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Science

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Biological and Environmental Research, biological and environmental sciences, Emsl, JGI, Joint Genome Institute, Proceedings Of The Natinal Academy Of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Biogeochemistry, Geochemistry, Oceans, Oxygen, Oxygen Deprivation, Oxygen Minimum, Genetics, Enviroment, Environmental Science, Environmental Resear

Mighty Microbes Roil Oceans

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New model reveals the significant role of microbes in oceanic nutrient and energy cycling. The results of this work significantly improve the crude models of microbial activity in important oceanic zones and provide holistic insights into how microbes drive nutrient and energy flow.

Science

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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, LCLS , Linac Coherent Light Source, structural molecular biology, X-ray science, X-ray Crystallogaphy, lightsource

Protein Structure Solved From Smallest Crystals Yet

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An international team of scientists used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to determine the structure of an insect virus’s crystalline protein “cocoon.”

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Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Emotions Are Cognitive, Not Innate, Researchers Conclude

Emotions are not innately programmed into our brains, but, in fact, are cognitive states resulting from the gathering of information, New York University Professor Joseph LeDoux and Richard Brown, a professor at the City University of New York, conclude.

Medicine

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Diabetes, Genetics, Epigenetic, DNA regulation, Type 2 Diabetes, Transcription

Diabetes in Your DNA? Scientists Zero in on the Genetic Signature of Risk

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Many genetic mutations have been linked to Type 2 diabetes, but no clear genetic signature has emerged. Now, new results may explain how multiple genetic flaws can lead to the same disease: They seem to change the way certain cells in the pancreas “read” their genes.

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Evolution, Genome, Genome size

Genomes in Flux: New Study Reveals Hidden Dynamics of Bird and Mammal DNA Evolution

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Evolution is often thought of as a gradual remodeling of the genome, the genetic blueprints for building an organism. But in some instance it might be more appropriate to call it an overhaul. Over the past 100 million years, the human lineage has lost one-fifth of its DNA, while an even greater amount was added, report scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Until now, the extent to which our genome has expanded and contracted had been underappreciated.

Science

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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Uranium, Groundwater, groundwater contaminants, Mining, Environmental Science, X-ray science, SSRL, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, lightsource, Spectroscopy

SLAC Study Helps Explain Why Uranium Persists in Groundwater at Former Mining Sites

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A recent study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory helps describe how uranium cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove.

Medicine

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Cancer, Genetics, Drug Development

Potential New Drug Class Hits Multiple Cancer Cell Targets, Boosting Efficacy and Safety

In a new paper published this week in PNAS, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, in collaboration with colleagues at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, the University of Colorado School of Medicine and SignalRx, a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company, describe a potential new class of anti-cancer drugs that inhibit two or more molecular targets at once, maximizing therapeutic efficiency and safety.

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Malaria, Malaria Vaccine, Proteins

Programmed Proteins Might Help Prevent Malaria

Malaria is still a global scourge, killing mostly children in tropical regions. Developing an affordable vaccine that can stay stable without refrigeration is a challenge. Now, a Weizmann Institute lab has reprogrammed proteins in such a way that they could lead to an inexpensive vaccine that can be stored at room temperature.

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Vitamin B12, Microbial Communities

Vitamin B12: Power Broker to the Microbes

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In the microbial world, vitamin B12 is a hot commodity. It turns out that vitamin B12, a substance produced by only a few organisms but needed by nearly all of them, wields great power in microbial communities – ubiquitous structures that affect energy and food production, the environment, and human health.

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New Tools Will Drive Greater Understanding of Wheat Genes

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HHMI scientists develop a much-needed genetic resource that is aiding development of wheat plants with improved traits.

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Regulating Gasotransmitters Could Improve Care for Sleep Apnea

Unbalanced signaling by two molecules that regulate breathing leads to sleep apnea in mice and rats. Injection of a substance that reduces production of one of those signals can prevent apneas. This approach may help people suffering from multiple forms of sleep-disordered breathing.

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Circadian Rhythms, Jet Lag, Major League Baseball

Jet Lag Impairs Performance of Major League Baseball Players

A Northwestern University study of how jet lag affects Major League Baseball players traveling across just a few time zones found that when players travel in a way that misaligns their internal 24-hour clock with the natural environment and its cycle of sunlight, they suffer negative consequences. The researchers found that jet lag negatively affects the base running of home teams but not away teams and that home and away pitchers both give up more home runs when jet-lagged.

Medicine

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Shark, Parkinson's Disease, Steroid, Protein, Nervous System, Lewy Body Dementia

Steroid Originally Discovered in the Dogfish Shark Attacks Parkinson’s-Related Toxin in Animal Model

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A synthesized steroid mirroring one naturally made by the dogfish shark prevents the buildup of a lethal protein implicated in some neurodegenerative diseases, reports an international research team studying an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. The clustering of this protein, alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein), is the hallmark of Parkinson’s and dementia with Lewy bodies, suggesting a new potential compound for therapeutic research.

Medicine

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Leishmania, persistent infection, Latent Infection, Immune System

Persistent Infection Keeps Immune Memory Sharp, Leading to Long-Term Protection

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Microbes can persist in people for years after an illness, even in people who are healthy and immune to recurrence. Now, researchers have found a clue to this seeming paradox: Persistent microbes are constantly multiplying and being killed, keeping the immune system prepared for any new encounters.

Science

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Joint Bioenergy institute, Great lakes Bioenergy Research Center, stilbene, dioxygenase, Carotenoid, Lignin, Biomass, Bioenergy

Finding Diamonds in the Rough

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New crystallography finding benefits bioenergy industry.

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Basic Energy Sciences, Bioscience, Biosciences, Protein, Proteins, proteins for cleanup, environmental cleanup, environmental remediation, Remediation, remediation of spills, Plutonium, heavy element, Actinide, actinides, Radioactivity, siderocalin, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, PNAS, Geoscie

A Natural Fondness for Plutonium

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Once released into the environment, radioactive materials pose risks. Scientists found that a protein that binds radioactive elements, such as plutonium. This discovery could lead to new ways to clean a contaminated area.

Medicine

Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Childhood Poverty, Developmental Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Human Development, Mental Health, Physiological Stress, Poverty, Psychological Health, Stress

Childhood Poverty Can Rob Adults of Psychological Health

A large and growing body of research shows that poor kids grow up to have a host of physical problems as adults.

Medicine

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Ravit Boger, Cytomegalovirus, CMV, NOD1, protein , Infection, risk

Genetic Mutations Could Increase Risk of Cytomegalovirus Infection

Experimenting with human cells and mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have found that a genetic mutation that alters a protein called NOD1 may increase susceptibility to human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. CMV is a common pathogen that infects almost 60 percent of adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and can lead to devastating developmental defects in fetuses and severe disease in people with weakened immune systems.

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Statistics, Population, Public Health, boostrapping, Sociology, Addiction, HIV

Studies of Vulnerable Populations Get a 'Bootstrapped' Boost From Statisticians

In a paper published online Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Washington researchers report on a statistical approach called "tree bootstrapping" can help social scientists study hard-to-reach populations like drug users.

Medicine

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Cystic Fibrosis

Bacterial ‘Sabotage’ Handicaps Ability to Resolve Devastating Lung Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis

The chronic lung inflammation that is a hallmark of cystic fibrosis, has, for the first time, been linked to a new class of bacterial enzymes that hijack the patient’s immune response and prevent the body from calling off runaway inflammation, according to a laboratory investigation led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.







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