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Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

September 28, 2015 7:35 am | by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | Comments

A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today, the researchers say.


Climate change consensus extends beyond climate scientists

September 28, 2015 7:28 am | by Natalie van Hoose, Purdue Univ. | Comments

A Purdue Univ.-led survey of nearly 700 scientists from nonclimate disciplines shows that more than 90% believe that average global temperatures are higher than pre-1800’s levels and that human activity has significantly contributed to the rise.


New system for human genome editing

September 28, 2015 7:21 am | by Broad Institute | Comments

A team including the scientist who first harnessed the CRISPR-Cas9 system for mammalian genome editing has now identified a different CRISPR system with the potential for even simpler and more precise genome engineering.


Gene test finds which breast cancer patients can skip chemo

September 28, 2015 2:01 am | by Marilynn Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer, Associated Press | Comments

A new study finds that many women with early-stage breast cancer can skip chemotherapy without hurting their odds of beating the disease. The study shows the value of using a gene-activity test to gauge each patient's risk. The test accurately identified a group of women whose cancers are so likely to respond to hormone therapy that adding chemo would do little if any good.


California regulators to restore emissions-cutting fuel rule

September 25, 2015 1:00 pm | by Judy Lin, Associated Press | Comments

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators are poised to restore a first-in-the-nation climate change program that requires a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions on transportation fuels sold in the state by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices. After the...


Designed defects in liquid crystals guide construction of nanomaterials

September 25, 2015 11:00 am | by Alexis Brodt, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | Comments

Imperfections running through liquid crystals can be used as miniscule tubing, channeling molecules into specific positions to form new materials and nanoscale structures, according to engineers at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. The discovery could have applications in fields as diverse as electronics and medicine.


Nanomechanical study offers new assessment of silicon for next-gen batteries

September 25, 2015 10:00 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

A detailed nanomechanical study of mechanical degradation processes in silicon structures containing varying levels of lithium ions offers good news for researchers attempting to develop reliable next-generation rechargeable batteries using silicon-based electrodes.


France to hold random engine checks after Volkswagen scandal

September 25, 2015 9:16 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

France's environment minister has announced random tests of about 100 French cars to ensure that their engines meet pollution standards in the wake of Volkswagen's emissions scandal.


New 'stealth dark matter' theory may explain mystery of the universe

September 25, 2015 9:11 am | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Comments

A group of national particle physicists known as the Lattice Strong Dynamics Collaboration, led by a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team, has combined theoretical and computational physics techniques and used the Laboratory’s massively parallel 2-petaflop Vulcan supercomputer to devise a new model of dark matter.


Biologists find unexpected role for amyloid-forming protein

September 25, 2015 9:04 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

Fibrous protein clumps known as amyloids are most often associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, where they form characteristic plaques in the brain.


Seasonal body clock discovered in animals

September 24, 2015 2:54 pm | by Univ. of Manchester | Comments

The BBSRC team from The Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh reveal that cells in a structure called the ‘pars tuberalis’- which is situated in the pituitary gland – there are specialized cells that respond according how much daylight there is, providing an internal genetic calendar for the animal.


Mobile app records our erratic eating habits

September 24, 2015 2:38 pm | by Salk Institute for Biological Studies | Comments

Breakfast, lunch and dinner? For too many of us, the three meals of the day go more like: morning meeting pastry, mid-afternoon energy drink and midnight pizza. In Cell Metabolism on September 24, Salk Institute scientists present daily food and beverage intake data collected from over 150 participants of a mobile research app over three weeks


Greening the electric grid with gas turbines

September 24, 2015 2:28 pm | by Paul Karoff, Harvard Univ. | Comments

Much of the nation’s energy policy is premised on the assumption that clean, renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, will require huge quantities of storage to make a significant dent in greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity generation. A new Harvard study pokes holes in that assumption.


Scientists: drought stressing California's giant sequoias

September 24, 2015 2:22 pm | by Scott Smith, Associated Press | Comments

Giant Sequoias growing in California's Sierra Nevada are among the largest and oldest living things on earth, but scientists climbing high up into their green canopies say they are seeing symptoms of stress caused by the state's historic drought.


How flu viruses gain the ability to spread

September 24, 2015 10:00 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

Flu viruses come in many strains, and some are better equipped than others to spread from person to person. Scientists have now discovered that the soft palate plays a key role in viruses’ ability to travel through the air from one person to another. The findings should help scientists better understand how the flu virus evolves airborne transmissibility and assist them in monitoring the emergence of strains that may cause outbreaks.



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