278 articles from THURSDAY 15.7.2021

Winner who paid $30m for space flight with Bezos won’t go due to ‘scheduling conflicts’

Anonymous person will be replaced by 18-year-old recent high school graduate on New Shepard spacecraftThe anonymous winner of a ticket to join billionaire Jeff Bezos in space next week will no longer board the New Shepard spacecraft due to “scheduling conflicts”, Bezos’s Blue Origin company announced on Thursday.The winner, who paid $29.7m to join one of the world’s richest men in space,...

US to end large, old-growth timber sales in Alaska forest

The Biden administration said Thursday that it is ending large-scale, old-growth timber sales in the country's largest national forest—the Tongass National Forest in Alaska—and will focus on forest restoration, recreation and other noncommercial uses.

Study: Incarcerated people placed in solitary confinement differ significantly from others in prison population

Concern has grown about prison systems' use of extended solitary confinement as a way to manage violent and disruptive incarcerated people. A new study identified groups that are more likely to be placed in extended solitary management (ESM). The study found that individuals sent to ESM differed considerably from the rest of the prison population in terms of mental health, education, language,...

Death disruptor: how an Australian funnel-web spider may help human hearts

University of Queensland researchers are investigating if protein in venom of Fraser Island spider can stop cardiac cells dyingA protein in the venom of a deadly Australian funnel-web spider may be able to reduce cardiac damage from heart attacks and extend the life of donor hearts used in transplants, according to new research.Venom from the Fraser Island funnel-web, named for the south-east...

Newly discovered role for CTP in ensuring faithful cell division in bacteria

To grow and multiply efficiently, bacteria must coordinate cell division with chromosome segregation. Key to this process is a protein called Nucleoid Occlusion Factor or Noc. A small and abundant molecule called Cytidine Triphosphate (CTP) is key to the functions of Noc. CTP binding enables Noc to 'spread' on DNA to form a large protein complex. CTP also 'switches on' the membrane-binding ability...

A genome of photosynthetic animals decoded

Some sea slugs take up chloroplasts from the algae that they consume into their cells. These chloroplasts retain their ability to perform photosynthetic activity within the animal cells for several months, and thus provide them with photosynthesis-derived nutrition. Researchers have published the genome of the sea slug, Plakobranchus ocellatus.

Red blood cell 'traffic' contributes to changes in brain oxygenation

Adequate blood flow supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients, but the oxygenation tends to fluctuate in a distinct, consistent manner. The root of this varied activity, though, is poorly understood. Now, researchers have identified one cause of the fluctuations: inherent randomness in the flow rate of red blood cells through tiny blood vessels called capillaries.

Accurate protein structure prediction now accessible to all

Protein design researchers have created a freely available method, RoseTTAFold, to provide access to highly accurate protein structure prediction. Scientists around the world are using it to build protein models to accelerate their research. The tool uses deep learning to quickly predict protein structures based on limited information, thereby compressing the time for what would have taken years...