Why the perfect sperm cannot be passed on

The evolutionary puzzle of why a significant number of individuals in any population have poorly performing genes is closer to being solved, in a new study looking at the genetics of sperm in the zebra finch. A number of genes

Read More

Dendritic cells ultimate sacrifice to fight infection

Researchers have addressed a long-standing puzzle of immunology: How do dendritic cells do their job of promoting adaptive immunity to a virus while avoiding getting infected themselves? Dendritic cells are the “beat cops” of the immune system. They round up

Read More

How wheat lost battle against deadly blast nemesis

Researchers have identified a gene in wheat that protects against a deadly fungus, known as wheat blast, but which was lost from many wheat crops in the 1980s. The finding explains an epidemic of the fungus, which continues to this

Read More

Growing cells remix their genes

Moving genes about could help cells to respond to change according to scientists at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK and the Weizmann Institute, Israel. Changing the location of a gene within a cell alters its activity. Like mixing music,

Read More

Mice lacking a sense of smell stay thin

Mice engineered to lack a sense of smell lose weight on a high-fat diet. The mice ate just as much as counterparts with unaltered senses, yet lost an average of about 16 percent of their body weight. The weight loss

Read More

How do bats out-manoeuvre their prey?

Bats catch food ‘on the wing’ without touching the ground, but how do they do it? A new study by Per Henningsson at Lund University, Sweden is the first of its kind to analyse the aerodynamics of bats performing manoeuvres

Read More

Bees five eyes open the way for better cameras

New research into the way that bees see colour could pave the way for more accurate cameras in phones, drones and robots. Identifying colour in complex outdoor environments is extremely difficult because the colour of light is continuously changing. Researchers

Read More

Puzzling energy source of Yellowstone microorganism

A team of life scientists have discovered a puzzle at the junction of geochemistry and biology in a Yellowstone microorganism. The puzzle, which has no solution yet, is: Why would a microorganism thriving in a hot spring draw its energy

Read More

How blood vessels control their destiny

The endothelial cells that comprise blood vessels are uniquely responsive to cues from other organs, since their role is to integrate intimately into tissues and provide a means for delivery of oxygen and nutrients and waste removal. However, they also

Read More

Insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

While the definitive causes remain unclear, several genetic and environmental factors increase the likelihood of autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, a group of conditions covering a “spectrum” of symptoms, skills and levels of disability. Taking advantage of advances in genetic

Read More