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160,880 articles from EurekAlert

15-foot-long skeleton of extinct dolphin suggests parallel evolution among whales

A report in the journal Current Biology on July 9 offers a detailed description of the first nearly complete skeleton of an extinct large dolphin, discovered in what is now South Carolina. The 15-foot-long dolphin (Ankylorhiza tiedemani comb. n.) lived during the Oligocene--about 25 million years ago--and was previously known only from a partial rostrum (snout) fossil.

A complex gene program initiates brain changes in response to cocaine

Researchers used single-nucleus RNA sequencing to compare transcriptional responses to acute cocaine in 16 unique cell populations from the brain nucleus accumbens. The atlas is part of a major study that used multiple cutting-edge technologies to describe a dopamine-induced gene expression signature that regulates the brain's response to cocaine. The study shows neurobiological processes that...

A new look at deep-sea microbes

Microbes found deeper in the ocean are believed to have slow population turnover rates and low amounts of available energy. But a new examination of microbial communities found deeper in seafloor sediments and around hydrocarbon seepage sites has found they have more energy available and a higher population turnover. The deeper sediments in the seepages are most likely heavily impacted by the...

A new role for a tiny linker in transmembrane ion channels

In a study of large-conductance potassium (BK) channela, Jianhan Chen and colleagues UMass Amherst and Washington University report in eLife that their experiments have revealed 'the first direct example of how non-specific membrane interactions of a covalent linker can regulate the activation of a biological ion channel.'

Alzheimer-linked protein complex at super resolution

With the advent of super-resolution microscopy, scientists can study close protein associations better than ever before. In the latest edition of eLife, the team of Wim Annaert (VIB-KU Leuven) combines state-of-the-art imaging techniques to investigate the distribution of γ-secretase, a protein complex associated with both Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

Amygdala changes in male patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Researchers in Japan have revealed that DNA methylation occurs in the serotonin transporter gene that regulates neurotransmitter transmission in schizophrenia and bipolar patients. Particularly prominent in males and patients with certain genetic polymorphisms, this methylation is inversely correlated to amygdala volume. This work is expected to lead to a better understanding of the...

Arctic Ocean 'regime shift'

Stanford scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.

Bats offer clues to treating COVID-19

Bats carry many viruses, including COVID-19, without becoming ill. Biologists at the University of Rochester are studying the immune system of bats to find potential ways to "mimic" that system in humans.

Born to be a cannibal: Genes for feeding behavior in mandarin fish identified

Some mandarin fish species (Sinipercidae) are pure fish-eaters, which feed exclusively on living juvenile fish - also of their own species. A research team led by the Chinese Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU) and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) has described the genome of four mandarin fish species and thus also identified genes for cannibalistic eating...

Breakthrough with cancer vaccine

Scientists have developed a new cancer vaccine with the potential to activate the body's immune system to fight a range of cancers, including leukaemia, breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancers.

Breast cancer cells turn killer immune cells into allies

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that breast cancer cells can alter the function of immune cells known as Natural killer (NK) cells so that instead of killing the cancer cells, they facilitate their spread to other parts of the body. The study, which will be published July 9 in the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), suggests that preventing this reprogramming...

Care for cats? So did people along the Silk Road more than 1,000 years ago

Common domestic cats, as we know them today, might have accompanied Kazakh pastoralists as pets more than 1,000 years ago. This is indicated by new analyses done on an almost complete cat skeleton found during an excavation along the former Silk Road in southern Kazakhstan. An international research team has reconstructed the cat's life, revealing astonishing insights into the relationship between...

Challenges in evaluating SARS-CoV-2 vaccines

With more than 140 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development, the race is on for a successful candidate to help prevent COVID-19. An effective and safe vaccine would be a major advance in the fight against COVID-19. However, there are challenges in evaluating the efficacy of these vaccines during the pandemic, as an analysis article outlines in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Chatbots can ease medical providers' burden, offer guidance to those with COVID-19 symptoms

COVID-19 has placed tremendous pressure on health care systems, not only for critical care but also from an anxious public looking for answers. Research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business found that chatbots -- software applications that conduct online chats via text or text-to-speech -- working for reputable organizations can ease the burden on medical providers and offer...

Cherned up to the maximum

In topological materials, electrons can display behaviour that is fundamentally differentfrom that in 'conventional' matter, and the magnitude of many such 'exotic' phenomena isdirectly proportional to an entity known as the Chern number. New experiments establishfor the first time that the theoretically predicted maximum Chern number can be reached -- and controlled -- in a real material.