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Immunology of the Gut Mucosa is a 3-D animation that explores the role of the gut mucosa in the immune response. The gut mucosa is the innermost layer in the gut. The video looks at how this layer protects us against food-borne pathogens, and what happens when the system gets out of whack. It illuminates the inner workings of the gut mucosa as a defense mechanism for the body, to provide people with a greater appreciation for the complex processes involved, and a better understanding of why food-borne allergies occur.

This entry was a winner in the newly renamed science and engineering visualization challenge: The Vizzies.

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Credit: Doug Huff and Elizabeth Anderson, Arkitek Studios; Zoltan Fehervari, Nature Immunology; Simon Fenwick, Nature Reviews

Do you love animating data, creating science apps, or taking macrophotographs? In the 2014 Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Popular Science, your handiwork can receive its due glory and win you cash prizes. Find out more here.

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A team of mathematicians from San Francisco State University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, has used mathematical modeling to uncover new clues to the three-dimensional organization of mitochondrial DNA in trypanosomes.

Trypanosomes are microscopic, unicellular parasites responsible for widespread, fatal diseases including sleeping sickness. This neglected disease, transmitted by the tse-tse fly, threatens millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Its western counterpart, Chagas disease, affects an estimated 8 to 11 million people across North and South America. Read more!

Caption: Network of oriented flat minicirles on a square grid. A tightly packed grid yields high levels of interlocking to form a large network of minicircles. This provides a model for the organization of DNA minicircles in the mitochondria of trypanosomes.
Credit: Javier Arsuaga, San Francisco State University
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Researchers have developed a free iPhone/iPad app to identify the major human-biting tick species found in the eastern U.S. The TickID App allows users to identify different species that are carriers for human diseases and displays ways individuals can protect themselves from the ticks and the diseases they transmit.

TickID

Image: R. Michael Roe, Anirudh Dhammi, Stan Martin, William Blankenship and Joshua Cundiff (NCSU); Daniel E. Sonenshine (ODU)

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Making their home in pitcher plants, W. smithii mosquitoes were among the first organisms to exhibit an evolutionary response to rapid climate change. Current research will advance genetic studies of how organisms respond to changes in daylight when faced with rapid climate change, and increase the understanding of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, encephalitis and malaria. Image: Christina Holzapfel, William Bradshaw

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A honey bee forages on a red ice plant. A study of parasite resistance, by scientists from Pennsylvania State University and the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, could lead to improved strategies for managing honeybee populations worldwide. Photo credit: Daniel R. Schmehl, Penn State University

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A female Tsetse fly from the Aksoy Lab colony at Yale University School of Public Health. Researchers there studied the fly’s interactions with a gut bacterium from which it gets vitamins. Their findings could lead to ways of limiting the transmission of sleeping sickness from the fly to humans and animals. Credit: Geoff Attardo, Yale University

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Scientists have determined the evolutionary timeline for the microscopic parasites that cause one of the world’s most widespread infectious diseases: malaria. Here, we see a colorized electron micrograph of red blood cell infected with malaria parasites (blue). The small bumps on the infected cell show how the parasite remodels its host cell. Uninfected cells (red) have smoother surfaces. Credit: NIAID/RML Learn more at NSF’s website devoted to science outcomes, SEE Innovation.

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Researchers develop mathematical models of the myriad ways cells process information. Computers can use the models to simulate cell behavior and provide important insights into how cells work and what is happening when they don’t work properly. The illustration is of proteins in a cell. Credit: Nicolle Rager, NSF


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By studying the transmission of hundreds of rabies viruses across 23 bat species, scientists have provided some of the first estimates for any infectious disease of how often cross-species disease transmission happens and the likelihood of disease in a new host species.