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Beaked, bird-like dinosaur tells story of finger evolution

Scientists have discovered a unique beaked, plant-eating dinosaur in China. The finding, they say, demonstrates that theropod, or bird-footed, dinosaurs were more ecologically diverse in the Jurassic period than previously thought, and offers important evidence about how the three-fingered hand of...

How an enzyme tells stem cells which way to divide

Driving Miranda, a protein in fruit flies crucial to switch a stem cell's fate, is not as complex as biologists thought, according to University of Oregon biochemists. They've found that one enzyme (aPKC) stands alone and acts as a traffic cop that directs which roads daughter cells will take. ...

New fossil tells twisted tale of how flatfishes ended up with two eyes on one side of head

CHICAGOA newly identified fossil and the reinterpretation of previously known fossils, all from Europe and about 50 million years old, fill in a "missing link" in the evolution of flatfishes and explain one of nature's most extraordinary phenomena. All living flatfishes, which include halibut, ...

Genome of marine organism tells of humans' unicellular ancestors

Berkeley -- The newly sequenced genome of a one-celled, planktonic marine organism, reported today (Thursday, Feb. 14) in the journal Nature, is already telling scientists about the evolutionary changes that accompanied the jump from one-celled life forms to multicellular animals like ourselves. ...

'Exercise pill' switches on gene that tells cells to burn fat

By giving ordinary adult mice a drug - a synthetic designed to mimic fat - Salk Institute scientist Dr. Ronald M. Evans is now able to chemically switch on PPAR-d, the master regulator that controls the ability of cells to burn fat. Even when the mice are not active, turning on the chemical switch...

'Scent of a woman' tells male redback spiders to find a mate

If men think finding a nice partner to settle down and raise children with is tough, consider the plight of the male Australian redback spider. Instead of personality conflicts, spats over in-laws and financial worries, imagine that immediately after the first time you have sex, your partner -- who...

Microbiology text tells stories, offers online resources

A new general microbiology textbook aimed at undergraduate students comes with not one, but two online resources. Written by eminent scientists with practical teaching, textbook writing and research experience, Microbe, will engage students in the learning process with its clear, reader-friendly ...

Researchers find gland that tells fruit flies when to stop growing

Many baffled parents have wondered whether their teenagers would ever stop growing. The answer is obvious, but researchers have never really quite understood just how an organism determines when it has reached its optimal size and growth should cease. Now University of Washington biologists study...

DNA from feathers tells tale of eagle fidelity

A trail of feathers led a team of Purdue University scientists to confirm that eagles from central Asia are quite possibly the most faithful of birds. By performing DNA analysis on the feathers left behind at nesting sites, the researchers were able to identify individual Eastern imperial eagles ...

Immune system's distress signal tells bacteria when to strike back

The human opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, has broken the immune system's code, report researchers from the University of Chicago, enabling the bacteria to recognize when its host is most vulnerable and to launch an attack before the weakened host can muster its defenses. In the 29...

Leprosy genome tells story of human migrations, French researchers report in Science

A French genetics study comparing strains of leprosy-causing bacteria has revealed some surprises about how the pathogen evolved and how it was spread across the continents by human migrations. The research, led by scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, appears in the 13 May issue of the jou...

Extraterrestrial platinum was 'stirred' into the Earth

...the lowest platinum content," Dr Barnes said. "The platinum content gradually increases from about 3.5 billion years to 2.9 billion years ago. "This tells us that the deep source where the komatiite came from, down near the boundary between the Earth's core and mantle, was gradually gaining platinum over...

Cancer's distinctive pattern of gene expression could aid early screening and prevention

...ive screening for a wide range of cancers could result be another result of this initiative, Dr. Bhalla says. "We know that long before anyone tells you that you have a tumor, methyl groups have been put where they should not be," says Dr. Keith D. Robertson, cancer epigeneticist and Georgia Cancer...

