WOODS HOLE, Mass. -- Deserts of the U.S. Southwest are extreme habitats for most plants, but, remarkably, microscopic green algae live there that are extraordinarily tolerant of dehydration. These tiny green algae (many just a few microns in size) live embedded in microbiotic soil crusts, which are characteristic of arid areas and are formed by communities of bacteria, lichens, microalgae, fungi, and even small mosses. After completely drying out, the algae can become active and start photosynthesizing again within seconds of receiving a drop of water.

New York, NY--July 6, 2020--Most projections about climate change assume that, as temperatures rise, regions in the north high latitudes may become more suitable for the growth of vegetation, turning into cropland to feed increasing populations while also fixing more carbon dioxide (CO2) and slowing down climate change. Plants require appropriate temperature, water, and light conditions for photosynthesis and growth, so it seems logical that as temperatures increase in the northern high latitudes, plant photosynthesis, which uses CO2 to release oxygen, should also increase.

Gene coding regions constitute 2% of the human genome. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have developed a computational tool to identify alterations that drive tumor formation in the remaining 98% of the genome. The method will aid discovery of oncogenes and advances in precision medicine for children and adults with cancer.

Organisms capable of photosynthesis--a biochemical process that converts solar energy into chemical energy--consist of special assemblies of proteins and pigments that capture the light energy efficiently. These assemblies are known as "light-harvesting complexes" (LHCs). They not only capture the sunlight but also initiate a series of events wherein energy is transmitted from one molecular complex to another, ultimately "trapping" the energy in the form of chemical bonds in organic compounds.

Cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as blue-green algae, are the first organisms on earth that learned to extract electrons from water and convert sunlight to usable energy through photosynthesis. Using cyanobacteria as a model organism, the details of photosynthesis--the key process that supports all forms of advanced lives on earth--have been studied for many decades. And all studies, despite their differences, reveal one thing: that it is an astonishingly precise process, consisting of numerous small reactions run by many proteins and their combinations.

Proteins control many physiological functions that are essential for living things in vivo. There are over 20,000 types of proteins in humans, and each protein plays a different role by interacting with other proteins. Proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID) technology is a technique for finding these interacting partner proteins. BioID can be used by expressing the BioID-fusion protein and adding biotin.

A new study at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City has found that follow-up appointments for hospitalized children treated for childhood bronchitis are often not necessary, and that switching from mandatory to "as-needed" follow-up care can save families from unnecessary medical care and expense - and may help guide treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study is published in Monday's issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

The applications of topological photonics have been intensively investigated, including one-way waveguide and topological lasers. Especially, the topological lasers have attracted broad attention in recent years, which have been proposed and demonstrated in various systems, including 1D edge state in 2D systems, 0D boundary state in 1D lattice and topological bulk state around band edge. Most of them are at microscale. The topological nanolaser with small footprint, low threshold and high energy-efficiency has yet to be explored.

Native to the Americas, the tequila bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) lives in caves in some of the hottest desert areas in Mexico. Given that bats are highly mobile, and that migratory species tend to mix constantly with other bat populations, it is hard for conservationists to know whether they are protecting the best sites for the tequila bats to roost.

In the cover article of the June 11 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina, led by Sherine Chan, Ph.D., and James Chou, Ph.D., reports that a new vitamin K-based drug has proved effective in mouse models of medication-resistant seizures.