Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease

Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations.

"What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to develop disease, and you will pass this on to your grandchildren in the absence of any continued exposures," says Michael Skinner, WSU professor and founder of its Center for Reproductive Biology.

Global wildlife decline driving slave labor, organized crime

Global wildlife decline driving slave labor, organized crime

Berkeley — Global decline of wildlife populations is driving increases in violent conflicts, organized crime and child labor around the world, according to a policy paper led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The authors call for biologists to join forces with experts such as economists, political scientists, criminologists, public health officials and international development specialists to collectively tackle a complex challenge.

Leaf-mining insects destroyed with the dinosaurs, others quickly appeared

Leaf-mining insects destroyed with the dinosaurs, others quickly appeared

After the asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous period that triggered the dinosaurs' extinction and ushered in the Paleocene, leaf-mining insects in the western United States completely disappeared. Only a million years later, at Mexican Hat, in southeastern Montana, fossil leaves show diverse leaf-mining traces from new insects that were not present during the Cretaceous, according to paleontologists.

Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed in Penn study

Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed in Penn study

"We describe how tropomodulin interacts with the slow-growing end of actin filaments," says coauthor Yadaiah Madasu, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Dominquez lab. "From a clinical point of view, we know that mutations in tropomodulin can trigger an accumulation of irregular actin filament bundles, which contribute to nemaline myopathy or other skeletal muscle disorders typified by delayed motor development and muscle weakness."

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push Earth's climate system across a "tipping point," where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible -- a hotly debated scenario with an unclear picture of what this point of no return may look like.

Linking the microbial and immune environment in semen to HIV viral load and transmission

8.2 percent of our DNA is 'functional'

Only 8.2% of human DNA is likely to be doing something important – is 'functional' – say Oxford University researchers.

This figure is very different from one given in 2012, when some scientists involved in the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project stated that 80% of our genome has some biochemical function.

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health.

Farmers market vouchers may boost produce consumption in low-income families

Vouchers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets increase the amount of produce in the diets of some families on food assistance, according to research led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

The study, which appears online in Food Policy, suggests that farmers market vouchers can be useful tools in improving access to healthy food. This finding validates a new program created by the Agricultural Act of 2014, or farm bill, that incentivizes low-income families to buy produce at farmers markets.

Researchers discover new way to determine cancer risk of chemicals

BOSTON -- A new study has shown that it is possible to predict long-term cancer risk from a chemical exposure by measuring the short-term effects of that same exposure. The findings, which currently appear in the journal PLOS ONE, will make it possible to develop simpler and cheaper tests to screen chemicals for their potential cancer causing risk.