Globalized economy making water, energy and land insecurity worse: Study
(University of Cambridge) The first large-scale study of the risks that countries face from dependence on water, energy and land resources has found that globalisation may be decreasing, rather than increasing, the security of global supply chains. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 25, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cause of Alzheimer's disease traced to mutation in common enzyme
(Tokyo Metropolitan University) Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered a new mechanism by which clumps of tau protein are created in the brain, killing brain cells and causing Alzheimer's disease. A specific mutation to an enzyme called MARK4 changed the properties of tau, usually an important part of the skeletal structure of cells, making it more likely to aggregate, and more insoluble. Getting to grips with mechanisms like this may lead to breakthrough treatments. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 24, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Media alert: new articles in the CRISPR Journal
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News)The CRISPR Journal announces the publication of its October 2020 issue. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Study reveals bat-winged dinosaurs had short-lived gliding abilities
(The University of Hong Kong) Research Assistant Professor Dr Michael PITTMAN (Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory, Division of Earth and Planetary Science& Department of Earth Sciences) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), recently showed that powered flight potential evolved at least three times and that many ancestors of close bird relatives neared the thresholds of powered flight potential, suggesting broad experimentation with wing-assisted locomotion before flight evolved. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

War on plastic is distracting from more urgent threats to environment, experts warn
(University of Nottingham) A team of leading environmental experts, spearheaded by the University of Nottingham, have warned that the current war on plastic is detracting from the bigger threats to the environment. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Marine biology -- Sponges as biomonitors of micropollution
(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit ä t M ü nchen) Sponges are filter feeders that live on particulate matter -- but they can also ingest microscopic fragments of plastics and other pollutants of anthropogenic origin. They can therefore serve as useful bioindicators of the health of marine ecosystems. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Regenerated forests offset 12% of carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon in 33 years
(Funda ç ã o de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de S ã o Paulo) A study quantified the size and age of the forests that grow naturally in degraded and abandoned areas, creating 131 benchmark maps for Brazil. The Amazon has the most restored forests and the Atlantic Rainforest biome has the oldest. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Anti-COVID products to be developed in new partnership
(University of Birmingham) A project to develop household sprays and other products that can provide long-lasting protection against the COVID-19 virus has been launched at the University of Birmingham. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Fish exposed to even small amounts of estrogen produce fewer males
(University of Cincinnati) UC assistant professor Latonya Jackson conducted experiments with North American freshwater fish called least killifish. She found that fish exposed to estrogen in concentrations of 5 nanograms per liter in controlled lab conditions had fewer males and produced fewer offspring. Scientists have found estrogen at as much as 16 times that concentration in streams adjacent to sewage treatment plants. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Protective shield: Membrane-attached protein protects bacteria & chloroplasts from stress
(Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz) Stress is present everywhere, even bacteria and plant cells have to cope with it. They express various specific stress proteins, but how exactly this line of defense works is often not clear. A group of scientists headed by Professor Dirk Schneider of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has now discovered a protective mechanism in cyanobacteria as well as in chloroplasts of plant cells. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Metal deposits from Chinese coal plants end up in the Pacific Ocean, USC research shows
(University of Southern California) Emissions from coal-fired power plants in China are fertilizing the North Pacific Ocean with a metal nutrient important for marine life, according to new findings from a USC-led research team. The researchers believe these metals could change the ocean ecosystem, though it's unclear whether it would be for better or worse. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Fipronil, a common insecticide, disrupts aquatic communities in the U.S.
(Colorado State University) The research team found a common insecticide, fipronil, and related compounds were more toxic to stream communities than previous research has found. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Elkhorn coral actively fighting off diseases on reef, study finds
(University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine& Atmospheric Science) MIAMI--As the world enters a next wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware now more than ever of the importance of a healthy immune system to protect ourselves from disease. This is not only true for humans but corals too, which are in an ongoing battle to ward off deadly diseases spreading on a reef. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 23, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

CCS can rapidly reduce emissions in sectors that have few other options to decarbonize, EFI/Stanford
(Stanford University) The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and Stanford University released " An Action Plan for Carbon Capture and Storage in California: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions, " a report providing policymakers with options for near-term actions to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS) to meet the state's climate goals. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Tackling alarming decline in nature requires 'safety net' of multiple, ambitious goals
(George Washington University) A " safety net " made up of multiple ambitious and interlinked goals is needed to tackle nature's alarming decline, according to an international team of researchers analyzing the new goals for biodiversity being drafted by the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

