biology, Developmental biology, Explainer, medicine, News, Science, science news, Sunday Science Stories

Coronavirus, how stress turns your hair grey, culturing snake venom, and global human cooling…

In this week’s Sunday Science: some facts on the new coronavirus that is spreading through China (and abroad); how stress turns your hair grey; how scientists are stressed (so we’ll all go grey early); how human body temperatures are falling, and growing your own snake venom…. Continue reading

biology, Climate change, Developmental biology, evolution, medicine, Science, science fiction, science news, Sunday Science Stories

Carnivorous plants, BCG vaccine, dogs & schizophrenia and how flies land upside down: Sunday Science 12/01/2020

Welcome to the first Sunday Science of the New Year, with carnivorous plants, injecting new life into an old vaccine, reducing schizophrenia risks (by dogs), how the UK transformed its energy supply, and how flies land upside down on your kitchen ceiling… Continue reading

biology, cancer, Climate change, Developmental biology, genetic modification, medicine, Science, science news, Sunday Science Stories

HIV vaccine, twisty galaxies, gene editing blood cells, glowing green sharks & more…Sunday Science 11/08/19

In this week’s Sunday Science some nice medical advances: a promising new HIV vaccine trial, approval of a drug for ovarian cancer and a potential game-changer with gene edited blood cells to treat blood disorders that affect millions of people. Also: spooky green fluorescent sharks, our twisted galaxy, green energy, and embryo development. Continue reading

biology, Climate change, Developmental biology, evolution, medicine, psychology, Science, science news, Space, Sunday Science Stories

Sunday Science 16/12/2018

This week’s Sunday Science covers what makes our brains different from monkeys, but occasionally like Neanderthals, a highbrow way to beat depression in old age, new drugs in the fight against malaria, a giant subterranean ecosystem, and the first sounds from Mars… Continue reading

biology, Developmental biology, Organ transplantation, Science, science news, Sunday Science Stories

Sunday Science 18/02/2018

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Science, with self-reproducing crayfish, breakthroughs in developmental biology, the quantum internet, and cleaning.

A big story that’s just hit the mainstream news: scientists have managed to grow sheep embryos containing human cells: 1/10,000 of the sheep embryo’s cells were human, after 28 days of development. This offers the potential of radically improving transplants, and builds on the group’s previous success with pig embryos, but with tenfold efficiency.

An invasive crayfish spreading through Madagascar is a recent hybrid species that reproduces through parthenogenesis – as in, without mating, with the unfertilised egg developing into an adult by itself.

Researchers have found a way to artificially treat wood,compressing it in a way that substantially increases its strength and stiffness and offers more engineering possibilities for this sustainable (when managed) material.

The axolotl genome has been sequenced (open access: technical). The Mexican salamander, as it is also known, is an important model in developmental biology, with scientists keen to understand how it can regenerate it’s limbs. Already the genome has thrown up a lot of information and a few surprises: it lacks a key gene, Pax3, that is essential in other vertebrates.

Still on the subject of developmental biology: scientists are attempting to create a “human developmental cell atlas” – mapping the development of humans from embryos at a single cell level (open access, bit technical). This is in conjunction with the Human Cell Atlas, here, and made possible by modern molecular methods that allow us to minutely examine which genes are active in which cells.

A nice piece on the future of the (potential) quantum internet, long theorised by both science fiction authors and scientists.

And finally: women who do lots of cleaning at home have a greater risk of decline in lung function. Men don’t, apparently, so clearly they should be doing all the cleaning!

Featured image

Part of an experiment to investigate diamond-based systems as quantum-internet nodes at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Credit: Marcel Wogram for Nature