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Mice study suggests metabolic diseases may be driven by gut microbiome, loss of ovarian hormones

The gut microbiome interacts with the loss of female sex hormones to exacerbate metabolic disease, including weight gain, fat in the liver and the expression of genes linked with inflammation, researchers found in a new rodent study.

The findings, published in the journal Gut Microbes, may shed light on why women are at significantly greater risk of metabolic diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes after menopause, when ovarian production of female sex hormones diminishes.

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How discrimination, class, and gender intersect to affect Black Americans’ well-being

Black Americans experience racial discrimination as a chronic stressor that influences their quality of life. But it exists in conjunction with other social factors that may modify the impact in various ways.

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Common hair loss and prostate drug may also cut heart disease risk in men and mice

The drug finasteride, also known as Propecia or Proscar, treats male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate in millions of men worldwide.

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New study finds corn genome can gang up on multiple pathogens at once

In a changing climate, corn growers need to be ready for anything, including new and shifting disease dynamics. Because it’s impossible to predict which damaging disease will pop up in a given year, corn with resistance to multiple diseases would be a huge win for growers.

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Microbial division of labor produces higher biofuel yields

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Scientists have found a way to boost ethanol production via yeast fermentation, a standard method for converting plant sugars into biofuels. Their approach, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, relies on careful timing and a tight division of labor among synthetic yeast strains to yield more ethanol per unit of plant sugars than previous approaches have achieved. 

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Scaling up urban agriculture: Research team outlines roadmap

Urban agriculture has the potential to decentralize food supplies, provide environmental benefits like wildlife habitat, and mitigate environmental footprints, but researchers have identified knowledge gaps regarding both the benefits and risks of urban agriculture and the social processes of growing more food in urban areas.

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Skin-deep resilience: Hidden physical health costs for minority youth overcoming adversity

When youth thrive despite difficult circumstances, they are usually lauded for their accomplishments. However, overcoming adversity may have a hidden physiological cost, especially for minority youth.

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Genetics of host plants determine what microorganisms they attract

Plants often develop communities with microorganisms in their roots, which influences plant health and development. Although the recruitment of these microbes is dictated by several factors, it is unclear whether the genetic variation in the host plants plays a role. In a new study, researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign explored this question and their work can help improve agriculture productivity. 

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New genetic vulnerability to herbicide found in nearly 50 sweet and field corn lines

When a sweet corn breeder reached out in 2021 to report severe injury from the herbicide tolpyralate, Marty Williams hoped it was a fluke isolated to a single inbred line.

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Study: Extreme rainfall increases ag nutrient runoff, conservation strategies can help

Nutrient runoff from agricultural production is a significant source of water pollution in the U.S., and climate change that produces extreme weather events is likely to exacerbate the problem.

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