774,616 articles

Microbiologists discover key protein for controlling cell shape in magnetic bacteria

The living cells of all organisms contain a cytoskeleton that stabilizes their internal structure and external shape. This also applies to magnetotactic bacteria. They produce magnetic nanoparticles which are concatenated into intracellular chains and enable them to orient themselves to the Earth's magnetic field. Microbiologists at the University of Bayreuth have now discovered a protein in the...

The Covid vaccine arrived quickly – but there's every reason to trust it | Charlotte Summers

It’s safe, it works, and it gives a tantalising glimpse of what else might be achieved given sufficient political willDr Charlotte Summers is a lecturer in intensive care medicine at the University of CambridgeMost of us have had endured some very dark days in 2020, whether trying to juggle working from home alongside schooling children, worrying about how to pay the bills as a consequence of...

Researchers discover 16 million-year-old bat fossil

A new species of bat that is 16 million years old has been discovered by an international group that includes University of Valencia lecturers Francisco J. Ruiz Sánchez and Plini Montoya. The finding was made at the palaeontologic site of Mas d'Antolino B, in the town of l'Alcora, and corresponds to the lower Miocene in the Valencia region in Spain.

Reproduction key to maintenance of marimo shape

The marimo is the aggregative form of the freshwater alga Aegagropila linnaei. In Japan, Lake Akan in Hokkaido is the best known habitat of the marimo. It is so emblematic of the lake and surrounding region that it has been designated as a special national monument. However, due to decades of deforestation and pollution, the marimo populations in Lake Akan have steeply dropped and have not...

The helix of life: New study shows how RNA stably binds to artificial nucleic acids

As medical research progresses, traditional treatment protocols are being rapidly exhausted. New approaches to treat diseases that do not respond to conventional drugs are the need of the hour. In search for these approaches, science has turned to a wide range of potential answers, including artificial nucleic acids. Artificial or xeno nucleic acids are similar to naturally occurring nucleic acids...

Rhizobium adapts lifestyles from rhizosphere to symbiosis

Rhizobia are soil-dwelling bacteria that form symbioses with legumes and provide biologically useable nitrogen as ammonium for the host plant. During symbiosis, rhizobia must adapt to several different lifestyles. These range from free-living growth in the rhizosphere, through root attachment and colonization, to passage along infection threads, differentiation into bacteroids that fix N2, and,...

Copernicus satellites keep eyes on icebergs for Vendée Globe

On 8 November, 33 intrepid sailors set off from Les Sables-D'Olonne in western France to take part in the most extreme, solo, non-stop, race around the world: the Vendée Globe. The route of around 45 000 km takes them down through the Atlantic and into the heart of the Southern Ocean—which is where they are heading now. Thanks to information from satellites, an ice exclusion zone has been...

Observations unveil dynamic magnetosphere of the magnetar Swift J1818.0−1607

Using the Parkes radio telescope, astronomers have investigated a radio-loud magnetar known as Swift J1818.0−1607. Results of these observations, providing more insights into the properties of this magnetar, unveiling its highly active and dynamic magnetosphere. The findings are reported in a paper published November 25 on the arXiv pre-print server.

A three-dimensional view of the Milky Way

In our Milky Way, there are about 200 billion suns as well as large quantities of gas, some of which serves as raw material for star births. The gas collects in compact lumps but also appears as extended molecular clouds. Astronomers have used the Apex sub-millimeter telescope in Chile to look deep into the galactic plane and measure the interstellar medium. They studied the distribution of the...

Physicists describe a new type of amorphous solid bodies

Many substances with different chemical and physical properties, from diamonds to graphite, are made up of carbon atoms. Amorphous forms of solid carbon do not have a fixed crystal structure and consist of structural units—nanosized graphene particles. A team of physicists from RUDN University studied the structure of amorphous carbon and suggested classifying it as a separate type of amorphous...