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Life Sciences - Health - 20.01.2013
Four-stranded ‘quadruple helix’ DNA structure proven to exist in human cells
Four-stranded ‘quadruple helix’ DNA structure proven to exist in human cells
For us, it strongly supports a new paradigm to be investigated - using these four-stranded structures as targets for personalised treatments in the future." —Shankar Balasubramanian In 1953, Cambridge researchers Watson and Crick published a paper describing the interweaving 'double helix' DNA structure – the chemical code for all life.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.01.2013
Individuals with a low risk for cocaine dependence have a differently shaped brain to those with addiction
Individuals with a low risk for cocaine dependence have a differently shaped brain to those with addiction
Our findings indicate that preventative strategies might be more effective if they were tailored more closely to those individuals at risk according to their personality profile and brain structure." —Dr Karen Ersche People who take cocaine over many years without becoming addicted have a brain structure which is significantly different from those individuals who developed cocaine-dependence, researchers have discovered.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.01.2013
‘Jet-lagged’ fruit flies provide clues for body clock synchronisation
New research led by a team at Queen Mary, University of London, has found evidence of how daily changes in temperature affect the fruit fly's internal clock. "A wide range of organisms, including insects and humans, have evolved an internal clock to regulate daily patterns of behaviour, such as sleep, appetite, and attention," explains Professor Ralf Stanewsky , senior study author from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

Life Sciences - 16.01.2013
Scientists identify new ‘social’ chromosome in the red fire ant
Researchers have discovered a social chromosome in the highly invasive fire ant that helps to explain why some colonies allow for more than one queen ant, and could offer new solutions for dealing with this pest. The red fire ants live in two different types of colonies: some colonies strictly have a single queen while other colonies contain hundreds of queens.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.01.2013
Multicellularity, a key event in the evolution of life
Multicellularity, a key event in the evolution of life
Multicellularity in cyanobacteria originated before 2.4 billion years ago and is associated with the accumulation of atmospheric oxygen, subsequently enabling the evolution of aerobic life, as we know it today, according to a new study from the University of Zurich involving researchers now at the University of Bristol , and Gothenburg.

Economics / Business - Life Sciences - 15.01.2013
Born to lead? Leadership can be an inherited trait, study finds
Born to lead? Leadership can be an inherited trait, study finds
Genetic differences are significantly associated with the likelihood that people take on managerial responsibilities, according to new research from UCL (University College London). The study, published online in Leadership Quarterly , is the first to identify a specific DNA sequence associated with the tendency for individuals to occupy a leadership position.

Life Sciences - 14.01.2013
Reassembling the backbone of life using a particle accelerator
Reassembling the backbone of life using a particle accelerator
The results of this study force us to re-write the textbook on backbone evolution in the earliest limbed animals" —Stephanie Pierce Research published today (Sunday 13 January 2013) in the journal Nature documents, for the first time, the intricate three-dimensional structure of the backbone in the earliest four-legged animals (tetrapods).

Health - Life Sciences - 11.01.2013
The secret sex life of the penicillin-producing fungus could make it more productive
New and more effective strains of the fungus used to produce penicillin could be developed after a team of international scientists unearthed the secret sex life of Sir Alexander Fleming's fungus Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum). The scientists from The University of Nottingham , Ruhr-University Bochum, The University of Göttingen, and Sandoz GmbH have announced a major breakthrough in our understanding of the sex life of the fungus P. chrysogenum.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.01.2013
Manipulating the Schmallemberg virus genome to understand how it causes disease
Scottish researchers have developed methods to synthesize and change the genome of a recently discovered virus, in a bid to understand how it induces disease among livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats. The research, led by Massimo Palmarini and Alain Kohl at the MRC Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow, has laid bare important ways by which the Schmallenberg virus (SBV) causes disease and has paved the way for future development of new vaccines.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.01.2013
Co-infection and disease control
Becoming infected with one parasite could change your chances of becoming infected with another according to new University research. A new study led by the School of Biosciences analyses data from school-aged children in Tanzania infected with the most common forms of worms. It has found that infection by one parasitic species actually changes the risk of catching another, over and above other risk factors.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.01.2013
Gene testing asthmatic children could lead to better treatment
Gene testing asthmatic children could lead to better treatment
Testing asthmatic children for a specific gene could prevent their condition worsening, according to new research by scientists at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and the University of Dundee. There are two main treatments for asthma: ‘preventers' and ‘relievers'. The genotype is carried by one in seven sufferers and the research found their condition could be aggravated by the use of the reliever medicine, Salmeterol.

Life Sciences - 08.01.2013
How sperm swim near surfaces
How sperm swim near surfaces
" Interactions between swimming cells and surfaces feature prominently in a wide range of microbiological processes, most importantly in the formation of bacterial films and during the fertilisation of the human egg. Yet, surprisingly little has been known about the physical mechanisms that govern the accumulation of microbes at surfaces.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 08.01.2013
Microswimmers hit the wall
Microswimmers hit the wall
" The results of a study published today (7 January) suggest that microbes 'feel' their way along a solid surface, much as a blindfolded person would move near a wall. Using high-speed microscopic imaging, University of Cambridge researchers have found that sperm cells accumulate at surfaces and algae move away from them as a result of between the surface and the cells' flagella or cilia - the hair-like appendages that propel cells through their fluid environment.

Life Sciences - 07.01.2013
New stem cell approach for blindness successful in mice
New stem cell approach for blindness successful in mice
Blind mice can see again, after Oxford University researchers transplanted developing cells into their eyes and found they could re-form the entire light-sensitive layer of the retina. Videos show the nocturnal mice, which once didn't notice the difference between light and dark at all, now run from the light and prefer to be in the dark - just like mice with normal vision.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.01.2013
International study suggests human genes influence gut microbial composition
New research led by the Karolinska Instituet, Sweden and the University of Glasgow, Scotland, has identified a link between a human gene and the composition of human gastrointestinal bacteria. In a study published as a letter to the journal Gut today, the team outline new evidence suggesting that the human genome may play a role in determining the makeup of the billions of microbes in the human gastrointestinal tract collectively known as the gut microbiota.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 03.01.2013
Scientists pinpoint molecular signals that make some women prone to miscarriage
Scientists pinpoint molecular signals that make some women prone to miscarriage
Scientists have identified molecular signals that control whether embryos are accepted by the womb, and that appear to function abnormally in women who have suffered repeated miscarriages. The research, carried out at Imperial College London and the University of Warwick , suggests these signals could be targets for drugs that would help prevent miscarriage in women who are particularly vulnerable.
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