Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict

Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis by researchers at the University of Chicago describes how these copies have evolved separate male- and female-specific functions that are crucial to reproduction and fertility. These changes occurred in just 200,000 years since the genes duplicated, meaning that this process can resolve selective pressures between sexes and specialize relatively quickly.

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Global grazing lands increasingly vulnerable to a changing climate

Some 800 million people around the world depend on livestock that graze on natural vegetation for their livelihoods and food security. In a good season, grasses and other plants flourish, supporting robust herds. In a bad season, the system suffers - as do the people who rely on it. The difference between a good and bad year? One significant and increasingly volatile factor is precipitation.

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Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children

New blood and urine tests which search for damage to proteins could lead to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and consequently children with autism could be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives. ASDs are defined as developmental disorders mainly affecting social interaction and they can include a wide spectrum of behavioral problems. These include speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty to adapt to new environments, some with or without cognitive impairment.

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Flexible warped nanographene developed for bioimaging

An international team of scientists has developed a water-soluble "warped nanographene," a flexible molecule that is biocompatible and shows promise for fluorescent cell imaging. The new nanographene molecule also induces cell death when exposed to blue laser light. Further investigation is required to determine how nanocarbons could be used for a range of biological applications, such as photodynamic therapy for cancer treatments.

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