Category: News

* Common colon cancer tumor type blocked in mice

A new scientific study has identified why colorectal cancer cells depend on a specific nutrient, and a way to starve them of it. Over one million men and women are living with colorectal cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates 4.5% of all men and women will be diagnosed with the cancer […]

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* Nottingham Dollies prove cloned sheep can live long and healthy lives

Three weeks after the scientific world marked the 20th anniversary of the birth of Dolly the sheep new research, published by The University of Nottingham, in the academic journal Nature Communications has shown that four clones derived from the same cell line — genomic copies of Dolly — reached their 8th birthdays in good health. […]

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Sexual rivalry may drive frog reproductive behaviors

It may be hard to imagine competing over who gets to kiss a frog, but when it comes to mating, a new study concludes that some frogs have moved out of the pond onto land to make it easier for the male in the pair to give sexual rivals the slip. Biologists have long thought […]

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Seeing structure that allows brain cells to communicate

For more than a century, neuroscientists have known that nerve cells talk to one another across the small gaps between them, a process known as synaptic transmission (synapses are the connections between neurons). Information is carried from one cell to the other by neurotransmitters such as glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin, which activate receptors on the […]

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* Warnings of imminent extinction crisis for largest wild animal species

A team of conservation biologists is calling for a worldwide strategy to prevent the unthinkable: the extinction of the world’s largest mammal species. In a public declaration published in today’s edition of the journal BioScience, a group of more than 40 conservation scientists and other experts are calling for a coordinated global plan to prevent […]

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Should the gray wolf keep its endangered species protection?

Research by UCLA biologists published today in the journal Science Advances presents strong evidence that the scientific reason advanced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act is incorrect. A key justification for protection of the gray wolf under the act was that its […]

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Songbirds’ epic migrations connected to a small cluster of genes

Scientists from the University of British Columbia have shown that there is a genetic basis to the migratory routes flown by songbirds, and have narrowed in on a relatively small cluster of genes that may govern the behaviour. “It’s amazing that the routes and timing of such complex behaviour could be genetically determined and associated […]

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Why brain neurons in Parkinson’s disease stop benefiting from levodopa

Though the drug levodopa can dramatically improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms, within five years one-half of the patients using L-DOPA develop an irreversible condition — involuntary repetitive, rapid and jerky movements. This abnormal motor behavior appears only while taking L-DOPA, and it stops if the drug is stopped. However, if L-DOPA is taken again, even many […]

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Tooth wear sheds light on the feeding habits of ancient elephant relatives

How can we ever know what ancient animals ate? For the first time, the changing diets of elephants in the last two million years in China have been reconstructed, using a technique based on analysis of the surface textures of their teeth. The work was carried out by a University of Bristol student, working with […]

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* Scientists warn about health of English bulldog

According to new research it could be difficult to improve the health of the English bulldog, one of the world’s unhealthiest dog breeds, from within its existing gene pool. The findings will be published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. The English bulldog’s limited genetic diversity could minimize the ability of breeders […]

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Scientists grow mini human brains

Scientists in Singapore have made a big leap on research on the ‘mini-brain’. These advanced mini versions of the human midbrain will help researchers develop treatments and conduct other studies into Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and aging-related brain diseases. These mini midbrain versions are three-dimensional miniature tissues that are grown in the laboratory and they have […]

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Scientists identify immunological profiles of people who make powerful HIV antibodies

People living with HIV who naturally produce broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that may help suppress the virus have different immunological profiles than people who do not, researchers report. While bNAbs cannot completely clear HIV infections in people who have already acquired the virus, many scientists believe a successful preventive HIV vaccine must induce bNAbs. The […]

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Financial cycles of acquisition and ‘buybacks’ threaten public access to breakthrough drugs

New research on the financial practices surrounding a ‘wonder drug’ with a more than 90% cure rate for hepatitis C — a blood-borne infection that damages the liver over many years — shows how this medical breakthrough, developed with the help of public funding, was acquired by a major pharmaceutical company following a late-stage bidding […]

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Hybrid treatment hunts down and kills leukemia cells

Researchers at UC Davis and Ionis Pharmaceuticals have developed a hybrid treatment that harnesses a monoclonal antibody to deliver antisense DNA to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells and that may lead to less toxic treatments for the disease. The study, published in the journal Molecular Medicine, demonstrated that once delivered, the therapeutic DNA reduced levels […]

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Parasitic infection may have spoiled zebrafish experiments

A common parasite that infects laboratory zebrafish may have been confounding the results of years of behavioural experiments, researchers say – but critics say the case isn’t proven. Like the rat, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) is used in labs worldwide to study everything from the effects of drugs, to genetic diseases and disorders such as […]

