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Newly-published spinach genome will make more than Popeye stronger

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Today in Nature Communications, researchers from BTI and the Shanghai Normal University report a new draft genome of Spinacia oleracea, better known as spinach. Additionally, the authors have sequenced the transcriptomes (all the RNA) of 120 cultivated and wild spinach plants, which has allowed them to identify which genetic changes have occurred due to domestication.

Largest psoriasis meta-analysis to date yields new genetic clues

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
The identification of 16 additional genetic markers will help researchers get closer to understanding how -- and why -- psoriasis develops.

Revealed: How polyomavirus tricks our cells into helping it build its invasion route

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
If every cell in our body is a factory, viruses are industrial spies who try to break in and take over. New findings about how one of the most mysterious types of spy - polyomaviruses -- accomplishes this feat could aid the fight against Merkel cell carcinoma, and diseases in organ transplant and cancer patients.

Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Researchers from EPFL have shown that the surface of minuscule water drops with a 100 nm size is surprisingly ordered. At room temperature, the surface water molecules of these droplets have much stronger interactions than a normal water surface. The structural difference corresponds to a difference in temperature of -50°C, which may shed new light on a variety of atmospheric, biological and even geological processes.

New theory predicts wetted area of droplets colliding with flat surface

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Japanese researchers have succeeded in deriving a theoretical formula that quantitatively predicts the wetting and spreading behavior of droplets that collide with the flat surface of a solid material. In the past, researchers from all over the world have attempted to make quantitative predictions about the extent of wetted areas through experimentation, theory, and numerical analysis, but predictions, particularly during slow collision speeds, have not been realized.

New Anaesthesia Workforce Map shows huge shortages impacting 5 billion people worldwide

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
More than 70 countries reported a total anesthesia provider number of less than five per 100,000 population. All except one were low- and middle-income countries.There is a 50-fold difference between the anesthesia provider workforce density in the United States compared with Indonesia despite comparable population sizes.The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery suggests that 2.28 million additional anesthesiologists, surgeons and obstetricians will be needed globally by 2030.

Secret weapon of smart bacteria tracked to 'sweet tooth'

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Researchers have figured out how a once-defeated bacterium has re-emerged to infect cotton in a battle that could sour much of the Texas and US crop.And it boils down to this: A smart bacteria with a sweet tooth.

Making people feel bad can be a strategy for helping them

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
People may try to make someone else feel negative emotions if they think experiencing those emotions will be beneficial in the long run, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings expand on previous research by revealing that people may sometimes seek to induce negative emotions in others for altruistic reasons, not simply for their own pleasure or benefit.

Dartmouth-led study finds heavier precipitation in the northeast began in 1996

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Over the past century, the Northeast has experienced an increase in the number of storms with extreme precipitation. A Dartmouth-led study finds that the increase in extreme Northeast storms occurred as an abrupt shift in 1996, particularly in the spring and fall, rather than as a steady change over several decades. The findings were published in an early online release of the American Meteorological Society's 'Journal of Hydrometeorology.'

A fresh look inside the protein nano-machines

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Proteins perform vital functions, they digest food and fight infections. They are in fact nano-machines, each one of them designed to perform a specific task. But how did they evolve to match those needs, how did the genes encode the structure and function of proteins? Researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, the Institute for Basic Science, Korea, and the Rockefeller University, United States, have conducted a study that tackles this yet unanswered question.

New 'sperm radar' test may uncover secrets about male infertility

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
Scientists at the University of Sheffield have developed a new technique to examine human sperm without killing them -- helping to improve the diagnosis of fertility problems.

Song diversity hints at thrushes' evolutionary past

Mar, 05/23/2017 - 22:00
The Hermit Thrush is famous for its melodiously undulating song, but we know very little about whether -- and if so, how -- its songs vary across the large swath of North America that it calls home in the summer. A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances provides the first thorough overview of geographic variation in hermit thrush song structure and hints at how isolation and adaptation shape differences in song within a species.

Where body fat is carried can predict cancer risk

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
Scientists have found that carrying fat around your middle could be as good an indicator of cancer risk as body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

Chondroitin sulfate as good as widely used anti-inflammatory for knee osteoarthritis

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
High quality (pharmaceutical grade) chondroitin sulfate is as good as a widely prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (celecoxib) for the treatment of painful knee osteoarthritis, concludes research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Fiber-rich diet linked to lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
A fiber-rich diet is linked to a lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis, finds the first study of its kind, published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Microhabitats enhance butterfly diversity in nature's imitation game

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
The spectacular range of colors and patterns that butterflies use to deter predators appears to result in part from very specific environmental conditions in so-called 'microhabitats,' researchers have found. This study helps to answer a paradoxical question in science; since species mimic each other's characteristics to ward off predators, theoretically they should all eventually develop the same pattern. Instead, there is a remarkable diversity of patterns which achieve this common goal.

Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to lower risk of heart flutter

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to a lower risk of developing the heart rhythm irregularity atrial fibrillation, also known as heart flutter, finds research published online in the journal Heart.

Vitamin D supplements could help pain management

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
Vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleeping habits may help manage pain-related diseases. This paper published in the Journal of Endocrinology, reviews published research on the relationship between vitamin D levels, sleep and pain management, and reports that levels of vitamin D combined with good quality sleep could help manage conditions including arthritis, menstrual cramps and chronic back pain.

Friends help female vampire bats cope with loss

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
When a female vampire bat loses a close relative, she may starve, because she depends on her mother and daughters to share blood by regurgitation. Vampires who have more non-kin social bonds (friends), do better when this happens.

Eating chocolate may decrease risk of irregular heartbeat

Lun, 05/22/2017 - 22:00
Consuming moderate amounts of chocolate was associated with significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF)--a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat--in a large study of men and women in Denmark led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in Denmark.

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