Photosynthetic bacteria spin spider silk for the masses


A little genetic engineering and a special recipe allows photosynthetic bacteria to mass-produce super lightweight spider silk for use in manufacturing.

Heat shock system helps dried up bug come back to life


An international collaboration has determined that cooption of the Heat Shock Factor (HSF) gene system is what allows larvae of the sleeping chironomid to be able to survive severe desiccation.

Blocking obesity with a protein-sugar combination


Discovery of an enzyme that prevents obesity in mice through glycosylation of a protein involved fat-cell differentiation.

The free-energy principle explains neural network behavior


Scientists show that the free-energy principle can explain how neural networks work.

Xist knockout rescues miscarriages in mice


Xist knockout rescues miscarriages in mice whose egg cells lack H3K27me3 epigenetic instructions.

Artificial gravity protects the immune system of mice in space


Mice who experienced artificial gravity on the ISS suffered less damage to their immune system (thymus) than weightless mice did.

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Science communication symposium


Friday I participated in a small symposium that focused on science communication (for institutions in Japan). We discussed using social media as a means to self-publish wow! and amazing! research findings. Here are some of my thoughts about how useful this plays out in Japan.

Microbial infections are a parasitic plant’s dream


Parasitic plants use quinones produced by their host to attack. Now we know that crops produce quinones as an immune response against microbial infection. How can we protect crops from both kinds of attack?

Ultraprecise clocks and the Tokyo Skytree verify Einstein’s theory of relativity


Time measured at the top and bottom of the Tokyo Skytree with ultraprecise clocks has verified the time dilation effect predicted by Einstein.

New mechanism allows lower energy requirement for OLED displays


Scientists have found a way to significantly reduce the amount of energy required by organic light emitting diodes (OLED) displays.

Consciousness, brain connections, and the claustrum


Research shows that the claustrum acts as a ‘consciousness conductor’ that synchronizes and connects areas within the mouse brain.

Gene linked to intellectual ability affects memory replay in mice


Scientists have discovered a gene in mice that allows memory replay at rest, a process necessary for forming long-lasting memories in mice.

New rice fights off drought


Researchers have created drought resistant transgenic rice using a gene from a small Eurasian flowering plant

Green hydrogen production for fuel cells and fertilizers


A new method of water electrolysis avoids rare metals, making hydrogen production green and sustainable.

Eating a high fat diet without getting obese?


Scientists discover that without innate immune cells in the intestines, eating a high fat diet does not lead to obesity in mice.

Transgenic plants 🌱🌿on acid survive without water


Scientists designed transgenic plants that survive drought-like conditions by bumping up acetic acid production only when water is scarce.

Why (mouse) mothers take risks to protect their infants


The calcitonin receptor and its ligand amylin act in the brain to motivate mouse mothers to protect their pups, even in risky/dangerous situations.