281 articles from THURSDAY 2.7.2020

Why are the offspring of older mothers less fit to live long and prosper?

The offspring of older mothers don't fare as well as those of younger mothers, in humans and many other species. They aren't as healthy, or they don't live as long, or they have fewer offspring themselves. A longstanding puzzle is why evolution would maintain this maternal effect in so many species, since these late-born offspring are less fit to survive and reproduce.

Research reflects how AI sees through the looking glass

Intrigued by how reflection changes images in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, a team of researchers used artificial intelligence to investigate what sets originals apart from their reflections. Their algorithms learned to pick up on unexpected clues such as hair parts, gaze direction and, surprisingly, beards - findings with implications for training machine learning models and detecting faked...

How the body fights off urinary tract infections

Some people are better protected than others against urinary tract infections. This may be because their bodies produce more of a protein called uromodulin. An interdisciplinary research team has now found out exactly how this helper protein brings relief when nature calls and how this knowledge might benefit the treatment and prevention of these painful inflammations.

Why are the offspring of older mothers less fit to live long and prosper?

In a new study in rotifers (microscopic invertebrates), scientists tested the evolutionary fitness of older-mother offspring in several real and simulated environments, including laboratory culture, under threat of predation in the wild, or with reduced food supply. They confirmed that this effect of older maternal age, called maternal effect senescence, does reduce evolutionary fitness of the...

Sniffing out smell: How the brain organizes information about odors

Neuroscientists describe for the first time how relationships between different odors are encoded in the brain. The findings suggest a mechanism that may explain why individuals have common but highly personalized experiences with smell, and inform efforts better understand how the brain transforms information about odor chemistry into the perception of smell.

Grassroots dog vaccinations can help stop rabies, but not alone

While scientists are trying to find a vaccine for COVID-19, the rabies virus continues to kill 59,000 people every year. But unlike COVID, a vaccine has existed for more than a century. Vaccinating dogs can stop the spread to humans, but systemic challenges make that easier said that done. In a new study, scientists where grassroots campaigns to stop rabies work -- and where they need to be...