A new study of the role microbial communities play on the leaves of plants suggests that fertilizing crops may make them more susceptible to disease. University of California, Berkeley, biologists found that spraying tomatoes with microbes from healthy tomatoes protected them from disease-causing bacteria, but that fertilizing the tomatoes beforehand negated the protection, leading to

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on July 26 have completed the first systematic analysis of marine wilderness around the world. And what they found is not encouraging; only a small fraction—about 13 percent—of the world’s ocean can still be classified as wilderness. The remaining marine wilderness is unequally distributed and found primarily in

In 1977, researcher Rudolf Thauer proposed a theoretical ceiling on the amount of hydrogen that bacteria could produce via fermentation, the sugar-converting process also responsible for yogurt, beer and cheese. Propelled by a genetic engineering technique that presents bacteria with a simple choice—adapt or die—research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln just punched through that 40-year-old

Some 18 million years ago, an ancestor of mouse-eared bats “stole” genetic material from an ancient virus related to Ebola. The swiped genetic sequence — a gene called VP35 — has remained largely intact in the bats despite the passage of time, with few changes since it was co-opted, a new study finds. The research

UC San Francisco scientists have used a high-throughput CRISPR-based technique to rapidly map the functions of nearly 500 genes in human cells, many of them never before studied in detail. The research generated a vast amount of novel genetic data, including identifying new genes involved in cellular energy production and explaining a long-standing mystery about

Interstitial fluid transports nutrients and removes waste between the organs and tissues in our body. In the brain, interstitial fluid is thought to be composed of circulating cerebrospinal fluid, cellular waste and blood plasma, and past research has shown a link between interstitial fluid flow and an increased invasion rate of glioblastoma, or brain tumor,

On the day that one becomes an octogenarian, nature bestows a mathematical birthday gift: a gradual reprieve from the relentlessly increasing likelihood that he or she will die in the coming year. That gift may come as small comfort against the growing creakiness of joints and the still-mounting probability that the end is nigh. But

For bacteria facing a dose of antibiotics, timing might be the key to evading destruction. In a series of experiments, Princeton researchers found that cells that repaired DNA damaged by antibiotics before resuming growth had a much better chance of surviving treatment. When antibiotics hit a population of bacteria, often a small fraction of “persister”

For some years now larger wild animals such as lynxes, wolves, and bears have been spreading out across Europe as existing populations grow and animals are resettled. Yet some populations are still endangered. A research team headed by the Freiburg conservation biologist PD Dr. Marco Heurich and the landscape ecologist PD Dr. Stephanie Kramer-Schadt of

Auxin is a hormone that is essential for the development of plants as it controls a wide range of processes from shaping the embryo in the seed to branching of the growing plant. Previously, it was believed that auxin’s main signaling mechanism operated in the cell nucleus and acted only by regulating gene transcription. Now,

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