173 articles from MONDAY 5.2.2024

Protecting crops through nanotechnology in Southeast Asia

In a recent breakthrough, DNA sequencing technology has uncovered the culprit behind cassava witches' broom disease: the fungus genus Ceratobasidium. The cutting-edge nanopore technology used for this discovery was first developed to track the COVID-19 virus in Colombia, but is equally suited to identifying and reducing the spread of plant viruses.

It's true, happiness doesn't cost much

Many Indigenous peoples and local communities around the world are leading very satisfying lives despite having very little money. This research shows that many societies with very low monetary income have remarkably high levels of life satisfaction, comparable to those in wealthy countries.

A rare recent case of retrovirus integration: An infectious gibbon ape leukaemia virus is colonizing a rodent's genome in New Guinea

Retroviruses are viruses that multiply by incorporating their genes into the genome of a host cell. If the infected cell is a germ cell, the retrovirus can then be passed on to the next generation as an 'endogenous' retrovirus (ERV) and spread as part of the host genome in that host species. In vertebrates, ERVs are ubiquitous and sometimes make up 10 per cent of the host genome. However, most...

Down to the core of poxviruses

A recent re-emergence and outbreak of Mpox brought poxviruses back as a public health threat, underlining an important knowledge gap at their core. Now, a team of researchers lifted the mysteries of poxviral core architecture by combining various cryo-electron microscopy techniques with molecular modeling.

Computer-engineered DNA to study cell identities

A new computer program allows scientists to design synthetic DNA segments that indicate, in real time, the state of cells. It will be used to screen for anti-cancer or viral infections drugs, or to improve gene and cell-based immunotherapies.

Smells like evolution: Fruit flies reveal surprises in chemical sensing

New study reveals how gene expression shapes the diverse smelling and tasting abilities of different fly species. Most genes are surprisingly stable, but thousands have evolved to create unique olfactory landscapes. Sex differences in sensing are widespread and involve specific cell types in key tissues. The study provides insights into the evolution of sensory systems in general, with potential...

Ammonia attracts the shipping industry, but researchers warn of its risks

Switching to ammonia as a marine fuel, with the goal of decarbonization, can instead create entirely new problems. This is shown in a study where researchers carried out life cycle analyses for batteries and for three electrofuels including ammonia. Eutrophication and acidification are some of the environmental problems that can be traced to the use of ammonia -- as well as emissions of laughing...

The influence of the cellular environment on vision

The processing of visual information begins with a targeted and balanced communication between nerve cells in the retina via synapses. Proteins in the vicinity of nerve cells play an important role in the development, maturation, and function of these synapses. A research team was able to show that the combined loss of four proteins leads to a severe impairment of the function of the retina,...

Microbial division of labor produces higher biofuel yields

Scientists have found a way to boost ethanol production via yeast fermentation, a standard method for converting plant sugars into biofuels. Their approach relies on careful timing and a tight division of labor among synthetic yeast strains to yield more ethanol per unit of plant sugars than previous approaches have achieved.

Scientists 'break the mould' by creating new colors of 'blue cheese'

Experts have discovered how to create different colors of blue cheese. After discovering how the classic blue-green veining is created, a team of experts were able to create a variety of different fungal strains that could be used to make cheese with colors ranging from white to yellow-green to red-brown-pink and light and dark blues.

Study challenges the classical view of the origin of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and warns of its vulnerability

The Circumpolar Current works as a regulator of the planet's climate. Its origins were thought to have caused the formation of the permanent ice in Antarctica about 34 million years ago. Now, a study has cast doubt on this theory, and has changed the understanding of how the ice sheet in Antarctic developed in the past, and what this could mean in the future as the planet's climate changes.