A startling mutual-aid society is linking fungus and snails in marine ecosystems, according to a study led by a Brown University biologist. The study presents the first evidence that a species of marine snail engages in a previously undemonstrated form of food acquisition and ecological control by initiating and encouraging the growth of fungi, its preferred food, on live marsh grass. Infestation by fungi greatly slows the growth of the grass.
In surveys conducted along 2,000 kilometers of salt marshes on the southern U.S. shoreline, the researchers observed that the snail, Littoraria irrorata, actively grazes a live salt-marsh cordgrass. As the snail crawls along the grass surface, it scrapes grass tissue with its band of saw-like teeth and creates longitudinal cuts in leaf surfaces, making a much larger meal possible. While it travels, the snail also deposits feces laden with fungal spores and nutrients into the sensitive inner-tissue of the leaf, effectively stimulating and fertilizing fungal crops.
The result of snail grazing on marsh grass surface is an infestation of fungi, a major diet component for the snail, and the slowing of marsh grass growth.
Ricardo Howell | Brown University
Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
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27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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14.10.2016 | Event News
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27.10.2016 | Life Sciences