First deep-sea mussel genome decoded

Scientists have assembled the 1.64 gigabytes genome of a deep-sea mussel, which is roughly equivalent to 50 percent of the size of human genome. This is the first decoded genome among all deep-sea macrobenthic animals, revealing a complete set of DNA. …

Read More...

Comments Off on First deep-sea mussel genome decoded

Mystery of butterflies iridescent wing scales resolved

Who is not fascinated by the wonderful iridescent colours of butterfly wings? Those who want to find out more about this phenomenon will realise that often the colour is not generated by pigments, rather by periodic structures made of chitin, a structure-forming polysaccharide. These so-called photonic crystals give rise to structural colour by only reflecting specific wavelengths of the incoming solar spectrum. The resulting colour is not random, it serves as camouflage or signalling. But how do millions of these photonic crystals form within the tiny scales of butterfly wings? The opinions of scientists differ in this matter.

Read More...

Comments Off on Mystery of butterflies iridescent wing scales resolved

3.3-million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine

Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that enable efficient walking motions were established millions of years earlier than previously thought. …

Read More...

Comments Off on 3.3-million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

Laser-induced graphene made from an inexpensive polymer is an effective anti-fouling material and, when charged, an excellent antibacterial surface, report scientists.

Read More...

Comments Off on Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

New clues emerge about how fruit flies navigate their world

Scientists have uncovered new clues about how fruit flies keep track of where they are in the world. Understanding the neural basis of navigation in flies may reveal how humans accomplish similar feats.

Read More...

Comments Off on New clues emerge about how fruit flies navigate their world

Neural circuit rotates a fly’s internal compass

Researchers have uncovered the neurons that spin a fly’s internal compass when the insect turns — the first such mechanism identified in any animal.

Read More...

Comments Off on Neural circuit rotates a fly’s internal compass

Interrogating proteins: New protein structure designed

Scientists have designed a new protein structure, and are using it to understand how protein structures are stabilized. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Interrogating proteins: New protein structure designed

Sunflower genome sequence to provide roadmap for more resilient crops

Researchers have completed the first sunflower genome sequence. This new resource will assist future research programs using genetic tools to improve crop resilience and oil production. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Sunflower genome sequence to provide roadmap for more resilient crops