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A new view on how tissues flow in the embryo

As embryos develop, tissues flow and reorganize dramatically on timescales as brief as minutes. This reorganization includes epithelial tissues that cover outer surfaces and inner linings of organs and blood vessels. As the embryo develops, these tissues often narrow along one axis and extend along a perpendicular axis through cellular movement caused by external or internal forces acting differently along various directions in the tissue (anisotropies). Researchers have long wondered how simple clusters of cells inside developing embryos transform into tissues and organs—how do tissues physically change shape in the embryo? Might they turn from “solids” into “fluids” at specific times in development to make it easier to rapidly sculpt functional tissues and organs?

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Convenient location of a near-threshold proton-emitting resonance in boron-11

Polish scientists working in Poland, France and the USA explained the mysterious β-delayed proton decay of the neutron halo ground state of 11Be. Studies within the SMEC model suggest the existence of collective resonance, carrying many characteristics of a nearby proton-decay channel, which explains this puzzling decay. It was argued that the appearance of such near-threshold resonant states is a generic phenomenon in any open quantum system, in which bound and unbound states strongly mix.

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Boosting levels of good fats with an experimental drug that acts on two newly characterized genes

Salk and Scripps Research Institute scientists, along with collaborators at the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, identified two genes that can regulate levels of healthy fats, called FAHFAs, in mice. The team found that the loss of the two genes led to higher-than-normal levels of the beneficial FAHFAs, while blocking the genes’ activity with an experimental drug also increased FAHFA levels.

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