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Latest and Breaking Biology News

NSF grant to Wayne State supports new concept for manufacturing nanoscale devices
(Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research) According to the National Science Foundation, nanotechnology is the creation and utilization of functional materials, devices, and systems with novel properties and functions. A major bottleneck in scaling up nanotechnology is the lack of manufacturing methods that connect different functional materials into one device. A research team led by Dr. Guangzhao Mao, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Wayne State University, is seeking answers to this problem.

F1000Research brings static research figures to life
(Faculty of 1000) F1000Research today published new research from Bjorn Brembs, professor of neurogenetics at the Institute of Zoology, Universitaet Regensburg, in Germany, with a proof-of-concept figure allowing readers and reviewers to run the underlying code within the online article. This represents an important leap forward for scientific publishing, by demonstrating a completely novel framework for assessing the quality of a scholarly output.

Decades-old amber collection offers new views of a lost world
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Scientists are searching through a massive collection of 20-million-year-old amber found in the Dominican Republic more than 50 years ago, and the effort is yielding fresh insights into ancient tropical insects and the world they inhabited. (Includes a video about the work narrated by David Attenborough.)

Fighting over proposed changes to food labels
(American Chemical Society) To help Americans make better decisions about what they eat, the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year proposed significant changes to the Nutrition Facts label found on nearly every food product in the US. An article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society, explains the suggested updates -- and the fight that has ensued.

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics
(American Chemical Society) Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process -- think stunning, bright butterfly wings of many different hues, for example. Now scientists are tapping into those secrets to develop a more environmentally friendly way to make colored plastics. Their paper on using structure -- or the shapes and architectures of materials -- rather than dyes, to produce color appears in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

Across-the-board Impact Factor increases for Portland Press Limited
(Biochemical Society) Portland Press Limited today announced an across-the-board increase in Impact Factors for its molecular bioscience publications.

Toward a home test for detecting potentially dangerous levels of caffeine
(American Chemical Society) The shocking news of an Ohio teen who died of a caffeine overdose in May highlighted the potential dangers of the normally well-tolerated and mass-consumed substance. To help prevent serious health problems that can arise from consuming too much caffeine, scientists are reporting progress toward a rapid, at-home test to detect even low levels of the stimulant in most beverages and even breast milk. Their report appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Chinese mosquitos on the Baltic Sea
(University of Bonn) Strange finds indeed have been reported by researchers from China, Europe and the USA in the journal 'Current Biology': 50 million years ago, there were insects living in East Asia that very much resembled those in Northern Europe. This is what amber, which was found in East China showed, in whose analysis the University of Bonn is currently participating. The fossil resin clumps give evidence of arthropods from more than 80 different families.

Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate
(University of California - San Diego) Many growth factors that influence the fate of embryonic stem cells must bind to sugars attached to specific receptors on the surface of the cell to work. Because the sugars are difficult to manipulate, biochemists created synthetic stand ins that helped to identify substructures recognized by a growth factor involved in neural development.

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay
(Northeastern University) In a new paper, Northeastern researchers show how they've used advanced computational data science tools to demonstrate that despite global warming, we may still experience severe cold snaps due to increasing variability in temperature extremes.

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