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Jul 19, 2018

Mechanism Behind Drug Resistance in Some Cancers Clarified

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers have figured out details about how some specific type of cancers become drug-resistant.

Researchers at the Rockefeller University have clarified the mechanism by which certain types of breast cancer become immune to specific drugs designed to eliminate them. More specifically, they figured out how the loss of the protein 53BP1 due to BRCA1 mutation allows cancers to become insensitive to PARP inhibitors [1].

Study summary

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Jul 19, 2018

New study puts a figure on sea-level rise following Antarctic ice shelves’ collapse

Posted by in category: climatology

An international team of scientists has shown how much sea level would rise if Larsen C and George VI, two Antarctic ice shelves at risk of collapse, were to break up. While Larsen C has received much attention due to the break-away of a trillion-tonne iceberg from it last summer, its collapse would contribute only a few millimetres to sea-level rise. The break-up of the smaller George VI Ice Shelf would have a much larger impact. The research is published today in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere.

Recent, rapid warming in the Antarctic Peninsula is a threat to ice shelves in the region, with Larsen C and George VI considered to have the highest risk of . Because these large ice platforms hold back inland glaciers, the ice carried by these glaciers can flow faster into the sea when the ice shelves collapse, which contributes to . The new study shows that a collapse of Larsen C would result in inland ice discharging about 4 mm to sea level, while the response of glaciers to George VI collapse could contribute over five times more to , around 22 mm.

“These numbers, while not enormous in themselves, are only one part of a larger sea-level budget including loss from other glaciers around the world and from the Greenland, East and West Antarctic ice sheets. Taken together with these other sources, the impacts could be significant to island nations and coastal populations,” explains study-author Nicholas Barrand, a glaciologist at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He adds: “The Antarctic Peninsula may be seen as a bellwether for changes in the much larger East and West Antarctic ice sheets as climate warming extends south.”

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Jul 19, 2018

Team creates high-fidelity images of Sun’s atmosphere

Posted by in categories: information science, space

In 1610, Galileo redesigned the telescope and discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons. Nearly 400 years later, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope used its powerful optics to look deep into space—enabling scientists to pin down the age of the universe.

Suffice it to say that getting a better look at things produces major scientific advances.

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Jul 19, 2018

Time for the Meghalayan: A new geological age has officially been declared

Posted by in category: futurism

After years of debate, the International Chronostratigraphic Chart has officially been revised. What does that mean, exactly? Our current point in Earth’s geological timeline has been updated so that we’re now living in the Meghalayan age, which kicked off 4,200 years ago with a catastrophic two-century drought that destroyed several civilizations.

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Jul 19, 2018

World’s oldest baby snake found preserved in amber

Posted by in category: habitats

100-million-year-old fossil may provide clues to the habitat and evolution of ancient serpents.

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Jul 19, 2018

The public doesn’t trust GMOs. Will it trust CRISPR?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food

There’s a huge opportunity to improve agriculture with gene editing. But we need to give CRISPR a chance.

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Jul 19, 2018

Martian atmosphere behaves as one

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

New research using a decade of data from ESA’s Mars Express has found clear signs of the complex Martian atmosphere acting as a single, interconnected system, with processes occurring at low and mid levels significantly affecting those seen higher up.

Understanding the Martian is a key topic in planetary science, from its current status to its past history. Mars’ atmosphere continuously leaks out to space, and is a crucial factor in the planet’s past, present, and future habitability – or lack of it. The planet has lost the majority of its once much denser and wetter atmosphere, causing it to evolve into the dry, arid world we see today.

However, the tenuous atmosphere Mars has retained remains complex, and scientists are working to understand if and how the processes within it are connected over space and time.

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Jul 19, 2018

Glowing bacteria on deep-sea fish shed light on evolution, ‘third type’ of symbiosis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

You may recognize the anglerfish from its dramatic appearance in the hit animated film Finding Nemo, as it was very nearly the demise of clownfish Marlin and blue-tang fish Dory. It lives most of its life in total darkness more than 1,000 meters below the ocean surface. Female anglerfish sport a glowing lure on top of their foreheads, basically a pole with a light bulb on its end, where bioluminescent bacteria live. The light-emitting lure attracts both prey and potential mates to the fish.

Despite its recent fame, little is known about anglerfish and their symbiotic relationship with these brilliant , because the fish are difficult to acquire and study.

For the first time, scientists have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of bacteria that live in anglerfish bulbs. The bacteria were taken from fish specimens collected in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Jul 19, 2018

Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth’s ancient biosphere

Posted by in category: futurism

A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4 billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh evidence of what the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere were like during the interval leading up to the emergence of animal life.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, represent the oldest measurement of atmospheric oxygen isotopes by nearly a billion years. The results support previous research suggesting that oxygen levels in the air during this time in Earth history were a tiny fraction of what they are today due to a much less productive biosphere.

“It has been suggested for many decades now that the composition of the atmosphere has significantly varied through time,” says Peter Crockford, who led the study as a Ph.D. student at McGill University. “We provide unambiguous evidence that it was indeed much different 1.4 billion years ago.”

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Jul 19, 2018

Don’t Squish the Jellyfish. Capture It With a Folding Robotic Claw

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

A new invention could help marine scientists study sea creatures in their natural habitat more effectively without harming them in the process.

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