144 articles from WEDNESDAY 10.5.2023

Scientists Have Built a Human ‘Pangenome’ to Better Reflect Diversity

For two decades, scientists have been comparing every person’s full set of DNA they study to a template that relies mostly on genetic material from one man affectionately known as “the guy from Buffalo.” But they’ve long known that this template for comparison, or “reference genome,” has serious limits because it doesn’t reflect the spectrum of human...

Researchers chart oilcane microbiome

In a new collaboration, scientists at the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) have identified the types of microbes that associate with engineered oilcane. Further exploration of the oilcane microbiome may reveal opportunities to leverage plant-microbial interactions in these feedstocks, which could increase oil yields for sustainable bioenergy production.

Simple management steps for a high fertility cycle in dairy herds

The dairy industry has seen a revolution over the past two decades in fertility success within herds. Widely adopted fertility programs are at the heart of this leap forward, along with the industry's increased understanding—and optimization—of the holistic interactions among the body condition, overall health, and fertility of a dairy cow.

Researchers develop resource to identify corn tar spot

Corn tar spot is a new disease causing significant yield loss in the United States. The lack of information about the pathogen and epidemiology of the disease—which was first reported in the U.S. in 2015 and has since spread to multiple states, including Minnesota in 2019—has made it difficult to diagnose and treat properly. Corn tar spot also appears similar to other leaf diseases and abiotic...

Scientists use new technology to examine health of deep-sea corals, find suspected new species

Scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's R/V Falkor (too) have returned from an expedition to study the impact of climate change on deep water corals. Scientists from the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico found greater biodiversity than previously known in Puerto Rican waters and may have identified several suspected new species of corals, collecting over 300 samples across 75 different species....

Broad climate change concern in Florida linked with recent extreme weather

An increasing number of Floridians agree that human actions are causing climate change, including a record number of Florida Republicans, according to a new survey from Florida Atlantic University. This finding reinforces the trend observed in the prior seven Florida Climate Resilience Surveys, conducted by FAU's Center for Environmental Studies within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

New technology developed for quantum cryptography applications

The development of quantum computing means that the use of classic cryptography for secure communications is in danger of becoming obsolete. Quantum cryptography, on the other hand, uses the laws of quantum mechanics to ensure total security. One example of this is quantum key distribution, which enables two parties to secure a message via a random secret key.

Another step away from the farm: Meat grown from immortal stem cells

To make it possible for cellular agriculture—the process of growing meat in bioreactors—to feed millions of people, several technical challenges will have to be overcome. Muscle cells from chicken, fish, cows, and other food sources will have to be grown to produce millions of metric tons per year. Toward this goal, researchers at Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture (TUCCA) have...

Targeting resistance to a crucial reserve antibiotic

Colistin is a cationic cyclic peptide that disrupts bacterial cell membranes of Gram-negative bacteria. It is one of the few remaining antibiotics of last resort for use against infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria. Hence, the recent global detection of transferable mobile colistin resistance gene families in a wide range of multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria isolated from all kinds of...

Research Excellence Framework significantly increases UK university output but not efficiency, study shows

A new study led by City, University of London suggests that the introduction of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) to measure the research performance of UK universities has led to significant increases in the quantity of their high-quality published research, but not in the output of active academics, and that it must do more to support university research strategies.

Listening to the largest tree on Earth

Spread across 106 acres in southcentral Utah, the Pando aspen grove resembles a forest but is actually a single organism with more than 47,000 genetically identical aspen stems connected at the root. Pando is the world's largest tree by weight and land mass. Research suggests Pando has been regenerating for 9,000 years, making it one of the oldest organisms on Earth.

Google is throwing generative AI at everything

Google is stuffing powerful new AI tools into tons of its existing products and launching a slew of new ones, including a coding assistant, it announced at its annual I/O conference today.  Billions of users will soon see Google’s latest AI language mode, PaLM 2, integrated into over 25 products like Maps, Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and the company’s chatbot, Bard. For example, people will be...

Researchers develop injectable bioelectrodes with tunable lifetimes

Implantable bioelectrodes are electronic devices that can monitor or stimulate biological activity by transmitting signals to and from living biological systems. Such devices can be fabricated using various materials and techniques. But, because of their intimate contact and interactions with living tissues, selection of the right material for performance and biocompatibility is crucial. In recent...

How DNA repair can go wrong and lead to disease

We often come to an understanding of what causes a disease. We know, for example, that cancers are caused by mutations at critical locations in the genome, resulting in loss of control of cell growth. We know that the onset of Huntington's disease, and other diseases that lead to muscle wasting and loss of coordination and balance, are linked to the expansion of short, repeated DNA sequences.