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The finding confirms that a cluster of cells that directs the fate of other cells in the developing embryo is evolutionarily conserved across the animal kingdom.

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image: Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

By Ruth Williams | April 25, 2018

Immune cells targeting maternal antigens are abundant in the blood of premature infants, suggesting fetal intolerance of mom may instigate early labor.  

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Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.

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Authors of a new study suggest that 520-million-year-old structures, previously identified as the brains of ancient arthropods, are instead preserved microbial biofilms.

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image: Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses

Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses

By Shawna Williams | April 9, 2018

The antimicrobial drug neomycin protects mice from some viral infections, complicating the picture of the relationship between antibiotics and susceptibility to viruses.

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image: Frogs Fight Back From Fungal Attack

Frogs Fight Back From Fungal Attack

By Ruth Williams | March 29, 2018

A decade after chytridiomycosis killed scores of amphibians in Panama, some species are recovering. New research indicates why.  

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The drugs’ disruption of the microbiome makes a subsequent flavivirus infection more severe.

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image: Bees’ Molecular Responses to Neonicotinoids Determined

Bees’ Molecular Responses to Neonicotinoids Determined

By Catherine Offord | March 22, 2018

Researchers pinpoint a protein that can metabolize at least one of the insecticides, highlighting a route to identifying compounds that are friendlier to the critical pollinators.

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image: Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

By Ruth Williams | March 15, 2018

A device dubbed the “mother machine” enables real-time observation of mutagenesis in single bacterial cells.  

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The elimination of the biting pests was an added bonus after researchers unleashed a rat-eradication endeavor on the tiny islands.  

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