How are long strands of DNA packed into tiny cells?

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Scientists are a step closer to understanding how DNA, the molecules that carry all of our genetic information, is squeezed into every cell in the body. How DNA is “packaged” in cells influences the activity of our genes and our risk for disease. Elucidating this process will help researchers in all areas of health care, from cancer and heart disease, to muscular dystrophy and osteoarthritis.

DNA is a long, floppy molecule, and there’s more than three feet of it in every cell. Our DNA is housed in structures called chromosomes, which condense the DNA to fit into the cell’s tight quarters.

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Trump’s comments to tribal leaders will make you scratch your head.

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The new Museum of Capitalism in Oakland, California, explores “the ideology, history, and legacy of capitalism.” Surprise! One of the most detrimental legacies of capitalism is … climate change.

Bear with us (and the museum’s curators): The fossil fuel production that drives climate change is due to global (read: American) desire for profit and growth.

The museum — funded largely through a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation — exhibits several works examining how humans despoil the environment in our quest for more things. Some are simple, like a bright blue baseball cap emblazoned with “COAL = JOBS” in white, akin to the ubiquitous MAGA accessory.

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Bacteria-coated nanofiber electrodes clean pollutants in wastewater

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Cornell University materials scientists and bioelectrochemical engineers may have created an innovative, cost-competitive electrode material for cleaning pollutants in wastewater.

The researchers created electro-spun carbon nanofiber electrodes and coated them with a conductive polymer, called PEDOT, to compete with carbon cloth electrodes available on the market. When the PEDOT coating is applied, an electrically active layer of bacteria — Geobacter sulfurreducens — naturally grows to create electricity and transfer electrons to the novel electrode.

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More summer sunshine leading to increased Greenland ice melt

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A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has discovered that a marked decrease in summer cloud cover during the last 20 years has significantly accelerated melt from the Greenland ice sheet.

The new findings, published in Science Advances, show that less cloud cover and more summer sunshine allows increased solar radiation to reach the surface providing more energy for melting.

Using data from earth-observing satellites and high-resolution climate models, the authors found a consistent decrease in summer cloud cover since 1995.

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‘Bulges’ in volcanoes could be used to predict eruptions

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A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a new way of measuring the pressure inside volcanoes, and found that it can be a reliable indicator of future eruptions.

Using a technique called ‘seismic noise interferometry’ combined with geophysical measurements, the researchers measured the energy moving through a volcano. They found that there is a good correlation between the speed at which the energy travelled and the amount of bulging and shrinking observed in the rock. The technique could be used to predict more accurately when a volcano will erupt. Their results are reported in the journal Science Advances.

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Analysis of Neanderthal teeth grooves uncovers evidence of prehistoric dentistry

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A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher.

“As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks and also with the scratches on the premolar,” said David Frayer, professor emeritus of Anthropology. “It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it’s like to have a problem with an impacted tooth.”

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Brooding dinosaurs

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A new method used to perform geochemical analysis of fossilized eggs from China has shown that oviraptorosaurs incubated their eggs with their bodies within a 35-40° C range, similar to extant birds today. This finding is the result of Franco-Chinese collaboration coordinated by Romain Amiot of the Laboratoire de géologie de Lyon: Terre, planètes et environnement (CNRS/ENS de Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1).

Dinosaurs’ reproductive strategies, and in particular the way they incubated their eggs, still raise numerous scientific questions. Until now, interpretations have been based on indirect indices such as the morphology of fossilized eggshells or the organization of nests. Researchers from Lyon, working in collaboration with a Chinese team, have developed a method based on the geochemical analysis of fossilized eggs and have calculated for the first time that the oviraptorosaur eggs were incubated within a 35-40° C temperature range.

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Purple passages make for bad nature writing | Letters

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Writing about nature demands more than a delicate balance between poetry and science, argues Nicholas Usherwood

It was good to see that unresolved 2015 debate between Mark Cocker and Robert Macfarlane on the “new nature writing” given another airing in Alex Preston’s review of The Way of the Hare by Marianne Taylor (Review, 24 June). It needs sorting out more than ever, but to put it in terms of a “reanimation of CP Snow and FR Leavis’s old ‘Two Cultures’ argument” only skirts an issue which really has much more to do with language and purpose than obsolescent arguments about poetry versus science.

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