Παρασκευή, 4 Ιουλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 01:23 PM PDT

Physicists have been able with the aid of computer simulations to confirm and explain a mechanism by which two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions.

New discovery in living cell signaling

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 12:18 PM PDT

A breakthrough discovery into how living cells process and respond to chemical information could help advance the development of treatments for a large number of cancers and other cellular disorders that have been resistant to therapy.

Sweet genes: New way found by which metabolism is linked to the regulation of DNA

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered a new way by which metabolism is linked to the regulation of DNA, the basis of our genetic code. The findings may have important implications for the understanding of many common diseases, including cancer.

Rethinking the coral reef: How algal and coral cover affect the microscopic life that call the reef home

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Biologists have shown that inhabited coral islands that engage in commercial fishing dramatically alter their nearby reef ecosystems, disturbing the microbes, corals, algae and fish that call the reef home.

Safer, cheaper building blocks for future anti-HIV and cancer drugs

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Researchers have developed an economical, reliable and heavy metal-free chemical reaction that yields fully functional 1,2,3-triazoles. Triazoles are chemical compounds that can be used as building blocks for more complex chemical compounds, including pharmaceutical drugs.

Cellular defense against fatal associations between proteins and DNA

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 11:23 AM PDT

DNA -- the carrier of genetic information -- is constantly threatened by damage originating from exogenous and endogenous sources. Very special DNA lesions are DNA-protein crosslinks -- proteins covalently linked to DNA. So far hardly anything was known about repair mechanisms specifically targeting DNA-protein crosslinks. Scientists have now discovered a protease that is able to chop down the protein component of DNA-protein crosslinks, thereby enabling organisms to copy their genetic information even if crosslinks arise. The results of this study have major implications for the understanding of genome integrity and cancer development.

Timeline of human origins revised: New synthesis of research links changing environment with Homo's evolutionary adaptability

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Many traits unique to humans were long thought to have originated in the genus Homo between 2.4 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa. Although scientists have recognized these characteristics for decades, they are reconsidering the true evolutionary factors that drove them.

Oklahoma earthquakes induced by wastewater injection by disposal wells, study finds

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 11:23 AM PDT

The dramatic increase in earthquakes in central Oklahoma since 2009 is likely attributable to subsurface wastewater injection at just a handful of disposal wells, finds a new study.

Identifying microbial species: New device will help identify the millions of bacteria that populate the world

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 09:58 AM PDT

Millions of microbial species populate the world, but so far only a few have been identified due to the inability of most microbes to grow in the laboratory. An engineer and a biologist aim to change this. The pair has developed a device that allows scientists to cultivate a single species of bacteria that can then be studied and identified.

Flower's bellows organ blasts pollen at bird pollinators

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 09:55 AM PDT

A small tree or shrub found in mountainous Central and South American rainforests has a most unusual relationship with the birds that pollinate its flowers, according to a new study. The plant known as Axinaea offers up its male reproductive organs as a tempting and nutritious food source for the birds. As the birds seize those bulbous stamens with their beaks, they are blasted with pollen by the flowers' complex 'bellows' organs.

With 'biological sunscreen,' mantis shrimp see the reef in a whole different light

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 09:55 AM PDT

In an unexpected discovery, researchers have found that the complex eyes of mantis shrimp are equipped with optics that generate ultraviolet color vision. Mantis shrimp's six UV photoreceptors pick up on different colors within the UV spectrum based on filters made from an ingredient other animals depend on as built-in biological sunscreen, according to new research.

Ironing out details of the carbon cycle: Dissolved iron in North Atlantic traced to Sahara desert

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Iron is an essential element in all living creatures, and its availability in seawater can have a profound effect on phytoplankton growth and, consequently, the earth's carbon cycle. Scientists have assessed the various sources of dissolved iron in the north Atlantic Ocean, establishing that a great deal of it, some 70 to 90 percent, originates from dust blowing off the Sahara desert.

Jump to it! A frog's leaping style depends on the environment

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 08:28 AM PDT

A frog's jump is not as simple as it seems. Scientists have discovered that different species adopt different jumping styles depending on their environment.

Weighing up the secrets of African elephant body fat

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 08:24 AM PDT

Scientists have carried out the first molecular characterization of the African elephant's adipose tissue -- body fat. This new information will form the basis of future studies aimed at securing the health and future survival of captive elephants.

Whales as ecosystem engineers: Recovery from overhunting helping to buffer marine ecosystems from destabilizing stresses

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 07:29 AM PDT

A review of research on whales shows that they have more a powerful influence on the function of oceans, global carbon storage, and the health of commercial fisheries than has been commonly assumed. The continued recovery of great whales from centuries of overhunting may help to buffer marine ecosystems from destabilizing stresses, including climate change, reports a global team of scientists.

Groovy giraffes: Distinct bone structures keep these animals upright

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 07:29 AM PDT

Researchers have identified a highly specialized ligament structure that is thought to prevent giraffes' legs from collapsing under the immense weight of these animals.

'Grass-in-the-ear' technique sets new trend in chimp etiquette: Chimpanzees spontaneously copy arbitrary behavior

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 07:26 AM PDT

Chimpanzees are copycats and, in the process, they form new traditions that are often particular to only one specific group of these primates. Such are the findings of an international group of scientists, who waded through over 700 hours of video footage to understand how it came about that one chimpanzee stuck a piece of grass in her ear and started a new trend, and others soon followed suit.

Review of primaquine to prevent malaria transmission

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Researchers conducted an independent review of the effects of adding a single dose of primaquine (PQ) to malaria treatment to prevent the transmission of the disease.

First show off, then take-off: New specimen of Archaeopteryx reveals previously unknown features of the plumage

Posted: 03 Jul 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Paleontologists are currently studying a new specimen of Archaeopteryx, which reveals previously unknown features of the plumage. The initial findings shed light on the original function of feathers and their recruitment for flight.

New reprogramming method makes better stem cells

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Researchers have shown for the first time that stem cells created using different methods produce differing cells. The findings provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells and could ultimately lead to improved stem cell therapies.

Gene critical to early development of cilia identified

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:55 AM PDT

The functions of a gene responsible for anchoring cilia – sensory hair-like extensions present on almost every cell of the body -- have been described by researchers. They show in a mouse model that without the gene Cc2d2a, cilia throughout the body failed to grow, and the mice died during the embryonic stage. The finding adds to an expanding body of knowledge about ciliopathies, a class of genetic disorders that result from defects in the structure or function of cilia.

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