On balance, some neonicotinoid pesticides could benefit bees: study

The story of neonicotinoids is growing more nuanced. Europe has banned outdoor use of three of these insecticides to protect bee populations. Two other neonicotinoids are still permitted, but little is known about their impact on bees. New research reported in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology on one of the permitted neonicotinoids indicates it effectively controls pests and might even help bees.

Read More
Scientists develop first implantable magnet resonance detector

A team of neuroscientists and electrical engineers from Germany and Switzerland developed a highly sensitive implant that enables to probe brain physiology with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution. They introduce an ultra-fine needle with an integrated chip that is capable of detecting and transmitting nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data from nanoliter volumes of brain oxygen metabolism. The breakthrough design will allow entirely new applications in the life sciences.

Read More
Why do we freeze when startled? New study in flies points to serotonin

A Columbia University study in fruit flies has identified serotonin as a chemical that triggers the body’s startle response, the automatic deer-in-the-headlights reflex that freezes the body momentarily in response to a potential threat. Today’s study reveals that when a fly experiences an unexpected change to its surroundings, such as a sudden vibration, release of serotonin helps to literally—and temporarily—stop the fly in its tracks.

Read More
Swiss army knife for genome research

It is the the dream of every molecular geneticist: an easy-to-use program that compares datasets from different cellular conditions, identifies enhancer regions and then assigns them to their target genes. A research team led by Martin Vingron at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin has now developed a program that does all of this.

Read More