Category Archives: News & Archives

New analysis links tree height to climate

What limits the height of trees? Is it the fraction of their photosynthetic energy they devote to productive new leaves? Or is it their ability to hoist water hundreds of feet into the air, supplying the green, solar-powered sugar factories in those leaves? Both factors -- resource allocation and hydraulic limitation -- might play a…
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Plants may use newly discovered molecular language to communicate

  A Virginia Tech scientist has discovered a potentially new form of plant communication, one that allows them to share an extraordinary amount of genetic information with one another. The finding by Jim Westwood, a professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, throws open the door…
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This extreme Antarctic insect has the tiniest genome

  The Antarctic midge is a simple insect: no wings, a slender black body and an adult life span of not much more than a week. So perhaps it's fitting the bug is now on record as the owner of the tiniest insect genome ever sequenced. At just 99 million base pairs of nucleotides (DNA's…
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Dramatic growth of grafted stem cells in rat spinal cord

Building upon previous research, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veteran's Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report that neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and grafted into rats after a spinal cord injury produced cells with tens of thousands of axons extending virtually the entire length…
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How Do People Survive Ebola?

  Ebola is a frightening, highly lethal virus — in the current outbreak in West Africa, about 60 percent of people infected with the pathogen have died. Although in the minority, some people do recover from infection. Doctors don't know for certain who will survive Ebola, and there is no specific treatment or cure for the…
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Key to aging immune system: Discovery of DNA replication problem

There's a good reason people over 60 are not donor candidates for bone marrow transplantation. The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other maladies, and a UC San Francisco research team now has discovered a reason why. "We have found the cellular mechanism responsible for the…
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Researchers eliminate HIV from cultured human cells for first time

HIV-1, the most common type of the virus that causes AIDS, has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of Temple University School of Medicine researchers has designed a way…
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Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world’s population

  Odds are, there's a virus living inside your gut that has gone undetected by scientists for decades. A new study led by researchers at San Diego State University has found that more than half the world's population is host to a newly described virus, named crAssphage, which infects one of the most common types of…
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