The proteins that domesticated our genomes

EPFL scientists have carried out a genomic and evolutionary study of a large and enigmatic family of human proteins, to demonstrate that it is responsible for harnessing the millions of transposable elements in the human genome. The work reveals the largely species-specific gene-regulatory networks that impact all of human biology, in both health and disease.

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Study links altered brain chemistry, behavioral impairments in fish exposed to elevated CO2

Study Links Altered Brain Chemistry, Behavioral Impairments in Fish Exposed to Elevated CO2 Research team studied damselfish behavior and physiology under ocean acidification conditions predicted for year 2300

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Study reveals how ionising radiation damages DNA and causes cancer

For the first time, researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have been able to identify in human cancers two characteristic patterns of DNA damage caused by ionising radiation. These fingerprint patterns may now enable doctors to identify which tumours have been caused by radiation, and investigate if they should be treated differently.

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First accurate simulation of a virus invading a cell

For the first time, scientists know what happens to a virus’ shape when it invades a host cell, thanks to an experiment by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Understanding how the virus shape changes could lead to more effective anti-viral therapies.

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Critical information needed in fight to save wildlife

With global temperatures rising, an international group of 22 top biologists is calling for a coordinated effort to gather important species information that is urgently needed to improve predictions for the impact of climate change on future biodiversity.

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New research sheds light on how aged wine gets its aroma

Researchers have discovered an enzyme that plays a leading role in the formation of compounds that give aged wines their sought-after aroma.

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BPA can disrupt painted turtles’ brain development could be a population health concern

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in many consumer products including water bottles, metal food storage products and certain resins. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for BPA, affecting turtle habitats. Last year, a team of researchers led by the University of Missouri determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function in painted turtles, causing males to develop female sex organs. Now, the team has shown that BPA also can induce behavioral changes in turtles, reprogramming male turtle brains to show behavior common in females. Researchers worry this could lead to population declines in painted turtles.

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New study: Neonicotinoid insecticides linked to wild bee decline across England

Exposure to neonicotinoid seed treated oilseed rape crops has been linked to long-term population decline of wild bee species across the English countryside, according to research published today in Nature Communications.

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