Biology News

Syndicate content
Updated: 30 min 36 sec ago

Study shows plant species' genetic responses to climate change

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31

A study by the University of Liverpool has found that the genetic diversity of wild plant species could be altered rapidly by anthropogenic climate change.

The DNA damage response goes viral: A way in for new cancer treatments

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31

Every organism--from a seedling to a president--must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery.

HIV testing among older adults is declining, despite CDC recommendation

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31

Researchers led by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health examined HIV testing trends among adults ages 50 through 64 both before and after 2006, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most doctors automatically screen all patients for HIV regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Circadian genes go to sleep every day at the periphery of the nucleus

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31


Dr. Anita Göndör and her colleagues at Karolinska Institutet show that circadian genes 'take a nap' everyday at the periphery of the nucleus. Mobility between different physical environments in the cell nucleus regulates the daily oscillations in the activity of genes that are controlled by the internal biological clock, according to a study that is published in the journal Molecular Cell. Eventually, these findings may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases linked with disrupted circadian rhythm.

HIV particles do not cause AIDS, our own immune cells do

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31

Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus's direct effect on the host's immune cells, but rather through the cells' lethal influence on one another.

Scientists identify possible key in virus, cancer research

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31

Florida State University researchers have taken a big step forward in the fight against cancer with a discovery that could open up the door for new research and treatment options.

Degenerating neurons respond to gene therapy treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Thu, 27/08/2015 - 22:31

Degenerating neurons in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) measurably responded to an experimental gene therapy in which nerve growth factor (NGF) was injected into their brains, report researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the current issue of JAMA Neurology.

Cells cling and spiral 'like vines' in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 23:25


These are plant cells stretching within the artificial scaffold. Miniscule artificial scaffolding units made from nano-fibre polymers and built to house plant cells have enabled scientists to see for the first time how individual plant cells behave and interact with each other in a three-dimensional environment.

Epigenetics research: The key to unlocking personalized IBD treatments

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 23:25

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), in partnership with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), announced today that Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD, from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, OH, was awarded with the 2015 AGA-CCFA-Janssen Research Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Epigenetics Research.

New fungi behind emerging wheat disease

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 23:25


This is Associate Professor Solomon in the wheat biosecurity lab at the Research School of Biology. Researchers have unraveled the mystery cause of the emerging wheat disease White Grain Disorder.

Lab experiments question popular measure of ancient ocean temperatures

Wed, 26/08/2015 - 23:25


The study looked at Thaumarchaeota archaea, which are found throughout the world's oceans. These single-celled organisms have one membrane sac that encloses their bodies. Understanding the planet's history is crucial if we are to predict its future. While some records are preserved in ice cores or tree rings, other records of the climate's ancient past are buried deep in the seafloor.

Hepatitis A-like virus identified in seals

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 23:34


Seal liver infected with novel hepatitis A-like virus was dubbed phopivirus. Scientists in the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have discovered a new virus in seals that is the closest known relative of the human hepatitis A virus. The finding provides new clues on the emergence of hepatitis A. The research appears in the July/August issue of mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in 3 decades

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 23:34

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers one of the world's rarest animals, a remote encounter that may become even more infrequent if illegal fishing practices continue.

Sequencing of barley genome achieves new milestone

Tue, 25/08/2015 - 23:34


Barley is one of the world's most important cereal crops. Barley, a widely grown cereal grain commonly used to make beer and other alcoholic beverages, possesses a large and highly repetitive genome that is difficult to fully sequence. Now a team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside has reached a new milestone in its work, begun in 2000, on sequencing the barley genome. The researchers have sequenced large portions of the genome that together contain nearly two-thirds of all barley genes.

Ants do drugs

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 23:15

We humans have been using self-medication to cure the illnesses since the dawn of our species. There is some evidence that also other animals can exhibit this type of behavior, but the evidence has been hard to come by.

Humans carry more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals they work with

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 23:15

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a concern for the health and well-being of both humans and farm animals. One of the most common and costly diseases faced by the dairy industry is bovine mastitis, a potentially fatal bacterial inflammation of the mammary gland (IMI). Widespread use of antibiotics to treat the disease is often blamed for generating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, researchers investigating staphylococcal populations responsible for causing mastitis in dairy cows in South Africa found that humans carried more antibiotic-resistant staphylococci than the farm animals with which they worked. The research is published in the Journal of Dairy Science®

Tiny antibodies point to vulnerability in disease-causing parasites

Mon, 24/08/2015 - 23:15

By teasing apart the structure of an enzyme vital to the infectious behavior of the parasites that cause toxoplasmosis and malaria, Whitehead Institute scientists have identified a potentially 'drugable' target that could prevent parasites from entering and exiting host cells.

Warming climate is deepening California drought

Fri, 21/08/2015 - 00:01


This image shows an abnormally low lake level at Horseshoe Lake in the high-elevation Mammoth Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada Mountains, This photo was taken June 2015. A new study says that global warming has measurably worsened the ongoing California drought. While scientists largely agree that natural weather variations have caused a lack of rain, an emerging consensus says that rising temperatures may be making things worse by driving moisture from plants and soil into the air. The new study is the first to estimate how much worse: as much as a quarter. The findings suggest that within a few decades, continually increasing temperatures and resulting moisture losses will push California into even more persistent aridity. The study appears this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Molecular machine, not assembly line, assembles microtubules

Fri, 21/08/2015 - 00:01


UC Davis researchers show how four proteins come together to make the machine that assembles tubulin, the building block of microtubules. When they think about how cells put together the molecules that make life work, biologists have tended to think of assembly lines: Add A to B, tack on C, and so on. But the reality might be more like a molecular version of a 3-D printer, where a single mechanism assembles the molecule in one go.

How long have primates been infected with viruses related to HIV?

Fri, 21/08/2015 - 00:01


This is a model of a retrovirus capsid hexamer, showing the conserved beta-hairpin domains common to most kinds of retroviruses (circled) and a pocket containing additional sites thought to affect... Disease-causing viruses engage their hosts in ongoing arms races: positive selection for antiviral genes increases host fitness and survival, and viruses in turn select for mutations that counteract the antiviral host factors. Studying such adaptive mutations can provide insights into the distant history of host-virus interactions. A study published on August 20th in PLOS Pathogens of antiviral gene sequences in African monkeys suggests that lentiviruses closely related to HIV have infected primates in Africa as far back as 16 million years.