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Bio-based coating for wood outperforms traditional synthetic options

Due to the global efforts to meet sustainability standards, many countries are currently looking to replace concrete with wood in buildings. France, for example, will require that all new public buildings will be made from at least 50 percent wood or other sustainable materials starting in 2022. Bec...

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Surrey builds AI to find anti-ageing chemical compounds

The University of Surrey has built an artificial intelligence (AI) model that identifies chemical compounds that promote healthy ageing - paving the way towards pharmaceutical innovations that extend a person's lifespan. In a paper published by Nature Communication's Scientific Reports, a team of ch...

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Geneticists reveal how mutation causes childhood cancer

Geneticists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered how a specific genetic mutation called H3K27M causes a devastating, incurable childhood cancer, known as diffuse midline glioma (DMG), and - in lab studies working with model cell types - successfully reverse its effects to slow cancer cell gro...

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RNA breakthrough creates crops that can grow 50% more potatoes, rice

Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists from the University of Chicago, Peking University and Guizhou University. In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both rice and po...

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Eco-friendly plastic from cellulose and water

Plastics offer many benefits to society and are widely used in our daily life: they are lightweight, cheap and adaptable. However, the production, processing and disposal of plastics are simply not sustainable, and pose a major global threat to the environment and human health. Eco-friendly processi...

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Characterized drugs show unexpected effects

Every innovative drug starts with the search for an active substance targeting key players in disease-related processes. However, there is no perfect drug that affects the one target in the body: no effect without side effects, as also described in most medicine information leaflets. A group of chem...

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How the Brain Paints the Beauty of a Landscape

How does a view of nature gain its gloss of beauty? We know that the sight of beautiful landscapes engages the brain’s reward systems. But how does the brain transform visual signals into aesthetic ones? Why do we perceive a mountain vista or passing clouds as beautiful? A research team from the Max...

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Toxicity testing on the placenta and embryo

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a cell culture test to detect substances that are directly or indirectly harmful to embryos. Based on an existing test used for developing new drugs and chemicals, the augmented version is designed to help reduce the number of animal experiments. Drugs must b...

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Cancerous tumours: how likely are they to metastasise?

A very aggressive type of cancer has provided a team of researchers with an answer to the question of which tumour cells are at risk of spreading. Cancer treatment is sometimes complicated by the heterogeneity of the cells that form the tumour mass. The problem is how to identify the few cells that ...

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Revealing the secrets of cell competition

Cellular competition is a crucial quality control process that ensures that the development of an organism relies on healthy cells. Researchers revealed the secrets underlying cell competition and what features can pre-determine whether a cell will survive or not. Defects in energy production are cr...

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