Harvard Medical School researchers have uncovered an ovary gene whose absence from mouse egg cells produced severe pregnancy complications. The gene, Fmn2, which produces the protein formin-2, is similar in mice and humans and offers promise for understanding embryo loss, birth defects, and infertility in women. The study appears in the December Nature Cell Biology.
"As humans we are incredibly bad at producing eggs with the normal number of chromosomes, which is the leading cause of pregnancy loss in women," says Benjamin Leader, an HMS MD/PhD candidate, and the papers lead author. "The biological means for ensuring proper distribution of chromosomes to the egg has been difficult to determine.
"Our study shows that the formin-2 gene is required in order to ensure the proper distribution of chromosomes to the egg. About one percent of women suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss, which can be defined as a loss of greater than two or three pregnancies. We are now actively searching for mutations involving the formin-2 gene in women with reproductive loss and infertility," Leader added.
Donna Burtanger | EurekAlert!
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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