Why does it take 200 million sperm to fertilize a single egg? Part of the reason is bombardment by the female immune system, which very few sperm survive. Researchers have discovered a molecular handshake between sperm and uterine cells that may help sperm evade this attack -- or may help the immune system target the weakest sperm.
Unique in its application of a mathematical model to understand how the brain transitions from consciousness to unconscious behavior, a study at The City College of New York's Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics may have just advanced neuroscience appreciably. The findings, surprisingly by physicists, suggest that the subliminal state is the most robust part of the conscious network and appear on the cover of the journal Neuroscience.
Researchers at the University of Sussex have identified how differences in the genetic sequence of the two main strains of the cancer-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) can alter the way the virus behaves when it infects white blood cells.
Ribosomes need regenerating. This process is important for the quality of the proteins produced and thus for the whole cell homeostasis as well as for developmental and biological processes. Biochemists from Goethe University Frankfurt together with biophysicists at LMU Munich have now watched one of the most important enzymes for ribosome recycling at work -- ABCE1 -- and shown that it is unexpectedly versatile in terms of structure.
A stealthy new drug-delivery system disguises chemotherapeutics as fat in order to outsmart, penetrate and destroy tumors. Thinking the drugs are tasty fats, tumors invite the drug inside. Once there, the targeted drug activates, immediately suppressing tumor growth.
A team, led by researchers at the University of Washington, has discovered how the female mosquito brain integrates visual and olfactory signals to identify, track and hone in on a potential host for her next blood meal. They discovered that, after the mosquito's olfactory system detects certain chemical cues, the mosquito uses her visual system to scan her surroundings for certain shapes and fly toward them, presumably associating those shapes with potential hosts.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic, opening the door to a new area of science in magnetic soft matter. The new material could lead to a revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications from artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings.
Bacteria do not simply perish in hunger phases fortuitously; rather, the surrounding cells have a say as well. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered that two factors, above all, decide over life and death: the energy required to continue living and the efficiency with which surviving cells can recycle biomass from dead cells.
Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as 'bouncers' and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the journal Haematologica.
Skoltech scientists looked into the differences in the concentrations of multiple metabolites in healthy humans and individuals suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), gaining a deeper insight into the molecular processes that take place in the brain of autistic individuals. The results of the study were published in Nature's Communications Biology journal.