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Current Biological Sciences News and Events, Biological Sciences News Articles.
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UMN researchers give new insight to muscular dystrophy patients
New research by University of Minnesota scientists has revealed the three dimensional structure of the DUX4 protein, which is responsible for the disease, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Unlike the majority of genetic diseases, FSHD is not caused by a protein that is missing or not functioning properly. Rather it is caused when a functioning, normal, protein shows up in a place where it doesn't belong (in muscles). (2018-12-12)

Hair colour gene study sheds new light on roots of redheads' locks
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have discovered eight additional genes linked to red hair, helping to solve a mystery of how redheads inherit their flaming locks. (2018-12-10)

The use of electrospun scaffolds in musculoskeletal tissue engineering
Rotator Cuff tears affect 15 percent of 60 year olds and carry a significant social and financial burden. Current operative techniques and repair adjuncts are associated with unacceptably high failure rates, stimulating investigation into novel tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) approaches in the field of rotator cuff surgery. In this review researchers explore the most recent advances in the field of electrospinning, focussing on proposed tissue-engineered solutions in tendon, specifically the rotator cuff. (2018-12-10)

Not in the DNA: Epigenetics discovered in single-celled archaea
Researchers have reported the first experimental evidence of epigenetics in the single-celled organisms known as archaea. The simplicity of archaea -- combined with the fact that their cells resemble eukaryotes' in some important ways -- may allow researchers to investigate epigenetic questions in humans much faster and more easily than was possible before, the authors say. (2018-12-03)

A bastard seal from the past reveals the potential for human hybrids
If discovered as fossils, grey and ringed seals are so different that they could be classified as belonging to different families. Yet, a seal pup born in 1929 was found to be an almost perfect intermediate between the species. Compared to Neanderthals and modern humans, grey and ringed seals are genetically and dentally at least twice as different, suggesting that there may be more fossil human hybrids to be discovered. (2018-11-30)

Gene study boosts bid to keep British bees safe from disease
Efforts to protect the UK's native honey bees could be helped by research from the University of Edinburgh that maps their entire genetic make-up. (2018-11-26)

Using the plant microbiome to restore native grasslands
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2018-11-14)

Resonant mechanism discovery could inspire ultra-thin acoustic absorbers
New research led by academics at the University of Bristol has discovered that the scales on moth wings vibrate and can absorb the sound frequencies used by bats for echolocation (biological sonar). The finding could help researchers develop bioinspired thin and lightweight resonant sound absorbers. (2018-11-12)

Immune cells could hold key to therapies for spinal cord injuries
Fresh insights into how zebrafish repair their damaged nerve connections could aid the development of therapies for people with spinal cord injuries. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have found the immune system plays a key role in helping zebrafish nerve cells to regenerate after injury. (2018-11-07)

Cancer drug insight tactic could spell double trouble for tumours
Researchers have developed a new way of identifying potential cancer drugs, which could streamline the development of therapies (2018-11-01)

Tracking Aedes aegypti across the ages with vector genomics
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2018-10-31)

Genomic analysis helps in discovery of unusual new bird species from Indonesia
A joint research team from the National University of Singapore and Indonesian Institute of Science has described an unusual new songbird species. The bird was named the Rote Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus rotiensis after the island of Rote where it is found. (2018-10-23)

Research brief: Predicting how native plants return to abandoned farm fields
Tracking how seeds move--or disperse--can be difficult because of a seed's small size. However, in a study published in Ecology, researchers at the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences found a solution for tracking seed movement by using electrical engineering and mathematical models. (2018-10-23)

Letting nature take its course: Wolves in Yellowstone National Park
Since the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, the park's ecosystem has become a deeply complex and heterogeneous system, aided by a strategy of minimal human intervention. The new study is a synthesis of 40 years of research on large mammals in Yellowstone National Park, conducted by University of Alberta ecologist Mark Boyce. (2018-10-16)

Malaria parasites adapt to mosquito feeding times, study shows
Malaria parasites have evolved to be most infectious at the time of day when mosquitoes feed, to maximise their chances of being spread. (2018-10-04)

Children found capable of using the 'wisdom of crowds'
Children, like adults, can improve their response to difficult tasks by the power of group work, new research led by the University of Bristol has found. (2018-09-24)

Physicists train robotic gliders to soar like birds
Scientists know that upward currents of warm air assist birds in flight. To understand how birds find and navigate these thermal plumes, researchers used reinforcement learning to train gliders to autonomously navigate atmospheric thermals. The research highlights the role of vertical wind accelerations and roll-wise torques as viable biological cues for soaring birds. The findings also provide a navigational strategy that directly applies to the development of UAVs. (2018-09-19)

A timescale for the origin and evolution of all of life on Earth
A new study led by scientists from the University of Bristol has used a combination of genomic and fossil data to explain the history of life on Earth, from its origin to the present day. (2018-08-20)

Research Brief: No defense for some plants in the eat-or-be-eaten world of grasslands
University of Minnesota researchers are showing the important role such plant-eating consumers play in an ecosystem's ability carry out key jobs like storing carbon -- and, in turn, the role plants play in supporting these organisms and the others that depend on them. (2018-08-10)

