712,639 articles

'Jumping genes' help stabilize DNA folding patterns

"Jumping genes"—bits of DNA that can move from one spot in the genome to another—are well-known for increasing genetic diversity over the long course of evolution. Now, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that such genes, also called transposable elements, play another, more surprising role: stabilizing the 3-D folding patterns of the DNA molecule...

Remarkable Walking Sharks Are Strutting All Over and Here’s Their Deal

Scientists have discovered four new species of walking sharks proving the ocean somehow can always seem a little more mysterious. According to a study published in the Marine and Freshwater Research journal on Tuesday, the Hemiscylliidae genus of sharks “walk” using their pectoral and pelvic fins to move across the ocean floor and live in coastal waters around northern Australia and...

We can’t trust the billionaires of Davos to solve a climate crisis they created | Payal Parekh

It’s time to turn away from the World Economic Forum and its mass-polluting ‘affiliates’. We need new, radical solutions• Payal Parekh is an international climate activistThis week, among the private chalets and deep snow of Davos, the world’s leading politicians and businesspeople have been spending their time at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and they’ve been talking about the...

A new twist on quantum communication in fiber

New research done at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Huazhang University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, has exciting implications for secure data transfer across optical fiber networks. The team have demonstrated that multiple quantum patterns of twisted light can be transmitted across a conventional fiber link that, paradoxically, supports only...

Principles for a green chemistry future

In the most recent issue of the academic journal Science, the case is made for a future where the materials and chemicals that make up the basis of our society and our economy are healthful rather than toxic, renewable rather than depleting, and degradable rather than persistent.

Shaping the social networks of neurons

The three proteins teneurin, latrophilin and FLRT hold together and bring neighboring neurons into close contact, enabling the formation of synapses and the exchange of information between the cells. In the early phase of brain development, however, the interaction of the same proteins leads to the repulsion of migrating nerve cells, as researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and...

With a protein 'delivery,' parasite can suppress its host's immune response

Toxoplasma gondii is best known as the parasite that may lurk in a cat's litter box. Nearly a third of the world's population is believed to live with a chronic Toxoplasma infection. It's of greatest concern, however, to people with suppressed immune systems and to pregnant women, who can pass the infection to their fetuses.

Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries

Bees are pollinators of many wild and crop plants, but in many places their diversity and density is declining. A research team from the Universities of Göttingen, Sussex and Würzburg has now investigated the foraging behaviour of bees in agricultural landscapes. To do this, the scientists analysed the bees' dances, which are called the "waggle dance." They found out that honey bees prefer...

Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior

To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors. A new IIASA study shows how even minor changes to available infrastructure can trigger tipping points in the collective adoption of sustainable behaviors.

Lessons from Sars outbreak help in race for coronavirus vaccine

Companies aim to have vaccine in production within 16 weeks before entering testing stageThere are no vaccines or treatments approved for the new coronavirus, but the race is on to develop one.This week the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) announced it would commit $11m (£8.4m) to three programmes led by the companies Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Moderna and the University of...

Storm Gloria claims 12 lives in Spain, four missing

A violent storm which wrought havoc across huge swathes of Spain's eastern and southern coastline this week claimed 12 lives and left four others missing, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Friday, blaming climate change for the extreme weather.

Deciphering the sugar code

Like animals and humans, plants possess a kind of immune system. It can e.g. recognize pathogenic fungi by the chitin in their cell walls, triggering disease resistance. Some fungi hide from the immune system by modifying some of the chitin building blocks, converting chitin into chitosan. Researchers of the University of Münster now found that plants can react to a certain pattern in this...

Researchers explain how disorder in tiny crystals enables heat-therapeutic systems

A new research study at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Lasers (IESL) of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) finds that minute crystals, many thousand times smaller than a particle of dust, when they are dressed by the right kind of imperfections, adjust their electronic properties to favorably convert energy into heat, an important attribute for potential use in...

NASA's Kepler witnesses vampire star system undergoing super-outburst

NASA's Kepler spacecraft was designed to find exoplanets by looking for stars that dim as a planet crosses the star's face. Fortuitously, the same design makes it ideal for spotting other astronomical transients—objects that brighten or dim over time. A new search of Kepler archival data has uncovered an unusual super-outburst from a previously unknown dwarf nova. The system brightened by a...