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Tag: Secrets

DNA secrets of how vampire bats became bloodthirsty

DNA secrets of how vampire bats became bloodthirsty

Science
DNA analysis is giving clues to how the vampire bat can survive on blood alone.The bat can drink up to half its weight in blood a day unlike other relatives, which dine on fruit, nectar or insects.Blood is low in nutrients and can harbour deadly viruses.Vampire bats have key differences in genes involved in immunity and food metabolism compared with other bats.The researchers say the bat's gut microbes are also distinct.They found evidence of more than 280 types of bacteria in the bat's droppings that would have made most other mammals unwell."The data suggests that there is a close evolutionary relationship between the gut microbiome and the genome of the vampire bat for adaptation to sanguivory (feeding exclusively on blood)," said study author, Dr Marie Zepeda Mendoza of the University ...
New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

New scanning technique reveals secrets behind great paintings

Science
Researchers in the US have used a new scanning technique to discover a painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso's great works of art, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie). Underneath the oil painting is a landscape of Barcelona which, it turns out, Picasso used as the basis of his masterpiece.The new x-ray fluorescence system is cheaper than alternative art scanning systems - and it is portable, making it available to any gallery that wants it. Details were revealed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement for Science in Austin, Texas.The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso's blue period. Media playback is unsupported on your deviceWhat is remarkable is that the landscape painting beneath - probably by a student artist - is turned 90 degrees. Th...
Secrets of solar flares are unlocked

Secrets of solar flares are unlocked

Science
Scientists may finally understand the mechanism behind solar flares.Flares can occur on their own, or be accompanied by powerful eruptions of plasma (charged gas) from the Sun.If charged particles from these eruptions reach Earth, they can create havoc with infrastructure, such as satellite systems and power grids.Now, researchers in France say the interaction of distinct magnetic structures controls these outbursts from our star.Generally speaking, solar eruptions are caused by a sudden, violent rearrangement of the Sun's magnetic field.At a deeper level, the process is controlled by two types of structures that form in the magnetic field of the Sun: ropes and cages.The rope is confined within the magnetic cage. If the cage is strong, it can contain the rope's contortions, but when the ca...
Study reveals secrets of DNA mutation

Study reveals secrets of DNA mutation

Science
Feb. 1 (UPI) -- According to new research, some mutational DNA bases are able to avoid detection by the body's natural defense systems and incorporate themselves into the human genome.The DNA base pair formed by guanine and thymine, a mutational mismatch, are able to shape-shift so they blend in with the rest of the DNA ladder, or helix."When these two bases form a hydrogen bond by accident, at first, they don't fit quite right," Zucai Suo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State University, said in a news release. "They stick out along the DNA helix, so normally it's easy for the enzymes that replicate DNA to detect them and fix them."And normally, they do get caught and the mismatch is rectified. But sometimes, the base pair can change shapes before detection, avoiding the ...
Paradise Papers: Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed

Paradise Papers: Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed

World
A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen's private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens.Donald Trump's commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US.The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance.BBC Panorama is part of nearly 100 media groups investigating the papers.As with last year's Panama Papers leak, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to oversee the investigation. The Guardian is among the nearly 100 media partners involved in investigating the documents.