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DNA-barcoded microbial spores can trace origin of objects, agricultural products

Every year, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses, resulting in some 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This public health problem is compounded by billions in economic damage from product recalls, highlighting the need to rapidly and accurately determine the sources of foodborne illnesses.

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Novel switch protein that 'turns on' sperm for fertilization

For a sperm to fertilize an egg, the sperm must first mature in a man's epididymis. Now, an international team of researchers has identified a chain of events in which a protein secreted by the testis travels in the luminal fluid, binds to a receptor on the epididymis to induce its differentiation and secretion of a second protein that matures the sperm and enables each sperm to be motile in females.

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New material, modeling methods promise advances in energy storage

The explosion of mobile electronic devices, electric vehicles, drones and other technologies have driven demand for new lightweight materials that can provide the power to operate them. Researchers from the University of Houston and Texas A&M University have reported a structural supercapacitor electrode made from reduced graphene oxide and aramid nanofiber that is stronger and more versatile than conventional carbon-based electrodes.

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