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Unique immunity genes in one widespread coral species

A new study led by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that a common coral species might have evolved unique immune strategies to cope with environmental change. Roughly 30 percent of the cauliflower coral’s (Pocillopora damicornis) genome was unique compared to several other reef-building corals. In…

Widely used mosquito repellent proves lethal to larval salamanders

Insect repellents containing picaridin can be lethal to salamanders. that investigated how exposure to two common insect repellents influenced the survival of aquatic salamander and mosquito larvae. Insect repellents are a defense against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and West Nile virus. Salamanders provide natural mosquito control. During their aquatic juvenile…

Astronomers discover the giant that shaped the early days of our Milky Way

181031141553_1_540x360.jpg   Some ten billion years ago, the Milky Way merged with a large galaxy. The stars from this partner, named Gaia-Enceladus, make up most of the Milky Way’s halo and also shaped its thick disk, giving it its inflated form. A description of this mega-merger. Large galaxies like our Milky Way are the result…

Experimental vaccine may reduce post-stroke blood clot risk

A vaccine may one day be able to replace oral blood thinners to reduce the risk of secondary strokes caused by blood clots, without increasing the risk of serious bleeding or triggering an autoimmune response. People who have had a stroke caused by a blood clot (ischemic strokes) often need to take medications that make…

How sleeping mammary stem cells are awakened in puberty

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have discovered how the growth of milk-producing mammary glands is triggered during puberty. Sleeping stem cells in the mammary gland are awoken by a protein dubbed FoxP1. The research expands our knowledge of how the mammary gland — a component of the human breast — develops from stem cells,…

Astronomers witness slow death of nearby galaxy

Astronomers from The Australian National University (ANU) and CSIRO have witnessed, in the finest detail ever, the slow death of a neighbouring dwarf galaxy, which is gradually losing its power to form stars. The new peer-reviewed study of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), which is a tiny fraction of the size and mass of the…

Sweet discovery pushes back the origins of chocolate

As Halloween revelers prepare to feast on chocolate, a new study from an international team of researchers, including the University of British Columbia, is pushing back the origins of the delicious sweet treat. The study, suggests that cacao — the plant from which chocolate is made — was domesticated, or grown by people for food,…

Tampering with cellular fats holds great promise

Much of the biology underlying cells’ compositions of lipids is a black box to scientists. Even though lipids are a major group of biomolecules, they are difficult to study because their synthesis is regulated by complicated metabolism. Now have found a way to engineer the fatty membranes of cells. The researchers boosted the cells’ ability…

Birds startled by moving sticks

Do animals — like humans — divide the world into things that move and things that don’t? Are they surprised if an apparently inanimate object jumps to life? The researchers tested how jackdaws responded to moving birds, moving snakes and moving sticks — and found they were most cautious of the moving sticks. The study,…

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