Infertility is estimated to affect 9% of reproductive-aged couples globally, and many couples turn to assisted reproductive technology. Selecting embryos with maximum development potential plays a pivotal role in obtaining the highest rate of success. Researchers can evaluate the quality of an embryo by detecting the content of proteins secreted. In Biomicrofluidics, a method to detect trace proteins secreted by embryos using microfluidic droplets and multicolor fluorescence holds promise to select embryos for ART.
As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, a common question is, can infectious diseases be connected to environmental change? Yes, indicates a new study. Exploitation of wildlife by humans through hunting, trade, habitat degradation and urbanization facilitates close contact between wildlife and humans, which increases the risk of virus spillover, the study found. Many of these same activities also drive wildlife population declines and the risk of extinction.
The bright chirp of the coquí frog, the national symbol of Puerto Rico, has likely resounded through Caribbean forests for at least 29 million years. A fossil arm bone from a frog in the genus Eleutherodactylus is the oldest record of frogs in the Caribbean and, fittingly, was discovered on the island where coquís are most beloved.
For infants as young as four months, a hug from a parent makes all the difference. A study examined heart rate responses in infants less than one year old during a hug and found that children as young as four months experience greater heart rate slowing during a hug than a hold -- and during a hug from their parent as compared to a hug from a stranger.
New research has shone light on the impact of clouds on climate change. The study has raised serious doubts of the likely impact of human-led interventions involving methods of cloud 'brightening' to counteract climate change.
Analyses of cell signals provide insight into the origin of severe inflammatory symptoms that appear in various types of blood cancer and point to possible therapeutic approaches: In around one-fourth of patients suffering from juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), there is evidence of mutations in the so-called KRAS gene in the leukemia cells. Patients affected by JMML carrying these mutations suffer particularly often from signs of inflammation, such as fever, weight loss, and an abnormal enlargement of the spleen. It was previously unknown how the sometimes severe inflammatory symptoms are connected with the cancer.
Tiny fragments of plastic waste are dispersed throughout the environment, including the oceans, where marine organisms can ingest them. However, the subsequent fate of these microplastics in animals that live near the bottom of the ocean isn't clear. Now, researchers report that lobsters can eat and break down some of this microplastic material, releasing even smaller fragments into the water that other deep-sea organisms could ingest.
Researchers have succeeded in restoring mobility and sensation of touch in stroke-afflicted rats by reprogramming human skin cells to become nerve cells, which were then transplanted into the rats' brains.
A new study found that freshwater runoff from rivers and continental shelf sediments are bringing significant quantities of carbon and trace elements into parts of the Arctic Ocean via the Transpolar Drift -- a major surface current that moves water from Siberia across the North Pole to the North Atlantic Ocean.
Researchers employed X-ray dark-field computed tomography to create three-dimensional renderings of the internal structure of the human nipple, thereby elucidating its varied arrangements. Their approach could be applied for diagnostic and exploratory purposes in breast cancer.
In a way, plants are energy wasters: in order to protect themselves from excessive electron transport, they continuously quench light energy and don't use it for photosynthesis and biomass production. A mutation can make them work more efficiently.
The Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP), located near Manaus, Brazil, began in 1979 and is the world's longest-running experimental study of tropical forest fragments. A new article summarizes four decades of data from the project about how Amazonian bird communities respond to habitat fragmentation, a question as relevant today as ever in light of the recent increase in deforestation in the Amazon.
People with celiac disease have increased risk of dying prematurely, despite increased awareness of the disease in recent years and better access to gluten-free food. Celiac disease was linked to increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease.
The avian influenza virus subtype H16N3 is currently detectable in many countries. To examine the potential threat to humans of H16N3, researchers recently performed an extensive avian influenza surveillance in major wild bird gatherings across China from 2017-2019.
Nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) perceive pathogen effectors to trigger plant immunity. Biochemical mechanisms underlying plant NLR activation have until now remained poorly understood. We reconstituted an active complex containing the Arabidopsis coiled-coil NLR ZAR1, the pseudokinase RKS1, uridylated protein kinase PBL2, and 2'-deoxyadenosine 5'-triphosphate (dATP), demonstrating the oligomerization of the complex during immune activation. The cryo-electron microscopy structure reveals a wheel-like pentameric ZAR1 resistosome. Besides the nucleotide-binding domain, the coiled-coil domain of ZAR1 also contributes to resistosome pentamerization by forming an α-helical barrel that interacts with the leucine-rich repeat and winged-helix domains. Structural remodeling and fold switching during activation release the very N-terminal amphipathic α helix of ZAR1 to form a funnel-shaped structure that is required for the plasma membrane association, cell death triggering, and disease resistance, offering clues to the biochemical function of a plant resistosome.