New research led by University of Pennsylvania biologists and published this week in the journal Nature Genetics has identified small sequences in plant DNA that act as signposts for shutting off gene activity, directing the placement of proteins that silence gene expression.
The study was based on observations that the more successful crops in areas typically affected by drought are usually protected by a thicker layer of leaf wax than other plants.
Fewer trips to the dentist may be in your future, and you have mussels to thank.
In The Plant Cell, UMass Amherst molecular biologist Elizabeth Vierling reports that heat-stressed plants not only need to produce new proteins to survive the stress, they need to make them right away. 'We found that a delay of even six hours of new protein translation will inhibit optimal growth and reproduction. The plants might not outright die, but they are severely impaired without the rapid synthesis of these new proteins.'
A longstanding obstacle to the market for bovine embryos is about to be removed. Researchers have described a hitherto unknown mechanism of lipid accumulation in oocytes that limits the success of in vitro production of bovine embryos.
Standard behavior experiments to investigate behavior in popular lab animals only incompletely mimic natural conditions. The understanding of behavior and brain function is thus limited. Virtual Reality helps in generating a more natural experimental environment but requires immobilization of the animal, disrupting sensorimotor experience and causing altered neuronal and behavioral responses. Researchers have now developed a VR system for freely moving animals to overcome most of these limitations.
Researchers at the University of York working on a 700-year-old abandoned agricultural site in Tanzania have shown that soil erosion benefited farming practices for some 500 years.
By 2100 some Southern Hemisphere whale species will not have reached half their pre-whaling numbers, while other species are expected to recover by 2050.
The study analyzed multiple species of Inga, a genus of tropical trees that produces defensive chemicals, and their various insect herbivores. The researchers found that closely-related plants evolved very different defensive traits. Additionally, their analysis revealed that herbivores may drive evolution of plant defenses, but may not show coevolutionary adaptations. Instead, they may 'chase' plants based on the herbivore's own traits at the time they encounter a new host.
A new University of Utah-led study shows that targeted forest regeneration among the largest and closest forest fragments in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and the Atlantic Forest of Brazil can dramatically reduce extinction rates of bird species over time.