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Video: See fungal spores fly

By | September 27, 2010

In a remarkable display of cooperation, specialized fungi eject spores sitting atop their fruiting bodies at high speeds in rapid succession to generate a miniature wind current that carries their progeny 20 times farther than a single spore could travel on its own. Spore puffs from Sclerotinia sclerotiorumImage: M. RoperCombining mathematical theory with high speed video, a team led by applied mathematician linkurl:Marcus Roper;http://math.berkeley.edu/%7Emroper/www/Home.html of the University

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More retractions from Nobelist

By | September 23, 2010

Two prominent journals have retracted papers by Nobel laureate Linda Buck today because she was "unable to reproduce [the] key findings" of experiments done by her former postdoctoral researcher Zhihua Zou.

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T cells attack neurons in MS

By | September 23, 2010

In a rare glimpse inside a diseased brain, researchers watch for the first time as immune cells directly attack neurons in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Published this week in linkurl:Immunity,;http://www.cell.com/immunity/home the surprising role of T helper cells in neurodegeneration may provide a novel therapeutic target for blocking neuron dysfunction in patients with MS. Brain with MS lesions U.S. Brookhaven National Laboratory, linkurl:Wikimedia Commons;http://commons.wiki

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Immune response feeds parasite

By | September 22, 2010

Salmonella is able to out compete resident gut microbes by deriving energy from the immune response that is supposed to combat the pathogen, according to a study published this week in Nature. Salmonella typhimuriumImage: Wikimedia commons, Volker Brinkmann, Max Planck Institutefor Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany"It was a surprise," said microbiologist linkurl:Samuel Miller;http://depts.washington.edu/daid/faculty/miller.htm of the University of Washington, who was not involved in the resea

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Postdoc fudged epigenetic data

By | September 22, 2010

A former postdoctoral fellow at Washington State University has reportedly falsified data presented in two figures of an epigenetics paper, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) linkurl:report;http://ori.hhs.gov/misconduct/cases/Chang_Hung-Shu.shtml released late last month. Image:flickr/muhbabyfishThe data fabrication resulted in the retraction of a 2006 __Endocrinology__ linkurl:paper,;http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/147/12/5524 but a repeat of the original stu

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Nobel hopefuls by the numbers

By | September 21, 2010

The researcher who developed induced pluripotent stem cells, the biochemist who invented DNA microarrays, and the immunologist who discovered dendritic cells are just a few of the scientists whose citation records are robust enough to attract a Nobel Prize this year, according to Thomson Reuters, the company that manages the Web of Science citation indexing tool -- brainchild of __The Scientist__ founder Eugene Garfield. The company released their 2010 Nobel Prize linkurl:predictions;http://scie

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Top 7 in cell biology

By | September 21, 2010

1. Parasite's unusual metabolism __Plasmodium falciparum__ may have evolved a unique, non-cyclic version of the textbook energy-producing process in cells known as the Krebs cycle -- presumably as an adaptation to living inside human blood cells -- a finding that could lead to new Malaria drug targets. K.L. Olszewski et al., linkurl:Nature,;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/20686576?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn 2010 Aug 2 466:774-8. linkurl:Eval by;http://f1000biology.com/a

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mRNA affects protein fate

By | September 17, 2010

The genetic code of proteins may dictate much more than their amino acid sequences, a new linkurl:paper;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;329/5998/1534?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=Differential+arginylation+of+actin+isoforms+is+regulated+by+coding+sequence-dependent+degradation&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT from __Science__ suggests -- it may hold their ultimate fate. β-actin Image:Wikimedia commonslinkurl:Anna Kashina;http://www.med.upenn.edu/app

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Biotech's new invaluable tool

By | September 16, 2010

In just two decades, the protein equivalent of an intron has carved out a significant niche in biotechnology -- and captured the interest of evolutionary biologists, who suspect these potentially ancient elements could provide clues to early enzymes. Image: Wikimedia commonsWith the ability to splice themselves out of proteins and paste the two loose ends of the protein back together, inteins are proving to be an invaluable tool in biotechnology. Just 20 years since their discovery, inteins are

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Sweet science

By | September 16, 2010

Ever had the urge to take a nice crunchy bite of Drosophila or lick icing off a brain? You will after a visit to linkurl:Not So Humble Pie,;http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/ a blog run by scientist-turned-baker, Ms. Humble. A blogger who refers to herself as "a typical nerdy biological anthropologist turned stay at home mom," Ms. Humble -- who chooses to remain anonymous -- began the blog in October 2009. Since then, the popular blog has regularly featured science-themed baked goods, from zebr

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