steam generator
(American Chemical Society) Water covers most of the globe, yet many regions still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. If scientists could efficiently and sustainably turn seawater into clean water, a looming global water crisis might be averted. Now, inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, researchers have devised a solar steam generator that approaches 100 percent efficiency for the production of clean water. They report their results in ACS Applied Materials& Interfaces. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Mineral weathering from thawing permafrost can release substantial CO2
(University of Alberta) The amount of carbon dioxide released from thawing permafrost might be greater than previously thought, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists. The research is the first to document the potential for substantial contributions of CO2 from thawing permafrost to the atmosphere through an inorganic process called mineral weathering. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors
(University of Texas at Austin) Engineers at UT Austin develop world's first method for controlling the motion of nanomotors with simple visible light as the stimulus. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NSF awards contract to group led by WHOI to continue OOI
(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it has awarded a coalition of academic and oceanographic research organizations a five-year, $220 million contract to operate and maintain the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The coalition, led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), with direction from the NSF and guidance from the OOI Facilities Board, will include the University of Washington (UW), Oregon State University (OSU), and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New research identifies abundant endangered fish below waterfall in San Juan River
(Bureau of Reclamation) A new study published in the journal River Research and Applications provides insight into the magnitude of the effect this waterfall has on endangered fishes in the San Juan River. From 2015-2017 more than 1,000 razorback sucker and dozens of Colorado pikeminnow were detected downstream of the waterfall. Some fish moved to this location from up to 600 miles away in the Colorado River. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry
(Purdue University) Worldwide efforts to make sodium-ion batteries just as functional as lithium-ion batteries have long since controlled sodium's tendency to explode, but not yet resolved how to prevent sodium-ions from 'getting lost' during the first few times a battery charges and discharges. Now, Purdue University researchers made a sodium powder version that fixes this problem and holds a charge properly. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Is the end of the recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) a good thing?
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) Recently, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for the eliminating involvement of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) in human gene therapy experiments, marking the end of an era of federal government oversight. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Nucleation a boon to sustainable nanomanufacturing
(Washington University in St. Louis) Young-Shin Jun, professor of energy, environmental& chemical engineering in the School of Engineering& Applied Science, and Quingun Li, a former doctoral student in her lab, are the first to measure the activation energy and kinetic factors of calcium carbonate's nucleation. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Seeing pesticides spread through insect bodies
(Osaka University) Osaka University-led team provides insights into the distribution of pesticides within insects using a newly developed method of insect sample preparation. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Chitinase as 'burnt-bridge' Brownian monorail efficiently hydrolyzing recalcitrant biomass
(National Institutes of Natural Sciences) Serratia marcescens Chitinase A (SmChiA) is a molecular motor efficiently hydrolyzing recalcitrant crystalline chitin by moving on the surface processively. By using gold-nanoparticle probe, researchers revealed 1-nm stepping motion of SmChiA rectified forward by fast catalysis. X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulation also revealed that motion of SmChiA is driven by the Brownian motion. The results show SmChiA is 'burnt-bridge' Brownian ratchet monorail, and give an insight to design engineered and artificial molecular motors. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Snooker in the live cell
(Umea University) The spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins or organelles plays a crucial role in controlling various cellular processes and in development of diseases. Yet, acute control of activity at distinct locations within a cell cannot be achieved. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists from Ume å University (Sweden) and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (Germany) present a new chemo-optogenetic method that enables tunable, reversible, and rapid control of activity at multiple subcellular compartments within a living cell. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Co-evolution between a 'parasite gene' and its host
(Aarhus University) A Danish research team has delineated a complex symbiosis between a 'parasitic' noncoding RNA gene and its protein coding 'host' gene in human cells. The study reveals how co-evolution of the host gene and parasite gene has shaped a feedback mechanism in which the parasite gene plays a completely new and surprising part as regulator of the host gene protein production. The breakthrough finding opens an entirely new avenue of research in gene expression. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Plant growth-promoting bacteria enhance plant salinity tolerance
(Estonian Research Council) Soil salinity is a serious problem in crop production, but the work of scientists helps to relieve it. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Premature brains develop differently in boys and girls
(Springer) Brains of baby boys born prematurely are affected differently and more severely than premature infant girls' brains. This is according to a study published in the Springer Nature-branded journal Pediatric Research. Lead authors Amanda Benavides and Peg Nopoulos of the University of Iowa in the US used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans as part of an ongoing study on premature babies to examine how the brains of baby boys and girls changed and developed. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Fly mating choices may help explain variation across species
(University of Stirling) Scientists at the University of Stirling have shed new light on the impact of sexual selection on species diversity after studying the mating rituals of dance flies. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New micro-platform reveals cancer cells' natural behavior
(Hokkaido University) A new cell culture platform allows researchers to observe never-before-seen behaviors of live cancer cells under the microscope, leading to explanations of long-known cancer characteristics. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New fungus found to cause cankers and declines in pistachio trees in Sicily, Italy
(Pensoft Publishers) Since 2010, pistachio farmers from Sicily have been reporting a disease on the trees, characterised by cankers and declines, sometimes leading to the collapse of entire plants. Having surveyed 15 pistachio orchards from three provinces, as well as potted plants, an international team of researchers identified a new disease caused by a previously unknown fungus. The aetiology of the disease and the new pathogenic species are described in the open access journal MycoKeys. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 19, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Matter: Why Your DNA Is Still Uncharted Territory
Scientists are focusing on a relatively small number of human genes and neglecting thousands of others. The reasons have more to do with professional survival than genetics. (Source: NYT Health)
Source: NYT Health - September 18, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: CARL ZIMMER Tags: Genetics and Heredity DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) Human Genome Project PLoS Biology (Journal) Source Type: news

