161 articles from THURSDAY 30.6.2022

Lost in space: returned astronauts struggle to recover bone density, study finds

Lack of gravity and weightlessness means the longer astronauts stay in space, the more bone mass they loseAstronauts lose decades’ worth of bone mass in space that many do not recover even after a year back on Earth, researchers have found, warning that it could be a “big concern” for future missions to Mars.Previous research has shown astronauts lose between 1% and 2% of bone density for...

Active transportation projects offer solid returns on investment, economic study finds

Active transportation investments offer many types of benefits related to safety, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, physical activity and the economy. Metro, Oregon's regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, wants to better understand the role of these investments in building stronger communities in their region, and in implementing the Metro 2040 Growth Concept.

Students seek to improve safety for houseless pedestrians in Portland

In 2022, a Portland State University Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) team made headlines with their strategies to improve safety for houseless pedestrians. Cities across the U.S. are facing alarming increases in traffic fatalities, especially among the number of pedestrians who are struck and killed by drivers. In 2021, 70 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in Portland were of...

Borrowed gene helps maize adapt to high elevations, cold temperatures

Researchers at North Carolina State University show that an important gene in maize called HPC1 modulates certain chemical processes that contribute to flowering time, and has its origins in "teosinte mexicana," a precursor to modern-day corn that grows wild in the highlands of Mexico. The findings provide insight into plant evolution and trait selection, and could have implications for corn and...

Researchers discover new leukemia-killing compounds

Researchers have discovered potential new drugs that target mitochondria in cancer cells. Their study in the journal Leukemia describes the compounds' potential for killing leukemia cells when administered by themselves or in combination with other chemotherapies.

Borrowed gene helps maize adapt to high elevations, cold temperatures

An important gene in maize called HPC1 modulates certain chemical processes that contribute to flowering time, and has its origins in 'teosinte mexicana,' a precursor to modern-day corn that grows wild in the highlands of Mexico. The findings provide insight into plant evolution and trait selection, and could have implications for corn and other crops' adaptation to low temperatures.

California's Dixie Fire shows impact of legacy effects, prescribed burns

The 2021 Dixie Fire burned over nearly 1 million acres in California and cost $637 million to suppress, making it the largest and most expensive wildfire to contain in state history. Fire history largely determined how severely the wildfire burned, and low-severity fire treatments had the largest impact on reducing the worst effects of the fire, according to a research team.

‘Amazing development’: fossil finds show how panda’s false thumb evolved

Fossils of Ailurarctos, an extinct panda relative, are oldest known evidence for the radial sesamoidAncient fossils discovered in China have helped researchers get a grip on the enduring mystery of the panda’s false thumb.Modern giant pandas sport a thumb-like sixth digit on their wrists, which scientists believe was pivotal in their transition from omnivores to bamboo-munching vegetarians....

Comparative analyses of American and Asian lotus genomes

Nelumbo is a unique genus of Nelumbonaceae (lotus), which comprises two extant species: N. nucifera Gaertn. widely distributed in Asia and northern Australia, and N. lutea Pers. which is distributed in America. These two species exhibit differences in morphology, such as plant size, leaf shape, petal shape and petal color, but share the same chromosome number.

When should U.S. research be stamped ‘top secret’? NSF asks for a new look at the issue

The U.S. academic community is gearing up for a new effort to convince national policymakers that the benefits of keeping government-funded basic research out in the open—and not stamping it classified—far outweigh any threat to national security from sharing scientific findings. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,...

Developmentally arrested IVF embryos can be coaxed to divide

Why do two-thirds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos go into developmental arrest? A new study shows that many embryos stored for IVF undergo characteristic genetic and metabolic changes that inhibit development. These results help explain the loss of developmental ability of many harvested embryos, and may point to strategies for increasing the proportion of developmentally competent...

Scientists engineer synthetic DNA to study 'architect' genes

Researchers have created artificial Hox genes -- which plan and direct where cells go to develop tissues or organs -- using new synthetic DNA technology and genomic engineering in stem cells. Their findings confirm how clusters of Hox genes help cells to learn and remember where they are in the body.