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Ashley Yeager

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Protein that gets sperm into egg identified

Chemical signals sent between mammalian sperm's Izumo1 protein and the egg protein Juno or Folr4 ensure that the reproductive cells fuse.

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Exactly what molecule in a mammal's egg cell talks to sperm to let them wriggle inside has been difficult to identify. 

In 2005, scientists discovered that sperm carry a protein called Izumo1 that gets them to fuse with an egg. Now, research on mice shows that it's the protein folate receptor 4, or Folr4, on the egg that plays the partner role to bring the reproductive cells together. The discovery, published April 16 in Nature, could lead to better contraceptives and fertility treatments. The team also suggests renaming the protein Juno after the Roman goddess of fertility and marriage. 

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Neuroscience,, Mental Health

Even with rest, brain changes linked to football linger

By Ashley Yeager 5:15pm, April 17, 2014
The offseason may not allow enough time for football players' brains to heal from hard hits.
Paleontology

Early meat-eater may have led to larger plant-eaters

By Ashley Yeager 3:06pm, April 17, 2014
The newly identified Eocasea martini may have set the stage for later, much larger animals to become plant-eaters.
Genetics,, Human Development

Down’s syndrome goes beyond chromosome 21

By Ashley Yeager 6:20pm, April 16, 2014
A genetic analysis suggests that the DNA changes linked to Down's syndrome happen on all chromosomes, not just the 21st.
Paleontology,, Animals

Fish gill fossils gnaw at ideas of jaw evolution

By Ashley Yeager 1:45pm, April 16, 2014

Bony fishes, not modern sharks, may provide a better understanding of the earliest jawed animals and the evolution of the jaw itself.

Quantum Physics

Excitons' motions captured in images

By Ashley Yeager 12:45pm, April 16, 2014
Scientists have observed how quasiparticles called excitons move.
Planetary Science,, Astronomy

Saturn may be getting a new moon

By Ashley Yeager 2:36pm, April 15, 2014
An icy object within Saturn's rings may be a new moon in the making.
Genetics

Modern hunter-gatherers' guts host distinct microbes

By Ashley Yeager 12:27pm, April 15, 2014
A healthy collection of gut bacteria depends on the environment in which people live and their lifestyle, research shows.
Clinical Trials,, Biomedicine,, Health

Hepatitis C treatment appears extremely effective

By Ashley Yeager 12:24pm, April 14, 2014
A mix of four medications has provided the most effective way to date to counter the hepatitis C virus in humans.
Cells,, Genetics

How cells keep from popping

By Ashley Yeager 2:43pm, April 11, 2014
The protein SWELL1 stops cells from swelling so much that they burst, a new study shows.
Earth

Huge space rock rattled Earth 3 billion years ago

By Ashley Yeager 12:28pm, April 10, 2014
An asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island may have plowed into Earth 3.26 billion years ago, leaving its mark in South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt.
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