Science Magazine

  • Thu, 17 Sep 2020 17:40:15 +0000: Seismic ocean thermometry - Science current issue

    More than 90% of the energy trapped on Earth by increasingly abundant greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean. Monitoring the resulting ocean warming remains a challenging sampling problem. To complement existing point measurements, we introduce a method that infers basin-scale deep-ocean temperature changes from the travel times of sound waves that are generated by repeating earthquakes. A first implementation of this seismic ocean thermometry constrains temperature anomalies averaged across a 3000-kilometer-long section in the equatorial East Indian Ocean with a standard error of 0.0060 kelvin. Between 2005 and 2016, we find temperature fluctuations on time scales of 12 months, 6 months, and ~10 days, and we infer a decadal warming trend that substantially exceeds previous estimates.

  • Thu, 17 Sep 2020 17:40:15 +0000: Looking at neurodevelopment through a big data lens - Science current issue

    The formation of the human brain, which contains nearly 100 billion neurons making an average of 1000 connections each, represents an astonishing feat of self-organization. Despite impressive progress, our understanding of how neurons form the nervous system and enable function is very fragmentary, especially for the human brain. New technologies that produce large volumes of high-resolution measurements—big data—are now being brought to bear on this problem. Single-cell molecular profiling methods allow the exploration of neural diversity with increasing spatial and temporal resolution. Advances in human genetics are shedding light on the genetic architecture of neurodevelopmental disorders, and new approaches are revealing plausible neurobiological mechanisms underlying these conditions. Here, we review the opportunities and challenges of integrating large-scale genomics and genetics for the study of brain development.

  • Thu, 17 Sep 2020 17:40:15 +0000: Diet posttranslationally modifies the mouse gut microbial proteome to modulate renal function - Science current issue

    Associations between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the gut microbiota have been postulated, yet questions remain about the underlying mechanisms. In humans, dietary protein increases gut bacterial production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), indole, and indoxyl sulfate. The latter are uremic toxins, and H2S has diverse physiological functions, some of which are mediated by posttranslational modification. In a mouse model of CKD, we found that a high sulfur amino acid–containing diet resulted in posttranslationally modified microbial tryptophanase activity. This reduced uremic toxin–producing activity and ameliorated progression to CKD in the mice. Thus, diet can tune microbiota function to support healthy host physiology through posttranslational modification without altering microbial community composition.

  • Thu, 17 Sep 2020 17:40:15 +0000: Species-specific pace of development is associated with differences in protein stability - Science current issue

    Although many molecular mechanisms controlling developmental processes are evolutionarily conserved, the speed at which the embryo develops can vary substantially between species. For example, the same genetic program, comprising sequential changes in transcriptional states, governs the differentiation of motor neurons in mouse and human, but the tempo at which it operates differs between species. Using in vitro directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells to motor neurons, we show that the program runs more than twice as fast in mouse as in human. This is not due to differences in signaling, nor the genomic sequence of genes or their regulatory elements. Instead, there is an approximately two-fold increase in protein stability and cell cycle duration in human cells compared with mouse cells. This can account for the slower pace of human development and suggests that differences in protein turnover play a role in interspecies differences in developmental tempo.

  • Thu, 17 Sep 2020 17:40:15 +0000: Structure-based design of prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spikes - Science current issue

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to accelerated efforts to develop therapeutics and vaccines. A key target of these efforts is the spike (S) protein, which is metastable and difficult to produce recombinantly. We characterized 100 structure-guided spike designs and identified 26 individual substitutions that increased protein yields and stability. Testing combinations of beneficial substitutions resulted in the identification of HexaPro, a variant with six beneficial proline substitutions exhibiting higher expression than its parental construct (by a factor of 10) as well as the ability to withstand heat stress, storage at room temperature, and three freeze-thaw cycles. A cryo–electron microscopy structure of HexaPro at a resolution of 3.2 angstroms confirmed that it retains the prefusion spike conformation. High-yield production of a stabilized prefusion spike protein will accelerate the development of vaccines and serological diagnostics for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).


