Thermodynamic magic enables cooling without energy consumption

Physicists have developed an amazingly simple device that allows heat to flow temporarily from a cold to a warm object without an external power supply. Intriguingly, the process initially appears to contradict the fundamental laws of physics.

Continuing impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Nine years ago tomorrow -- April 20, 2010 -- crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, and reveals the key role that marsh grasses play in the overall recovery of these important coastal wetlands.

A universal framework combining genome annotation and undergraduate education

Scientists and educators have developed a framework for using new genome sequences as a training resource for undergraduates interested in learning genome annotation. This strategy will both make the process of determining gene functions more efficient and help train the next generation of scientists in bioinformatics.

Warming: Plants are also stressed out

What will a three-degree-warmer world look like? When experiencing stress or damage from various sources, plants use chloroplast-to-nucleus communication to regulate gene expression and help them cope. Now, researchers have found that GUN1 -- a gene that integrates numerous chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signaling pathways -- also plays an important role in how proteins are made in damaged chloroplasts, which provides a new insight into how plants respond to stress.

New method to detect off-target effects of CRISPR

Since the CRISPR genome editing technology was invented in 2012, it has shown great promise to treat a number of intractable diseases. However, scientists have struggled to identify potential off-target effects in therapeutically relevant cell types, which remains the main barrier to moving therapies to the clinic. Now, a group of scientists have developed a reliable method to do just that.

Mysterious river dolphin helps crack the code of marine mammal communication

The Araguaian river dolphin of Brazil was thought to be solitary with little social structure that would require communication. But researchers have discovered the dolphins actually are social and can make hundreds of different sounds, a finding that could help uncover how communication evolved in marine mammals.

Marijuana users weigh less, defying the munchies

New evidence suggests that those who smoke cannabis, or marijuana, weigh less compared to adults who don't. The findings are contrary to the belief that marijuana users who have a serious case of the munchies will ultimately gain more weight.

On-chip drug screening for identifying antibiotic interactions in eight hours

A research team developed a microfluidic-based drug screening chip that identifies synergistic interactions between two antibiotics in eight hours. This chip can be a cell-based drug screening platform for exploring critical pharmacological patterns of antibiotic interactions, along with potential applications in screening other cell-type agents and guidance for clinical therapies.

New variety of zebra chip disease threatens potato production in southwestern Oregon

Named after the dark stripes that form inside potatoes after they are cut and fried, zebra chip disease is a potentially devastating affliction that can result in yield losses up to 100 percent for farmers. Researchers identified a new haplotype, designated haplotype F, that causes zebra chip symptoms in potato.

How the hepatitis B virus establishes persistent infection

New research sheds light on how a hepatitis B viral protein stimulates the expansion of immune cells that impair antiviral responses. The findings potentially explain how the hepatitis B virus (HBV) establishes and maintains chronic infection, and could lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

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UK warns against all but essential Sri Lanka travel

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