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Sex, Tools And Chromosomes

Published: April 12, 2012.
Released by University of California - Davis  

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a key tool that helps sperm and eggs develop exactly 23 chromosomes each. The work, which could lead to insights into fertility, spontaneous miscarriages, cancer and developmental disorders, is published April 13 in the journal Cell.

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Marine "bugs and slugs" make ideal houseguests for valuable seagrass ecosystems. They gobble up algae that could smother the seagrass, keeping the habitat clean and healthy. That's according to results from an unprecedented experiment spanning the Northern Hemisphere and led by an international team of scientists, including marine biologists from UC Davis.

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Sugary Drinks Boost Risk Factors for Heart Disease, Study Shows
Beverages sweetened with low, medium and high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup significantly increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even when consumed for just two weeks by young, healthy men and women, reports a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis. The study is the first to demonstrate a direct, dose-dependent relationship between the amount of added sugar consumed in sweetened beverages and increases in specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

$5 Million in USDA Food-safety Grants to Target Bacteria
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Ecological 'Flash Mobs': It's All About Timing ... And Magnets?
How does an acorn know to fall when the other acorns do? What triggers insects, or disease, to suddenly break out over large areas? Why do fruit trees have boom and bust years? The question of what generates such synchronous, ecological "flash mobs" over long distances has long perplexed population ecologists. Part of the answer has to do with something seemingly unrelated: what makes a magnet a magnet.

Rice Can Borrow Stronger Immunity from Other Plant Species, Study Shows
Like most other plants, rice is well equipped with an effective immune system that enables it to detect and fend off disease-causing microbes. But that built-in immunity can be further boosted when the rice plant receives a receptor protein from a completely different plant species, suggests a new study led by UC Davis plant-disease experts.

Milk Protein Comparison Unveils Nutritional Gems for Developing Babies
Human babies appear to need more of a nutritional boost from breast-milk proteins than do infants of one of their closest primate relatives, suggests a study comparing human milk with the milk of rhesus macaque monkeys. The research team, led by the University of California, Davis, came to this conclusion after developing a new technique for comparing the proteome -- all detectable proteins -- of human milk with the proteome of the rhesus macaque monkey.

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