New insight into eye diseases

Many diseases that lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, are caused by the death of certain cells in the human retina that lack the ability to regenerate. But in species such as zebrafish these cells, known as Muller glial cells (MGs), do serve as retinal stem cells that are capable of generating new cells. In a new study, a research team investigated whether the regenerative power of cells in zebrafish could be recreated in mammals, specifically mice.

Component of red wine, grapes can help to reduce inflammation, study finds

A component of red wine and grapes can help control inflammation induced by a bacterial pathogen that is linked to upper respiratory tract inflammatory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and middle ear infection (otitis media), according to a study.

Wireless, freely behaving rodent cage helps scientists collect more reliable data

The EnerCage (Energized Cage) system is created for scientific experiments on awake, freely behaving small animals. It wirelessly powers electronic devices and sensors traditionally used during rodent research experiments, but without the use of interconnect wires or bulky batteries. Their goal is to create as natural an environment within the cage as possible for mice and rats in order for scientists to obtain consistent and reliable results.

Solution blooming for fracking spills?

Wastewater from oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is often laden with salts and can spill, contaminating soils. In a recent study, researchers tested a method that extracted a large percentage of the salt present in soils contaminated by brine spills.

Randomized trial suggests eating bread made with ancient grains could benefit heart health

Eating bread made with ancient grains could help lower cholesterol and blood glucose, a recent randomized trial suggests. Compared with modern grain varieties which are often heavily refined, ancient grains offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles. They also contain beneficial vitamins (B and E), minerals (eg, magnesium, iron, potassium), which protect against chronic diseases.

Study of North Atlantic Ocean reveals decline of leaded petrol emissions

A new study of lead pollution in the North Atlantic provides strong evidence that leaded petrol emissions have declined over the past few decades. For the first time in around 40 years, scientists have detected lead from natural sources in samples from this ocean. In the intervening period, the proportion of lead in the ocean from humanmade sources, most importantly leaded petrol emissions, had been so high that it was not possible to detect any lead from natural sources.

Toward ‘greener,’ inexpensive solar cells

Solar panels are proliferating across the globe to help reduce the world's dependency on fossil fuels. But conventional panels are not without environmental costs, too. Now scientists report a new advance toward more practical, "greener" solar cells made with inexpensive halide perovskite materials. They have developed low-bandgap perovskite solar cells with a reduced lead content and a power conversion efficiency of 15 percent.

Fungus makes mosquitoes much more likely to become infected with malaria

A fungus that compromises the immune system of mosquitoes, making them more susceptible to infection with the parasite that causes malaria, has been discovered by scientists. Because environmental microorganisms can vary greatly from region to region, the researchers say the findings may help explain variations in the prevalence of malaria in different geographic areas.

Tracking the amount of sea ice from the Greenland ice sheet

By analyzing ice cores drilled from deep inside the Greenland ice sheet, researchers have started to calculate how much Arctic sea ice there was in the past.

One fly to rule them all: Flies are the key pollinators of the High...

Forget the view of the Arctic as an icy desert devoid of life. The Arctic summer is buzzing with insects -- and here as everywhere else, plants rely on them for pollination. But who are the insects driving the pollination services across the Arctic? A new study finds the biggest heroes among the most modest of animals: small flies related to our common house fly. This finding offers cause for concern, as arctic fly abundances are declining as the Arctic continues to warm.

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