Life Science 


Tropical Biology



  • Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:00:00 +0000: USDA Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in Nine States - USDA - Latest News Releases
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2017 – Rural Development Acting Deputy Under Secretary Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA is making loans to electric cooperatives that will help continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to rural residents, business and institutions in nine states.
  • Mon, 27 Feb 2017 06:00:00 +0000: USDA Helps Expand Broadband Service in Rural Illinois and Oklahoma - USDA - Latest News Releases
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2017 – Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA is awarding $19.3 million in loans to provide broadband in rural portions of Illinois and Oklahoma.
  • Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:00:00 +0000: USDA Invests $103 Million to Protect Lives, Property After Natural Disasters - USDA - Latest News Releases
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2017 – Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young today announced U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $103 million in fiscal year 2017 for disaster recovery efforts to help state, local and tribal units of government protect lives and property in disaster-affected areas following natural disasters.
  • Wed, 15 Feb 2017 06:00:00 +0000: Acting Secretary of Agriculture Visits Workers Impacted By Louisiana Tornado and Tours Storm Damage - USDA - Latest News Releases
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2017 - Acting Agriculture Deputy Secretary Mike Young visited the displaced workers of the USDA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) National Finance Center (NFC) Monday after an EF-3 tornado hit the New Orleans-based NFC building last week, causing severe damage. No one was seriously hurt as a result of the storm, which struck at approximately 11:20 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.
  • Fri, 10 Feb 2017 06:00:00 +0000: USDA Reminds Individuals and Small Businesses in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming that USDA Offers Disaster Assistance Programs to Help - USDA - Latest News Releases
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses that could potentially be affected by the recent storms that USDA has several programs that provide assistance before, during and after disasters. USDA staff in the regional, State and county offices in the states of Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are ready to help.



  • Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:17:25 +0000: Policy News: September 14, 2020 - EcoTone: News and Views on Ecological Science
    In This Issue: Action Alert: Scientific Societies, House Science Committee Push for Research Relief The RISE Act would authorize $26 billion in emergency relief for federal science agencies. Upcoming ESA Webinars ESA will host a webinar with Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally Sept. 30. Congress Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) calls for $55 billion for a […]
  • Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:12:40 +0000: Action Alert: Urge Congress to Support Research Relief - EcoTone: News and Views on Ecological Science
    Join ESA and 22 other professional societies representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, mathematicians and engineers as part of a collaborative effort to raise awareness of the importance of restoring our academic research enterprise impacted by COVID-19. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), the impacts on the federal enterprise are far-reaching, resulting in lab […]
  • Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:34:29 +0000: Policy News: August 31, 2020 - EcoTone: News and Views on Ecological Science
    In This Issue: Register to Vote & Request an Absentee Ballot The general election is less than 70 days away. Visit for information about requesting an absentee ballot. Upcoming ESA Webinars ESA will host two webinars with the Federation of American Scientists and Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally. Congress House Science Committee proposes a […]
  • Tue, 25 Aug 2020 17:31:21 +0000: Ecology and COVID-19 #5: Coronavirus, Human Hubris, and Life in the Coevolving Biosphere - EcoTone: News and Views on Ecological Science
    This blogpost originally appeared on the website for Bruce Byers Consulting. by Bruce Byers The novel coronavirus is holding up a mirror for our species, giving us an opportunity to consider our place in the evolution of life on Earth and question our anthropocentrism. What I’ve missed during this pandemic and shutdown of our usual […]
  • Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:49:23 +0000: Policy News: August 17, 2020 - EcoTone: News and Views on Ecological Science
    In This Issue: Upcoming ESA Webinars ESA will host two webinars with the Federation of American Scientists and Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally. Congress House passes most spending bills. Executive Branch President Trump signs the Great American Outdoors Act. Courts State attorneys general challenge new Clean Water Act regulations in court. States North Carolina Department […]


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