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As participation in high-demand sports such as basketball and soccer has increased over the past decade, so has the number of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in teens and young. The ACL is a critical ligament that stabilizes the knee joint. An ACL injury, one of the most common sports injuries affecting approximately 200,000 Americans each year, often requires surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
If you are sending Mother's Day flowers to your mom this weekend, chances are you opted for guaranteed delivery: the promise that they will arrive by a certain time. Should the flowers not arrive in time, you will likely feel betrayed by the sender for breaking their promise. But if they arrive earlier, you likely will be no happier than if they arrive on time, according to new research.
Some immune cells turn themselves off by producing a steroid, researchers have found. The findings have implications for the study of cancers, autoimmune diseases and parasitic infections. "We were really surprised to see that these immune cells are producing a steroid. In cell culture, we see that the steroids play a part in regulating T cell proliferation," says the study's designer. "We had already seen that T-helper cells were producing steroids, but initially we were blind -- what was going on?"
Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and infrared telescopes, astronomers have made an important advance in the understanding of how clusters of stars come into being. Researchers studied two clusters where sun-like stars currently are forming -- NGC 2024, located in the center of the Flame Nebula, and the Orion Nebula Cluster. From this study, they discovered the stars on the outskirts of the clusters actually are the oldest.
Microscopes don't exactly lie, but they have limitations. Scanning electron microscopes can't see electrical insulators, and their high energies can actually damage some types of samples. Researchers have now built the first low-energy focused ion beam (FIB) microscope using lithium. The team's new approach opens up the possibility of creating a whole category of FIBs using any one of up to 20 different elements, greatly increasing the options for imaging, sculpting or characterizing materials.
The polar bear diverged from the brown bear, or grizzly, as recently as several hundred thousand years ago, according to a genome comparison by American, Chinese and Danish researchers. They pinpointed genes that underwent extreme selection over time, specifically genes that deal with fat metabolism and apparently allowed the bear to adapt to a diet unusually high in fat. These genes could provide clues to help humans deal with health problems caused by high-fat diets.
Spurt of heart muscle cell division seen in mice well after birth: Implications for repair of congenital heart defects
The entire heart muscle in young children may be capable of regeneration. In young mice 15 days old, cardiac muscle cells undergo a precisely timed spurt of cell division lasting around a day. This previously unobserved phenomenon contradicts the long-held idea that cardiac muscle cells do not divide after the first few days of life.
After cancer spreads, finding and destroying malignant cells that circulate in the body is usually critical to patient survival. Now, researchers report that they have developed a new method that allows investigators to label and track single tumor cells circulating in the blood. This advance could help investigators develop a better understanding of cancer spread and how to stop it.
The largest metagenomic search for antibiotic resistance genes in the DNA sequences of microbial communities from around the globe has found that bacteria carrying those vexing genes turn up everywhere in nature that scientists look for them. The findings add to evidence showing just how common and abundant those resistance genes really are in natural environments.
Most of us have probably felt that lasting sense of anxiety or even pain after enduring some kind of accident or injury. Now, researchers have the first evidence in any animal that there may be a very good reason for that kind of heightened sensitivity. Squid that behave with extra vigilance after experiencing even a minor injury are more likely to live to see another day, according to a report.
A variant of the gene KLOTHO is known for its anti-aging effects in people fortunate enough to carry one copy. Now researchers find that it also has benefits when it comes to brain function. The variant appears to lend beneficial cognitive effects by increasing overall levels of KLOTHO in the bloodstream and brain.
Scientists are laying the foundation for the extremely controversial topic of building the proposed Pebble Mine just miles away from Bristol Bay, Alaska. When referring to Alaska as the last great frontier, Bristol Bay is what would come to mind. It is 40,000 square miles teaming with caribou, wolves, moose, and, most importantly, salmon.
An old idea of retreating lung tumors with radiation is new again, especially with the technological advances seen in radiation oncology over the last decade. “One of the toughest challenges of lung cancer is what to do for patients when the cancer comes back in an area that’s been treated previously with radiation treatment,” said the lead author. “With some of the technological advances in radiation treatments that have occurred in the last five to 10 years, we’re beginning to re-look at the issue and ask – can we target the radiation precisely enough and with a high enough dose to knock the cancer back?”
What is the secret to aging more slowly and living longer? Not antioxidants, apparently. Many people believe that free radicals, the sometimes-toxic molecules produced by our bodies as we process oxygen, are the culprit behind aging. Yet a number of studies in recent years have produced evidence that the opposite may be true. A team of researchers discovered that free radicals -- also known as oxidants -- act on a molecular mechanism that, in other circumstances, tells a cell to kill itself.
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.