BiologySuccessful stem cell differentiation requires DNA compaction, study finds
New research findings show that embryonic stem cells unable to fully compact the DNA inside them cannot complete their primary task: differentiation into specific cell types that give rise to the various types of tissues and structures in the body.
Population explosion has produced more rare gene variants than previously thought
As the Earth's human population has skyrocketed since the rise of agriculture some 10,000 years ago -- to 7 billion people from a few million -- so, too, has the number of rare genetic variants.
Let's get moving: Unravelling how locomotion starts
Scientists at the University of Bristol have shed new light on one of the great unanswered questions of neuroscience: how the brain initiates rhythmic movements like walking, running and swimming.
Elephant seal tracking reveals hidden lives of deep-diving animals
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who pioneered the use of satellite tags to monitor the migrations of elephant seals have compiled one of the largest datasets available for any marine mammal species, revealing their movements and diving behavior at sea in unprecedented detail.
New technique reveals unseen information in DNA code
Imagine reading an entire book, but then realizing that your glasses did not allow you to distinguish "g" from "q." What details did you miss?
Researchers identify how plant skins are stitched together
For the first time, scientists have identified how a plant's skin is assembled.
Butterfly genome sequencing questions mimicry theories
Mimicry is a widespread phenomenon in the natural world: many species imitate each other's appearance to defend themselves against predators. For the first time, an international consortium involving scientists from CNRS/MNHN (Laboratoire Origine, Structure et Evolution de la Biodiversité) and INRA (Physiologie de l'insecte: communication et signalisation) have sequenced and assembled the complete genome of the tropical butterfly Heliconius melpomene.
How plants chill out
Plants elongate their stems when grown at high temperature to facilitate the cooling of their leaves, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in Current Biology. Understanding why plants alter their architecture in response to heat is important as increasing global temperatures pose a threat to future food production.
Totally RAD: Bioengineers create rewritable digital data storage in DNA
Sometimes, remembering and forgetting are hard to do. In practical terms, they have devised the genetic equivalent of a binary digit - a "bit" in data parlance.
Relationship between social status and wound-healing in wild baboons
Turns out it's not bad being top dog, or in this case, top baboon.
Iconic New Zealand reptile shows chewing is not just for mammals
The tuatara, an iconic New Zealand reptile, chews its food in a way unlike any other animal on the planet - challenging the widespread perception that complex chewing ability is closely linked to high metabolism.
Monkey lip smacks provide new insights into the evolution of human speech
Scientists have traditionally sought the evolutionary origins of human speech in primate vocalizations, such as monkey coos or chimpanzee hoots. But unlike these primate calls, human speech is produced using rapid, controlled movements of the tongue, lips and jaw. Speech is also learned, while primate vocalizations are mostly innately structured.
How infectious disease may have shaped human origins
Roughly 100,000 years ago, human evolution reached a mysterious bottleneck: Our ancestors had been reduced to perhaps five to ten thousand individuals living in Africa. In time, "behaviorally modern" humans would emerge from this population, expanding dramatically in both number and range, and replacing all other co-existing evolutionary cousins, such as the Neanderthals.
Mosquitoes fly in rain thanks to low mass
The mosquito is possibly summer's biggest nuisance. Sprays, pesticides, citronella candles, bug zappers - nothing seems to totally deter the blood-sucking insect. And neither can rain apparently.
UCI researchers create mosquitoes incapable of transmitting malaria
Mosquitoes bred to be unable to infect people with the malaria parasite are an attractive approach to helping curb one of the world's most pressing public health issues, according to UC Irvine scientists.
Rapidly cooling eggs can double shelf life, decrease risk of illness
Taking just a few seconds to cool freshly laid eggs would add weeks to their shelf life, according to a Purdue University study.
Offspring of older fathers may live longer
If your father and grandfather waited until they were older before reproducing, you might experience life-extending benefits.
Does cooperation require both reciprocity and alike neighbours?
Evolution by definition is cold and merciless: it selects for success and weeds out failure. It seems only natural to expect that such a process would simply favour genes that help themselves and not others. Yet cooperative behaviour can be observed in many areas, and humans helping each other are a common phenomenon. Thus, one of the major questions in science today is how cooperative behaviour could evolve.
Armored caterpillar could inspire new body armor
Military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames could be transformed by incorporating the unique structure of the club-like arm of a crustacean that looks like an armored caterpillar, according to findings by a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering and elsewhere published online (June 8) in the journal Science.
Still capable of adapting: research team studies genetic diversity of living fossils
The morphology of coelacanths has not fundamentally changed since the Devonian age, that is, for about 400 million years. Nevertheless, these animals known as living fossils are able to genetically adapt to their environment.