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New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens

Next-generation sequencing technology has made it easier than ever for quick diagnosis of plant diseases.

Researchers develop 3D-printed jelly

3D-printable gels with improved and highly controlled properties can be created by merging micro- and nano-sized networks of the same materials harnessed from seaweed. The findings could have applications in biomedical materials - think of biological scaffolds for growing cells - and soft robotics.

Force-sensing PIEZO proteins are at work in plants, too

A family of proteins that sense mechanical force--and enable our sense of touch and many other important bodily functions--also are essential for proper root growth in some plants, according to a study led by scientists at Scripps Research and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Fibre-optics used to take the temperature of Greenland Ice Sheet

Scientists have used fibre-optic sensing to obtain the most detailed measurements of ice properties ever taken on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Their findings will be used to make more accurate models of the future movement of the world's second-largest ice sheet, as the effects of climate change continue to accelerate.

People at high genetic risk for colorectal cancer benefit more from lifestyle changes

People with a high polygenic risk score for colorectal cancer could benefit more at preventing the disease by leading healthy lifestyles than those at lower genetic risk, according to a new study.

Path of light in photosynthesis traced

Three billion years ago, light first zipped through chlorophyll within tiny reaction centers, the first step plants and photosynthetic bacteria take to convert light into food.

Epigenetic changes drive the fate of a B cell

B cells are the immune cells responsible for creating antibodies, and most produce antibodies in response to a pathogen or a vaccine. A small subset of B cells instead spontaneously make antibodies that perform vital housekeeping functions. Understanding how epigenetics spur these differences in such similar cells is an important fundamental question in immunology.

Harvesting light like nature does

A new class of bio-inspired two-dimensional (2D) hybrid nanomaterials mimic the ability of photosynthetic plants and bacteria.

New cyanobacteria species spotlights early life

Cyanobacteria first evolved to perform photosynthesis about 2.4 billion years ago, pumping tons of oxygen into the atmosphere - a period known as the Great Oxygenation Event - which enabled the evolution of multicellular life forms. Researchers have discovered a new species of cyanobacteria, Anthocerotibacter panamensis, which could help illuminate how photosynthesis evolved to create the world as we know it.

Virtual reality warps your sense of time

Psychology researchers found that playing games in virtual reality creates an effect called 'time compression,' where time goes by faster than you think. The research team compared time perception during gameplay using conventional monitors and virtual reality to determine that this effect is uniquely linked to the virtual reality format.

Our dreams' weirdness might be why we have them, argues new AI-inspired theory of dreaming

Why we dream is a divisive topic within the scientific community, and the neuroscience field is saturated with hypotheses. Inspired by techniques used to train deep neural networks, a neuroscience researcher argues for a new theory of dreams: the overfitted brain hypothesis. The hypothesis suggests that the strangeness of our dreams serves to help our brains better generalize our day-to-day experiences.

Mammals can use their intestines to breathe

Rodents and pigs share with certain aquatic organisms the ability to use their intestines for respiration, finds a study publishing May 14th in the journal Med. The researchers demonstrated that the delivery of oxygen gas or oxygenated liquid through the rectum provided vital rescue to two mammalian models of respiratory failure.

Earth's oldest minerals date onset of plate tectonics to 3.6 billion years ago

Scientists provide new evidence that modern plate tectonics, a defining feature of Earth and its unique ability to support life, emerged roughly 3.6 billion years ago. The study uses zircons, the oldest minerals ever found on Earth, to peer back into the planet's ancient past.

Climate change threatens one-third of global food production

New research assesses just how global food production will be affected if greenhouse gas emissions are left uncut.

Which animals will survive climate change?

Climate change is exacerbating problems like habitat loss and temperatures swings that have already pushed many animal species to the brink. But can scientists predict which animals will be able to adapt and survive? Using genome sequencing, researchers show that some fish, like the threespine stickleback, can adapt very rapidly to extreme seasonal changes. Their findings could help scientists forecast the evolutionary future of these populations.
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