Study highlights genetic risk of heart failure
Heart failure is known to be more common in certain families but whether this familial transition is caused by genetic or lifestyle factors. By studying adoptees in relation to both their biological parents and adoptive parents, a new population study in Sweden has found that genetic heritage is the dominant factor when it comes to heart failure in these families. (2018-07-12)

Chemicals associated with oxidative stress may be essential to development
Some level of molecules linked to oxidative stress may be essential to health and development, according to new animal studies. (2018-07-12)

The first endemic Baltic Sea fish species received its name
Researchers at the University of Helsinki discovered and named a new endemic fish species in the Baltic Sea, the 'Baltic flounder,' Platichthys solemdali. (2018-07-11)

Undergraduate research makes for better science
The BioScience Talks podcast ( features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2018-07-11)

Newly discovered Xenomorph wasp has alien-like lifecycle
A University of Adelaide PhD student has discovered a new species of wasp, named Xenomorph because of its gruesome parasitic lifecycle that echoes the predatory behaviour of the Alien movie franchise monster. (2018-06-27)

Research Brief: Small classes reduce performance gaps in science
From high-stakes multiple choice exams to the social climate of the classroom, research has shown those factors can contribute to the negative impact of large, introductory and undergraduate science courses on students. However, class size is often an overlooked factor despite research suggesting it influences student performance and, unlike other influences on student attrition, is subject to legislative action. (2018-06-27)

Structure of S. agalactiae toxin identified by USTC biologists
Biologists team of University of Science and Technology of China and University of Waterloo revealed the structure of S. agalactiae CAMP factor and the mechanism behind for the first time. (2018-06-25)

Experiments of the Russian scientists in space lead to a new way of 3D-bioprinting
Thanks to the research of magnetic levitation in the conditions of microgravity, a new technology for 3D printing of biological tissues was developed. In the future, this technology will help to create radiation-sensitive biological constructs and repair damaged tissues and human organs. The results are published in Biofabrication. The technology is based on the results of the experimental studies which were supported by Russian Science Foundation (RSF). (2018-06-22)

Cells stop dividing when this gene kicks into high gear, study finds
Scientists seeking to unlock secrets of cellular aging have identified a gene that triggers senescence, a phenomenon in which cells stop dividing. The gene, called CD36, is unusually active in older, senescent cells. Heightening CD36 activity also caused young, healthy cells to stop dividing, with the effect also spreading to nearby cells in the same petri dish. (2018-06-21)

'Gut instinct' may have been the GPS of human ancestors
A University of Southern California study reveals that the nerve connecting the gut to the brain is key for remembering where food is (2018-06-13)

Research brief: New approach boosts effort to scale up biodiversity monitoring
The value of ecological biodiversity for maintaining ecosystem stability and function is well established, but a recent study points to a novel way to fine-tune our ability to measure it at larger scales. (2018-06-01)

Why do older male birds father more illegitimate children?
When female birds have chicks as the result of an extra-marital fling, the fathers are almost always older males, and scientists are finding out why. (2018-05-31)

Flexible organic electronics mimic biological mechanosensory nerves
Researchers at Seoul National University and Stanford University developed artificial mechanosensory nerves using flexible organic devices to emulate biological sensory afferent nerves. They used the artificial mechanosensory nerves to control a disabled insect leg and distinguish braille characters. The research describes artificial mechanosensory nerves based on flexible organic devices to emulate biological mechanosensory nerves. Devices that mimic the signal processing and functionality of biological systems can simplify the design of bioinspired system or reduce power consumption. (2018-05-31)

How Nagana is carried by tsetse flies
Researchers at the University of Bristol have revealed new details on how the animal disease Nagana is spread by tsetse flies in Africa. (2018-05-17)

How the waterwheel plant snaps
Biologists and civil engineers have analyzed the rapid movement of the snap-trap with which the carnivorous plant catches its prey. (2018-05-15)

Should patients in remission stop taking expensive Rheumatoid Arthritis drugs?
Stopping expensive biological drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in patients who are in remission or who have low disease activity can save considerable costs, but it results in a small loss of quality-adjusted life years, according to a recent Arthritis & Rheumatology study. (2018-05-11)

Bridging the gaps in global conservation
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2018-05-09)

The effect of night shifts: Gene expression fails to adapt to new sleep patterns
Night shifts have an impact on genes regulating important biological processes and their expression can't adapt to new sleeping and eating patterns and that most of them stay tuned to their daytime biological clock rhythms. (2018-05-07)

Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
Freiburg researchers show for the first time in detail how a flavin-containing enzyme interacts with oxygen (2018-04-24)

Malaria study reveals gene variants linked to risk of disease
Many people of African heritage are protected against malaria by inheriting a particular version of a gene, a large-scale study has shown. (2018-04-24)

Under-fives should be priority for snail fever therapy, study finds
Pre-school children in sub-Saharan Africa should be tested regularly for a common infection known as snail fever, which would reduce the spread of the disease. (2018-04-17)

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