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News about Climate Change and our Planet

Enzymes

Origin of life — Did Darwinian evolution begin before life itself?

(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen) A study done by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich physicists demonstrates that fundamental characteristics of polymeric molecules, such as their subunit composition, are sufficient to trigger selection processes in a plausible prebiotic setting.

Termite gut microbes could aid biofuel production

(American Chemical Society) Wheat straw, the dried stalks left over from grain production, is a potential source of biofuels and commodity chemicals. But before straw can be converted to useful products by biorefineries, the polymers that make it up must be broken down into their building blocks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering have found that microbes from the guts of certain termite species can help break down lignin, a particularly tough polymer in straw.

635 million-year-old fungi-like microfossil that bailed us out of an ice age discovered

(Virginia Tech) A team of scientists from Virginia Tech, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guizhou Education University, and University of Cincinnati has discovered the remains of a fungi-like microfossil that emerged at the end of an ice age some 635 million years ago.

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Wood formation can now be followed in real-time — and possibly serve the climate of tomorrow

(University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Science) A genetic engineering method makes it possible to observe how woody cell walls are built in plants. The new research in wood formation, conducted by the University of Copenhagen and others, opens up the possibility of developing sturdier construction materials and perhaps more climate efficient trees.

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Juicing technique could influence healthfulness of fresh-squeezed juice

With the New Year, many people are making resolutions to eat healthier, by eating more vegetables, for example. But those who don’t like the taste or texture of some vegetables might prefer to drink them in a home-squeezed juice. Now, researchers have found that the choice of household juicing technique can influence the phytochemical content and antioxidant activity of common vegetable juices.

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Juicing technique could influence healthfulness of fresh-squeezed juice

With the New Year, many people are making resolutions to eat healthier, by eating more vegetables, for example. But those who don’t like the taste or texture of some vegetables might prefer to drink them in a home-squeezed juice. Now, researchers have found that the choice of household juicing technique can influence the phytochemical content and antioxidant activity of common vegetable juices.

Juicing technique could influence healthfulness of fresh-squeezed juice

With the New Year, many people are making resolutions to eat healthier, by eating more vegetables, for example. But those who don’t like the taste or texture of some vegetables might prefer to drink them in a home-squeezed juice. Now, researchers have found that the choice of household juicing technique can influence the phytochemical content and antioxidant activity of common vegetable juices.

Genome-editing tool TALEN outperforms CRISPR-Cas9 in tightly packed DNA

Researchers used single-molecule imaging to compare the genome-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN. Their experiments revealed that TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in parts of the genome, called heterochromatin, that are densely packed. Fragile X syndrome, sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia and other diseases are the result of genetic defects in the heterochromatin.

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Genome-editing tool TALEN outperforms CRISPR-Cas9 in tightly packed DNA

Researchers used single-molecule imaging to compare the genome-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN. Their experiments revealed that TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in parts of the genome, called heterochromatin, that are densely packed. Fragile X syndrome, sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia and other diseases are the result of genetic defects in the heterochromatin.