New role for RNAi discovered: Epigenetic memory may pass RNA silencing from one generation to the next

kristy Nature/Biomimicry

New role for RNAi discovered: Epigenetic memory may pass RNA silencing from one generation to the next

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 01:38 PM PDT

Researchers have identified a mechanism related to RNAi that scans for intruders not by recognizing dsRNA or some other aberrant feature of the foreign sequence, but rather by comparing the foreign sequences to a memory of previously expressed native RNA. Once identified, an “epigenetic memory” of the foreign DNA fragments is created and can be passed on from one generation to the next, permanently silencing the gene.

Scientists find new primitive mineral in meteorite

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 10:19 AM PDT

In 1969, an exploding fireball tore through the sky over Mexico, scattering thousands of pieces of meteorite across the state of Chihuahua. More than 40 years later, the Allende meteorite is still serving the scientific community as a rich source of information about the early stages of our solar system’s evolution. Recently, scientists discovered a new mineral embedded in the space rock — one they believe to be among the oldest minerals formed in the solar system.

Asthma linked to congested highways: Those living near heavily traveled interstate have higher rates of disease

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 10:17 AM PDT

Researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, found that living near a heavily congested highway correlates with a higher presence of asthma.

Thunderstorms have longer reach than thought: Storm researcher calls for new air safety guidelines

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 08:49 AM PDT

Aircraft turbulence guidelines should be rewritten after new research revealed thunderstorms could produce unexpected turbulence more than 100 km away from storm cells.

Transgenic technique ‘eliminates’ a specific neural circuit in brain of primates

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 06:27 AM PDT

Biologists have developed a gene transfer technique that can “eliminate” a specific neural circuit in non-human primates for the first time.

Biologists reveal potential ‘fatal flaw’ in iconic sexual selection study

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 06:27 AM PDT

A classic study from more than 60 years ago that reportedly showed that males are more promiscuous and females more choosy in selecting mates may be wrong, say life scientists who are the first to repeat the historic experiment using the same methods.

Romancing the firefly

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 06:27 AM PDT

While a female firefly’s initial assessment of potential mates is based on males’ luminescent flashes, once a pair makes physical contact, sexy flashes no longer matter. Instead, it’s males that have larger nuptial gifts (a protein-packed sperm package that helps females produce more eggs) that mate more often and father more offspring.

Pollutants may contribute to illness and becoming overweight

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 06:26 AM PDT

Lack of physical activity and poor diet alone cannot explain the dramatic rise in obesity and diabetes occurring in many countries, believe some researchers. It is time to face the possibility that hazardous chemicals may also share part of the blame.

Mechanism prevents alterations in neuronal production during embryonic development

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 06:26 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered a mechanism that prevents alterations in neurogenesis, the process of neuronal formation, during the development of the nervous system in vertebrates. The study relates these distortions to the natural presence of a molecule that inhibits the neuronal formation at the regions adjacent to the tissue suitable for neurogenesis.

Simpler lifestyle found to reduce exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 06:25 AM PDT

A lifestyle that features fresh foods and limited use of products likely to contain environmental chemicals has been shown to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as BPA and phthalates, in a small population study. EDCs are linked to a number of adverse health complications including neuro-developmental delays, behavioral issues and fertility problems. They are produced by the millions of pounds per year and found extensively in a range of products that contain certain plastics.

New toilet turns human waste into electricity and fertilizer

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 04:29 AM PDT

Scientists have invented a new toilet system that will turn human waste into electricity and fertilizers and also reduce the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90 per cent compared to current toilet systems in Singapore.

Atlantic heat constrains Arctic sea ice extent

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 03:50 AM PDT

The Arctic sea ice cover is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change. Researchers have for the first time quantified how Atlantic heat influences the sea ice extent in the Barents Sea, where the retreat in Arctic winter sea ice is the most pronounced.

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill exacerbated existing environmental problems in Louisiana marshes

Posted: 25 Jun 2012 12:22 PM PDT

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill temporarily worsened existing manmade problems in Louisiana?s salt marshes such as erosion, but there may be cause for optimism, according to a new study.