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Sunday, January 20, 2019

No guts no glory: Harvesting the microbiome of athletes

Scientists have tapped into the microbiome of elite runners and rowers, and have identified particular bacteria that may aid athletic performance. The goal is to develop probiotic supplements that may help athletes -- and even amateur fitness enthusiasts -- recover from a tough workout or more efficiently convert nutrients to energy. The researchers will present their work today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Mussel-inspired glue could one day make fetal surgery safer

Whether to perform surgery on a fetus is a heart-wrenching decision. This type of surgery involves penetrating the delicate amniotic sac, increasing health risks to the fetus. Now researchers report the development of a glue, inspired by the tenacious grip of mussels on slippery rocks, that could one day help save the lives of the youngest patients.

Sugars in human mother’s milk are new class of antibacterial agents

A new study has found that sugars in mother's' milk do not just provide nutrition for babies but also help protect them from bacterial infections, making them a new class of antimicrobial agent.

Novel approach to track HIV infection

Scientists used a novel live-cell fluorescent imaging system that allowed them for the first time to identify individual viral particles associated with HIV infection.

Ocean channel in Bahamas marks genetic divide in Brazilian free-tailed bats

Brazilian free-tailed bats are expert flyers, capable of migrating hundreds of miles and regularly traveling more than 30 miles a night. But they pull up short at a narrow ocean channel that cuts across the Bahamas, dividing bat populations that last shared an ancestor hundreds of thousands of years ago.

How immature cells grow up to be red blood cells

Researchers have identified the mechanism behind red blood cell specialization and revealed that it is controlled by an enzyme called UBE2O. This finding could spark the development of new treatments for blood disorders and cancers.

Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast

Geophysicists use a new model to conclude that volcanic hot spots around the globe aren't moving as fast as recently thought.

Mineral layer around avian flu pathogen may be the cause for human infections

Avian flu can be transmitted from birds to humans; transmission among humans, however, is limited. The reason may be an eggshell-like mineral layer that the virus acquires due to the high calcium concentration in the intestines of birds. These mineralized viruses are significantly more infectious and, in addition, more robust and heat stable than the native viruses.

Cheesemaking secret unlocked

Researchers say their new knowledge on the inner workings of a bacterium has important implications for Australia's billion dollar cheese industry. The research group has explained the regulation of an enzyme in the bacterium Lactococcus, which is used as a starter culture in cheese production.

Mechanisms explaining positional diversity of the hindlimb in tetrapod evolution

Elucidating how body parts in their earliest recognizable form are assembled in tetrapods during development is essential for understanding the nature of morphological evolution. Researchers found in eight tetrapod species that the position of the sacral vertebrae and the hindlimbs is determined by the initiation timing of Gdf11 gene expression. This will contribute to a forthcoming model explaining the coupling of spine and hindlimb positioning - a major step in fully understanding tetrapod evolution.

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Almanac: The “Chunnel”

On January 20, 1986, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President Francois Mitterand broke new ground on the long-dreamed-of tunnel connecting England and France. Jane Pauley reports.

Almanac: The English Channel Tunnel

On January 20, 1986, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President Francois Mitterand broke new ground on the long-dreamed-of "Chunnel"

Downing Street warns MPs not to block Brexit

No 10 responds as two groups of MPs seek to take control of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Source: BBC