African crocodiles lived in Spain six million years ago
(FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology) The crocodiles that inhabited the coasts of North Africa during the late Miocene period embarked on a journey to Europe across what is now the Mediterranean basin. This is confirmed by the analysis of the first fossils of the Crocodylus genus in the Iberian Peninsula, found in the Valencian site of Venta del Moro between 1995 and 2006, and which are now being described for the first time. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cicada-inspired waterproof surfaces closer to reality, researchers report
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) A multidisciplinary group that studies the physical and chemical properties of insect wings has demonstrated the ability to reproduce the nanostructures that help cicada wings repel water and prevent bacteria from establishing on the surface. The new technique - which uses commercial nail polish - is economical and straightforward, and the researchers said it will help fabricate future high-tech waterproof materials. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Finally, a way to see molecules 'wobble'
(University of Rochester) Researchers at the University of Rochester and the Fresnel Institute in France have found a way to visualize those molecules in even greater detail, showing their position and orientation in 3D, and even how they wobble and oscillate. This could shed invaluable insights into the biological processes involved, for example, when a cell and the proteins that regulate its functions react to a COVID-19 virus. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Soil fungi act like a support network for trees, study shows
(University of Alberta) University of Alberta research is first to show that growth rate of adult trees is linked to fungal networks colonizing their roots. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Nursery automation focus of new effort led by UTIA
(University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture) Over the next year, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will lead a team of scientists from six partnering institutions to help nursery growers transition to labor-saving automation and related technologies. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Why is fertilizer used in explosives? (video)
(American Chemical Society) Over the last century, the compound ammonium nitrate has been involved in at least 30 disasters and terrorist attacks. Under normal circumstances, it's totally harmless and used in things like fertilizer, so what makes ammonium nitrate turn deadly?: https://youtu.be/-SeT3N3A19c. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

'Mini-lungs' reveal early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection
(University of Cambridge) 'Mini-lungs' grown from tissue donated to Cambridge hospitals has provided a team of scientists from South Korea and the UK with important insights into how COVID-19 damages the lungs. Writing in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the researchers detail the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection and the early innate immune response in the lungs. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Details about broadly neutralizing antibodies provide insights for universal flu vaccine
(University of Chicago Medical Center) New research from an immunology team at the University of Chicago may shed light on the challenges of developing a universal flu vaccine that would provide long-lasting and broad protection against influenza viruses. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Bat-winged dinosaurs that could glide
(McGill University) Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, according to a new study led by an international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings, published in iScience, support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cord blood DNA can hold clues for early ASD diagnosis and intervention
(University of California - Davis Health) Specific regions in cord blood DNA can help identify kids who might develop autism, according to a UC Davis MIND Institute study. The findings from the study may hold clues for early autism diagnosis and intervention. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Jisc and CSHL Press enter an innovative read-and-publish agreement
(Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press) In participating UK research institutions, investigators can publish open access in "Genome Research" , "Genes& Development" , "RNA" , and "Learning& Memory" without article publication charges and all staff can read the entire renowned Cold Spring Harbor journal collection (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Research shows aging chimps, like humans, value friendships
(University of New Mexico) Chimpanzee and human friendships show many parallels, according to new research published this week inScience by associate professor Martin Muller at The University of New Mexico Anthropology department, associate professor of Anthropology and co-director of the Comparative Human and Primate Physiology Center Melissa Emery Thompson, and their colleagues. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NIA awards up to $2 million to AFAR renew Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center
(American Federation for Aging Research) The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), has received a renewal award for up to $2 million over five years from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to continue its role as the Nathan Shock Centers for Excellence in the Biology of Aging Coordinating Center. The Nathan Shock Centers (NSCs) provide leadership in the pursuit of basic research into the biology of aging. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Type 1 diabetes: Tannic acid encapsulation protects transplanted islets from rejection
(University of Alabama at Birmingham) One therapy for Type 1 diabetes is promising -- transplanting pancreatic islets from cadavers -- but a need for immunosuppression and a reactivated autoimmunity lead to low graft viability and function after five years. Now researchers show that a protective coating of alternating layers of two biopolymers delays allograft and autoimmune-mediated rejection in mouse models of T1D. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NRL researchers evaluate ultraviolet sources, combat COVID-19
(Naval Research Laboratory) NRL researchers evaluated commercial ultraviolet (UV) sources for viral disinfection to combat COVID-19 on land and at sea, and established a dedicated UV characterization lab in five days. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Technology shines the light on ovarian cancer treatments
(Purdue University) A Purdue University scientist and entrepreneur is working to use simple LED light to help determine if certain chemotherapy options will work for specific patients. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 22, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

A nutritional supplement to support immune system in the fight against SARS-CoV-2
(Universit à di Bologna) SPIN, a European project powered by EIT Food, is currently developing a dietary supplement supporting the function of the immune system in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infections in population at high risk. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Chili-shaped device could reveal just how hot that pepper is
(American Chemical Society) Some people love spicy food -- the hotter, the better. Others go out of their way to avoid the palate-singeing burn of capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick. Now, researchers have developed a portable device (whimsically shaped like a chili pepper) that can reveal how much capsaicin a pepper contains, before biting into it. They report their results in ACS Applied Nano Materials. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

