Corn has had a long and complicated evolutionary history, from its beginnings as teosinte in Mexico about 9,000 years ago, to its spread into South America as maize, to its full domestication worldwide today. An international team of scientists charted corn's journey by studying and comparing its DNA, with the results published in Science.
A high school in Alaska is seeking to expand students' access to career and technical education programs by eliminating some requirements for admission. Rather than weighing applications based on grades and other factors, the school will institute a lottery system.
Massive storms at the poles of Jupiter have been spotted in images taken by a camera on NASA's Juno space probe and processed by citizen scientists. Some of the images were presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Some modern-day humans with slightly more elongated skulls may carry genes from ancient human interbreeding with Neanderthals and could help researchers better understand brain evolution, a study published in Current Biology suggests. "We reasoned that if we could identify specific Neanderthal DNA fragments in a large enough sample of living humans, we would be able to test whether any of these fragments push towards a less globular brain shape, allowing us to zoom in on genes that might be important for this trait," said Simon Fisher, the study's senior author.
Irisin, a hormone released from muscles as a result of exercise, helps burn calories and strengthen bones, and it may be helpful in treating bone diseases such as osteoporosis, according to findings published in Cell. "The whole idea of the project, 15 years ago when we started going in this direction, was to perhaps capture some of the benefits of exercise in molecular form," said researcher Bruce Spiegelman.
The NIH may place tighter controls on grant reviews to counter the possibility of security breaches or the manipulation of results at US research institutions. The NIH heard recommendations this week from a group convened to look into the issue of stolen information, and officials say they are weighing whether the recommendations would unduly restrict the work of foreign researchers.
The Dementia Australia Research Foundation and the Yulgilbar Foundation have awarded a $717,526 Innovation Grant to the University of New South Wales Sydney to study the use of nanotechnology in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Research at the university's Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing is focusing on antibody-coated iron oxide nanoparticles that can hunt for plaques in the brain.
A four-year manufacturing program at Westfield Technical Academy in Massachusetts guarantees that students will have a job available to them when they graduate. The academy also has an early-college agreement with an area technical college.
Annual snow mass dropped 41% in certain parts of the US between 1982 and 2016, states a study presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Separately, Donal O'Leary, a graduate student in geography at the University of Maryland, noted that there is strong evidence that "there are more wildfires during years of early snowmelt."
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