Science News Feature

Paratuberculosis is a bovine disease affecting up to 19 percent of dairy farms in Austria. Calves become infected via exposure to a bacterium through contaminated faeces or milk and can develop heavy diarrhoea years later. The affected animals must be culled from the herd as quickly as possible. In order to recognize the disease before it manifests, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, for the first time...

Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine have discovered that knocking out the gene NrCAM leads to an increase of dendritic spines on excitatory pyramidal cells in the brains of mammals. Other studies have confirmed that the overabundance of dendritic spines on this type of brain cell allows for too many synaptic connections to form between neurons – a phenomenon strongly linked to autism.

 

New studies of ancient DNA are shifting scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe and interacted with one another thousands of years ago. By comparing nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have shown that previously unrecognized groups contributed to the genetic mix now present in most modern-day Europeans.

 

For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around – they even cause pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems – a team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University sees biofilms as a robust new platform for designer nanomaterials that could clean up polluted...

Right now no one can say whether yoga provides clinical benefits to people with bipolar disorder, but in a new article in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, researchers report survey responses they gathered from scores of people with the condition who practice yoga. What the collective testimony suggests is that yoga can be a substantial help, but it sometimes carries risks, too.