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* Human nose holds novel antibiotic effective against multiresistant pathogens

A potential lifesaver lies unrecognized in the human body: Scientists at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have discovered that Staphylococcus lugdunensis which colonizes in the human nose produces a previously unknown antibiotic. As tests on mice have shown, the substance which has been named Lugdunin is able to […]

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Labrador study offers vets clues on why dogs’ tails lose their wag

A painful condition that affects dogs’ tails may be more common than previously thought, a study suggests. The research offers clues to potential causes of the illness — known as limber tail — which mostly affects larger working dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers. Researchers say their findings are the first step towards preventing the […]

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How birds soar to great heights

Migratory birds often use warm, rising atmospheric currents to gain height with little energy expenditure when flying over long distances. It’s a behavior known as thermal soaring that requires complex decision-making within the turbulent environment of a rising column of warm air from the sun baked surface of the earth. But exactly how birds navigate […]

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Why is cocaine so addictive? Study using animal model provides clues

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are one step closer to understanding what causes cocaine to be so addictive. The research findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Cocaine addiction is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects more than 700,000 people in the United States alone, according to the […]

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What can a sea-lion teach us about musicality?

Ronan the sea lion can keep the beat better than any other animal, a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found out more. Whether it is Mozart, Hendrix, Miles Davis, or tribal drumming, few activities feel as uniquely human as music. And, indeed, for a long time, most scientists believed that Homo sapiens was the […]

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Shorter telomeres reveal stress in migratory birds

The stress of birds’ continent-spanning annual migrations, it appears, leads to faster aging and a potentially earlier death. A new study in The Auk: Ornithological Advances reveals that telomeres, structures on the ends of chromosomes that shorten with age, are shorter in migratory birds than in their non-migratory counterparts. Migration lets birds take advantage of […]

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DNA’s dynamic nature makes it well-suited to serve as the blueprint of life

A new study could explain why DNA and not RNA, its older chemical cousin, is the main repository of genetic information. The DNA double helix is a more forgiving molecule that can contort itself into different shapes to absorb chemical damage to the basic building blocks — A, G, C and T — of genetic […]

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* Desert elephants pass on knowledge — not mutations — to survive

Despite reported differences in appearance and behavior, DNA evidence finds that Namibian desert elephants share the same DNA as African savanna elephants. However, Namibian desert-dwelling elephants should be protected so they can continue to pass on their unique knowledge and survival skills to future generations. “The ability of species such as elephants to learn and […]

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* Can you teach koalas new tricks?

In a paper titled Using complementary remote detection methods for retrofitted eco-passages: a case study for monitoring individual koalas in south-east Queensland published by the CSIRO on Tuesday (July 26), the Environmental Futures Research Institute team verified 130 crossings by koalas involving a retrofitted structure or a road surface over a 30-month period. Professor Darryl […]

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A study led by researchers at The University of Nottingham has discovered that the fertility of dogs may have suffered a sharp decline over the past three decades

The research, published in the academic journal Scientific Reports, found that sperm quality in a population of stud dogs studied over a 26-year period had fallen significantly. The work has highlighted a potential link to environmental contaminants, after they were able to demonstrate that chemicals found in the sperm and testes of adult dogs — […]

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An hour of moderate exercise a day enough to counter health risks from prolonged sitting

The health risks associated with sitting for eight or more hours a day — whether at work, home or commuting — can be eliminated with an hour or more of physical activity a day, according to a study from an international team of researchers. Ever since a study back in 1953 discovered that London bus […]

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How birds unlock their super-sense, ultraviolet vision

The ability of finches, sparrows, and many other birds to see a visual world hidden to us is explained in a study published in the journal eLife. Birds can be divided into those that can see ultraviolet (UV) light and those that cannot. Those that can live in a sensory world apart, able to transmit […]

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Scavenger crows provide public service, research shows

Crows are performing a useful function and keeping our environment free from rotting carcasses, research carried out at the University of Exeter in Cornwall has discovered. Using motion activated cameras in and around Falmouth and the University’s Penryn Campus, Cornwall, ecologists observed what happened to experimental rat carcasses which they placed under view. The researchers […]

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Scientists move closer to developing therapeutic window to the brain

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside are bringing their idea for a ‘Window to the Brain’ transparent skull implant closer to reality through the findings of two studies that are forthcoming in the journals Lasers in Surgery and Medicine and Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. The implant under development, which literally provides a ‘window […]

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Ravens learn best from their affiliates

Transmission of information from one individual to another forms the basis of long-term traditions and culture, and is critical in adjusting to changing environmental conditions. Animals frequently observe each other to learn about food, predators and their social environment. The study fills an important gap in our understanding of how different types of social connections […]

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