Mapping the cellular circuits behind spitting

5 hours 11 minutes ago
For over a decade, researchers have known that the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans can detect and avoid short-wavelength light, despite lacking eyes and the light-absorbing molecules required for sight. As a graduate student in the Horvitz lab, Nikhil Bhatla proposed an explanation for this ability. He observed that light exposure not only made the worms wriggle away, but it also prompted them to stop eating. This clue led him to a series of studies that suggested that his squirming subjects weren't seeing the light at all—they were detecting the noxious chemicals it produced, such as hydrogen peroxide. Soon after, the Horvitz lab realized that worms not only taste the nasty chemicals light generates, they also spit them out.

New study finds emperor penguins increasingly threatened by climate change

6 hours 15 minutes ago
A new study published today in Global Change Biology provides valuable new data that highlights how species extinction risk is accelerating due to rapid climate change and an increase in extreme climate events, such as glacial calving and sea ice loss. The study, led by Stephanie Jenouvrier, associate scientist, and seabird ecologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and co-authored by an international team of scientists, policy experts, ecologists, and climate scientists, provided pivotal research and projections tailored for use by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Their work proposed that emperor penguins be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and this week, USFWS submitted that listing proposal.

Two new genera and species of conifers from upper Cretaceous discovered in Hokkaido, Japan

8 hours 10 minutes ago
Illustrations depicting the dinosaur era—whether in books or movies—are often accompanied by lush greenery. During the Cretaceous period, the trees commonly dominating a wide range of Earth's terrestrial environments were conifers—similar to the pines, spruces, cypresses and cedars that populate the earth today. These conifers played a key role in ecosystems, providing nourishment, nutrients, and habitat for a range of prehistoric creatures.

New tool enables mapping of protein interaction networks at scale

8 hours 41 minutes ago
Proteins—long chains of amino acids—each play a unique role in keeping our cells and bodies functioning, from carrying out chemical reactions, to delivering messages, and protecting us from potentially harmful foreign invaders. More recent research has shown that these proteins not only serve their individual purpose, but also interact with other proteins to carry out even more numerous and complex functions through these protein-protein interactions (PPI).

Whatever is killing coral reefs in Florida is also killing them in Belize

9 hours 32 minutes ago
In 1842, Charles Darwin described the Belize Barrier Reef as "the most remarkable reef in the West Indies." Fast forward to 2021, only about 17 percent of live coral cover remains on fore-reefs in Belize. Overfishing, resulting in reduced grazing of algae, has long been blamed for adversely impacting this globally significant ecosystem along the Caribbean coast of Central America. Designated in part as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, the Mesoamerican reef is second in length only to the iconic Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Scientists boost gene knockdown in human cells with CRISPR-Cas13 using chemically modified guide RNAs

9 hours 39 minutes ago
In the latest of ongoing efforts to expand technologies for modifying genes and their expression, researchers in the lab of Neville Sanjana at New York University (NYU) and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) have developed chemically modified guide RNAs for a CRISPR system that targets RNA instead of DNA. These chemically modified guide RNAs significantly enhance the ability to target—trace, edit, and/or knockdown—RNA in human cells.

Scientists discover 'bulkheads' between liver cells

10 hours 11 minutes ago
Researchers from Skoltech and their colleagues from Germany and the U.S. have discovered structures responsible for the shape of bile canaliculi, a network of canals in the liver. Published in the Journal of Cell Biology, their study also reveals the gene essential for the formation of these structures, which the team compares to boat bulkheads.

Measuring nitrogen in green manures

10 hours 51 minutes ago
Both chemical fertilizers and cover crops can help build the nitrogen content in soil. But cover crops come with many other benefits, like improving soil structure and boosting beneficial microbes.
1 hour 3 minutes ago
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