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Deciphering the neural code that links food to aging

A new study has found that serotonin and TGF-beta hormone levels in specific neurons of C. elegans communicate information about food abundance in roundworms. These signals from the nervous system influence the animal's lifespan, thus mediating the effects of food on ageing.

Posted: May 12th, 2015

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Biofuels: plant the right crop in the right place

Corn, wheat and rapeseed can be used to produce biofuels, such as bioethanol and biodiesel. According to recent findings by environmental scientists, the location of the agricultural lands used to grow these biofuel crops has a major impact on the greenhouse gas emission they ultimately produce.

Posted: May 12th, 2015

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Photosynthesis has unique isotopic signature

Geochemists report that photosynthesis leaves behind a unique calling card in the form of a chemical signature that is spelled out with stable oxygen isotopes. The findings suggest that similar isotopic signatures could exist for many biological processes, including some that are difficult to observe with current tools.

Posted: May 11th, 2015

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Engineering bacteria to design vaccines

The EU-funded MycoSynVac project combines gene engineering and biotechnology to design a novel veterinary vaccine chassis based on the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Posted: May 8th, 2015

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Automated counting of tumor cells in blood

Biological and medical scientists have been using flow cytometry to count cancer cells for the past 40 years. But the large instruments are expensive and can only be operated by trained personnel. By contrast the PoCyton cytometer is cheap to produce, no bigger than a shoebox, and automated.

Posted: May 6th, 2015

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Decoding DNA's phonebook

New clues about diseases like inflammatory bowel disorder may be found thanks to a new genomic interactions catalogue by a group of researchers in Japan and the United Kingdom.

Posted: May 4th, 2015

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