Science News Feature

Nearly a decade ago, the era of optogenetics was ushered in with the development of channelrhodopsins, light-activated ion channels that can, with the flick of a switch, instantaneously turn on neurons in which they are genetically expressed. What has lagged behind, however, is the ability to use light to inactivate neurons with an equal level of reliability and efficiency. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have...

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that commonly infects the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, often with lethal consequences. A cationic antimicrobial peptide called LL-37 produced from neutrophils, one of the major cellular components of the innate immune response, can induce mutations in P. aeruginosa bacterial DNA that can paradoxically increase bacterial lethality. This is the major finding of a new study in the journal PLoS...

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological niches based on temperature, light and chemical preferences, and interactions with other species. But the full extent and characteristics of...

Researchers at UNSW have for the first time used electrical pulses delivered from a cochlear implant to deliver gene therapy, thereby successfully regrowing auditory nerves.The research also heralds a possible new way of treating a range of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, and psychiatric conditions such as depression through this novel way of delivering gene therapy.

 

Studies have shown that impulsive Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events emit Fe ions with QFe < 14 at the lowest energies (E ≤ 0.1 MeV/nuc) that are consistent with typical corona source material (DiFabio et al., ApJ, 687, 623, 2008). However, the occasional observation of Fe with QFe > 16 in solar wind associated with active regions (Lepri et al., JGR, 106, 29231, 2001) led to a search for acceleration of high charge state Fe...