Red List overlooks island species

...nd plants, and they are all based on continental species, not island ones", the author of the study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation tells SINC. Given the difference between continental and island ecosystems, the scientist says there is a "clear discrepancy". Species on islands are dis...

Stunting plants' skyward reach could lead to improved yields

.... Red light fuels photosynthesis to create energy, but tends to be absorbed by the leaves of nearby plants. An environment rich in far-red wavelengths tells a plant that it is shaded and needs to grow higher to out-compete its neighbor. "We expect that our studies will contribute significantly to our un...

Mystery E. coli genes essential for survival of many species

...ore genes that are essential for survival! "Finding out that these genes are essential in E. coli and also appear in the genomes of other species tells us that they are very important indeed. In the case of one of the genes it is also found in the human genome, which makes it especially interesting. T...

Two dietary oils, two sets of benefits for older women with diabetes

...upplements were contained in eight pills; the women took two pills four times per day, at meals and bedtime. "The power of the crossover is that it tells you the different effects of the dietary oils in the same woman," Belury said. The daily supplementation contained 6.4 grams of each oil's active f...

Robo-bats with metal muscles may be next generation of remote control flyers

... looked to nature. "We are trying to mimic nature as closely as possible," Seelecke says, "because it is very efficient. And, at the MAV scale, nature tells us that flapping flight like that of the bat is the most effective." The researchers did extensive analysis of bats' skeletal and muscular system...

Waste water treatment plant mud used as 'green' fuel

...y under the Kyoto Protocol", Jos Luis Domingo, lead author of the study and director of the Toxicology and Environmental Health Laboratory at the URV, tells SINC. This would enable plants producing cement, one of the most contaminating industries in terms of CO 2 as well as emissions of dioxins, furans...

Study shows transfer of heavy metals from water to fish in Huelva estuary

..., a professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Cadiz and the head of the study published recently in the Journal of Hazardous Materials , tells SINC. The researchers focused their analysis on the "bioavailabilty" of heavy metals in coastal waters and their impact on commercially important s...

Fossil bone bed helps reconstruct life along California's ancient coastline

...phe, like a red tide or volcanic eruption, lead to a massive die-off? The new and extensive study of the fossils and the geology of Sharktooth Hill tells a less dramatic story, but an important one, for understanding the origin of rich fossil accumulations, said Nicholas Pyenson, a former UC Berkeley gr...

Scientists uncover mode of action of enzyme linked with several types of cancer

...mours, Principal Investigator at IRIC and director of the study, "We discovered that the polo kinase, overexpressed in a broad range of human tumours, tells the chromosomes exactly when to condense during cell division." Misregulation of the polo kinase is associated with cancers, thereby suggesting a ...

Cantabrian cornice has experienced seven cooling and warming phases over past 41,000 years

...loria Cuenca-Bescs, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Paleontology Department of the UNIZAR's Institute for Scientific Research (IUCA), tells SINC. The resulting study involves climatic inferences being drawn on the basis of the fossil associations of small mammals whose remains have been...

Researchers engineer metabolic pathway in mice to prevent diet-induced obesity

... The team also found that the new pathway decreased the regulatory signal malonyl-CoA. When malonyl-CoA levels are high, a signal is released that tells the body it is too full and that it needs to stop using fat and begin making it. Malonyl-CoA is high after eating a meal, blocking fatty acid metaboli...

Sugarcoating fruit fly development

..."Expressing the right genes at the right time is critical for a developing organism," says Jrg Mller. "It is the appropriate combination of genes that tells a cell to turn into muscle, nerve or skin. This is why a tight control system regulates gene expression throughout development." One important comp...

Sulphur in just one hair could blow a terrorist's alibi

...LA-MC-ICP-MS)", Rebeca Santamara-Fernndez of LGC, lead author of the study, tells SINC. To summarise, the laser makes contact with the selected fraction of t... from one country to another", Justo Giner, another of the study's authors, tells SINC. In addition, as hair grows an average of 1.25cm per month, the data o...

