Cell Proliferation in Hard Environments

A new study identifies a signaling pathway that cells use to convert information about the stiffness of the material that surrounds them into intracellular stiffness, a process that in turn influences cellular behavior.  This could help researchers understand how to improve or maintain blood flow in conditions like fibrosis or other diseases in which the ECM surrounding the blood vessels is altered. 

Read more about this research from the 17 June issue of Science Signaling here.

[Image courtesy of Keeley L. Mui. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Cell Proliferation in Hard Environments

A new study identifies a signaling pathway that cells use to convert information about the stiffness of the material that surrounds them into intracellular stiffness, a process that in turn influences cellular behavior. This could help researchers understand how to improve or maintain blood flow in conditions like fibrosis or other diseases in which the ECM surrounding the blood vessels is altered.

Read more about this research from the 17 June issue of Science Signaling here.

[Image courtesy of Keeley L. Mui. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

DNA Blood Test Detects Heart Transplant Rejection

A blood test that gauges differences in the circulating DNA of heart transplant recipients could be used to diagnose the likelihood of heart transplant rejection and reduce the need for costly and invasive heart biopsies (a procedure that involves removing heart muscle tissue for analysis). The findings could potentially reduce the number of biopsies that transplant patients undergo, eventually replacing the risky procedure with a simple blood test for monitoring organ rejection.

Read more about this research from the 18 June issue of Science Translational Medicine here.

[Image © C. Bickel/Science Translational Medicine]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

DNA Blood Test Detects Heart Transplant Rejection

A blood test that gauges differences in the circulating DNA of heart transplant recipients could be used to diagnose the likelihood of heart transplant rejection and reduce the need for costly and invasive heart biopsies (a procedure that involves removing heart muscle tissue for analysis). The findings could potentially reduce the number of biopsies that transplant patients undergo, eventually replacing the risky procedure with a simple blood test for monitoring organ rejection.

Read more about this research from the 18 June issue of Science Translational Medicine here.

[Image © C. Bickel/Science Translational Medicine]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Why the Bright Center of a Galaxy Went Dark

In 2013, astronomers noticed that something was obscuring the emission from a bright, well known active galaxy, NGC 5548. Now, Jelle Kaastra and colleagues suggest that the blocking agent may be a fast-moving and clumpy stream of gas. Its location only a few light days away from the galaxy’s nucleus may imply an origin in the accretion disk. This finding may provide some future insight into the workings of more powerful quasars and how they influence their environment, they say.

This video, courtesy of Kaastra et al. (Science/AAAS 2014) provides an animated journey through the active galaxy NGC 5548.

Read more about this research from the 19 June issue of Science Express here.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

A Tale of Two Crow Genomes

Despite frequently exchanging their genes in two distinct zones in Europe where their ranges overlap, the all-black carrion crow and the gray-coated hooded crow maintain very different plumages. Now, a new study suggests that the genetic differences keeping these two species separate are limited to less than one percent of the birds’ genomes. The discovery suggests that the variations in gene expression patterns of these crows are enough to keep the two species distinct, even when mating occurs between species.

Read more about this research from the 20 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Christen Bossu. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

A Tale of Two Crow Genomes

Despite frequently exchanging their genes in two distinct zones in Europe where their ranges overlap, the all-black carrion crow and the gray-coated hooded crow maintain very different plumages. Now, a new study suggests that the genetic differences keeping these two species separate are limited to less than one percent of the birds’ genomes. The discovery suggests that the variations in gene expression patterns of these crows are enough to keep the two species distinct, even when mating occurs between species.

Read more about this research from the 20 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Christen Bossu. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Blue Mineral Reveals Water Reservoir Deep in Earth

A section of the Earth’s mantle — the rocky region between Earth’s crust and its core — is melting, a new study finds, and a large reservoir of water is to blame. The work suggests that the layer of the Earth’s mantle from about 254 to 410 miles (410 to 660 kilometers) may contain a significant amount of water in the form of hydrated ringwoodite — indeed, enough water to spur the melting of the mantle below. 

