Category Archives: News & Archives

How SARS-CoV-2 mutates to escape antibody binding

In a recurring pattern of evolution, SARS-CoV-2 evades immune responses by selectively deleting small bits of its genetic sequence, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Since these deletions happen in a part of the sequence that encodes for the shape of the spike protein, the formerly neutralizing antibody can't…
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Climate change likely drove the extinction of North America’s largest animals

A new study published in Nature Communicationssuggests that the extinction of North America's largest mammals was not driven by overhunting by rapidly expanding human populations following their entrance into the Americas. Instead, the findings, based on a new statistical modelling approach, suggest that populations of large mammals fluctuated in response to climate change, with drastic decreases…
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Not just lizards: Alligators can regrow their tails too, new study reveals

An interdisciplinary team of scientists using advanced imaging technology have answered the question of whether alligators share any of the same regenerative capabilities as much smaller reptiles. Many kinds of small reptiles, such as lizards, are known to regrow their tails. However, with a potential body length of 14 feet, little was known about whether…
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Scientists pinpoint genes common among people with severe coronavirus infections

Certain gene variants are linked to severe coronavirus infections, according to a team of scientists in Europe who studied the genomes of 2,200 critically ill covid-19 patients. Their results provide robust support that genetic makeup plays a role in the potentially fatal illness experienced by some people infected by the coronavirus. Diving into people’s DNA is an…
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A biochemical random number

True random numbers are required in fields as diverse as slot machines and data encryption. These numbers need to be truly random, such that they cannot even be predicted by people with detailed knowledge of the method used to generate them. As a rule, they are generated using physical methods. For instance, thanks to the…
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Even Earth’s largest-ever sharks needed nurseries for their babies

The prehistoric shark Otodus megalodon was an awe-inspiring beast, measuring up to three times the length of the modern great white shark. But even the mightiest of predators were babies once. Carlos Martínez-Pérez at the University of Valencia in Spain, Humberto Ferrón at the University of Bristol, UK, and their colleagues compared megalodon teeth recently collected at…
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