Snakes and how they helped our big brains evolve

...kes on primate evolution. In "The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well" (Harvard University Press; April 30, 2009; $45.00), Isbell tells us that predation pressure from snakes is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primatesand for a critical aspect of huma...

Sugar, spice and puppy dog tails: Developing sex-typed personality traits and interests

... A new longitudinal study of children's personality traits and interests tells us that sex-typed characteristics develop differently in girls and boys. The study, by researchers at The Pennsylvania State University, the Universit...

Unifying the animate and the inanimate designs of nature

...nd these forms of locomotion are predicted by the constructal law, Bejan said. "Our discovery that animal locomotion adheres to the constructal law tells us that even though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on Earth, or it happened on another plane...

Remembrance of things past influences how female field crickets select mates

...ree in 2006 from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He emphasized the scientific importance of doing research in evolutionary biology. "It tells us about the process of evolution what is important, what factors physical, social, environmental affect the rate and direction of evolution," he s...

Autopilot guides proteins in brain

...ld, molecular and computational biologist at the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "Proteins have to have in them encoded information that tells them where to go in the cell." In a study appearing online this week in Nature Neuroscience , Arnold and collaborators solve the mystery for key p...

Genetic switch potential key to new class of antibiotics

...09. "The RNA World Hypothesis holds that RNA performed these tasks in ancient life before DNA and protein enzymes emerged. Our preQ1 aptamer structure tells us just how small and efficient a gene regulation element can be, and suggests that metabolite-binding to riboswitches may have been a preface to the ...

Caltech researchers train computers to analyze fruit-fly behavior

...tant if we hope to some day link the genes behind fruit-fly behaviors with the genes that may cause similar behaviors in humans. "Our visual system tells us a lot about what other people are doing--who is eating, who is beating someone else up, who is blushing, who got the guy or girl," Perona notes. "O...

Scientists develop method for comprehensive proteome analysis

... array of sophisticated techniques. The research was published online on March 9 in the journal Methods . "Analysis of the proteome of an organism tells us so much more than simple DNA sequence analysis," said Dr. Wolf. "Proteome analysis gives us a snapshot of what proteins are being expressed in the ...

A little java makes it easier to jive, researcher says

...ical application, is if you go to the gym and you exercise and it hurts, you may be prone to stop doing that because pain is an aversive stimulus that tells you to withdraw. So if we could give people a little caffeine and reduce the amount of pain they're experiencing, maybe that would help them stick wit...

Scripps scientists find structure of a protein that makes cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy

... Zhang's compounds inside P-gp. "They both go in the same cavity and bind to different amino acids, but with some overlap," says Aller. "What this tells us is that there is an extremely important core set of amino acids in P-gp that bind all substances, and there are additional amino acids for fine-tun...

Diabetics on high-fiber diets might need extra calcium, report UT Southwestern researchers

..., okra, winter and zucchini squash, granola and oatmeal. No supplements were used. "The reduction of urinary calcium excretion on high-fiber diets tells us that the amount of dietary fiber has a direct impact on calcium absorption," Dr. Garg said. "In other words, the participants excreted less calcium...

Research synthesis shines light on several management options after fires in diverse ecosystems

...recently released report on management after fire hinges upon. The publication, Effects of Timber Harvest Following Wildfire in Western North America, tells us that the type of forest landscape determines the ways fire and logging may change an area after a wildfire. The authors, however, hope that public ...

Scientists at CSHL discover mobile small RNAs that set up leaf patterning in plants

...s arise. Other signals that traffic between the upper and lower sides of the leaf are thought to stably maintain this polar axis. Just as a GPS signal tells drivers where they are, these signals give cells positional information about where they are located within the leaf, causing them to acquire their co...

Researchers discover gene mutations that cause childhood brain cancer

...nt from the Canadian Cancer Society, led the study: "When these eight genes are functioning normally, we believe their role is to make a protein which tells the developing brain when it's time to stop growing. But when the genes are mutated, the brain may continue to grow out of control, leading to cancer....
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