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How mold on space station flowers is helping get us to Mars


Mold growth initially grew on the plant in pillow E in the bottom left corner of the plant mat.
When Scott Kelly tweeted a picture of moldy leaves on the current crop of zinnia flowers aboard the International Space Station, it could have looked like the science was doomed. In fact, science was blooming stronger than ever. What may seem like a failure in systems is actually an exceptional opportunity for scientists back on Earth to better understand how plants grow in microgravity, and for astronauts to practice doing what they’ll be tasked with on a deep space mission: autonomous gardening.

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Two proteins control the growth of the heart and its adaptation to high blood pressure


A histological section of a heart.
Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) have identified how two proteins control the growth of the heart and its adaptation to high blood pressure (hypertension).

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Biological ‘clock’ discovered in sea turtle shells


In addition to their natural beauty, the shells of two deceased specimens of Hawksbill sea turtles hold clues to the growth rates and sexual maturity of the endangered species.
Radiocarbon dating of atomic bomb fallout found in sea turtle shells can be used to reliably estimate the ages, growth rates and reproductive maturity of sea turtle populations in the wild, a new study led by Duke University and NOAA researchers finds.

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Scientists shed new light on workings of genetic regulation

genetic regulation

A team of scientists has uncovered greater intricacy in protein signaling than was previously understood, shedding new light on the nature of genetic production.

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Hacking the programs of cancer stem cells


A new inhibitor suppresses tumor growth and cancer stem cells. The image on the left shows beta catenin (red) in cell nuclei indicating that these are cancer stem cells.
All tumor cells are the offspring of a single, aberrant cell, but they are not all alike. Only a few retain the capacity of the original cell to create an entire tumor. Such cancer stem cells can migrate to other tissues and become fatal metastases. To fully cure a patient’s cancer, it is crucial to find and eliminate all of these cells because any that escape can regenerate the tumor and trigger its spread through the body.

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