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What hundreds of biomolecules tell us about our nerve cells

Researchers successfully measured metabolic profiles, or the metabolomes, of different brain regions, and their findings could help better understand neurodegenerative diseases. The metabolome represents all or at least a large part of the metabolites in a given tissue, and thus, it gives a snapshot of its physiology.

Posted: May 18th, 2015

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Scientists discover how microbes acquire electricity in making methane

Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about methanogens, unique microorganisms that transform electricity and carbon dioxide into methane. They demonstrate for the first time how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces. The discovery could help scientists design electrodes for microbial 'factories' that produce methane gas and other compounds sustainably.

Posted: May 18th, 2015

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Fusion protein controls design of photosynthesis platform

A central part of photosynthesis takes place in a specialized structure within chloroplasts, the thylakoid membrane system. Despite its apparent important function, until now it was not clear how this specialized internal membrane system is actually formed. Researchers have now identified how this membrane is generated.

Posted: May 13th, 2015

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Scientists regenerate bone tissue using only proteins secreted by stem cells

Scientists have discovered a way to regrow bone tissue using the protein signals produced by stem cells. This technology could help treat victims who have experienced major trauma to a limb, like soldiers wounded in combat or casualties of a natural disaster. The new method improves on older therapies by providing a sustainable source for fresh tissue and reducing the risk of tumor formation that can arise with stem cell transplants.

Posted: May 12th, 2015

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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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