In a new study published in GLIA , Virginia Tech neuroscientists at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC describe how the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite prompts the loss of inhibitory signaling in the brain by altering the behavior of nearby cells called microglia.
Evolution is a tinkerer, not an engineer. 'Evolution does not produce novelties from scratch. It works with what already exists,' wrote Nobel laureate François Jacob in 1977, and biologists continue to find this to be true.
You know that feeling in your gut? We think of it as an innate intuition that sparks deep in the belly and helps guide our actions, if we let it. It's also a metaphor for what scientists call the 'gut-brain axis,' a biological reality in which the gut and its microbial inhabitants send signals to the brain, and vice versa.
Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, working with Spanish, French, and German colleagues, have determined and analyzed the high-resolution structure of a protein from the recently discovered heliorhodopsin family. Microbial rhodopsins play a key role in optogenetics -- a technique that uses light to control nerve and muscle cells in living tissue.
Turning a brittle oxide into a flexible membrane and stretching it on a tiny apparatus flipped it from a conducting to an insulating state and changed its magnetic properties. The technique can be used to study and design a broad range of materials for use in things like sensors and detectors.
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Molding matter atom by atom and seeing inside uranium particles
Since its beginnings, quantum mechanics hasn't ceased to amaze us with its peculiarity, so difficult to understand. Why does one particle seem to pass through two slits simultaneously? Why instead of specific predictions can we only talk about evolution of probabilities? According to theorists from universities in Warsaw and Oxford, the most important features of the quantum world may result from the special theory of relativity, which until now seemed to have little to do with quantum mechanics.
Turbulent flows are chaotic yet feature universal statistical properties.Over the recent years, seemingly turbulent flows have been discovered in active fluids such as bacterial suspensions, epithelial cell monolayers, and mixtures of biopolymers and molecular motors. In a new study published in Nature Physics, researchers from the University of Barcelona, Princeton University and Collège de France have shown that the chaotic flows in active nematic fluids are described by distinct universal scaling laws.
Research shows that an excess amount of some minerals contained in non-cotetic rocks may originate in the feeder conduits along which the magmas are travelling from the deep-seated staging chambers towards Earth's surface.
Sustainable energy storage is in great demand. Researchers at Uppsala University have therefore developed an all-organic proton battery that can be charged in a matter of seconds. The battery can be charged and discharged over 500 times without any significant loss of capacity. Their work has been published in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie.