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The Lead

Making Bones from Beer Waste

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

At first blush it is a bit disingenuous, using beer waste as a base material for new bone. But that is exactly what a multidisciplinary team of researchers in Spain has come up with in a process for making the substrate material on which bone can be regenerated.

Fiber-based Ingredient Can Make You Eat Less

August 26, 2014 2:05 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated the effectiveness of a fiber-based dietary ingredient that makes...

BST This Week #9: Can Sweat Power Your Smartphone?

August 20, 2014 2:48 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski highlights the...

Bioscience Technology This Week #8: Safe Nuts for Allergy Sufferers

August 15, 2014 12:43 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski reports on the...

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‘Jumping Genes’ Help Black Truffles Adapt

August 6, 2014 12:55 pm | News | Comments

Black truffles expensive and highly prized in the world of haute cuisine, but in the world of epigenetics, the fungi are of major interest for another reason: their unique pattern of DNA methylation, a biochemical process that chemically modifies nucleic acids without changing their sequence.

Chili Pepper Chemical May Inhibit Gut Tumors

August 4, 2014 12:35 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report that dietary capsaicin– the active ingredient in chili peppers– produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors.   

African Plant May Be Possible Treatment for Aging Brain

August 4, 2014 11:22 am | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered that a compound isolated from the plant protects cells from altered molecular pathways linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the neurodegeneration that often follows a stroke.              

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Bioscience Technology This Week #4: Gold Nanoparticles Show Promise for Drug Delivery

July 30, 2014 2:02 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Editor-in-Chief Rob Fee reports on gold nanoparticles' promise in drug delivery. Our second story examines the work being done to decipher the wheat genome and the implications of this work.

How Cannabis Causes Paranoia

July 17, 2014 10:45 am | News | Comments

The largest study of the effects of the main ingredient of cannabis has shown definitively that it can cause short-term paranoia. The research also, for the first time, identifies psychological factors that can lead to feelings of paranoia in people who take cannabis.

A-maize-ing Double Life of a Genome

July 15, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use 'doubles' of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties. Oxford University researchers captured a 'genetic snapshot' of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome—a 'whole genome duplication' event.

Deep Within Spinach Leaves, Vibrations Enhance Efficiency of Photosynthesis

July 14, 2014 1:29 pm | News | Comments

Biophysics researchers at the University of Michigan have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet. The findings could potentially help engineers make more efficient solar cells and energy storage systems.

Aronia Berry Gaining Foothold in U.S.

July 14, 2014 8:20 am | by Margery A. Beck - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A new fruit that research says packs more antioxidants than popular "superfoods" like blueberries, acai berries and goji berries is establishing itself in the aisles of mainstream grocery stores, showing up in everything from juices to powdered supplements to baby food.

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Engineers Turn LEGO Bricks into Scientific Tool to Study Plant Growth

June 27, 2014 1:44 pm | News | Comments

Ludovico Cademartiri was looking for a way to study plant and root growth that was simple, inexpensive and flexible, something that allowed experiments to be reproduced all over the world, even in labs without the latest technologies or the infrastructure required for plant science or agronomy research.

‘Tomato Pill’ Improves Blood Vessel Function

June 10, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

A daily supplement of an extract found in tomatoes may improve the function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease, according to new research.                          

Sequencing of Citrus Genomes Points to Need for More Genetic Diversity to Fight Disease

June 9, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

Sequencing the genomes of domesticated citrus revealed a very limited genetic diversity that could threaten the crop’s survival prospects, according to a research team that analyzed and compared the genome sequences of 10 diverse citrus varieties. The findings provide insight of how citrus has been cultivated and point to how genomics-guided development could help produce crops that better resist environmental stresses and pests.

Phaseolus Genome Lends Insights into Nitrogen Fixation

June 9, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science has targeted research into the common bean because of its importance in enhancing nitrogen use efficiency for sustainability of bioenergy crops, and for increasing plant resilience and productivity with fewer inputs, on marginal lands, and in the face of the changing climate and environment.

Scientists Discover Basis of Allergic Reactions

June 5, 2014 12:27 pm | News | Comments

While it was known that a specific birch pollen protein causes the immune system to overreact, the exact reason why many people are allergic to birch pollen had not yet been fully clarified. Now, scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna have discovered what makes the protein an allergen.

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Mixed Signals

May 27, 2014 1:42 pm | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

The intimate interaction between a plant and its environment has sent some puzzling cues to scientists trying to determine how, at the molecular level, a plant becomes infected by bacteria. At this level, researchers have found that plants sometimes beckon the bacteria in a seemingly counterintuitive action to its health.

Algae “See” a Wide Spectrum of Light

May 1, 2014 1:42 pm | Videos | Comments

Aquatic algae can sense an unexpectedly wide range of color, allowing them to sense and adapt to changing light conditions in lakes and oceans. Phytochromes are the eyes of a plant, allowing it to detect changes in the color, intensity, and quality of light so that the plant can react and adapt. Typically about 20 percent of a plant’s genes are regulated by phytochromes.

Secrets Behind Health Benefits of Wine Revealed

April 29, 2014 12:22 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have identified one of the molecular pathways that resveratrol, the component of grapes and red wine associated with health benefits, uses to achieve its beneficial action.                   

Eat More Vegetables, Live a Longer Life

April 23, 2014 1:56 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

We should eat even more vegetables than our governments— and moms— said. A recent study found that eating seven (or more) servings of veggies and fruits a day extends life by what the authors bill as a “staggering” 42 percent.       

Ginseng Can Treat, Prevent Influenza

April 21, 2014 12:17 pm | News | Comments

Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to new research findings.                   

New Technique Will Accelerate Genetic Characterization of Photosynthesis

April 16, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

Photosynthesis provides fixed carbon and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet many aspects of this fascinating process remain mysterious. For example, little is known about how it is regulated in response to changes in light intensity. More fundamentally, we do not know the full list of the parts of the molecular machines that perform photosynthesis in any organism.

Discovery Could Yield More Efficient Plants for Biofuels

March 18, 2014 2:55 pm | News | Comments

Genetically modifying a key protein complex in plants could lead to improved crops for the production of cellulosic biofuels, a Purdue University study says. Clint Chapple, distinguished professor of biochemistry, and fellow researchers generated a mutant Arabidopsis plant whose cell walls can be converted easily into fermentable sugars but does not display the stunted growth patterns of similar mutants.

Small-RNA Pathway Defends Genome Against the Enemy Within

March 17, 2014 1:50 pm | News | Comments

Reproductive cells, such as an egg and sperm, join to form stem cells that can mature into any tissue type. But how do reproductive cells arise? We humans are born with all of the reproductive cells that we will ever produce. But in plants things are very different. They first generate mature, adult cells and only later “reprogram” some of them to produce eggs and sperm.

Genetic Discovery to Keep Crops Disease-free

February 10, 2014 1:45 pm | News | Comments

Curtin University researchers have found a way to breed disease-resistant wheat with no downside, potentially bringing multi-million dollar savings to Australia’s agricultural industry. According to John Curtin Distinguished Professor Richard Oliver, Director of the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens at Curtin, farmers can lose more than 0.35 tonnes per hectare in wheat yields to Yellow Spot, even after applying fungicide.

RNA Sequencing of 750-year-old Barley Virus Sheds New Light on the Crusades

February 6, 2014 3:51 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have for the first time sequenced an ancient RNA genomeof a barley virus once believed to be only 150 years old— pushing its origin back at least 2,000 years and revealing how intense farming at the time of the Crusades contributed to its spread.

Nuts Were All Our Big Brains Needed Millions of Years Ago

January 22, 2014 9:35 am | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

Nuts are in the news: a recent study has offered evidence for a big reason our bodies are so nuts for nuts. They are apparently almost all our big brains needed to survive— thus almost all we ate— from 1.4 to 2.4 million years ago.    

Researchers Differentiate Between Microbial Good and Evil

January 9, 2014 11:48 am | News | Comments

To safely use bacteria in agriculture to help fertilize crops, it is vital to understand the difference between harmful and healthy strains. But can the microbial good and evil be told apart? Yes, life scientists and an international team of researchers report.

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