It could never be found until recently, in a fish tank a few floors below a university microbiology department: one single organism able to perform the complete process of nitrification. Microbiologists used to think that two distinct groups of bacteria were responsible for the stepwise oxidation of ammonia to nitrate via nitrite. This discovery has implications for climate research and wastewater treatment, say the scientists involved in the study.
A new technique for growing human hepatocytes in the laboratory has now been described by a team of researchers. This groundbreaking development could help advance a variety of liver-related research and applications, from studying drug toxicity to creating bio-artificial liver support for patients awaiting transplantations.
Explaining the complex structure of tropical forests is one of the great challenges in ecology. An issue of special interest is the distribution of different sizes of trees, something which is of particular relevance for biomass estimates. A team of modellers has now developed a new method that can be used to explain the tree size distribution in natural forests. To do so, the scientists use principles from stochastic geometry. Using this approach, it is possible to assess the structure of natural forests across the world more quickly, and produce more accurate biomass estimates.
The rate of carbon burial in remote lakes has doubled over the last 100 years, researchers say, suggesting even isolated ecosystems are feeling the effects of our changing climate.
A robot in the “Spencer” project is now all set to face the real world at the major international airport Schiphol in Amsterdam. Its mission: to help passengers find their way around the airport.
The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, an international large-scale experiment to study cosmic rays, will be continued until 2025 and extended to "AugerPrime". The observatory will be upgraded with new scintillation detectors for a more detailed measurement of gigantic air showers. This is required to identify cosmic objects that accelerate atomic particles up to highest energies.
Researchers will develop new synthesis processes for long-chain molecules in order to characterize and construct them with so far unreached precision. This will result in an innovative leap in a number of material classes, they say.
Nowadays, much emphasis is placed on sustainability. The degree to which people are willing to donate their own money for this depends on their level of oxytocin. Scientists have discovered that the willingness to donate increases with the quantity of this bonding hormone. However, oxytocin only has an effect with regard to social sustainability projects. The hormone does not increase the ability to participate in the case of purely environmentally oriented projects.
A study brings the idea of the lucky streak back to the attention of the research community, offering sound mathematical proof in its favor.
In bats, Toll-like receptors, the first-line defense mechanism against invading pathogens, are different from other mammals. This suggests that the way bats recognize certain pathogens may be different than in other species and help explain why bats appear to suffer little from some pathogens which cause serious disease or mortality in other mammals.
Global warming will progress faster than what was previously believed. The reason is that greenhouse gas emissions that arise naturally are also affected by increased temperatures. This has been confirmed in a new study that measures natural methane emissions.
Yin and Yang, Venus and Mars, the Moon and the Sun, however you want to describe it, becoming a female or a male can make a big difference in your life, and not just for human beings. Researchers have discovered the two ancient genetic components of sex determination in ants.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is most common form of chronic liver disease in children and adolescents in western countries, and yet new research indicates that obese children rarely achieve recommended levels of activity.
Although teaching is useful, it is not essential for cultural progress because people can use reasoning and reverse engineering of existing items to work out how to make tools, suggests a new article.
Stem cells that have been specifically developed for use as clinical therapies are fit for use in patients, an independent study of their genetic makeup suggests. The research -- which focused on human embryonic stem cells -- paves the way for clinical trials of cell therapies to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, age-related degeneration of the eyes and spinal cord injury.
The global average surface temperature in 2015 is likely to be the warmest on record and to reach the symbolic and significant milestone of 1° Celsius above the pre-industrial era. This is due to a combination of a strong El Niño and human-induced global warming.
A particular location in DNA, called the Dlk1-Gtl2 locus, plays a critical role in protecting hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells -- a discovery revealing a critical role of metabolic control in adult stem cells, and providing insight for potentially diagnosing and treating cancer, according to researchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
There are still critical research gaps hampering efforts to both assess the environmental impacts of crude oil spills and to effectively remediate them, a Canadian, comprehensive scientific report has concluded.
Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.
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