Metabolic robustness, the ability of a metabolic system to buffer changes in its environment, is not always a welcome feature for microbiologists: it interferes with metabolic engineering or prevents that antibiotics kill bacteria. Therefore it is important to understand the mechanisms that enable metabolic robustness. A massively parallel CRISPRi screen demonstrated that E. colimetabolism is very robust against knockdowns of enzymes, and multi-omics data revealed the mechanisms behind it. In the future, the researchers want to apply this knowledge to build better models of metabolism, which enable rational-design of industrial microbes.
Excavations on the south coast of South Africa have uncovered evidence of human occupations from the end of the last ice age, approximately 35,000 years ago, through the complex transition to the modern time, known as the Holocene and adaptions that were key to our species ability to survive wide climate and environmental fluctuations.
To do the right thing at the right time, organisms need to glean cues from their environment. With ongoing climate change, the timing of these cues, like the accumulation of warm days, is rapidly shifting. Now a network of researchers working on an unprecedentedly large dataset of seasonal events has shown that the timing of species’ activity fail to keep up with their cues, and that how quickly activity shifts reflects past evolution.
Cells move constantly throughout our bodies, performing myriad operations critical to tissue development, immune responses and general wellbeing. This bustle is guided by chemical cues long studied by scientists interested in cellular migration.
When food is scarce, monarch butterfly caterpillars go from docile to domineering. The results look something like a combination of boxing and ‘bumper’ cars. The less food, the more likely caterpillars were to try to head-butt each other out of the way to get their fill, lunging and knocking aside other caterpillars to ensure their own survival. And, they are most aggressive right before the final stages of their metamorphosis.
Bacteria living symbiotically within the Hawaiian bobtail squid can direct the host squid to change its normal gene-expression program to make a more inviting home, according to a new study.
City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off – health hazards linked to poorer water quality.
Ballot harvesting, behind-the-curtains ballot counting, and other hijinks have made transparency a critical issue this election year. Meanwhile, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrates its fiftieth birthday, political battles continue to rage over the extent of public, executive and…
A team of scientists collaborated to analyze breeding bird data gathered by citizen scientists. They found that the abundance of invertebrates such as insects or spiders as prey is a key factor affecting bird diversity in the city. The more prey is available, the more diverse the urban bird communities are.
(eLife ) Scientists have shown that sex-specific differences in variability depend on individual physical and physiological features in mice, debunking competing theories that either males or females are more variable.