Social animals have tipping points, too
(Santa Fe Institute) Quantitative tools developed in math and physics to understand bifurcations in dynamical systems could help ecologists and biologists better understand -- and predict -- tipping points in animal societies. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

In a tiny worm, a close-up view of where genes are working
(Princeton University, Engineering School) A team at Princeton's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics has produced new resources for research involving the roundworm C. elegans: a comprehensive view of which genes are active in each of the four major tissues of adult worms, as well as a tool for predicting gene activity across 76 more specific cell types. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms
(University of the Basque Country) Silver nanoparticles are increasingly being used in consumer products, such as clothing and personal care products, in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, and in the food industry. That is why their presence is expected to increase in the environment where they can exert harmful effects on organisms. The UPV/EHU's 'Cell Biology in Environmental Toxicology' research group has analysed adult zebrafish to find out the effects that in the long term can be caused by these silver particles present in fresh water. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New study shows Florida Keys' corals are growing but have become more porous
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Researchers have long questioned what impact climate change has on the rate at which corals are growing and building reef habitats in the Florida Keys. A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explored this topic, finding both good and bad news. The rate of coral skeletal growth in the Florida Keys has remained relatively stable over time, but the skeletal density of the region's corals is declining, possibly due to ocean acidification. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Surviving insects and plants are tougher than we think
(Centre for Ecology& Hydrology) Insect pollinators and plants that have survived the impacts of agricultural intensification may have a greater ability to resist future environmental changes than previously thought, a new study led by the Centre for Ecology& Hydrology has found. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

RUDN agriculturists suggested an optimal strategy for growing wheat in northern Eurasia
(RUDN University) RUDN and the Italian Euromediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC) scientists studied how climate changes may affect wheat harvest in high latitudes of the Eastern hemisphere on the example of Russia. In the upcoming decades the most yielding agricultural areas in the south of the country will be hit by droughts. The optimal territory for wheat and other grain crops cultivation would move north-east. The study was published in the Land Use Policy journal. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

A key to climate stabilization could be buried deep in the mud, FSU researchers suggest
(Florida State University) While scientists fear that rising temperatures could unleash a 'bomb' of carbon from Earth's soil carbon reservoirs, a new FSU study suggests these reservoirs might actually be more stable than predicted. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Biophysical Journal Outstanding Poster Award ainners announced
(Biophysical Society) The Biophysical Society (BPS) announced the winners of the Biophysical Journal Outstanding Poster Awards given at the " Heart by Numbers: Integrating Theory, Computation and Experiment to Advance Cardiology " thematic meeting held September 4-7 in Berlin, Germany. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers predict invasion risk of starry stonewort in upper Midwest
(University of Minnesota) Researchers from the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center recently published a new paper predicting the risk of starry stonewort invasion in Minnesota and Wisconsin. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 18, 2018 Category: Biology Source Type: news