Σάββατο, 21 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Biology of infection: A bacterial ballistic system

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:05 AM PDT

Many pathogenic bacteria use special secretion systems to deliver toxic proteins into host cells. Researchers have determined the structure of a crucial part of one of these systems -- which are possible targets for novel antibiotics.

Emperor penguins are more willing to relocate than expected

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

The long-term future of emperor penguins is becoming more clear, thanks to new research showing that the penguins may be behaving in ways that allow them to adapt to their changing environment better than expected. Researchers have long thought that emperor penguins were philopatric, which means they would return to the same location to nest each year. The new research study used satellite images to show that penguins may not be faithful to previous nesting locations.

Mitochondrial Mutation Linked to Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Although significant progress has been made over the last 25 years to identify genetic abnormalities associated with congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), many patients remain genetically undiagnosed. A report now identifies a gene defect in mitochondria, specifically the citrate carrier SLC25A1, that may underlie deficits in neuromuscular transmission seen in two siblings.

Mysterious gene functionally decoded

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

A fungal gene has influence over the formation of a plant hormone. Scientists now explore how that happens by decoding the genetics behind the relationship, sharing their findings in a new article.

Swarm reveals Earth’s changing magnetism

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 08:57 AM PDT

The first set of high-resolution results from ESA's three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects our planet. Launched in November 2013, Swarm is providing unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth's magnetic field, which safeguards us from the bombarding cosmic radiation and charged particles. Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field's weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere.

Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:32 AM PDT

People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time. "We found that ticks are almost twice as likely to be infected with two pathogens -- the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and the protozoan that causes babesiosis -- than we would have expected," said a professor of biology involved in a recent study.

Pig whipworm genome may aid to treat autoimmune diseases

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:32 AM PDT

The whole-genome sequence of Trichuris suis, a parasitic worm in pig, has been presented by an international team composed of 11 institutions from six countries. Understanding the genetics mechanisms underlying the pig parasite may aid to modify the human immune response that could result in better treatments for autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

How organs coordinate their development with the whole body

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

The development of wings in fruit flies does not progress synchronously with the organism's development, according to new research. Instead, it is coordinated with the whole body only at distinct 'milestones'. This study helps explain how an organism facing environmental and physiological perturbations retains the ability to build correct functional organs and tissues in a proportional adult body.

Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

For the first time, researchers have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected. This work shows that the neuronal mechanisms related to anxiety have been preserved throughout evolution. This analysis of ancestral behavior in a simple animal model opens up new avenues for studying the neuronal bases for this emotion. Anxiety can be defined as a behavioral response to stress, consisting in lasting apprehension of future events.

Saving Africa's wild dogs -- with urine

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

The endangered African wild dog is increasingly coming into conflict with humans, partly because it is difficult to fence them out. But research shows that an unusual approach to keeping them away from people and livestock may offer hope. Promising experiments show that scent marking is more effective as a barrier than fences.

Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis: Review completed

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

An independent review into the effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests in diagnosing patients with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has been completed. VL is caused by a parasite and results in fever, a large spleen and other health problems. Without treatment it can be fatal, and proper treatment can result in cure, so diagnosis is extremely important. Parasitological techniques are invasive, require sophisticated laboratories, consume time, or lack accuracy. Recently, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that are easy to perform and safe have become available.

Botany: Leafing out and climate change

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:23 AM PDT

Global warming is generally expected to bring spring forward but, as a new study shows, a concomitant influx of plant species from warmer southern latitudes could counteract this effect. Climate change is already clearly discernible in our part of the world. Data from local weather stations indicate that the average temperature in the Munich region has risen by 1.5°C over the past century. Biologists have now looked at the effects of this warming trend on the timing of leaf emergence ("leaf-out") in a broad range of shrubs and trees.

Lopwood, brushwood make high-grade charcoal

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:23 AM PDT

When the forestry machines have finished extracting timber, what is left are tops and branches – waste which cannot be used. However, according to researchers, it is possible to turn these heaps of lopwood into high-quality charcoal. One researcher proclaims that this could revolutionize the bio-energy production industry.

New monkey model for AIDS offers promise for medical research

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 12:39 PM PDT

HIV-1, the virus responsible for most cases of AIDS, is a very selective virus and does not readily infect species other than its usual hosts — humans and chimpanzees — making the search for effective treatments and vaccines for AIDS that much more difficult. In new scientific work, researchers have coaxed a slightly modified form of the HIV-1 virus to not only infect pigtailed macaques, a species of monkey, but to cause full blown AIDS in the primates, a first.

Limb regeneration: Do salamanders hold the key?

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:52 AM PDT

The secret of how salamanders successfully regrow body parts is being unravelled by researchers in a bid to apply it to humans. For the first time, researchers have found that the 'ERK pathway' must be constantly active for salamander cells to be reprogrammed, and hence able to contribute to the regeneration of different body parts.

Genetic control mechanism for major livestock pest developed

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:50 AM PDT

A technique to control populations of the Australian sheep blowfly – a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand – has been developed by making female flies dependent upon a common antibiotic to survive. Female blowflies that did not receive the antibiotic died in the late larval or pupal stages, before reaching adulthood. Several genetically modified lines lacking the antibiotic showed 100 percent female deaths.

Iconic Minnesota conifers may give way to more broad-leafed forest in the next century

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:15 AM PDT

A new assessment describes effects of climate change that have already been observed on iconic Minnesota forests, and project changes in the climate and the landscape, leaving forest vulnerabilities in a 23.5-million-acre region of forest.

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