Pull up a comfy chair, pour yourself a hot-chocolate with a liberal dosing of marshmallows, and settle in for a few of the festive season’s most notable Life Science news stories.
[caption id="attachment_143" align="alignleft" width="300"] Human 'embryoid' with SOX17 positive cells (green) showing birth of human germ cell lineage. Image credit: Walfred Tang, University of Cambridge.[/caption]
Human Egg And Sperm Cells Generated From Stem Cells
Simple forms of human egg and sperm cells have been created by Israeli and UK researchers from specialised stem cells. More remarkably, the stem cells used were induced pluripotent stem cells which were made from human skin cells. Read more on Nature and IFLScience.
Calorie Restriction, Toxic Hydrogen Sulphide, And Life Extension
Lab animals on calorie restricted diets tend to exhibit longer than average lives, however why this occurs has not been fully understood. New research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that calorie-restricted cells produce hydrogen sulphide, a toxic substance that may be involved in the life extension. Read more in Science News and Science Daily.
300 Million-Year-Old Fossil Shows Fish Had Colour Vision
The best-ever preserved fossil of a vertebrate animal, a 300-million-year-old fish known as Acanthodes bridgei, was found to still have traces of its eye tissue. Photoreceptors called cones were found in the tissue, suggesting that Acanthodes was able to see in colour - helpful in the brackish waters it's thought to have lived in. Read more in Nature Communications and Science.