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An ancient killer: Ancestral malarial organisms traced to age of dinosaurs

An ancient killer: Ancestral malarial organisms traced to age of dinosaurs

This 100-million-year-old biting midge, preserved in amber, shows numerous oocysts of the malarial parasite Paleohaemoproteusburmacis, evidence of the oldest ancestral strain of malaria ever discovered. Credit: George Poinar, Jr., courtesy of Oregon State University A new analysis of the prehistoric origin of malaria suggests that it evolved in insects at least 100 million years ago, […]

Human ancestors explored ‘out of Africa’ despite impaired nasal faculties

Human ancestors explored ‘out of Africa’ despite impaired nasal faculties

Human ancestors explored «Out of Africa» despite impaired nasal faculties. In humans inhaled air is conditioned poorly in the nasal cavity in comparison with primates, such as chimpanzees and macaques, according a recent study published in PLOS Computational Biology. Credit: Nishimura et al. In humans inhaled air is conditioned poorly in the nasal cavity in […]

Researcher studies high-value vegetable crop production under high tunnels

Researcher studies high-value vegetable crop production under high tunnels

Dr. Charlie Rush and Jimmy Gray, both with Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo, discuss building beds for tomatoes under high tunnels. Credit: Kay Ledbetter When planting season comes around this summer, Dr. Charlie Rush, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Amarillo, won’t be planting traditional crops or in traditional fields. Rush is beginning […]

Water bears do not have extensive foreign DNA, new study finds

Water bears do not have extensive foreign DNA, new study finds

Tardigrades have not acquired a significant proportion of their DNA from other organisms, a new study shows. Credit: Aziz Aboobaker and Mark Blaxter Tardigrades, also known as moss piglets or water bears, are eight-legged microscopic animals that have long fascinated scientists for their ability to survive extremes of temperature, pressure, lack of oxygen, and even […]

Female fish develops male organs and impregnates self

Female fish develops male organs and impregnates self

(a) The intersex produced by a cross between a female Pundamilia pundamilia from Python Island and an orange blotch (OB) Neochromis omnicaeruleus male from Makobe Island. The gonads (b) looked like typical cichlid ovaries. However, a horizontal plane section (c) contained small aggregated dark dots that resembled spermatocytes (marked by arrow). On the gonad (b), […]

Fries with a side of acrylamide: Researchers working to cut unwanted chemical in French fries

Fries with a side of acrylamide: Researchers working to cut unwanted chemical in French fries

Potatoes of a National Fry Processing Trial (NFPT) breed that are grown at different NFPT trial sites. Credit: Andy Robinson, NDSU/U of MN French fry lovers, beware! You may be exposed to a chemical more commonly associated with heavy industry than crispy fried potatoes. Fortunately, researchers are finding ways to reduce that exposure. French fries […]

Reaction previously believed detrimental for photosynthesis proves to be beneficial

Reaction previously believed detrimental for photosynthesis proves to be beneficial

Inspired by water transport in natural leaves (shown), researchers have created a synthetic, microfabricated «leaf» that can generate power from evaporative flow. Image credit: pdphoto.org Finnish researchers have demonstrated that photoinhibition of photosystem I, which reduces the effectiveness of photosynthesis, is actually a plant’s self-defense mechanism against more extensive harm. The research was funded by […]

Discovery of cellular counting mechanism used for size control in algae with links to cancer genetics

Discovery of cellular counting mechanism used for size control in algae with links to cancer genetics

This image shows the numbers of divisions for Chlamydomonas cells scale with mother cell size. Left to right are cells of increasing size with the first cell too small to divide and next four undergoing one, two, three or four divisions to produce 2, 4, 8 or 16 daughters. Credit: Dianyi Liu and James Umen. […]

A programming language for living cells

A programming language for living cells

MIT biological engineers have devised a programming language that can be used to give new functions to E. coli bacteria. Credit: Janet Iwasa MIT biological engineers have created a programming language that allows them to rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells. Using this language, anyone can write a program […]

New genus of treehopper named after Selena Quintanilla, the queen of Tejano music

New genus of treehopper named after Selena Quintanilla, the queen of Tejano music

  Selenacentrus wallacei, a newly discovered genus and species of treehopper found in Texas and Northern Mexico. They new genus is named after the singer Selena Quintanilla, who was known as the ‘Queen of Tejano Music.’ The new species is called wallacei in honor of Matthew S. Wallace, a biology professor from East Stroudsburg University. […]

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