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Leptin’s neural circuit identified

Revealing surprising answers to a long-standing enigma about the brain target of the anti-obesity hormone leptin, neuroscientists at Tufts University School of Medicine have used CRISPR genome editing to identify a neural circuit in the hypothalamus as the primary mechanism in mediating leptin’s anti-obesity and anti-diabetes effects and have identified two distinct mechanisms underlying leptin’s…

New new genus and species of extinct baleen whale identified

University of Otago palaeontologists are rewriting the history of New Zealand’s ancient whales by describing a previously unknown genus of baleen whale, alive more than 27.5 million years ago and found in the Hakataramea Valley. The new genus and species of extinct baleen whale is based on a skull and associated bones unearthed from the…

Meteorite diamonds tell of a lost planet

Using transmission electron microscopy, EPFL scientists have examined a slice from a meteorite that contains large diamonds formed at high pressure. The study shows that the parent body from which the meteorite came was a planetary embryo of a size between Mercury to Mars. On October 7, 2008, an asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded…

Black hole and stellar winds form giant butterfly, shut down star formation in galaxy

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have completed an unprecedented “dissection” of twin galaxies in the final stages of merging. The new study, led by CU Boulder research associate Francisco Müller-Sánchez, explores a galaxy called NGC 6240. While most galaxies in the universe hold only one supermassive black hole at their center, NGC 6240…

Scientists Discover New Protein Shield That Protects Broken DNA

Researchers from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research have uncovered a new protein shield that aids in repairing damaged DNA in cells and affects resistance to drugs used for breast cancer treatment. Breast cancer is one the most frequently occurring cancer in women worldwide, and hundreds of thousands of new cases are diagnosed…

Artificial Antimicrobial Peptides Overcome Drug-Resistant Bacteria

During the past several years, many strains of bacteria have become resistant to existing antibiotics, and very few new drugs have been added to the antibiotic arsenal. To help combat this growing public health problem, some scientists are exploring antimicrobial peptides — naturally occurring peptides found in most organisms. Most of these are not powerful…

‘Marriage diversity’ a must-have for rock bands to businesses

The rock n’ roll lore says that once a bandmate gets married, the party’s over for the group. But recently published Michigan State University research says that the blended mix of married and unmarried bandmates improves creativity, innovation and collaborative thinking (and, that the same goes for working professionals). For decades, research proved that diversity…

How molecules in cells ‘find’ one another and organize into structures

A longstanding mystery in biology is how the millions of molecules bumping around in a cell “find” one another and organize into functional structures. So it was a big surprise in 2008 when participants in the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Physiology course realized that simple phase separations — like oil separating from water — may…

Student class engagement soars when they use personal data to learn

A group of Brigham Young University professors have found that giving students access to their personal biological data has a profound impact on their learning experience. In a summary of their experiment,  the researchers report students with access to data about their own microbiome  the trillions of tiny microorganisms that live in a person’s gut,…

Specific bacteria in the small intestine are crucial for fat absorption

Although the vast majority of research on the gut microbiome has focused on bacteria in the large intestine, a new study — one of a few to concentrate on microbes in the upper gastrointestinal tract — shows how the typical calorie-dense western diet can induce expansion of microbes that promote the digestion and absorption of…

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