An assessment of soils across six continents reveals that very few bacterial taxa are consistently found in soils globally. The work represents the first global atlas of soil bacteria - comparable to atlases of plants and animals that have been available for decades.
A machine learning-based algorithm can substantially improve employment prospects for refugees over current approaches, easing their transition as they become accustomed to a new home. After experiencing war and years of displacement, refugees arrive in a new country with few resources and must adjust to an unfamiliar society.
Researchers have developed a noninvasive blood test based on combined analysis of DNA and proteins that may allow earlier detection of eight common cancer types. In more than 1,000 patients, their method, dubbed CancerSEEK, detected cancer with a sensitivity of 69 to 98 percent (depending on cancer type).
For the first time, scientists can see in minute-time resolution how cells package chromosomes into highly condensed structures prior to cell division.
What lives in your dirt? University of Colorado Boulder researchers are one step closer to finding out after compiling the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identifying a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant worldwide.
In Science, 30 experts with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) advocate consideration of a fuller, more comprehensive range of 'nature's contributions to people' in policy- and decision-making. Says IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson: 'This new inclusive framework demonstrates that while nature provides a bounty of essential goods and services, such as food, flood protection and many more, it also has rich social, cultural, spiritual and religious significance -- which needs to be valued in policymaking as well.'
Researchers designed an algorithm to match refugees with the resettlement location where they have the best chance of finding a job and putting down roots. When tested, the algorithm showed tremendous potential to increase refugees' employment rates--by 41 percent in the United States and by 73 percent in Switzerland. This is a potential policy innovation that would be practical to implement and come at virtually no cost.
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations in the genome of influenza A may help counteract the weakening effects of other mutations.
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS Pathogens, supports the existence of a genetic bottleneck between the vaginal tract and the bloodstream.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases is happy to announce the publication of a new collection, 'DeWorm3' on Jan. 18, 2018.
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis that affects cattle as well as other animals and humans. Now, by combining genotyping M. bovis samples from cows across African countries, researchers have been able to study the diversity and evolution of the disease. The new results are published this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Viruses are the most abundant and one of the least understood biological entities on Earth. They might also exist in space, but as of yet scientists have done almost no research into this possibility. Portland State University biology professor Ken Stedman and colleagues are trying to change this through their article "Astrovirology: Viruses at Large in the Universe," published in the February 2018 issue of the journal Astrobiology.
Like the waistband of a couch potato in midlife, the orbits of planets in our solar system are expanding. It happens because the Sun's gravitational grip gradually weakens as our star ages and loses mass. Now, a team of NASA and MIT scientists has indirectly measured this mass loss and other solar parameters by looking at changes in Mercury's orbit.
Scientists working to control a human outbreak of monkeypox virus (MXPV) in Nigeria performed genetic sequencing of patient samples, revealing that the outbreak likely originated from a source within the country. Their results emphasize the value of local surveillance for the early detection of viral spillovers and the need for advanced genetic characterization to help determine the origins of outbreaks.
Doctors have long treated heart attacks, improved asthma symptoms, and cured impotence by increasing levels of a single molecule in the body: nitric oxide. The tiny molecule can change how proteins function. But new research featured in Molecular Cell suggests supplementing nitric oxide--NO--is only the first step. Researchers have discovered previously unknown enzymes in the body that convert NO into 'stopgap' molecules--SNOs--that then modulate proteins. The newly discovered enzymes help NO have diverse roles in cells.
NASA found heavy rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Berguitta as it closed in on Mauritius and Reunion Islands. On Jan. 18, NASA's Terra satellite captured an early morning visible image that showed the center of the storm just south of Mauritius and the storm blanketing both islands. Warnings were in effect for both islands. A tropical cyclone alert class 3 is in effect for Mauritius and La Reunion is on Orange Alert.
The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe. New observations from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, reported in Astrophysical Journal Letters, indicate that the gamma ray burst unleashed by the collision is more complex than scientists initially imagined.
Wildlife management relies on rigorous science that produces reliable knowledge because it increases accurate understanding of the natural world and informs management decisions.
Superheroes can be used to communicate learning objectives to students in an interesting, fun, and accessible manner. Hawkeye, a member of the Avengers, is one such superhero, as Barry Fitzgerald of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, The Netherlands) argues in the article 'Using Hawkeye from the Avengers to communicate on the eye', published in the journal Advances in Physiology Education.
The most urgent course of action to safeguard coral reefs is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but concurrently there is also a need to consider novel management techniques and previously over-looked reef areas for protective actions under predicted climate change impacts. The conclusions were reached following a comprehensive review of the literature on the mechanisms of potential coral resistance and recovery across scales from global reef areas to the microbial level within individual corals.