153 articles from WEDNESDAY 11.9.2019

For years, scientists have explored ways to alter the cells of microorganisms in efforts to improve how many products are made, including medicines, fuels, and even beer. But altering the genetic and regulatory processes that take place within cells presents challenges. Now bioengineers is working with a team of researchers to engineer microbial consortia, wherein cell subpopulations are engineered to work together to carry out a desired function.

Big improvement in past two decades fails to close gap with likes of Australia and Canada

Cancer survival rates in the UK have improved markedly over recent decades but still lag behind those of comparable countries, a major research exercise has shown.

The study looked at one-year and five-year survival of cancer patients in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK between 1995 and 2014. It found that while the chances of surviving cancer have improved in the UK, they have not caught up with other countries, which are also doing better thanks to new technologies and efforts to catch the disease at an earlier stage before it becomes hard to treat.

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In 2017, Scot Martin, the Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), envisioned a novel drone-based chemical monitoring system to track the health of the Amazon in the face of global climate change and human-caused deforestation and burning.

On Oct. 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano sparked a firestorm on social media when she asked her Twitter followers to reply "me too" if they had ever been sexually harassed or assaulted. (Social justice activist Tarana Burke founded the "Me Too" movement more than 10 years ago as a way to help sexual assault survivors heal.) What followed were 1.5 million responses—many from sexual assault survivors sharing their experiences, others from people showing support and some from critics—all using the hashtag #MeToo.

Coasts, oceans, ecosystems, weather and human health all face impacts from climate change, and now valuable soils may also be affected. Climate change may reduce the ability of soils to absorb water in many parts of the world, according to a new study. And that could have serious implications for groundwater supplies, food production and security, stormwater runoff, biodiversity and ecosystems.

There's a whole world behind the scenes at natural history museums that most people never see. Museum collections house millions upon millions of dinosaur bones, pickled sharks, dried leaves, and every other part of the natural world you can think of—more than could ever be put on display. Instead, these specimens are used in research by scientists trying to understand how different kinds of life evolved and how we can protect them. And a new study in PLOS ONE delves into how scientists are using digital records of all these specimens.