Breaking science news and articles on global warming, extrasolar planets, stem cells, bird flu, autism, nanotechnology, dinosaurs, evolution -- the latest discoveries in astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, climate and environment, computers, engineering, health and medicine, math, physics, psychology, technology, and more -- from the world's leading universities and research organizations.
Updated: 3 hours 27 min ago
A new molecular circuit that controls longevity in yeast and more complex organisms has been identified by a study. Researchers also suggest a therapeutic intervention that could mimic the lifespan-enhancing effect of caloric restriction, no dietary restrictions necessary. The team looked for answers in the ISW2 protein, and found that its absence alters gene expression involved in DNA damage protection. Deletion of ISW2 increases the expression and activity of genes in DNA-damage repair pathways –- also seen in calorie restriction.
A subset of immune cells directly target colon cancers, rather than the immune system, giving the cells the aggressive properties of cancer stem cells, a new study finds. The researchers discovered that an epigenetic factor called DOT1L is regulated by IL-22, contributing to the cells developing stem cell properties. High levels of DOT1L in patient tumor samples were tied to shorter survival. The researchers suggest DOT1L may be a marker for colon cancer progression, and that this pathway could potentially be targeted in new colon cancer treatments.
Field work in the cloud forests of Ecuador has resulted in the discovery of 24 new species of Aleiodes wasps that mummify caterpillars. Among the 24 new insect species described by Shimbori and Shaw, several were named after famous people including the comedians and television hosts Jimmy Fallon, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as the Ecuadorian artist Eduardo Kingman, American poet Robert Frost, and Colombian singer and musician, Shakira.
The majority of juvenile bird deaths occur in the first three weeks after they leave the nest, a researcher has found. "Just like teenagers leaving home to live on their own for the first time, these juvenile birds are inexperienced and vulnerable to the outside world," said one researcher. "It is important for conservationists to find ways to provide the right habitats for these birds to survive during what is an important, yet vulnerable, time in their development."
Important new insights into the role carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play in tumor biology have been discovered by researchers. A number of recent studies have revealed CAFs to be a major contributor to tumor progression through a variety of mechanisms. Despite this information, the precise role CAFs play in augmenting the growth of tumors is still poorly understood.
A naturally occurring fungus might help curb the spread of an invasive tree species that is threatening forests in most of the United States, according to researchers. Researchers tested the fungus -- Verticillium nonalfalfae -- by injecting it into tree-of-heaven, or Ailanthus, plots. The treatment completely eradicated the tree-of-heaven plants in those forests.
The first method for generating specific and inheritable mutations in the species of the Platynereis model system has been revealed by researchers. The researchers found out that the induced mutations are heritable, demonstrating that TALENs can be used for generating mutant lines in this bristle worm. "This new tool opens the door for detailed in vivo functional analyses in Platynereis and can also facilitate further technical developments. For example, we hope to use TALENs to insert fluorescent reporter genes into the genome. In this way we can study how gene expression is regulated across the entire lifecycle," explains the study's first author.
A newly discovered grasshopper now bears the name of Grammy-award winning singer and activist Ana Lila Downs Sanchez. The scientists named the new species discovered on the side of a mountain road near Oaxaca, Mexico, after the Mexican-American singer as a nod to her efforts to preserve indigenous culture and penchant for wearing colorful, local costumes as part of her performances.
For the first time scientists have decrypted the interaction network of hepatitis C virus proteins in living human cells. Their findings will contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind inflammatory liver disease caused by hepatitis C viruses and open up new avenues for therapy development.
The Eurovision song contest has led to speculations of tactical voting, discriminating against some participants and inducing bias in the final results. Analysis of patterns over two decades has found that voting is more likely to be driven by positive loyalties based on culture, geography, history and migration.
One of the problems with getting kids to eat more healthful foods has been pinpointed by research: Children reject nourishing fare simply because they know it is good for them, and once they know that, they assume the food won't taste good. "Our study focused on very young children, and we should keep in mind that older children might rely less on taste when making food decisions due to higher self-control," said one author. "On the other hand, we all know teenagers who only eat six foods, so it could turn out that their thinking is similar to their younger counterparts."
Cruciferous plants use a sophisticated defense system, known as the mustard oil bomb, to get rid of their enemies: If plant tissues are wounded, glucosinolates and an enzyme known as myrosinase come into contact, and, as a result, toxic metabolites are formed which deter most insects. This mechanism, however, has no negative effect on flea beetles, according to scientists. Flea beetles are even able to sequester glucosinolates without the mustard oil bomb being set off by the plant's enzyme.
A research team using tunable luminescent nanocrystals as tags to advance medical and security imaging have successfully applied them to high-speed scanning technology and detected multiple viruses within minutes.
Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year. In 2004, scientists discovered a lost shipping container almost 1,300 meters below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In the first-ever survey of its kind, researchers recently described how deep-sea animal communities on and around the container differed from those in surrounding areas.
Women who received collaborative care for depression at an obstetrics and gynecology clinic showed fewer symptoms after treatment than women receiving usual depression care in the same setting, research has found. In this model, the patient's physician, a mental health professional, and a depression manager work together with the patient. The collaborative approach comprises counseling, greater patient engagement, and more frequent followup than is typical of mental health care at specialty clinics.
Common drug restores blood flow in deadly form of muscular dystrophy: Results from 10-patient case study
Researchers have found that a commonly prescribed drug restores blood flow to oxygen-starved muscles of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle-wasting disease that rarely is seen in girls but affects one in 3,500 male babies, profoundly shortening life expectancy. It is the most common fatal disease that affects children.
The banana-like curve of the bacteria Caulobacter crescentus provides stability and helps them flourish as a group in the moving water they experience in nature, researchers have discovered. The findings suggest a new way of studying the evolution of bacteria that emphasizes using naturalistic settings.
Planar 99mTc-labeled RBC scintigraphy is sensitive for detection of acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding but its accuracy for localization of a bleeding source is arguable, particularly in patients with complex GI anatomy from prior surgeries.
Homemade, inexpensive stink bug traps crafted from simple household items outshine pricier models designed to kill the invasive, annoying bugs, research shows. This discovery comes just as warm weather is coaxing the critters out of crevices of homes they were hiding in during the cold winter and homeowners will be looking for a way to get rid of the pest.
New experiments on mice show that mouse mothers can protect their pups from developing type 1 diabetes by eating a gluten-free diet. According to preliminary studies by researchers, the findings may apply to humans. "Preliminary tests show that a gluten-free diet in humans has a positive effect on children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. We therefore hope that a gluten-free diet during pregnancy and lactation may be enough to protect high-risk children from developing diabetes later in life," said one investigator.