Electronic control of bacteria is demonstrated in Nature Communications this week. Being able to precisely control the genetic behaviour of various cells would open up new potential avenues for industrial applications and bio-hybrid devices, such as cell-based biosensors.

Electronic control of gene expression and cell behaviour in Escherichia coli through redox signalling

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Nature Communications
01/18/2017 at 20:00. Facebook
A portable mobile phone-based device for the detection of cancer-related mutations in DNA is demonstrated in a study published in Nature Communications. The device enables diagnosis at the site of sampling, which could cut costs and time, and can detect unique DNA sequences, including cancer-specific mutations.

Targeted DNA sequencing and in situ mutation analysis using mobile phone microscopy

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Nature Communications
01/18/2017 at 16:00. Facebook
A combined analysis of two primate studies shows that caloric restriction can improve health and survival in rhesus monkeys, a paper in Nature Communications reports. The finding clarifies the effects of caloric restriction in monkeys, which were debated due to seemingly contradictory results obtained in the individual studies.

Caloric restriction improves health and survival of rhesus monkeys

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Nature Communications
01/18/2017 at 11:22. Facebook
Expression of some racial biases may be modulated by the signals that our heart sends to the brain on every beat, reports a study in Nature Communications. The research shows that perception of threat based on pre-existing racial biases differs depending on whether the information is processed during or between heartbeats.

Cardiac afferent activity modulates the expression of racial stereotypes

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A method that extends the lifetime of MRI-enhancing molecular tracers from seconds to hours is reported in Nature Communications. The new technique could allow the tracers to be prepared in bulk and transported to hospitals, rather than having to prepare them at the point of use, which is the current practice.

Transportable hyperpolarized metabolites

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Retroviruses probably evolved roughly half a billion years ago, making this medically and economically important group of viruses five times older than scientists previously thought. The finding is revealed in a paper published in Nature Communications, which can be read here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Ancient retroviruses emerged half a billion years ago

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Cocaine reward is enhanced in female mice on heat (the estrus stage of the reproductive cycle), compared to females that are diestrus (in a stage of sexual inactivity) or males, reports a paper in Nature Communications. The study may help us to understand the neural basis of sex-specific differences in cocaine reward processing.

Dopaminergic dynamics underlying sex-specific cocaine reward

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Babies as young as four months old process faces and scenes in a similar way to how adults do, according to a paper published in Nature Communications. The study provides evidence that indicates the visual cortex of the brain is already adult-like, in terms of structural organization, within a few months after birth.

Organization of high-level visual cortex in human infants

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Brain cells that usually promote hunger are also activated by alcohol, according to a mouse model study published in Nature Communications. The findings may help us to understand why alcohol consumption leads to overeating.

Agrp neuron activity is required for alcohol-induced overeating

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A new species of insect that looks like a leaf, which was alive approximately 270 million years ago, is described in a study published in Nature Communications. The finding extends the fossil record of leaf mimicry by over 100 million years.

Insect mimicry of plants dates back to the Permian

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Unlike humans, chimpanzees are not naturally helpful but rather engage in certain behaviours regardless of whether they are helping another chimpanzee, shows a study published in Nature Communications. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Chimpanzees may be helpful, but humans are the only primates that are kind to others, study suggests

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People are able to perceive words and sentences in noisy environments thanks to rapid and dynamic changes in the auditory cortex of the brain, according to study published in Nature Communications. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Brain's party noise filter revealed by recordings

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Gases released by magmas at the Campi Flegrei caldera in Naples, Italy, may be reaching a critical pressure that may drive volcanic unrest, suggests a study published in Nature Communications. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Volcano near Naples showing signs of reawakening

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Preference for the known and familiar increases with ageing, and this preference is better explained by changes in grey matter in a certain brain area rather than by age, a study published in Nature Communications shows. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Risk aversion in old age down to changes in brain structure, scans suggest

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The desire to avoid risk in old age seems to be due to changes in brain structure, read more about this here:

[ Theguardian.com Link ]

Risk aversion in old age down to changes in brain structure, scans suggest

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Some pathogens may adapt to cause less-severe disease and lower frequency of death in women than in men according to a study published in Nature Communications. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

'Gender-biased infections' may exist

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Visit booth no. 716 at AGU and meet Nature Communications’ Earth science Senior Editor Lewis Collins.
Between now and 2018 the photovoltaic solar panel industry will have avoided more greenhouse gases emissions than it has released in the past 40 years of development, and produced more energy than it consumed, shows a study in Nature Communications. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Solar cells: How clean is solar power?

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It is harder to suppress negative, emotional memories after a night’s sleep, reveals a study published in Nature Communications. Comprehending how changes in the brain affect the ability to suppress negative memories could potentially help to treat conditions such as PTSD. Read the paper here: [ Nature.com Link ]

Never go to bed angry - study finds evidence for age-old advice

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