To understand how cells in the body behave, bioengineers create miniature models of the cells’ environment in their lab. But recreating this niche environment is incredibly complex in a controlled setting, because researchers are still learning all the factors that influence cell behavior and growth. By observing and then modifying their engineered mini-models, scientists are

Somewhere in the American Southwest or northern Mexico, there are probably the ruins of a scarlet macaw breeding operation dating to between 900 and 1200 C.E., according to a team of archaeologists who sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of bird remains found in the Chaco Canyon and Mimbres areas of New Mexico. Remains of a thriving

Researchers at The University of Western Australia and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research have made a fundamental discovery about of the atomic structure and function of the biological ‘factories’ in cells that make energy, providing a new means to target the ‘machines’ within factories for drug treatments. Just as cars need fossil fuels to

Scientists affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have identified a key molecule driving chemoattraction between sperm and egg cells in marine invertebrates. The study was recently published in Nature Communications. More than 100 years ago, MBL Director F.R. Lillie of the University of Chicago discovered that eggs from marine invertebrates release a chemical factor

In the course of global climate change, scientists are observing the increase of low-oxygen areas in the ocean, also termed oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Large-scale OMZs exist, for example, in the Pacific off the coast of South America or in the Indian Ocean. Since little to no oxygen is present in these regions—depending on the

In 1859, when Charles Darwin first articulated the theory of evolution, he speculated that a process of natural selection led species to adapt to their environments over time. He believed traits that helped an organism survive were passed down to offspring, who would pass those traits on to more offspring, eventually leading to the diversity

Soil is full of life, essential for nutrient cycling and carbon storage. To better understand how it functions, an international research team led by EMBL and the University of Tartu (Estonia) conducted the first global study of bacteria and fungi in soil. Their results show that bacteria and fungi are in constant competition for nutrients

Despite high hopes and high investment in CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, scientists still have a lot to learn about how it works in humans. In the latest example, University of California, Berkeley, scientists found that people’s assumptions about how cells repair the genome after the Cas9 enzyme snips DNA are wrong. The discovery gives insight into

As an embryo develops, tissues bend into complex three-dimensional shapes that lead to organs. Epithelial cells are the building blocks of this process forming, for example, the outer layer of skin. They also line the blood vessels and organs of all animals. These cells pack together tightly. To accommodate the curving that occurs during embryonic

In the last decade or so, 3-D printing has experienced a surge in popularity as the technology has become more precise and accessible. Now, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan are looking at how we can use 3-D printing to help damaged nervous systems to regrow. The peripheral nervous system, which controls the body beyond

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