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Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
New researcher shows how Zika virus infection in five pregnant rhesus monkeys caused placental tissues to become thickened and inflamed, resulting in less oxygen being transported across the placenta and to the baby.
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Two new breast cancer genes emerge from lynch syndrome gene study

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Columbia University researchers have identified two new breast cancer genes that also cause Lynch syndrome.
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Study finds convergent evolution of gene regulation in humans and mice

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Organisms that aren't closely related may evolve similar traits as they adapt to similar challenges. It's called convergent evolution, and familiar examples include the wings of birds, bats, and insects, and echolocation in bats and dolphins. Now, molecular biologists have found evidence of convergent evolution in an important mechanism of gene regulation in humans and mice.
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Root discovery may lead to crops that need less fertilizer

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Bean plants that suppress secondary root growth in favor of boosting primary root growth forage greater soil volume to acquire phosphorus, according to Penn State researchers, who say their recent findings have implications for plant breeders and improving crop productivity in nutrient-poor soils.
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College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Major beer companies have rolled out marketing campaigns and products -- such as 'fan cans,' store displays, and billboard ads -- that pair beer with university colors, mascots, and logos. Research published in the January 2018 issue of Psychological Science shows that such campaigns may enhance the motivational significance of marketed beer brands, especially for students who identify strongly with their university. The researchers conclude that this effect could potentially increase underage students' alcohol consumption.
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NIH scientists find microbes on the skin of mice promote tissue healing, immunity

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals' immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers say untangling similar mechanisms in humans may improve approaches to managing skin wounds and treating other damaged tissues. The study was published online today in Cell.
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Protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Artificial biology is working toward creating a genuinely new organism. At Princeton, Chemistry Professor Michael Hecht and the researchers in his lab are designing and building proteins that can fold and mimic the chemical processes that sustain life. Now, Hecht and his colleagues have confirmed that at least one of their new proteins can catalyze biological reactions in E. coli, meaning that a protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme.
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UNH researchers find human impact on forest still evident after 500 years

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire used high-tech tools to more precisely view where these cleared sites were and how much lasting impact they had on the rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America.
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How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers.
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Flu may be spread just by breathing, new UMD-led study shows

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces. But, new information about flu transmission reveals that we may pass the flu to others just by breathing.
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Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Dust is everywhere -- not just in your attic or under your bed, but also in outer space. To astronomers, dust can be a tool to study the history of our universe, galaxy, and Solar System. For example, observations indicate that type II supernovae -- explosions of stars more than ten times as massive as the Sun -- produce copious amounts of dust, but how and when they do so is not well understood.
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More genes are active in high-performance maize

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
When two maize inbred lines are crossed with each other, an interesting effect occurs: The hybrid offspring have a significantly higher yield than either of the two parent plants. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now investigated a number of genetically distinct hybrids. They showed that the offspring had many more active genes than the original parents. These results may help in the cultivation of even higher-yielding maize varieties.
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USC stem cell scientists chew on the mysteries of jaw development

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump have revealed how key genes guide the development of the jaw in zebrafish. These findings may offer clues for understanding craniofacial anomalies in human patients, who sometimes carry a mutation in equivalent genes.
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New method to stop cells dividing could help fight cancer

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Researchers at Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, and the University of Oxford, have used a new strategy to shut down specific enzymes to stop cells from dividing. The method, published in Cell Chemical Biology, can be used as a strategy to fight cancer.
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First look at pupil size in sleeping mice yields surprises

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
When people are awake, their pupils regularly change in size. Those changes are meaningful, reflecting shifting attention or vigilance, for example. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Jan. 18 have found in studies of mice that pupil size also fluctuates during sleep. They also show that pupil size is a reliable indicator of sleep states.
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Hunter-gatherers have a special way with smells

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
When it comes to naming colors, most people do so with ease. But, for odors, it's much harder to find the words. One notable exception to this rule is found among the Jahai people, hunter-gatherers living in the Malay Peninsula. For them, odors are just as easy to name as colors. Now a new study reported in Current Biology suggests that the Jahai's special way with smell is related to their hunting and gathering lifestyle.
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Fragile X finding shows normal neurons that interact poorly

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Neurons in mice afflicted with the genetic defect that causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS) appear similar to those in healthy mice, but these neurons fail to interact normally, resulting in the long-known cognitive impairments, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists.
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Using crumpled graphene balls to make better batteries

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
The paper ball-like graphene particles stack into a porous scaffold to suppress filament growth of lithium metal that degrades the battery.
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Army researchers make explosive discovery

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Scientists from the US Army Research Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found a solution to a significant challenge in making high-energy explosives.
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North, east, south, west: The many faces of Abell 1758

Eurekalert - Jan 18 2018 - 00:01
Resembling a swarm of flickering fireflies, this beautiful galaxy cluster glows intensely in the dark cosmos, accompanied by the myriad bright lights of foreground stars and swirling spiral galaxies. A1758N is a sub-cluster of Abell 1758, a massive cluster containing hundreds of galaxies. Although it may appear serene in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, the sub-cluster actually comprises two even smaller structures currently in the turbulent process of merging.
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