Getting to the heart of fossils

Scientists have discovered, for the first time, a fossilised heart in a 119 million-year-old fish from Brazil called Rhacolepis. This has been possible thanks to the powerful X-rays of the ESRF, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France. This breakthrough can provide clues about cardiac evolution._ESRF

The gates of serotonin

Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter, regulating mood, appetite, sleep, memory, learning, and other functions by binding to dedicated receptor proteins. Serotonin receptors have been researched for decades, but details about their structure and function are hard to come by. EPFL scientists have now made the first ever computer simulation of a notoriously elusive serotonin receptor that is involved in fast signal transmission in neurons and plays a central role in disorders such as schizophrenia, chemotherapy nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and seizures. The work is published in the journal Structure._EPFL

An Up-Close View of Bacterial «Motors»

In two recent Caltech studies, researchers used a state-of-the-art imaging technique to capture, for the first time, three-dimensional views of this tiny complicated machinery in bacteria. _Now@Caltech

Scientists develop very early stage human stem cell lines for first time

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have for the first time shown that it is possible to derive from a human embryo so-called ‘naïve’ pluripotent stem cells – one of the most flexible types of stem cell, which can develop into all human tissue other than the placenta.__The University of Cambridge

Eyes turn into skin

EPFL scientists have found that chronic inflammation can cause regenerating cells to grow into new, aberrant types; this is called metaplasia, and is a disorder linked to prolonged inflammation. The study highlights a new concept of chronic inflammation and could lead to better treatments. _EPFL Nik Papageorgiou

Newly Discovered Butterfly Species …

An international team of entomologists has described two new species of satyrid butterflies from the lowland tropical forests of the upper Amazon basin, and named one of them after the famed naturalist Sir David Attenborough._sci-news.com

How cells create free space

In order to divide, cells in the intestinal wall have to leave their densely packed environment and migrate to the surface. ETH researchers have now discovered how they do this – using a tiny bed of nails._ETH Zurich

Shrimp vision, communication and cancer detection

The ocean is lighting up with secret forms of communication between marine animals that may have applications in satellite remote sensing, biomedical imaging, cancer detection and computer data storage, a team of Australian and international researchers has found._UQ News

Μυθική Βιοτεχνολογία στην κλασσική αρχαιότητα (επιθυμία – ελπίδα – φόβος)

Η αφθονία ορθολογικών, ή μη αντιλήψεων που αποπνέουν τα συσκοτισμένα όρια μεταξύ φυσικού και αφύσικου, τέχνης κι επιστήμης, ζωής και θανάτου, προκαλεί απάνθισμα πρωτόγνωρων και νοητικά δελεαστικών συναισθημάτων, όπως αυτά που διαδέχονται την ανακάλυψη κάποιου ουράνιου αντικειμένου, επιλεγμένων από τον μοναδικά εντυπωσιακό και ραγδαία αναπτυσσόμενο κόσμο της βιοτεχνολογίας1. Η πρόοδος αυτή μας έφερε αντιμέτωπους με έννοιες όπως αναπαραγωγή, πολλαπλασιασμός ή ακόμη και δημιουργία ζωής, συνοδεία της αμφιθυμίας που τις περιβάλλει. Ωστόσο, η μελέτη της Eλληνικής μυθολογίας και τέχνης αποκαλύπτει ότι αν και φαινομενικά όψιμες, οι έννοιες αυτές προκάλεσαν την αρχαία νόηση χιλιάδες χρόνια πριν την έλευση των σύγχρονων επιστημονικών μεθόδων.

Tail as old as time

New research from UAlberta grad Victoria Arbour suggests that tails of some ankylosaurs evolved from flexible to stiff to support mace-like tail clubs._University of Alberta

Little Creatures of the Deep [Slide Show]

At more than 2,150 meters deep in the ocean, the water pressure is a crushing 220 kilograms per square centimeter. Oceanographers who have tried to snag samples of life in these pitch-black, frigid and high-pressure places have had to suck in water at high speed and try to filter out organisms, often damaging them in the process. But a team led by Duke University, the University of Oregon and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution last week snatched up the intact larvae of 16 different animals.

Blue Light Sets the Beat in Biological Pacemaker

Technion researchers have successfully established a new approach for pacing the heart and synchronizing its mechanical activity without the use of a conventional electrical pacemaker. This novel biologic strategy employs light-sensitive genes that can be injected into the heart and then activated by flashes of blue light.

Studies Find Early European Had Recent Neanderthal Ancestor

The new study, co-led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Reich at Harvard Medical School and Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, provides the first genetic evidence that humans interbred with Neanderthals in Europe. The scientists reported their findings in the June 22, 2015, issue of the journal Nature.