270 articles from THURSDAY 29.4.2021

Icebreaker's cyclone encounter reveals faster sea ice decline

In August 2016 a massive storm on par with a Category 2 hurricane churned in the Arctic Ocean. The cyclone led to the third-lowest sea ice extent ever recorded. But what made the Great Arctic Cyclone of 2016 particularly appealing to scientists was the proximity of the Korean icebreaker Araon.

A silver lining for extreme electronics

Tomorrow's cutting-edge technology will need electronics that can tolerate extreme conditions. That's why a group of researchers led by Michigan State University's Jason Nicholas is building stronger circuits today.

Study sheds new insight on forest loss and degradation in Brazilian Amazon

An international team led by Xiangming Xiao, George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences, published a paper in the April issue of the journal Nature Climate Change that has major implications on forest policies, conservation and management practices in the Brazilian Amazon. Xiao also is director of...

Plankton have a genome like no other

The genome of single-celled plankton, known as dinoflagellates, is organized in an incredibly strange and unusual way, according to new research. The findings lay the groundwork for further investigation into these important marine organisms and dramatically expand our picture of what a eukaryotic genome can look like.

Fish have been swallowing microplastics since the 1950s

Forget diamonds—plastic is forever. It takes decades, or even centuries, for plastic to break down, and nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form today. We've known for a while that big pieces of plastic can harm wildlife—think of seabirds stuck in plastic six-pack rings—but in more recent years, scientists have discovered microscopic bits of plastic in the water,...

Eastern and Western house mice took parallel evolutionary paths after colonizing US

Parallel evolution is common, but do different animal populations evolve in similar ways and alter the same genes to adapt to similar environmental conditions? Researchers tested this in two U.S. populations of house mice. They found independent evolution of a heavier body and larger nests as Eastern and Western populations invaded northern habitats after introduction from Europe. Many of the same...

Extent of human impact on the world's plant-life revealed

Research has shed new light on the impact of humans on Earth's biodiversity. The findings suggest that the rate of change in an ecosystem's plant-life increases significantly during the years following human settlement, with the most dramatic changes occurring in locations settled in the last 1500 years.

How diet controls RNA maturation

Particularly sensitive to chemical modifications, mRNAs are molecules responsible for transmitting the information encoded in our genome, allowing for the synthesis of proteins. Two teams have focused on a specific type of chemical modification - called methylation - of mRNA molecules in the small worm Caenorhabditis elegans. They found that methylation on a particular sequence of an mRNA leads to...

How meningitis-causing bacteria may sense fever to avoid immune killing

Researchers have discovered a mechanism through which meningitis-causing bacteria can evade our immune system. In laboratory tests, they found that Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae respond to increasing temperatures by producing safeguards that keep them from getting killed. This may prime their defenses against our immune system and increase their chances of survival, the...

Multi-drug resistant infection about to evolve within cystic fibrosis patients

Scientists have been able to track how a multi-drug resistant organism is able to evolve and spread widely among cystic fibrosis patients - showing that it can evolve rapidly within an individual during chronic infection. The researchers say their findings highlight the need to treat patients with Mycobacterium abscessus infection immediately, counter to current medical practice.