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Latest and Breaking Biology News

New policymaking tool for shift to renewable energy
(Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen) Multiple pathways exist to a low greenhouse gas future, all involving increased efficiency and a dramatic shift in energy supply away from fossil fuels. A new tool 'SWITCH' enables policymakers and planners to assess the economic and environmental implications of different energy scenarios. It is presented today at the congress Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainability, hosted by the University of Copenhagen.

Seaweed engineers build crustacean homes; old forests store new nitrogen
(Ecological Society of America) In this month's issue of Ecology, invasive seaweed shelters native crustaceans, mature forests store nitrogen in soil, and stream invertebrates aren't eating what we thought they were eating.

New insights on carbonic acid in water
(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers provides valuable new insight into aqueous carbonic acid with important implications for both geological and biological concerns.

Finally: A missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer
(University of Colorado Denver) A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Prostate offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

A real-time tracking system developed to monitor dangerous bacteria inside the body
(Johns Hopkins Medicine) Combining a PET scanner with a new chemical tracer that selectively tags specific types of bacteria, Johns Hopkins researchers working with mice report they have devised a way to detect and monitor in real time infections with dangerous Gram-negative bacteria. These increasingly drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for a range of diseases, including fatal pneumonias and various bloodstream or solid-organ infections acquired in and outside the hospital.

Paralyzed patients have weaker bones and a higher risk of fractures than expected
(Worcester Polytechnic Institute) People paralyzed by spinal cord injuries lose mechanical strength in their leg bones faster, and more significantly, than previously believed, putting them at greater risk for fractures from minor stresses, according to a study by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The results suggest that physicians should begin therapies for such patients sooner to maintain bone mass and strength, and should think beyond standard bone density tests when assessing fracture risk in osteoporosis patients.

New ALS associated gene identified using innovative strategy
(University of Massachusetts Medical School) Using an innovative exome sequencing strategy, a team of international scientists led by John Landers, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that TUBA4A, the gene encoding the Tubulin Alpha 4A protein, is associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute announces largest-ever stem cell repository
(New York Stem Cell Foundation) The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute, through the launch of its repository in 2015, will provide for the first time the largest-ever number of stem cell lines available to the scientific research community. Initially, over 600 induced pluripotent stem cell lines and 1,000 cultured fibroblasts from over 1,000 unique human subjects will be made available, with an increasing number available in the first year.

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level
(Northwestern University) A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness.

SF State awarded $17 million by NIH to enhance workforce diversity in biomedical research
(San Francisco State University) SF State has been awarded $17.04 million to address issues of workforce diversity in biomedical research, the National Institutes of Health announced. The effort is called SF BUILD, which stands for Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity. Professors in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, psychology and other fields at SF State working on the project seek to upend presuppositions about members of minority communities -- that they may not have the aptitude or background to excel in the sciences.

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