How plankton cope with turbulence

Microscopic marine plankton are not helplessly adrift in the ocean. They can perceive cues that indicate turbulence, rapidly respond to regulate their behavior and actively adapt. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time how they do this.

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Biochemists develop new way to control cell biology with light

Researchers have developed a new method of controlling biology at the cellular level using light. The tool — called a photocleavable protein — breaks into two pieces when exposed to light, allowing scientists to study and manipulate activity inside cells in new and different ways.

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With climate change, shrubs and trees expand northwards in the Subarctic

Shrubs expand in the tundra in northern Scandinavia. And it is known that fixation of nitrogen from the air is in the tundra to a high degree performed by cyanobacteria associated with mosses. Also enhanced nitrogen fixation stimulates plant growth. New research shows that as taller shrubs expand into the tundra, nutrients in their leaf litter will either promote or reduce the nitrogen fixation, depending upon which shrub species that will dominate.

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Overuse of antibiotics brings risks for bees, and for us

Honeybees treated with a common antibiotic were half as likely to survive the week after treatment compared with a group of untreated bees, a finding that may have health implications for bees and people alike.

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Microbes measure ecological restoration success

The success of ecological restoration projects around the world could be boosted using a potential new tool that monitors soil microbes, say scientists.

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Zebrafish without stripes

Dowling-Degos disease is a hereditary pigmentation disorder that generally progresses harmlessly. However, some of those affected also develop severe skin inflammation. An international team of researchers has now found a cause for this link. Their knowledge comes thanks to an animal that is known among aquarium owners for its characteristic pigmentation: the zebrafish.

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Study paves the way for Clostridium difficile treatment in pill form

Frozen and freeze-dried products for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) are nearly as effective as fresh product at treating patients with Clostridium difficile (C-diff) infection, according to researchers.

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Enzyme-free krebs cycle may have been key step in origin of life on Earth

A set of biochemical processes crucial to cellular life on Earth could have originated in chemical reactions taking place on the early Earth four billion years ago, believes a group of scientists.

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Early intervention with new treatment enables durable control of HIV-like virus in monkeys

One of the many challenges with existing HIV therapies is that a dormant version of the virus is always lurking in the background, ready to attack the immune system as soon as treatment is interrupted. Now, new research suggests that treatment with two anti-HIV antibodies immediately after infection enables the immune system to effectively control the virus, preventing its return for an extended period.

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Highly pathogenic A(H7N9) virus mutation does not change risk to humans

In February 2017, a new A(H7N9) virus — indicating high pathogenicity in poultry — was detected in three patients connected to Guangdong, China, as well as in environmental and poultry samples. This is an important development to be monitored, however, ECDC’s updated rapid risk assessment concluded that the risk of the disease spreading within Europe via humans is still considered low, as there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.

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Newly discovered virus affects sex ratio of insect-killing wasps

Scientists have identified a previously unknown virus that decreases the number of female offspring of the wasps it infects, according to a new study. The virus infects one species of a specific group of wasps known as parasitoid wasps.

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Five new synthetic yeast chromosomes assembled

A global research team has built five new synthetic yeast chromosomes, meaning that 30 percent of a key organism’s genetic material has now been swapped out for engineered replacements. Like computer programmers, scientists add swaths of synthetic DNA to — or remove stretches from — human, plant, bacterial or yeast chromosomes in hopes of averting disease, manufacturing medicines, or making food more nutritious.

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