A new defender for your sense of smell

New research increases understanding of a mysterious sensory cell located in the olfactory epithelium, the patch of nasal tissue that contains odor-detecting olfactory receptor cells. The findings suggest that the so-called microvillous cells (MVCs) may protect the vulnerable olfactory epithelium by detecting and initiating defenses against viruses, bacteria, and other potentially harmful invaders.

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First gut bacteria may have lasting effect on ability to fight chronic diseases

New research showing that the first bacteria introduced into the gut have a lasting impact, may one day allow science to adjust microbiomes -- the one-of-a-kind microbial communities that live in our gastrointestinal tracts -- to help ward off serious chronic diseases.

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Eelgrass wasting disease has new enemies: Drones and artificial intelligence

Every year, the world loses an estimated 7 percent of its seagrasses. While the reasons are manifold, one culprit has long confounded scientists: eelgrass wasting disease. This September a team of biologists is zeroing in on the problem, in the first study of the disease to stretch along the Pacific Coast from southern California to Alaska.

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How birds can stay slim, even when they overeat

Noticing that songbirds never seem to get fat despite overeating at bird feeders, environmental biologists wondered whether the amount of energy birds put into singing, fidgeting, or exercising could be adjusted in ways that regulate weight. Researchers now explore whether songbirds needn't worry about their calorie counts because they can control the way their bodies use energy.

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