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Life Sciences

Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologies

Researchers are looking to insects – specifically cicadas – for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. 

Study finds parallels between unresponsive honey bees, autism in humans

Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. Genes most closely associated with autism spectrum disorders in humans are regulated differently in unresponsive honey bees than in their more responsive nest mates, the study found.

Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors

A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and “chemo brain”: a brisk walk.

Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds

Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study from University of Illinois researchers.

Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds

Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environment

It took two years on a supercomputer to simulate 1.2 microseconds in the life of the HIV capsid, a protein cage that shuttles the HIV virus to the nucleus of a human cell. The 64-million-atom simulation offers new insights into how the virus senses its environment and completes its infective cycle.

Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. 

Brief interactions spur lasting waves of gene activity in the brain

A five-minute encounter with an outsider spurs a cascade of changes in gene activity in the brain that can last for hours, researchers report in a study of stickleback fish.

Brief interactions spur lasting waves of gene activity in the brain

A five-minute encounter with an outsider spurs a cascade of changes in gene activity in the brain that can last for hours, researchers report in a study of stickleback fish.

Survey reveals widespread bias in astronomy and planetary science

In an online survey about their workplace experiences, 88 percent of academics, students, postdoctoral researchers and administrators in astronomy and planetary science reported hearing, experiencing or witnessing negative language or harassment relating to race, gender or other physical characteristics at work within the last five years. Of the 423 respondents, 39 percent reported having been verbally harassed and 9 percent said they had suffered physical harassment at work.

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