AI makes huge progress predicting how proteins fold – one of biology's greatest challenges – promising rapid drug development

Scientists in an artificial intelligence lab have made a breakthrough in solving the problem of how proteins fold into their final three-dimensional shape. The work could speed up creation of drugs.

Marc Zimmer, Professor of Chemistry, Connecticut College • conversation
today ~11 min

 protein  biology  deepmind  amino-acids  chess  go  protein-design

Flaws emerge in modeling human genetic diseases in animals

Recent studies using CRISPR to fast-track genetic studies into human disease genes appear flawed.

Gage Crump, Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Southern California • conversation
Nov. 10, 2020 ~8 min

 genetics  crispr  biology  zebrafish  embryology  genetic-diseases

Some bees are born curious while others are more single-minded – new research hints at how the hive picks which flowers to feast on

New research suggests individual bees are born with one of two learning styles – either curious or focused. Their genetic tendency has implications for how the hive works together.

Chelsea Cook, Assistant Professor in Biology, Marquette University • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~7 min

genetics insects bees biology food colonies communication group-dynamics drones queen-bees information curiosity foraging nectar

How a pregnant mouse's microbes influence offspring's brain development – new study offers clues

Microbes in the gut aren't just important for digesting your food. In pregnant women, these gut microbes are producing chemicals that are essential for proper brain development of the fetus.

Helen Vuong, Postdoctoral Scholar of Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles • conversation
Sept. 23, 2020 ~8 min

health medicine biology microbiome microbes viruses pregancy virome vaginal-microbiome

Steroids cut COVID-19 death rates, but not for everyone – here’s who benefits and who doesn’t

Three new studies show corticosteroids can reduce deaths in critically ill COVID-19 patients. But what about other patients?

Bryan McVerry, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Sept. 4, 2020 ~8 min

medicine covid-19 coronavirus immune-system biology pandemic science hospitals research icu medication steroids

We discovered a new species, but war means it may now remain hidden forever

The extraordinary story of a stingray, its discovery and its uncertain fate in the Yemen war.

Alec Moore, Post-Doctoral Fisheries Scientist, Bangor University • conversation
July 23, 2020 ~6 min

 biodiversity  biology  war  new-species  marine-biology  species  yemen  stingrays

Why are scientists trying to manufacture organs in space?

Why are scientists trying to grow organs at the International Space Station? People live on Earth not in zero-gravity. A stem cell expert explains why it is useful to do these experiments in space.

Alysson R. Muotri, Professor of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego • conversation
July 8, 2020 ~5 min

 space  biology  international-space-station  artificial-organs  microgravity  space-health  organs  experiments

Parasitic worms in your shellfish lead a creepy but popular lifestyle

Mud blister worms make their homes in the shells of oysters and other shellfish, where they weaken their hosts.

Andrew David, Assistant Professor of Biology, Clarkson University • conversation
June 3, 2020 ~7 min

biology shellfish worms calcium-carbonate aquaculture food-webs ecosystems invasive-species parasites zoology scallops abalone larvae

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

An antigen test was given emergency use authorization by the FDA in early May. A biochemist explains how COVID-19 antigen tests work.

Eugene Wu, Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Richmond • conversation
May 29, 2020 ~9 min

public-health covid-19 coronavirus immune-system biology antibodies sars-cov-2 testing antibody-testing pregnancy-test false-negative

COVID-19 is eroding scientific field work – and our knowledge of how the world is changing

The COVID-19 pandemic is interrupting scientific field work across North America, leaving blank spots in important data sets and making it harder to track ecological change.

Casey Setash, PhD student in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University • conversation
May 19, 2020 ~9 min

climate-change covid-19 biology nature ecology coronavirus-2020 wildlife ducks phenology massachusetts migratory-birds colorado thoreau field-research

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