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Latest and Breaking Biology News

Singapore team develops Asia's first genetic test that can prevent corneal blindness
(SingHealth) A team of eye doctors and scientists from Singapore have developed Asia's first genetic test for identifying patients with a type of eye disease that affects the cornea called corneal stromal dystrophy which can lead to blurring and loss of vision. Called the POLARIS TGFBI test, this genetic test is designed to aid in the diagnosis and management of patients with corneal stromal dystrophies.

Nano-supercapacitors for electric cars
(Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft) Innovative nano-material based supercapacitors are set to bring mass market appeal a good step closer to the lukewarm public interest in Germany. This movement is currently being motivated by the advancements in the state-of-the-art of this device.

Chemist develops X-ray vision for quality assurance
(Technical University of Denmark) A Technical University of Denmark researcher has developed a method that uses X-rays for the rapid identification of substances present in an indeterminate powder. The new technique has the capacity to recognize advanced biological molecules such as proteins. The method therefore has enormous potential in both food production and the pharmaceutical industry, where it opens up new opportunities for the quality assurance of protein-based medicines, for example.

New methods of detecting Salmonella in pork meat processing
(Technical University of Denmark) Infections caused by food-borne microorganisms are an increasing public health burden. In a PhD project at the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, new methods of characterizing and detecting food-borne illness-causing Salmonella in pork meat processing and in bacteria in water, feed and food samples were studied.

Experiments prove 'stemness' of individual immune memory cells
(Technische Universitaet Muenchen) Researchers in Germany and the US have proven for the first time that specific individual immune cells, termed 'central memory T cells,' have all the essential characteristics of adult tissue stem cells. Such cells can perpetuate themselves indefinitely and generate diverse offspring that can reconstitute "tissue" function. These findings indicate that it should be possible to fully restore specific immunity to pathogens in immunocompromised patients by substitution of small numbers of these T cells.

Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population
(San Diego State University) Odds are, there's a virus living inside your gut that has gone undetected by scientists for decades. A new study led by researchers at San Diego State University has found that more than half the world's population is host to a newly described virus, named crAssphage, which infects one of the most common gut bacterial species, Bacteroides. This bacterium thought to be connected with obesity, diabetes and other gut-related diseases.

Stress tied to change in children's gene expression related to emotion regulation, physical health
(Society for Research in Child Development) In a new study, researchers found that maltreatment affects the way children's genes are activated, which has implications for their long-term development and health. The researchers examined DNA methylation, a biomechanical mechanism that helps cells control which genes are turned on or off, in the blood of 56 children ages 11 to 14. Disruptions in this system affect emotional behavior, stress levels, and the immune system. These findings echo those of earlier studies of rodents.

Stronger early reading skills predict higher intelligence later
(Society for Research in Child Development) A study of 1,890 identical twins has found that strong early reading skill might positively affect later intelligence. The twins, who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study in the United Kingdom, share all their genes as well as a home environment. Differences shown in intellectual ability came from experiences they didn't share. The twin with stronger early reading skills was found to have higher overall intellectual ability by age 7.

Nearly 50 years of lemur data now available online
(National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)) A 48-year archive of life history data for the world's largest and most diverse collection of endangered primates is now digital and available online. The Duke Lemur Center database allows visitors to view and download data for more than 3600 animals representing 27 species of lemurs, lorises and galagos -- distant primate cousins who predate monkeys and apes -- with more data to be uploaded in the future.

Laser therapy on the repair of a large-gap transected sciatic nerve in a reinforced nerve conduit
(Neural Regeneration Research) Despite considerable advances in microsurgical techniques, the functional results of peripheral nerve repair remain largely unsatisfactory. Regrowth of nerves across large gaps is particularly challenging, usually requiring a nerve graft to bridge the proximal and distal nerve stumps. The introduction of low-level laser in treating peripheral nerve damage has been widely demonstrated. For clinical applicability, LLL makes an important contribution towards the development of a safe and effective strategy for rehabilitating peripheral nerve injuries.

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