Life Science News. Updated daily with science research articles in all the life sciences.
Jellyfish, with no central brain, shown to learn from past experience
Even without a central brain, jellyfish can learn from past experiences like humans, mice, and flies, scientists report for the first time. They trained Caribbean box jellyfish (Tripedalia cystophora) to learn to spot and dodge obstacles. The study challenges previous notions that advanced learning requires a centralized brain and sheds light on the evolutionary roots of learning and memory.
Colorful primates don't have better color vision, study finds
Primate species with better color vision are not more likely to have red skin or fur coloration, as previously thought.
Same genes behind heart muscle disorders in humans and Dobermanns
Researchers have made a significant finding in determining the genetic background of dilated cardiomyopathy in Dobermanns. This research helps us understand the genetic risk factors related to fatal diseases of the heart muscle and the mechanisms underlying the disease, and offers new tools for their prevention.
Conversations with plants: Can we provide plants with advance warning of impending dangers?
Plant scientists have engineered a light-controlled gene expression system (optogenetics system) from a prokaryotic system into a eukaryotic system that is tailored for plants.
We could sequester CO2 by 're-greening' arid lands, plant scientists say
Reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere will take more than cutting emissions -- we will also need to capture and store the excessive volumes of already-emitted carbon. A team of plant scientists argue that arid lands such as deserts could be one answer to the carbon-capture problem.
This parasitic plant convinces hosts to grow into its own flesh--it's also an extreme example of genome shrinkage
Balanophora shed one third of its genes as it evolved into a streamlined parasitic plant -- an extreme degree of genome shrinkage even among parasites. Along the way this subtropical plant developed the ability to induce the host plant to grow into the parasite's own flesh -- forming chimeric organs that mix host and parasite tissues.
Researchers develop first method to study microRNA activity in single cells
Researchers have developed the first method to uncover the tasks that microRNAs perform in single cells. This is a huge improvement over existing state-of-the-art methods that require millions of cells and will for the first time allow researchers to study microRNAs in complex tissues such as brains.
How climate warming could disrupt a deep-rooted relationship
Trees depend on fungi for their well-being. As climate change and global warming cause higher temperatures and amplified drought, little is known about how these important fungi will respond. To investigate this issue, a research team conducted a climate change experiment where they exposed boreal and temperate tree species to warming and drought treatments to better understand how fungi and their tree hosts respond to environmental changes. Their findings revealed that the combined effects of warming and water stress will likely result in major disturbances of ectomycorrhizal networks and may harm forest resilience and function.
Scientists regenerate neurons that restore walking in mice after paralysis from spinal cord injury
In a new study in mice, researchers have uncovered a crucial component for restoring functional activity after spinal cord injury. The neuroscientists have shown that re-growing specific neurons back to their natural target regions led to recovery, while random regrowth was not effective.
Unzipping mRNA rallies plant cells to fight infection
Living things from plants to humans must constantly adjust the chemical soup of proteins -- the workhorse molecules of life -- inside their cells to adapt to stress or changing conditions. Now, researchers have identified a previously unknown molecular mechanism that helps explain how they do it. A team now reveals hairpin-like structures of mRNA that, by zipping and unzipping, help cells change the mix of proteins they produce when under stress.
Understanding the sex life of coral gives hope of clawing it back from the path to extinction
Scientists have mapped the reproductive strategies and life cycle of an endangered coral species, the purple cauliflower soft coral Dendronephthya australis. Lab-grown larvae have been successfully introduced back into the wild.
Exercise and muscle regulation: Implications for diabetes and obesity
How do our muscles respond at the molecular level to exercise? Researchers have unraveled the cellular basis and signaling pathways responsible for the positive impact of physical activity on our overall health. Regulatory T cells, a type of immune cell, play a critical role in ensuring proper muscle function. These novel insights are paving the path towards precision medicines targeting metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes, as well as muscle-related illnesses.
Genetically modifying individual cells in animals
Researchers have developed a method that lets them genetically modify each cell differently in animals. This allows them to study in a single experiment what used to require many animal experiments. Using the new method, the researchers have discovered genes that are relevant for a severe rare genetic disorder.