Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains — ScienceDaily

Developing brains constantly sprout new neuronal connections called synapses as they learn and remember. Important connections — the ones that are repeatedly introduced, such as how to avoid danger — are nurtured and reinforced, while connections deemed unnecessary are pruned away. Adult brains undergo similar pruning, but it was unclear how or why synapses in […]

Theory describes quantum phenomenon in nanomaterials

IMAGE: A quantum dot (the yellow part) is connected to two lead electrodes (the blue parts). Electrons tunneling into the quantum dot from the electrodes interact with each other to form… view more  Credit: Rui Sakano Theoretical physicists Yoshimichi Teratani and Akira Oguri of Osaka City University, and Rui Sakano of the University of Tokyo have […]

Protein tells developing cells to stick together — ScienceDaily

Tohoku University scientists have, for the first time, provided experimental evidence that cell stickiness helps them stay sorted within correct compartments during development. How tightly cells clump together, known as cell adhesion, appears to be enabled by a protein better known for its role in the immune system. The findings were detailed in the journal […]

Changing the perspective on the ‘Cinderella of the cytoskeleton’

SETD2 is a protein well known as a chromatin remodeler, one that helps turn genes on or off by modifying histone proteins in the nucleus of the cell. When researchers discovered that SETD2 is mutated or lost in several cancer types, most commonly a type of kidney cancer called clear-cell renal cell carcinoma, all eyes […]

Why two doses of the new COVID-19 vaccines are better that one

A Uzbekistani doctor holds up a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (Golib Tolibov/Deposit Photos/) Pfizer and Moderna have enough doses to vaccinate up to 6 percent of the US population against COVID-19 by the end of the year. But one simple change would double the number of people that get the vaccine. Instead of […]

Novel method reveals small microplastics throughout Japan’s subtropical ocean — ScienceDaily

Research conducted in the Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has revealed the presence of small microplastics in the ocean surrounding Okinawa. The study was published in Science of the Total Environment. “There’s been a considerable amount of research on larger plastic pieces in […]

AI-designed serotonin sensor may help scientists study sleep and mental health

Serotonin is a neurochemical that plays a critical role in the way the brain controls our thoughts and feelings. For example, many antidepressants are designed to alter serotonin signals sent between neurons. In an article in Cell, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers described how they used advanced genetic engineering techniques to transform a bacterial protein […]

6 times that 2020 showed us women from antiquity were totally badass

Throughout history, women have been fighters, strategists and charismatic leaders, performing feats of strength, cunning and bravery. And in 2020, archaeologists uncovered intriguing evidence from the past showing that women didn’t hesitate to kick butt and take names. From hoisting a spear to hurling a vengeful spell, here are six times that women from antiquity […]