In pursuit of alternative pesticides
(American Chemical Society) Controlling crop pests is a key element of agriculture worldwide, but the environmental impact of insecticides is a growing concern. Farmers have historically relied on the broad-spectrum chlorpyrifos, which is facing a potential ban in the U.S. A new article inChemical& Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, details how scientists are working to develop safer alternatives to chlorpyrifos. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Protected areas help waterbirds adapt to climate change
(University of Turku) Climate change pushes species distribution areas northward. However, the expansion of species ranges is not self-evident due to e.g. habitat degradation and unsustainable harvesting caused by human activities. A new study led from the University of Turku, Finland, suggests that protected areas can facilitate wintering waterbird adaptation to climate warming by advancing their range shifts towards north. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

How do snakes 'see' in the dark? Researchers have an answer
(University of Houston) Certain species of snake -- think pit vipers, boa constrictors and pythons, among others -- are able to find and capture prey with uncanny accuracy, even in total darkness. Now scientists have discovered how these creatures are able to convert the heat from organisms that are warmer than their ambient surroundings into electrical signals, allowing them to 'see' in the dark. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

At our cores, we're all strengthened by 'dumbbells'
(Rice University) Scientists at Rice's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics detail the structure of dumbbell-like sequences in DNA during interphase that suggest several unseen aspects of chromosome configuration and function. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Genome sequencing shows climate barrier to spread of Africanized bees
(University of California - Davis) Since the 1950s, " Africanized " honeybees have spread north and south across the Americas until apparently coming to a halt in California and northern Argentina. Now genome sequencing of hundreds of bees from the northern and southern limits shows a gradual decline in African ancestry across hundreds of miles, rather than an abrupt shift. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

User-friendly cucurbit downy mildew diagnosis guide suited for both experts and beginners
(American Phytopathological Society) As the disease is rapid, infectious, and hard-to-diagnose, a team of plant pathologists with North Carolina State University and Michigan State University put together a clear and summarized guide to cucurbit downy mildew for beginners and experts. Accorded to Andres Salcedo, " We realized the necessity to compile relevant and concise information about the causal agent of cucurbit downy mildew and developed a guide of multiple alternatives for its diagnosis and handling. " (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Vanilla cultivation under trees promotes pest regulation
(University of G ö ttingen) The cultivation of vanilla in Madagascar provides a good income for small-holder farmers, but without trees and bushes the plantations can lack biodiversity. Researchers from the Universities of G ö ttingen (Germany) and Antananarivo (Madagascar), investigated the interaction between prey and predators in these cultivated areas. They released dummy prey to determine the activity of natural enemies. The result: more prey were attacked as the proportion of trees increased. Results were published in theJournal of Applied Ecology. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Innovation spins spider web architecture into 3D imaging technology
(Purdue University) Purdue University innovators are taking cues from nature to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging. The Purdue researchers used some architectural features from spider webs to develop the technology. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

National laboratories point to sugars as a key factor in ideal feedstock for biofuels
(DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Popular wisdom holds that tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two US Department of Energy National Laboratories reveals the size of trees is only part of the equation. Of equal economic importance, according to scientists from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is the amount of sugars that can be produced from the ligno-cellulosic biomass that can be converted into fuels. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow
(American Museum of Natural History) A new study describes a bioluminescent gene that could be the reason that so-called 'sea pickles,' or pyrosomes, an underwater free-floating colony of thousands of tiny animals, reverberate in blue-green light. If confirmed, the finding would be the first bioluminescent gene identified from a chordate--the group that includes all vertebrates as well as a couple types of invertebrates: sea squirts (including pyrosomes) and lancelets. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The biological 'record' of extremely preterm birth differs in men and women
(McMaster University) Researchers at McMaster University have found distinct effects of adversity early in life in the genomes of men compared to women who were born extremely preterm. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

How some sea slugs keep their ability to carry out plant-like photosynthesis
(eLife) Scientists have shed new light on a relationship between a sea slug and tiny structures called chloroplasts from their food algae that allow the animals to photosynthesise in a similar way to plants. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Microbial diversity below seafloor is as rich as on Earth's surface
(University of Rhode Island) For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Removal of synthetic estrogen from water
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) Synthetic estrogens from pharmaceuticals contaminate rivers and threaten the health of humans and fish. An effective and cost-efficient method for removing synthetic estrogen from bodies of water (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Repairing the photosynthetic enzyme Rubisco
(Max-Planck-Gesellschaft) Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry decipher the molecular mechanism of Rubisco Activase (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Light pollution may increase biting behavior at night in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
(University of Notre Dame) Artificial light abnormally increases mosquito biting behavior at night in a species that typically prefers to bite people during the day, according to research from the University of Notre Dame that was published inThe American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers to track how coastal storms impact groundwater quality
(University of Massachusetts Lowell) UMass Lowell researchers are working to determine how severe coastal storms contribute to water pollution in an effort funded by a $784,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - October 20, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news