Like going from a pinhole camera to a Polaroid, a significant mathematical update to the formula for a popular bioinformatics data visualization method will allow researchers to develop snapshots of single-cell gene expression not only several times faster but also at much higher-resolution. Published in Nature Methods, this innovation by Yale mathematicians will reduce the rendering time of a million-point single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data set from over three hours down to just fifteen minutes.
In animal embryonic development a group of cells starts out all being the same. But then one cell puts the brake on its neighbors, sending inhibitory signals that stop their differentiation. The 'winning' cell, in the end, is different from its neighbors. Scientists at IST Austria now describe a new mechanism for lateral inhibition in a publication in today's edition of Cell: In zebrafish ovarian follicles, granulosa cells compete mechanically!
One out of every six Canadian couples experiences infertility. Some resort to in vitro fertilization. But the embryos obtained through this technique often have defects. In a study published today in the journal Current Biology, researchers from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) succeeded in reducing the number of defects in mouse embryos in the laboratory. In the medium term, this unprecedented discovery could improve infertile couples' chances of giving birth.
Sierra Leone has few doctors and even fewer surgeons to serve its seven million people. Since 2011, a non-profit group called CapaCare has been training community health officers to perform basic lifesaving surgeries. A new study shows the programme is working well when it comes to the most common surgery in the country -- Caesarean sections.
Research shows that sperm that live for longer before fertilising an egg produce healthier offspring. What's more, these offspring go on to have longer, healthier lifespans -- and in turn produce more and healthier offspring themselves. It was assumed that it doesn't matter which sperm fertilises an egg. But this shows that there are massive differences between sperm and how they affect offspring. The research was carried out in zebrafish but may have implications for human fertility.
Proper development of the fetal penis requires not just testosterone from the testes, but a second hormone produced by other tissues, including the placenta, according to a new study publishing Feb. 14 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology from Paul Fowler of the University of Aberdeen, Michelle Bellingham of the University of Glasgow, and colleagues in the UK, France and Sweden. The results reveal a previously unknown pathway of masculinization of the external genitals.
Researchers at the University of Washington wanted to know how Magellanic penguin parents in South America balance the dietary demands of multiple chicks. As they report in a paper published Jan. 23 in the journal Animal Behaviour, when a Magellanic penguin parent returns to its nest with fish, the parent tries to feed each of its two chicks equal portions of food, regardless of the youngsters' differences in age or size.
Researchers found that if a squirrel inherits territory from a male rather than a female, it will have about 1,300 more cones in its midden. This stored energy will keep the squirrel alive an extra 17 days. For females it means she will enough food to breed earlier, resulting in her offspring leaving the nest earlier. This shows how the behavior of a complete stranger can impact the genetic contribution of another.
Does a drier and hotter climate present a threat to the meerkats in the Kalahari Desert? Researchers from UZH and Cambridge show that climate change is likely to impact meerkats, and seasonal rainfall and temperature will be the key factors.
All women exposed to high levels of DDT are at increased risk for breast cancer through age 54, but the timing of cancer risk depends on when they were first exposed, according to a new study published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by the Public Health Institute's Child Health and Development Studies.