Immune system targets bacterial flagella to ID them

The body's homeland security unit is more thorough than any airport checkpoint. For the first time, scientists have witnessed a mouse immune system protein frisking a snippet of an invading bacterium. The inspection is far more extensive than researchers imagined: the immune system protein, similar to those in humans, scans the bacterial protein in six … Continue reading Immune system targets bacterial flagella to ID them

Beetle microbiome allows them to survive

An international team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has described a bacterium residing in a species of leaf beetles which has an unexpected feature: it provides the beetle with the enzymes required to break down certain plant cell wall components. The genome of the bacterium is the smallest ever sequenced … Continue reading Beetle microbiome allows them to survive

Tired of inequality? Blame the rise of agriculture

Researchers at Washington State University and 13 other institutions have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. In the largest study of its kind, the researchers saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization. Their findings, published this … Continue reading Tired of inequality? Blame the rise of agriculture

Researchers try to edit mosquitoes to oblivion

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have developed transgenic mosquitoes that stably express the Cas9 enzyme in their germline. The addition of Cas9 will enable the use of the CRISPR gene editing tool to make efficient, targeted changes to the mosquitoes' DNA. As proof of concept, the researchers used the system to disrupt cuticle, … Continue reading Researchers try to edit mosquitoes to oblivion

Study shows that our body clocks adapt quickly

Just how it works is not known - but human beings have an internal clock which enables us to perceive and estimate periods of time subconsciously. A research team under Dr. Roland Thomaschke of the University of Freiburg's Department of Psychology showed in experiments that this mental time-processing system is able to adapt quickly and … Continue reading Study shows that our body clocks adapt quickly

Scientists catch glimpse of contracting white dwarf

Astrophysicists from MSU (Russia) and his colleagues from Italy and Russian Academy of Sciences have found the first observational evidence for a contracting white dwarf. Constant high spin-up rate of a star of this type, located in an enigmatic binary system, can be easily explained if the white dwarf is contracting, the researchers argue. The … Continue reading Scientists catch glimpse of contracting white dwarf

Many Latinos feel science interferes with their beliefs

More than one-third of Latinos interviewed in a recent study believe science education may have a negative impact on the religious faith of their children, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University. The study examined the relationship between STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and religious faith from the perspective of blacks … Continue reading Many Latinos feel science interferes with their beliefs

Specific genetic sequences help viruses evade our immune systems

For millions of years, humans and viruses have engaged in a constant tug of war: as our cells evolve new ways to defend us from our viral enemies, these pathogens in turn acquire new traits to sidestep those defenses. Now, scientists have found that a key similarity between our genes and those of many viruses--a … Continue reading Specific genetic sequences help viruses evade our immune systems

Iron in the Earth’s core may have jump started life

Reservoirs of oxygen-rich iron between the Earth's core and mantle could have played a major role in Earth's history, including the breakup of supercontinents, drastic changes in Earth's atmospheric makeup, and the creation of life, according to recent work from an international research team published in National Science Review. The team -- which includes scientists … Continue reading Iron in the Earth’s core may have jump started life