New steps in the meiosis chromosome dance

Where would we be without meiosis and recombination? For a start, none of us sexually reproducing organisms would be here, because that's how sperm and eggs are made. And when meiosis doesn't work properly, it can lead to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and developmental disorders.

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Using simulation tools to optimize soft robotic systems

Simulation is a valuable tool to improve the energy efficiency of machines and it is now being used to analyze and optimize soft robotic systems to increase their utility, as described in an article published in Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Soft Robotics website until February 20, 2017.

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Catalyst adds fluorine-containing groups to make new compounds

Drugs that contain one or more fluorine atoms tend to be more stable, more powerful, and easier for the body to absorb. For those reasons, drug developers would like to be able to incorporate fluorine or a fluorine-containing unit known as trifluoromethyl into new experimental drugs, but this has been very difficult to do.

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Research describes missing step in how cells move their cargo

Every time a hormone is released from a cell, every time a neurotransmitter leaps across a synapse to relay a message from one neuron to another, the cell must undergo exocytosis. This is the process responsible for transporting cellular contents via lipid-encapsulated vesicles to the cell surface membrane and then incorporating or secreting them through membrane fusion. Insights into this cellular cargo transport system won three Americans the Nobel Prize in 2013.

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This man is revolutionizing our understanding of motor neuron diseases and dementias

A new study is seen as confirming the relevance of this neurotoxic pathway, according to a new article. This paper also confirms TDP-43 inhibition as a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of neurologic disorders, including Alzheimer disease.

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Archaeologists uncover new clues to Maya collapse

Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, a team of archaeologists have developed a high-precision chronology that sheds new light on patterns leading up to the two major collapses of the Maya civilization.

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