New species of frog from the Neotropics carries its heart on its skin

In the Neotropics, there is a whole group of so-called glassfrogs that amaze with their transparent skin covering their bellies and showing their organs underneath. A recently discovered new species from Amazonian Ecuador, however, goes a step further to fully expose its heart thanks to the transparent skin stretching all over its chest as well as tummy. …

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Dramatic shift in gut microbes and their metabolites seen after weight loss surgery

Obesity is linked with the composition of microbes in the human gut. In new research, bacterial composition in the gut, as well as accompanying metabolites are shown to undergo a profound and permanent shift, with microbial diversity significantly increasing following gastric bypass surgery.

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Improving wheat yields by increasing grain size, weight

Researchers aim to improve wheat yields by increasing grain size and weight using a precise gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9.

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Bioelectricity new weapon to fight dangerous infection

Changing natural electrical signaling in non-neural cells improves innate immune response to bacterial infections and injury. Tadpoles that received therapeutics, including those used in humans for other purposes, which depolarized their cells had higher survival rates when infected with E. coli than controls. The research has applications for treatment of emerging diseases and traumatic injury in humans. …

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Designer viruses stimulate the immune system to fight cancer

Scientists have created artificial viruses that can be used to target cancer. These designer viruses alert the immune system and cause it to send killer cells to help fight the tumor. The results provide a basis for innovative cancer treatments. …

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DNA ladders: Inexpensive molecular rulers for DNA research

New license-free tools will allow researchers to estimate the size of DNA fragments for a fraction of the cost of currently available methods. The tools, called a DNA ladders, can gauge DNA fragments ranging from about 50 to 5,000 base pairs in length.

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Mountain honey bees have ancient adaptation for high-altitude foraging

Mountain-dwelling East African honey bees have distinct genetic variations compared to their savannah relatives that likely help them to survive at high altitudes, report researchers. …

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Ancient genetic markers in sockeye salmon can help manage healthier fish stocks

A recent study identifies new genetic markers in sockeye salmon that can help improve management of fish populations. …

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