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Spider silk: nature's bio-superlens

Scientists at Bangor and Oxford universities have achieved a world first: using spider-silk as a superlens to increase the microscope's potential.

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First test of oral rabies vaccine brings hope to the world’s rarest canid

Research published this week in the journal Vaccine reports field trials of the oral vaccine SAG2 in Ethiopian wolves, Africa’s most threatened carnivore and the world’s rarest canid.

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Butterfly Communities Under Threat

In a paper published in Science this week, Jeremy Thomas documents how butterfly populations are declining worldwide, as a result of habitat loss and degradation.

Read the article: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6296/216

HIV global spread

The study aimed to map the global spread of HIV-1 subtype B, the viral type that was the most prevalent in the Western World. We show that North America was constantly providing viral flows to the rest of the world, while Europe was passively receiving. Western and Eastern Europe had a clear segregation.

The study is published in MEEGID: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567134816302234

Pea Plants Show Risk Sensitivity

An international team of scientists from Oxford University and Tel-Hai College (Israel) has shown that pea plants can demonstrate sensitivity to risk – namely, that they can make adaptive choices that take into account environmental variance, an ability previously unknown outside the animal kingdom.

In the study, published in the journal Current Biology, pea plants were grown with their roots split between two pots, thus facing the decision of which pot to prioritise.