Culture

Immune cells that process food and bacterial antigens in the intestines control the intestinal population of fungi, according to a new study from Weill Cornell Medicine scientists. Defects in the fungus-fighting abilities of these cells may contribute to some cases of Crohn's disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The findings, published Jan. 11 in Science, illuminate a strong connection between fungi, immunity and intestinal inflammation and suggest a new, targeted treatment strategy for IBD.

URBANA, Ill. - Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions on the leaves that can add up to major yield losses if not detected and treated early. Resistance genes have been identified in corn, but the fungal disease has found ways to sneak around corn's defenses. Now, researchers have figured out how the fungus is outsmarting corn, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back.

Rice University scientists have created a toolkit for synthetic biologists who need to precisely tune the input and output levels of genetic circuits.

The research, which is online in Nature Communications, is a boon for life scientists who systematically engineer bacteria and other organisms to perform tasks they wouldn't naturally do.

A little hBN in ceramics could give them outstanding properties, according to a Rice University scientist.

Rouzbeh Shahsavari, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, suggested the incorporation of ultrathin hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) sheets between layers of calcium-silicates would make an interesting bilayer crystal with multifunctional properties. These could be suitable for construction and refractory materials and applications in the nuclear industry, oil and gas, aerospace and other areas that require high-performance composites.

AMHERST, Mass. - Results of a baseline study on gambling behavior in Massachusetts that establishes how people participated - or not - in gambling prior to the opening of any casinos were reported today to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) by epidemiologist Rachel Volberg and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences. It is the first major cohort study of adult gambling to be carried out in the United States.

Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study found that the bans were associated with high gains in quit attempts by smokers with low incomes.

In 2021, a spacecraft the size of a Cheerios box will carry a small telescope into Earth orbit on an unusual mission. Its task is to monitor the flares and sunspots of small stars to assess how habitable the space environment is for planets orbiting them.

The spacecraft, known as the Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat, or SPARCS for short, is a new NASA-funded space telescope. The mission, including spacecraft design, integration and resulting science, is led by Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE).

The parasite that causes malaria has not one, but two, specialized proteins that protect its messenger RNAs -- genetic material that encodes for proteins -- until the parasite takes up residence in a new mosquito or a human host. A new study by researchers at Penn State describes the two proteins and reveals an additional role that one may play to facilitate RNA-based interactions between the parasite, its mosquito vector, and its human host. The study appears January 10, 2018, in the journal mSphere.

Using the wrong type of words in a job advertisement can discourage women from applying. This is one of the findings from a study by Lien Wille and Eva Derous of Ghent University in Belgium. The research is published in Springer's journal Sex Roles. Wille and Derous recommend that human resources professionals carefully consider the kind of message and type of words they use in job ads when they aim to recruit women.

Watered-down or fake liquors can reap financial rewards for nefarious individuals, but the adulteration of liquor cheats consumers and can even lead to health hazards from added contaminants. Scientists now report in ACS Sensors a portable device with an advanced sensor array that can identify liquors and determine if they'd been altered, offering a strategy for liquor quality assurance.