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A new species of sea slug, named Pleurobranchaea britannica, has been discovered in the waters off the southwest coast of England. This is the first recorded instance of a sea slug from the Pleurobranchaea genus in UK waters.  It is a...
Bacterial dormancy is survival strategy in response to stressful exposure to antibiotics taken by a patient for treatment. The dormant cells become tolerant to antibiotics and are killed at slower rate and survive sometimes. This is called ‘antibiotic tolerance’...
The brine shrimps have evolved to express sodium pumps that exchange 2 Na+ for 1 K+ (instead of the canonical 3Na+ for 2 K+). This adaptation helps Artemia remove proportionally higher amount of sodium to the exterior which enable...
The word ‘robot’ evokes images of human-like manmade metallic machine (humanoid) designed and programmed to automatically perform some tasks for us. However, robots (or bots) can be of any shape or size and can be made of any material...
Kākāpō parrot (also known as “owl parrot” because of its owl-like facial features) is a critically endangered parrot species native to New Zealand. It is an unusual animal for it is the longest living birds in the world (may...
Parthenogenesis is asexual reproduction in which genetic contribution from male is dispensed with. Eggs develop to offspring on their own without being fertilised by a sperm. This is seen in nature in some species of plants, insects, reptiles etc....
Some organisms have ability to suspend life processes when under adverse environmental conditions. Called cryptobiosis or suspended animation, it is a survival tool. Organisms under suspended animation revive when environmental conditions become favourable. In 2018, viable nematodes from late...
“CRISPR-Cas systems” in bacteria and viruses identify and destroy invading viral sequences. It is bacterial and archaeal immune system for protection against viral infections. In 2012, CRISPR-Cas system was recognised as a genome editing tool. Since then, wide range of...
Extinct gigantic megatooth sharks were at the top of the marine food web once. Their evolution to gigantic sizes and their extinction are not well understood. A recent study analysed isotopes from the fossil teeth and found that these...
The traditional grouping of life forms into prokaryotes and eukaryotes was revised in 1977 when rRNA sequence characterisation revealed that archaea (then called 'archaebacteria') are ‘‘as distantly related to bacteria as bacteria are to eukaryotes.‘' This necessitated grouping of living...
Unlike conventional mRNA vaccines which encodes only for the target antigens, the self-amplifying mRNAs (saRNAs) encodes for non-structural proteins and promotor as well which makes saRNAs replicons capable of transcribing in vivo in the host cells. Early results indicates that...
Scientists have replicated the natural process of mammalian embryonic development in the laboratory up to the point of development of brain and heart. Using stem cells, researchers created synthetic mouse embryos outside uterus that recapitulated natural process of development...
RNA ligases play an important role in RNA repair, thereby maintaining RNA integrity. Any malfunction in RNA repair in humans seems to be associated with diseases like neurodegeneration and cancer. Discovery of a novel human protein (C12orf29 on chromosome...
Ever changing environment leads to extinction of the animals unfit to survive in the changed environment and favours survival of the fittest which culminate in evolution of a new species. However, thylacine (commonly known as Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf),...
Thiomargarita magnifica, the biggest bacteria have evolved to acquire complexity, becoming of eukaryotic cells. This seems to challenge the traditional idea of a prokaryote. It was in 2009 when scientists had a strange encounter with microbial diversity that exists in...
A new, complete dataset of comprehensive functional trait for all birds, called AVONET, containing measurements of more than 90,000 individual birds has been released courtesy an international effort. This would serve as an excellent resource for teaching and research...
Some microbes in the deep-sea produce oxygen in a hitherto unknown way. In order to generate energy, the archaea species ‘Nitrosopumilus maritimus’ oxidises ammonia, in presence of oxygen, to nitrate. But when researchers sealed the microbes in airtight containers, without...
Scientists have developed the first patient-derived stem cell model of albinism. The model will help studying eye conditions related to oculocutaneous albinism (OCA).   Stem cells are unspecialised. They cannot do any specific function in the body but they can divide...
The remain of Britain’s largest ichthyosaur (fish-shaped marine reptiles) has been discovered during routine maintenance work at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, near Egleton, in Rutland. Measuring around 10 metres in length, the ichthyosaur is approximately 180 million years old.  Appearing as dolphin skeleton,...
Studies of the regions of Y chromosome that are inherited together (haplogroups), reveal Europe has four population groups, namely R1b-M269, I1-M253, I2-M438 and R1a-M420, pointing to four distinct paternal origins. R1b-M269 group is the most common group that is present in countries of...
LZTFL1 expression causes high levels of TMPRSS2, by inhibiting EMT (epithelial mesenchymal transition), a developmental response involved in wound healing and recovery from disease. In a similar manner to TMPRSS2, LZTFL1 represents a potential drug target that can be utilized to...
TMPRSS2 is an important drug target to develop anti-viral drugs against COVID-19. MM3122 is a lead candidate that has shown promising result in vitro and in animal models.   Hunt is on for discovering novel anti-viral drugs against COVID-19, a disease that has...
The bird is native to Asia and Africa and its food consists of insects such as ants, wasps and honey bees. Known for its bright plumage and long central tail feathers.
Ficus Religiosa or Sacred fig is a fast growing strangling climber capable of growing in various climatic zones and soil types. This tree is said to live for over three thousand years.
The complete human genome sequence of the two X chromosomes and autosomes from the female tissue derived cell line has been completed. This includes the 8% of the genome sequence that was missing in the original draft that was...

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