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Steve Jacobsen / Northwestern University. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Blue Mineral Reveals Water Reservoir Deep in Earth

A section of the Earth’s mantle — the rocky region between Earth’s crust and its core — is melting, a new study finds, and a large reservoir of water is to blame. The work suggests that the layer of the Earth’s mantle from about 254 to 410 miles (410 to 660 kilometers) may contain a significant amount of water in the form of hydrated ringwoodite — indeed, enough water to spur the melting of the mantle below.

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Steve Jacobsen / Northwestern University. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Drilling Into the History of a Watery, Mediterranean Jet

The warm, salty water that flows out of the Mediterranean started off as a trickle, a new study reports, and morphed into a powerful jet that impacts global ocean circulation and climate today. 

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of IODP/TAMU. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Drilling Into the History of a Watery, Mediterranean Jet

The warm, salty water that flows out of the Mediterranean started off as a trickle, a new study reports, and morphed into a powerful jet that impacts global ocean circulation and climate today.

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of IODP/TAMU. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Male Chimps Drive Mutations Faster Than Humans

Chimpanzees are racking up mutations at higher rates than humans due to an exaggerated bias — more extreme than that observed in humans — which causes males of the species to contribute significantly more mutations to the next generation than females, researchers say. A better understanding of the rate at which mutations are accumulated, in a species, can help date important evolutionary events in its history. 

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of the Biomedical Primate Research Centre. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Male Chimps Drive Mutations Faster Than Humans

Chimpanzees are racking up mutations at higher rates than humans due to an exaggerated bias — more extreme than that observed in humans — which causes males of the species to contribute significantly more mutations to the next generation than females, researchers say. A better understanding of the rate at which mutations are accumulated, in a species, can help date important evolutionary events in its history.

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of the Biomedical Primate Research Centre. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Do Fragmented Forests Open the Door to Diseases?

The results of a 12-year field study suggest that highly connected plant populations are more resistant to fungal pathogens than isolated populations. This finding seems counterintuitive, since conventional wisdom argues that closely clustered populations would make pathogen colonization easier rather than harder. But, after spending more than a decade watching 4,000 different populations of the weed, Plantago lanceolata, battle the fungal pathogen, powdery mildew, on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea, the researchers conclude that highly connected patches of plants exchange more genes — and consequently, more resistance — than their isolated counterparts. 

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Susanna Kekkonen. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Do Fragmented Forests Open the Door to Diseases?

The results of a 12-year field study suggest that highly connected plant populations are more resistant to fungal pathogens than isolated populations. This finding seems counterintuitive, since conventional wisdom argues that closely clustered populations would make pathogen colonization easier rather than harder. But, after spending more than a decade watching 4,000 different populations of the weed, Plantago lanceolata, battle the fungal pathogen, powdery mildew, on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea, the researchers conclude that highly connected patches of plants exchange more genes — and consequently, more resistance — than their isolated counterparts.

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Susanna Kekkonen. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Anxious Crayfish Can Be Treated Like Humans

A new study in crayfish — the freshwater crustaceans that look like miniature lobsters — reveals that these crustaceans experience a primitive form of anxiety, which probably shares some evolutionary origins with the more developed human emotion. On top of that, a drug known as chlordiazepoxide (CDZ), which is used to treat anxiety in humans, can calm the crustaceans back down, researchers say.

Read more about this research from the 13 June issue of Science here.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Putting the “Green” Back in Europe’s Farming Policy

The European Union’s new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which was reformed in December, simply isn’t “green” enough when it comes to biodiversity conservation, according to the authors of this Policy Forum. Luckily, however, Member States can still use the flexibility provided by this new CAP to boost sustainable agriculture, they say. 

Read more about this Policy Forum from the 6 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Guy Pe’er/UFZ. Please click here for more information.]
© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Putting the “Green” Back in Europe’s Farming Policy

The European Union’s new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which was reformed in December, simply isn’t “green” enough when it comes to biodiversity conservation, according to the authors of this Policy Forum. Luckily, however, Member States can still use the flexibility provided by this new CAP to boost sustainable agriculture, they say.

Read more about this Policy Forum from the 6 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Guy Pe’er/UFZ. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.