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Comparing sensitivity of all genes to chemical exposure

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 17:16:49 EDT

An environmental health scientist has used an unprecedented objective approach to identify which molecular mechanisms in mammals are the most sensitive to chemical exposures.

Tuning biomolecular receptors for affinity and cooperativity

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 17:16:46 EDT

Our biological processes rely on a system of communications -- cellular signals -- that set off chain reactions in and between target cells to produce a response. The first step in these often complex communications is the moment a molecule binds to a receptor on or in a cell, prompting changes that can trigger further signals that propagate across systems. From food tasting and blood oxygenation during breathing to drug therapy, receptor binding is the fundamental mechanism that unlocks a multitude of biological functions and responses.

Landscape to atomic scales: Researchers apply new approach to pyrite oxidation

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 17:16:40 EDT

Pyrite, or fool's gold, is a common mineral that reacts quickly with oxygen when exposed to water or air, such as during mining operations, and can lead to acid mine drainage. Little is known, however, about the oxidation of pyrite in unmined rock deep underground.

High-sugar diet can damage the gut, intensifying risk for colitis

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 14:20:42 EDT

Mice fed diets high in sugar developed worse colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and researchers examining their large intestines found more of the bacteria that can damage the gut's protective mucus layer.

Touch and taste? It's all in the tentacles

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 14:20:25 EDT

Scientists identified a novel family of sensors in the first layer of cells inside the suction cups that have adapted to react and detect molecules that don't dissolve well in water. The research suggests these sensors, called chemotactile receptors, use these molecules to help the animal figure out what it's touching and whether that object is prey.

Spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon aren't as different as they seem

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 14:20:19 EDT

Historically, spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon have been considered as separate subspecies, races, ecotypes, or even as separate species of fish. A new genetic analysis, however, shows that the timing of migration in Chinook salmon is determined entirely by differences in one short stretch of DNA in their genomes.

Molecular compass for cell orientation

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 14:19:49 EDT

Plants have veins that transport nutrients through their body. These veins are highly organized. The hormone auxin travels directionally from cell-to-cell and provides cells with positional information, coordinating them during vein formation and regeneration. Scientists now discovered how cells translate auxin signals into forming a complex system of veins. This phenomenon also applies to wound healing and might lead to more mechanically resistant plants and further agricultural implications.

Study of ancient dog DNA traces canine diversity to the Ice Age

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 14:19:45 EDT

A global study of ancient dog DNA presents evidence that there were different types of dogs more than 11,000 years ago in the period immediately following the Ice Age.

Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 14:17:40 EDT

Researchers analyzed the genome of the oldest human fossil found in Mongolia to date and show that the 34,000-year-old woman inherited around 25 percent of her DNA from western Eurasians, demonstrating that people moved across the Eurasian continent shortly after it had first been settled by the ancestors of present-day populations. This individual and a 40,000-year-old individual from China also carried DNA from Denisovans, an extinct form of hominins that inhabited Asia before modern humans arrived.

Streetlights contribute less to nighttime light emissions in cities than expected

Thu, 29 Oct 2020 13:55:03 EDT

When satellites take pictures of Earth at night, how much of the light that they see comes from streetlights? A team of scientists have answered this question for the first time using the example of the U.S. city of Tucson, thanks to 'smart city' lighting technology that allows dimming. The result: only around 20 percent of the light in the Tucson satellite images comes from streetlights.

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