Unveiling a plant protein’s unexpected role in nutrient regulation

Researchers from Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have unveiled a surprising function of a transport protein and its involvement in plant regulatory processes, offering potential benefits for addressing human mineral deficiencies. Published in The Plant Cell earlier this year, their study explores how understanding this protein could enhance the … Read more

New coating process makes fabrics antimicrobial

Every day, countless individuals in hospitals—patients, visitors, and medical staff—come into contact with various surfaces. Door handles, railings, and elevator buttons, among others, can unwittingly become carriers for pathogens, including hospital germs and viruses. While smooth surfaces can be relatively easy to clean after contamination, the same cannot be said for porous structures like textiles. … Read more

Super-resolution microscopes reveal electrical activity in mitochondria

In a groundbreaking study led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Pennsylvania, the inner workings of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses, were observed for the first time using new super-resolution microscopes. Mitochondria play a crucial role in human health by generating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an organic compound that fuels various … Read more

Standardized tests for plastic-eating enzymes could accelerate recycling breakthroughs

A collaborative study led by Gert Weber from HZB, Uwe Bornscheuer from the University of Greifswald, and Alain Marty, Chief Scientific Officer of Carbios, presents a strategic shift in laboratory experiments to expedite the identification of enzymes capable of breaking down plastic. While numerous enzymes exhibit promise in the lab, the transition to large-scale applications … Read more

New particle accelerator breaks records in compactness and energy

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with national laboratories, European universities, and TAU Systems Inc., have unveiled a groundbreaking compact particle accelerator measuring less than 20 meters. This innovation produces an electron beam with a remarkable energy of 10 billion electron volts (10 GeV), a feat previously achieved by only two … Read more

Study explores the dimensions of human-pet attachment

Exploring the dynamics of owner–pet attachment, researchers from the University of Helsinki gathered extensive data on the personality traits of thousands of dogs, cats, and their owners. The study, published in the journal iScience, encompasses information from approximately 2,500 pet owners and 3,300 pets. Examining the attachment relationships between humans and their furry companions, the … Read more

Volcanic eruptions may have played crucial role in dinosaur extinction

The demise of dinosaurs wasn’t solely orchestrated by a meteorite impact, as a recent study suggests. Published in Science Advances and co-authored by McGill University’s Professor Don Baker, the research challenges the conventional narrative by proposing that massive volcanic eruptions, not just a celestial collision, triggered climate change that paved the way for dinosaur extinction. … Read more

Female newts pack more poisonous punch than males, study finds

Tetrodotoxin, the potent neurotoxin responsible for the deadly nature of blue-ringed octopuses, also serves as a protective mechanism for Taricha newts. However, the mechanisms behind its production in these newts and its functional purposes remain elusive. To unravel these mysteries, a crucial initial step involves investigating potential variations in toxin levels between males and females. … Read more

Traditional medicinal plants offer resilience to chronic stress in fruit flies

Exposure to persistent stressors can induce depression-like symptoms, even in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This is evidenced by a decrease in motivation, diminished courtship behavior, reduced interest in sweet nutrients, and a reluctance to traverse experimental gaps. However, a collaborative study by researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany and the BENFRA … Read more

Infants’ preference for faces linked to genetics, study finds

Researchers from Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet have revealed that infants at 5 months of age exhibit distinct preferences for faces or non-social objects, and this inclination is largely influenced by genetic factors. The study, involving over 500 infant twins, utilized an infant-friendly eye tracker to measure gaze, finding that genetic differences played a significant … Read more

New technique revolutionizes drug discovery for autoimmune diseases

In a groundbreaking development, scientists have introduced a transformative technique, known as Secretion-Enabled Cell Ranking and Enrichment (SECRE), with the potential to revolutionize the discovery and development of therapeutics for prevalent autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These conditions, as well as issues with transplanted cells, are rooted in altered … Read more

Breakthrough CRISPR-based therapy shows promise for treating aggressive brain cancer

A new study from Gladstone Institutes suggests that the gene-editing technology CRISPR holds early promise as a therapeutic approach for the challenging brain cancer, primary glioblastoma. Published in Cell Reports, the research introduces a novel method termed “cancer shredding,” wherein CRISPR is programmed to target specific DNA sequences unique to recurrent tumor cells, effectively eliminating … Read more

Why we value things more if we’ve put a lot of effort into them

From Ahab relentlessly pursuing Moby Dick to Wile E. Coyote’s futile chase of the Road Runner, these scenarios share a common thread with learning Latin, walking over hot coals, enduring long lines for boba tea, and splurging on luxury indulgences. They all exemplify the concept of “sunk costs” in economics—the irretrievable investment of time, money, … Read more

New RNA-based therapy shows promise for treating aggressive leukemia

Annually, approximately 13,000 individuals in Germany receive a leukemia diagnosis, encompassing various forms of blood cancer, including many children and adolescents under 15. Among the aggressive leukemia types in adults is acute myeloid leukemia (AML), constituting about 4% of childhood and adolescent malignancies. Despite intensive chemotherapy, only 20-50% of AML patients survive the initial five … Read more

COVID-19 vaccines key to reversing pandemic-induced preterm birth surge

The surge in premature births during the COVID-19 pandemic was a cause for concern, but a recent analysis of California birth records reveals that vaccines played a pivotal role in restoring the early birth rate to pre-pandemic levels. Jenna Nobles, a sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, emphasizes the substantial impact of maternal COVID-19 … Read more

New study unveils potential anti-lung cancer pathway

Tulane University’s latest study has unveiled a previously unknown molecular pathway that could play a crucial role in halting the progression of lung cancer. As one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths, lung cancer poses a significant health challenge. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of … Read more

New discovery could lead to broad-spectrum therapy for alphavirus infections

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have devised an innovative method to thwart infections caused by a range of alphaviruses, a group of mosquito-borne viruses known for causing joint and brain infections in humans. Led by Michael S. Diamond, MD, Ph.D., the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine, and Daved H. … Read more

Healthy lifestyle linked to lower cancer risk, study finds

Adhering to the cancer prevention guidelines set by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR), which promote a healthy lifestyle, is linked to a reduced risk of overall cancer and specific types such as breast cancer, according to a study published in BMC Medicine. The 2018 WCRF/AICR recommendations focus on minimizing cancer … Read more

Newborns have an innate sense of rhythm, study finds

New research conducted by scientists from the University of Amsterdam and the HUN-REN Research Center for Natural Sciences in Hungary affirms that newborn babies have the ability to perceive the beat in music. The study, published in the journal Cognition on November 27, reveals that this capability goes beyond statistical learning, indicating that beat perception … Read more

Scientists identify new signaling mechanism linked to sudden cardiac death

Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) in Madrid, led by Guadalupe Sabio and José Jalife, have uncovered a novel signaling mechanism linked to the development of ventricular fibrillation—an irregular heartbeat and a common cause of sudden cardiac death. The study, detailed in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, introduces potential avenues for future … Read more