For the first time, immunologists have captured on video what happens when T cells undergo a type of assassin-training program before they get unleashed in the body. A new imaging technique that allowed for the videos, described today in the journal Nature Communications, holds promise for the fight against autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes.
Tropical forests are being deforested at an alarming rate to make way for agriculture; the good news is that they can regrow naturally when the fields are abandoned. An international research team including participation from the University of Göttingen found that regenerating wet and dry forests actually show opposite pathways. This implies a fundamental change in our understanding of how tropical forests change, with consequences for forest restoration and biodiversity. Results are in Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Scientists with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and WCS Ecuador Program publishing in the journal BioTropica say that subsistence hunting in Neotropical rain forests -- the mainstay of local people as a source of protein and a direct connection to these ecosystems -- is in jeopardy from a variety of factors.
In 2020, NASA and European-Russian missions will look for evidence of past life on Mars. But while volcanic, igneous rock predominates on the Red Planet, virtually the entire Earth fossil record comes from sedimentary rocks. Addressing the problem in Frontiers in Earth Science, Swedish scientists have begun compiling evidence of fossilized microbes in underexplored igneous rock environments on Earth, to help guide where to search for a Martian fossil record - and what to look for.
Evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel became the first person to define the term ecology in his work published in 1866, entitled 'General Morphology of Organisms'. Science historians and biologists from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) have now worked out just how close his original classification is to our modern understanding of ecology -- at the invitation of the renowned journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.
An important class of drug used to treat cancer patients could be used to treat brain aneurysms, according to new research published this week.
The Zika virus outbreak in Latin America has affected over 60 million people up to now. The infection can have potentially fatal consequences for pregnant women and their unborn children: many children have subsequently been born with malformations of the head (microcephaly). A particularly high incidence of these Zika-associated malformations exists in northeastern Brazil. DZIF scientists from Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin tried to find out the reasons for this regional cluster and discovered a surprising protective factor.
New discoveries made at the Klasies River Cave in South Africa's southern Cape, where charred food remains from hearths were found, provide the first archaeological evidence that anatomically modern humans were roasting and eating plant starches, such as those from tubers and rhizomes, as early as 120,000 years ago.
A recent research led by Assistant Professor Fumio Motegi, Principal Investigator at the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore, has identified the master switch that triggers the symmetry breaking process in the zygotes of the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans.
A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The new study suggests that genetic variation explains more than half of the variation in dog ownership, implying that the choice of getting a dog is heavily influenced by an individual's genetic make-up.