A spectacular fossilised forest has transformed our understanding of the ecology of the Earth’s first rainforests. It is 300 million years old.
Researchers report that most genes are repressed through a mechanism by which methyl molecules are attached to DNA. The cells of a given tissue can express only certain genes while others are silenced. This process, called gene repression, allows cells to perform specialized tasks that are different among various organs. Previous studies have shown that genes are repressed when methyl molecules are attached to them — a process called methylation — but such studies have not shown that all genes are repressed exclusively by this modification.
Despite regulations by some countries to protect the behemoth basking shark from further population declines, a new study published in the current on-line edition of Animal Conservation reports that the world’s second largest fish is still being killed for its high-priced fins.
Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that propel mucus out of airways, have to agree on the direction of the fluid flow to get things moving. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discovered a novel two-step mechanism that ensures that all cilia beat in unison.
For pea aphids, the ability to go forth and multiply can depend on a single gene, according to new research. An overheated aphid with a mutation in that gene can’t reproduce.The gene isn’t even in the insect — it’s in tiny symbiotic bacteria housed inside special cells inside the aphid.
A human body has more than 10 to the power of 27 molecules with about one hundred thousand different shapes and functions. Interactions between molecules determine our structure and keep us alive. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart in collaboration with scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute in Freiburg and the King’s Collage London have followed the interaction of only two individual molecules to show the basic mechanism underlying recognition of dipeptides.
Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-Santa Cruz. The scientists propose that this redeemed DNA plays a role in controlling when genes turn on and off.
Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory have been playing an important role investigating viral disease incidence as it relates to honey bee colony deaths, specifically the increased deaths in bee colonies with unique symptoms, called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Scientists at the University of Chicago and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., have produced new evidence to finally resolve the mysterious identity of what they regard as one of the weirdest organisms that ever lived. Their chemical analysis indicates that the organism was a fungus, the scientists report in the May issue of the journal of Geology, published by the Geological Society of America. Called Prototaxites (pronounced pro-toe-tax-eye-tees), the organism went extinct approximately 350 million years ago.
Climate change is dramatically altering the growing patterns of mushrooms, toadstools and other fungi, new research has found. There are around 18,000 different species of fungi in the UK — three times as many as all plants put together. They provide vital ecosystem services for the welfare of native trees and other plants, and are the natural recyclers of the planet, but until now their response to global climate change has not been examined.