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Genetics News
Thu, 21 May 2015 13:37:42 EDT
Genetic maps help conservation managers maintain healthy bears
A comprehensive genetic study of American black bears throughout North America has been completed by scientists. They discovered that black bears in Alaska are more closely related to bears in the eastern regions of the US and Canada than those located in western regions. The study revealed ancient movement patterns of black bears and provide detailed 'genetic maps' that could help conservation management officials maintain healthy bear populations throughout North America.
Thu, 21 May 2015 13:37:38 EDT
Bacteria cooperate to repair damaged siblings
A certain type of soil bacteria can use their social behavior of outer membrane exchange to repair damaged cells and improve the fitness of the bacteria population as a whole, new research demonstrates. This is the first evidence that a bacterium can use cell-content sharing to repair damaged siblings, the authors say.
Thu, 21 May 2015 13:36:30 EDT
Thunder god vine used in traditional Chinese medicine is a potential obesity treatment
An extract from the thunder god vine, which has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, reduces food intake and causes up to a 45 percent decrease in body weight in obese mice. The weight-loss compound, called Celastrol, produces its potent effects by enhancing the action of an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin. The findings are an early indicator that Celastrol could be developed into a drug for the treatment of obesity.
Thu, 21 May 2015 10:49:32 EDT
Symbiosis turns messy in 13-year cicadas
Bacteria that live in the guts of cicadas have split into many separate but interdependent species in a strange evolutionary phenomenon that leaves them reliant on a bloated genome, a new paper has found.
Wed, 20 May 2015 11:42:18 EDT
One simple molecule regulates sexual behavior in Drosophila
Until now researchers have failed to identify the specific pheromone in Drosophila melanogaster that leads to mating success. Although the pheromones that inhibit mating in Drosophila were known, the positive pheromone signal that elicits courtship behavior and mating remained a mystery. Scientists have succeeded in identifying the molecule that regulates complex mating behavior in vinegar flies: a fatty acid methyl ester called methyl laurate.
Wed, 20 May 2015 10:00:23 EDT
Natural plant chemicals could help fight tooth decay, study shows
Oral-care products containing a natural chemical that stops bacteria harming teeth could help prevent decay, a study suggests. The plant natural product acts against harmful mouth bacteria and could improve oral health by helping to prevent the build-up of plaque, researchers say.
Wed, 20 May 2015 10:00:19 EDT
What happens inside a membrane? Novel method to watch ion channels in action (and much more)
Little is known about how the proteins forming ion channels -- the 'pores' on the cell membrane -- change when they open and close, especially the portion that is 'embedded' in the membrane. Scientists have invented a method, based on the combined and innovative use of known techniques, which allowed them to observe in detail a specific membrane protein and its structural changes.
Wed, 20 May 2015 08:32:56 EDT
Mountain gorilla mamas sidestep having inbred offspring
Some mountain gorilla females linger into adulthood in the group into which they were born. In the process, they also remain in the company of their father, who is often their group's dominant male. To curb inbreeding, though, they appear to tactically avoid mating with their fathers. This strategy works so well that the chances of alpha gorilla males siring the offspring of their own daughters are effectively zero, according to new research.
Tue, 19 May 2015 13:28:04 EDT
Bloom preservation with urine chemical and acids?
If you want your cut gerberas to last longer in the vase, you could try a flower food made from acids and urea.
Tue, 19 May 2015 12:22:15 EDT
Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump
Using nature for inspiration, scientists have developed an entirely artificial molecular pump, in which molecules pump other molecules. The machine mimics the pumping mechanism of proteins that move small molecules around living cells to metabolize and store energy from food. The pump draws its power from chemical reactions, driving molecules step-by-step from a low-energy state to a high-energy state. The pump one day might be used to power other molecular machines, such as artificial muscles, researchers say.
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