New and improved cherry flavor courtesy of the petunia flower

That cherry flavor you enjoy in candy and soda is likely a combination of aromatic and flavor compounds discovered through the study of plants in laboratories far from cherry trees. It and the sweet scent of your almond extract ...

Hunting for human obesity genes in fat fruit flies

Fruit flies provide an effective platform for screening new obesity genes, and fat flies implicate a neuronal signaling pathway in weight gain, according to a new study publishing November 4th in the open-access journal PLOS ...

How maize makes an antibiotic cocktail

Maize (Zea mays) produces a plethora of antibiotics called zealexins. Even though scientists have identified at least 15 zealexins, they suspect there are even more to find. Zealexins are produced in every corn variety and ...

Evolution in real-time: How bacteria adapt to their hosts

Bacteria that invade animal cells in order to multiply are widespread in nature. Some of these are pathogens of humans and animals. In the environment, they are often found inside unicellular organisms. A research team led ...

How a protein stops cells from attacking their own DNA

Viruses multiply by injecting their DNA into a host cell. Once it enters the intracellular fluid, this foreign material triggers a defense mechanism known as the cGAS-STING pathway. The protein cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase (cGAS), ...

Understanding congenital heart defects, one chicken at a time

Approximately 10 percent of infants are born with a congenital heart defect, with one of the most common being persistent truncus arteriosus—a hole in the heart. In a healthy baby, deoxygenated blood is pumped through a ...

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