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Bioscience News
Today's biological science headlines from the sources selected by our team:

Ancient dental plaque: A 'Whey' into our milk drinking past?
We drink milk because it is good for us, but we rarely stop to think "Why?" Archaeologists and geneticists have been puzzling this question since it was revealed that the mutations which enable adults to drink milk are under the strongest selection of any in the human genome.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Ancient marine algae provides clues of climate change impact on today's microscopic ocean organisms
A study of ancient marine algae has found that climate change affected their growth and skeleton structure, which has potential significance for today’s equivalent microscopic organisms that play an important role in the world’s oceans. Coccolithophores, a type of marine algae, are prolific in the ocean today and have been for millions of years. These single-celled plankton produce calcite skeletons that are preserved in seafloor sediments after death. Although coccolithophores are microscopic, their abundance makes them key contributors to marine ecosystems and the global carbon cycle.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

New antimicrobial edible films increase lifespan of cheese
New coatings to apply to soft cheese have been developed by researchers. These coatings are totally edible and have an antimicrobial capacity, which increases the lifespan of the cheese. These films incorporate oregano and rosemary essential oils as antimicrobial agents, and chitosan, a by-product that comes from crustacean shells.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals
(Tufts University) New catalysts designed and investigated by Tufts engineering researchers and collaborators have potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels like hydrogen. The catalysts are composed of a unique structure of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to sodium or potassium atoms, supported on non-reactive silica materials. They demonstrate comparable activity and stability with catalysts comprising precious metal nanoparticles on rare earth and other reducible oxide supports when used in producing highly purified hydrogen.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Another human footprint in the ocean
(University of Hawaii at Manoa) Human-induced changes to Earth's carbon cycle -- for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification -- have been observed for decades. However, a study published this week in Science showed human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Stroke damage mechanism identified
(University of Leeds) Researchers have discovered a mechanism linked to the brain damage often suffered by stroke victims -- and are now searching for drugs to block it.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Notre Dame biologist leads sequencing of the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes

Nora Besansky, O'Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University's Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world.

Biology News Net, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Fragile X study offers hope of new autism treatment

People affected by a common inherited form of autism could be helped by a drug that is being tested as a treatment for cancer.

Biology News Net, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Two studies identify a detectable, pre-cancerous state in the blood

Researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals have uncovered an easily detectable, "pre-malignant" state in the blood that significantly increases the likelihood that an individual will go on to develop blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myelodysplastic syndrome. The discovery, which was made independently by two research teams affiliated with the Broad and partner institutions, opens new avenues for research aimed at early detection and prevention of blood cancer. Findings from both teams appear this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Biology News Net, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:01 GMT

Researchers collect soil samples from around the globe in effort to conduct fungi survey
(—A large team of researchers with members from around the world has conducted a global survey of soil fungi by collecting thousands of soil samples from sites all around the world. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their survey, how they performed DNA analysis on the specimens they found, and what they learned in doing so. David Wardle and Bjorn Lindahl of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences offer a Perspectives piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. Biology News, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:02 GMT

Parasitic worm genomes: largest-ever dataset released
The largest collection of helminth genomic data ever assembled has been published in the new, open-access WormBase-ParaSite. Developed jointly by EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, this new resource will be a major asset in the fight against parasitic worms, which infect more than one billion people worldwide. Biology News, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:02 GMT

Male sex organ distinguishes 30 millipede species
The unique shapes of male sex organs have helped describe thirty new millipede species from the Great Western Woodlands in the Goldfields, the largest area of relatively undisturbed Mediterranean climate woodlands in the world. Biology News, Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:47:02 GMT

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