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Critical protein discovered for healthy cell growth in mammals

Nature Related images(click to enlarge) Aimin Liu lab, Penn State University A team of researchers from Penn State University and the University of California has discovered a protein that is required for the growth of tiny, but critical, hair-like structures called cilia on cell surfaces. The discovery has important implications for human health because lack of cilia can lead to serious diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, blindness an Read more...

Academics discover variation in circadian clock protein in fruit flies

Nature Related images(click to enlarge) University of Leicester 'Credit: University of Leicester' The circadian clock is a molecular network that generates daily rhythms, and is present in both plants and animals. A University of Leicester research team led by Dr Eran Tauber has studied genetic variation in circadian clock genes in wild populations of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster — and has discovered that their gene Read more...

From one cell to many: How did multicellularity evolve?

Representative diverse origins of multicellularity are shown on a highly redacted and unrooted phylogenetic diagram of the major eukaryotic clades (modified from a variety of sources). In the beginning there were single cells. Today, many millions of years later, most plants, animals, fungi, and algae are composed of multiple cells that work collaboratively as a single being. Despite the various ways these organisms achieved multicellularity, t Read more...

New genes spring and spread from non-coding DNA

Nature "Where do new genes come from?" is a long-standing question in genetics and evolutionary biology. A new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, published Jan. 23 in Science Express, shows that new genes are created from non-coding DNA more rapidly than expected. "This shows very clearly that genes are being born from ancestral sequences all the time," said David Begun, professor of evolution and e Read more...

Lal Teer and BGI jointly announced the complete sequence of water buffalo

Nature Lal Teer Livestock Limited, an associate of LalTeer Seed Ltd., the largest seed company in Bangladesh with strong hybrid research program, and BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, jointly announced today that they have completed the genome sequencing of water buffalo and the bioinformatics analysis. The outstanding work lays an important foundation for molecular breeding of water buffalo, and sheds new light on the underst Read more...

Bats use water ripples to hunt frogs

Nature Related images(click to enlarge) Ryan Taylor/Salisbury University As the male túngara frog serenades female frogs from a pond, he creates watery ripples that make him easier to target by rivals and predators such as bats, according to researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Leiden University and Salisbury University. A túngara frog will stop calling if it sees Read more...

Calcium absorption not the cause of evolution of milk digestion in Europeans

Nature Related images(click to enlarge) Javier Trueba (Madrid Scientific Films) Ancient DNA from early Iberian farmers shows that the wideheld evolutionary hypothesis of calcium absorption was not the only reason Europeans evolved milk tolerance. Most of us grew up drinking milk. We were told it was the ultimate health drink. It is packed full of nutrients like calcium and other minerals, vitamins, including vitamin D, protein, fat and sugar i Read more...

Humans can use smell to detect levels of dietary fat

Nature New research from the Monell Center reveals humans can use the sense of smell to detect dietary fat in food. As food smell almost always is detected before taste, the findings identify one of the first sensory qualities that signals whether a food contains fat. Innovative methods using odor to make low-fat foods more palatable could someday aid public health efforts to reduce dietary fat intake. "The human sense of smell is far better Read more...

New test targets salmonella

Nature Related images(click to enlarge) Jeff Fitlow/Rice University An array of tiny diving boards can perform the Olympian feat of identifying many strains of salmonella at once. The novel biosensor developed by scientists at Rice University in collaboration with colleagues in Thailand and Ireland may make the detection of pathogens much faster and easier for food-manufacturing plants. A study on the discovery appears online this month in the Read more...

Salamanders help predict health of forest ecosystems and inform forest management

Nature Related images(click to enlarge) Grant Connette at Wayah Bald, NC MU News Bureau Woodland salamanders are small, lungless amphibians that live in moist, forest habitats throughout the U.S. and the world. Salamanders often serve as vital links in forest food chains; their population size and recovery from major disturbances can help predict the health of forest ecosystems. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have determined Read more...