Some organisms evolve an internal switch that can remain hidden for generations until stress flicks it on.
Scientists have identified the presence of a non-tobacco plant in ancient Maya drug containers for the first time. The researchers detected Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) in residues taken from 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels. The vessels also contain chemical traces present in two types of dried and cured tobacco.
Using data from RNA-folding experiments, the researchers generated the first-ever data-driven movies of how RNA folds as it is made by cellular machinery. By watching their videos of this folding occur, the researchers discovered that RNA often folds in surprising, perhaps unintuitive ways, such as tying itself into knots.
Researchers have developed a highly sensitive technique to quantitatively evaluate the extent of cytoskeleton bundling from microscopic images. Until now, analysis of cytoskeleton organization was typically made by manually checking microscopic images. The new method uses microscopic image analysis techniques to automatically measure the cytoskeleton organization. The researchers expect it to dramatically improve our understanding of various cellular phenomena related to cytoskeletal bundling.
The innovation project watermelon and melon cultivation and physiology team of Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute has made new progress in the metabolism regulation of sugar and organic acid in watermelon fruit.
Deep in the Brazilian Amazon River basin, scientists discovered a small, river-fed lake filled with more than 100 adult electric eels. Researchers witnessed the electric eels working together to herd small fish into tightly packed balls. Groups of up to 10 eels periodically split off to form cooperative hunting parties. Those smaller groups then surrounded the prey and launched simultaneous electric attacks. The findings overturn the idea that these serpentine fish are exclusively solitary predators.
China has been dealing with an HIV epidemic and seeing rising infections among male college students who practice sex with men. But what is driving this increase and how to put a halt to it? To find out, scientists from China have conducted a study across seven cities, focusing on recent HIV incidence and resistance to therapy among this population.
What if the degenerative eye conditions that lead to glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, and cataracts could be detected and treated before vision is impaired? Recent findings from the lab of Investigator Ting Xie, PhD, at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research point to the ciliary body as a key to unlocking this possibility.
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised an algorithm to remove contaminated microbial genetic information from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). With a clearer picture of the microbiota living in various organs in both healthy and cancerous states, researchers will now be able to find new biomarkers of disease and better understand how numerous cancers affect the human body.
A new method, developed by Olivier Delaneau's group at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Lausanne, offers game-changing possibilities for genetic association studies and biomedical research. For less than $1 in computational cost, GLIMPSE is able to statistically infer a complete human genome from a very small amount of data. It offers a first realistic alternative to current approaches, and so allows a wider inclusion of underrepresented populations.