Goldenrod, Himalayan balsam, Chinese windmill palm: three plants, one problem. All are native to continents other than Europe, but were introduced to Switzerland as garden or ornamental plants. At some point they "escaped" into the wild, where they now threaten the native flora.
This phenomenon isn't limited to Switzerland: biological invasions happen on every continent every day. A major driver of this is global trade, which is increasingly shifting to the internet and being conducted on auction platforms like eBay. As a result, one click is all it takes to spread potentially invasive plants from continent to continent - and unintentionally encouraging biological invasions.
Monitoring online auctions
More than half (53 percent) of U.S. consumers want to know what’s in their DNA, according to a new survey, yet only 7 percent of respondents say that their doctor has discussed genetic screening with them.
The nationwide survey, conducted by marketing research company ORC International among a representative sample of 1,020 adults, explored knowledge of and attitudes toward genetic testing among adult consumers. The strong interest in genetic screening that is evident from the survey can be attributed to a variety of factors, but may point to an interest among consumers in using genetic screening to be more proactive about their healthcare.
When cells from the connective tissue collide, they repel one another - this phenomenon was discovered more than 50 years ago. It is only now, however, that researchers at the University of Basel have discovered the molecular basis for this process, as they report in the journal Developmental Cell. Their findings could have important implications for cancer research.
Fibroblasts are motile constituents of the connective tissue and also regulate its stiffness. Moreover, fibroblasts play an important role in malignant skin diseases such as melanoma. In research, they serve as a model system for studying cell migration.
Signaling pathway identified
Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. With this knowledge in hand, scientists may be better equipped to develop "exercise pills" that could mimic at least some of the beneficial effects of physical exercise on the body.
A review of current development efforts in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, ponders whether such pills will achieve their potential therapeutic impact, at least in the near future.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer that kills two-thirds of patients within five years. A patient's outlook with recurrence of the disease is considered to be weeks or months.
An experimental gene therapy essentially doubled the overall survival of patients with recurrent glioblastoma compared to the current standard of care, a researcher said October 1st at the Cancer Therapy&Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Humans have been breeding crops until they're bigger and more nutritious since the early days of agriculture, but genetic manipulation isn't the only way to give plants a boost. In a review paper, two integrative biologists present how it is possible to engineer the plant soil microbiome to improve plant growth, even if the plants are genetically identical and cannot evolve.
These artificially selected microbiomes, which can also be selected in animals, can then be passed on from parents to offspring.
People tend to associate the ability to think creatively with stereotypical masculine qualities, according to a paper in Psychological Science, which suggests that the work and achievements of men tend to be evaluated as more creative than similar work and achievements produced by women.
Research suggests that when people think about "creative thinkers" they tend to think of characteristics typically ascribed to men but not women, including qualities like risk-taking, adventurousness, and self-reliance. Lead author Devon Proudfoot of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and colleagues Aaron Kay and Christy Zoval hypothesized that this could ultimately lead people to view creative thinking as an ability more common among men than women.
A new analysis leads the authors to advance the belief that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, based on a method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today.
Until now, viruses have been difficult to classify, said University of Illinois crop sciences and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés, who led the new analysis with graduate student Arshan Nasir. In its latest report, the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses recognized seven orders of viruses, based on their shapes and sizes, genetic structure and means of reproducing.
Patients with advanced gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) have limited treatment options and there are few oncologists who are specialized in this relatively rare disease. But now results from a multi-center randomized international trial of an innovative treatment show a marked improvement in the length of time patients with mid-gut NETs live without the disease getting worse (progression-free survival, or PFS), researchers reported to the 2015 European Cancer Congress.
Current national guidelines on the diagnosis of miscarriage may still be associated with misdiagnoses, and should be reviewed in light of new evidence, suggests a study published in The BMJ today.
The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines recommend a miscarriage diagnosis based on an ultrasound scan measurement of the gestational sac diameter (GSD) and the embryo's crown-rump length (CRL).
Guidelines on the cut off values for these measurements were updated in 2011 following concerns that the older recommendations were based on inadequate evidence and leading to misdiagnoses. These changes have been shown to be safe, according to a new study by Professor Tom Bourne at Imperial College London and colleagues.
Black rice has a rich cultural history; called "Forbidden" or "Emperor's" rice, it was reserved for the Emperor in ancient China and used as a tribute food. In the time since, it remained popular in certain regions of China and recently has become prized worldwide for its high levels of antioxidants.
Despite its long history, the origins of black rice have not been clear. Black rice cultivars are found in locations scattered throughout Asia. However, most cultivated rice (species Oryza sativa) produces white grains, and the wild relative Oryza rufipogon has red grains.
The expert report underpinning the latest dietary guidelines for Americans fails to reflect much relevant scientific literature in its reviews of crucial topics and therefore risks giving a misleading picture.
Concern about the report has prompted the US Congress to schedule a hearing on the guidelines in October, when two cabinet secretaries are scheduled to testify, writes journalist Nina Teicholz in an article published today.
At a Chevron oil refinery in Hawaii, researchers are growing microalgae in a 5,000-liter photobioreactor, flowing wastewater from the refinery through the reactor, and taking advantage of the algae's appetite for chemical nutrients to polish the water, removing noxious chemicals, including 90% of the ammonia-nitrogen and 97% of the phosphorus.
As the microbes feed, they grow and multiply, providing a wealth of algae-based biomass for producing bioenergy and high-value biobased chemicals and specialty products, as described the article "Algae-Mediated Valorization of Industrial Waste Streams" in Industrial Biotechnology.
As much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, according to a paper in Global Environmental Change, which takes advantage of a recent spotlight on the sustainability of the world's seafood resources.
The 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommended increasing seafood consumption to eight ounces per person per week and consuming a variety of seafood in place of some meat and poultry. Yet achieving those levels would require doubling the U.S. seafood supply, which could threaten the global seafood supply if more farming and less waste are not considered.
Climate-related changes in flower diversity have resulted in a decrease in the length of alpine bumble bees' tongues, a new paper in Science says, leaving these insects poorly suited to feed from and pollinate the deep flowers they were adapted to previously.
The results highlight how certain mutually beneficial ecological partnerships can be lost due to shifts in climate. Many co-evolved species have precisely matched traits; for example, long-tongued bumble bees are well adapted for obtaining nectar from deep flowers with long corolla tubes. Recent studies suggest long-tongued bumble bees are declining in number.
If you get money from a corporation, are you for sale?
It’s obviously a silly question, since almost everyone in America signs the backs of checks ratherr than the front of them, yet much of the public tends to think that if a scientist gets funding from the government or a corporation, they are mandated to produce a specific, pre-chosen result, even though those same people would not agree that their own “funding source” — an employer — controls their beliefs.-->