Month: November 2018

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The ability to issue warnings is a common feature in animal communication. Alarm calls can warn group members about the presence of a predator, and can even provide information about the type of predator, as well as its location. Such warnings happen in real time, while the danger is present. Humans do this too, of course,
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Epigenetics test in a boxChronomics It is  not rare to hear people saying over a glass of wine in a friendly gathering that scientists overreact with smoking risks. To make themselves believable, they bring live examples of relatives-who were heavy smokers- and outlived their habits. What they do not mention, possibly because they are unaware
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The rocket took off from Virginia this morningNASA/Joel Kowsky A cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS) has lifted off after an impressive pre-dawn launch. Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket took off today at 4.01am Eastern time from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia with the Cygnus spacecraft on board. The spacecraft was named
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Humanity just made a weighty decision. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations, gathered in Versailles, France, approved a new definition for the kilogram. Since the 19th century, scientists have based their definition of the fundamental unit of mass on a physical object — a shining platinum iridium cylinder stored in a locked vault
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Since 1889, Le Grand K, a sleek cylinder of platinum-iridium metal, has ruled from its underground vault in Paris. An absolute monarch, it was the very definition of one kilogram of mass. Scientists from around the world made pilgrimages to it, bringing along their national kilogram standards to weigh in comparison. “The mother ship is
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Abstract Essential metabolic reactions are shaping constituents of metabolic networks, enabling viable and distinct phenotypes across diverse life forms. Here we analyse and compare modelling predictions of essential metabolic functions with experimental data and thereby identify core metabolic pathways in prokaryotes. Simulations of 15 manually curated genome-scale metabolic models were integrated with 36 large-scale gene
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Abstract Covalent modification of proteins by ubiquitin or ubiquitin chains is one of the most prevalent post-translational modifications in eukaryotes. Different types of ubiquitin chains are assumed to selectively signal respectively modified proteins for different fates. In support of this hypothesis, structural studies have shown that the eight possible ubiquitin dimers adopt different conformations. However,
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Microrobots could clean up contaminated waterphilipus/Alamy Stock Photo By Chris Stokel-Walker Thousands of microrobots controlled by magnets could help remove heavy metals from contaminated water. The microbots are made from iron oxide-coated mushroom spores, and cause heavy metal ions to cling to the pores they come into contact with. Once they’ve been placed into contaminated
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When ballots were tallied from Election Day last week, science-oriented candidates for U.S. Congress looked like real winners. Seven Democrats with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and medicine are headed to the House of Representatives; one won in the Senate. In addition, two Republicans with science backgrounds won House seats. The Democrats were endorsed by a
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Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) have risen to prominence in cancer biology as new biomarkers of disease. Those lincRNAs transcribed from active cis-regulatory elements (enhancers) have provided mechanistic insight into cis-acting regulation; however, in the absence of an enhancer hallmark, computational prediction of cis-acting transcription of lincRNAs remains challenging. Here, University of Chicago researchers introduce
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The architectural design behind Japan’s new space research center is mind-boggling. The futuristic building will incorporate elements of spacecraft design, which emphasize light weight and high functionality. The whole thing will be suspended over a man-made, Moon-like crater. The building will be a robotics research center that’s part of the Avatar X space research campus on
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Every now and then, Earth’s protective magnetic cage changes its stripes, sending explosive showers of charged particles spilling into the atmosphere. NASA’s quartet of orbiting Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites has finally recorded one in high detail on the planet’s night side, providing vital information on a phenomenon that stirs the winds of space throughout the
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Benefits of walking backwardsSetiadi Setiadi / EyeEm By Sam Wong To go back in time, it might help to go backwards in space. Volunteers in a study did better in a memory test if they walked backwards before taking it – or if they simply imagined moving backwards. Aleksandar Aksentijevic at the University of Roehampton,
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Bhatt et al. report in the Journal the results of the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl–Intervention Trial (REDUCE-IT), in which 8179 high-risk patients who had elevated triglyceride levels and had been receiving statin therapy were randomly assigned to receive 2 g of icosapent ethyl twice daily or placebo containing mineral oil.1 The patients
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The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced a series of restrictions aimed at combating a growing public health menace — flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco products that have lured young people into vaping and smoking. And in a bold regulatory move, the agency said it would move to outlaw two traditional tobacco products that disproportionately
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PIWI-interacting RNAs: small RNAs with big functions PIWI-interacting RNAs: small RNAs with big functions, Published online: 16 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41576-018-0073-3 PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) have numerous crucial biological roles, particularly transposon silencing in the germ line. In this Review, the authors describe our latest understanding of piRNA biogenesis and functions across diverse species, highlighting how, despite
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Antarctica’s Shackleton Ridge at sunset.NASA/John Sonntag It’s hard to imagine, but Antarctica wasn’t always covered in ice. This huge continental landmass, back in the age of the dinosaurs, was a lush forested landscape, teeming with large creatures and critters alike. Nowadays, shielded by the largest ice sheet on the planet, we are only beginning to
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