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Releasing fish for the future

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries scientists are investigating ways to boost the survival rates of fish caught and then released by anglers. Some guidelines designed to improve fish survival were recently developed for released line-caught snapper, silver trevally, mulloway, sand whiting, yellowfin bream and dusky flathead. The research, costing more than $1.5 million...

Pregnant mom's exposure to flu vaccine kick-starts fetal immune system

Some researchers have hypothesized that the fetus can be exposed to and mount an immune response against allergens to which the mother has been exposed, and this may have an effect on the development of allergic sensitivity (e.g. eczema and asthma) later in an infant’s life. However this hypothesis has remained controversial because of an inability to detect antigen-specific T cells in cord bloo...

Liver cancer patients with high serum levels of hepatitis B virus face poorer outcomes

In the June issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), researchers report their findings from the first-ever study examining the prognostic value of serum HBV DNA levels for patients with liver cancer undergoing chemotherapy. They found that patients with high pre-chemotherapy levels of HBV DNA...

Soils offer new hope as carbon sink

The huge potential of agricultural soils to reduce greenhouse gases and increase production at the same time has been reinforced by new research findings at NSW Department of Primary Industries' (DPI) Wollongbar Agricultural Institute. Trials of agrichar - a product hailed as a saviour of Australia's carbon-depleted soils and the environment - have doubled and, in one case, tripled crop growth...

Math that powers spam filters used to understand how brain learns to move our muscles

A team of biomedical engineers has developed a computer model that makes use of more or less predictable “guesstimates” of human muscle movements to explain how the brain draws on both what it recently learned and what it’s known for some time to anticipate what it needs to develop new motor skills. The engineers, from Johns Hopkins, MIT and Northwestern, exploited the fact that all people...

Threats to wild tigers growing

The wild tiger now occupies a mere 7 percent of its historic range, and the area known to be inhabited by tigers has declined by 41 percent over the past decade, according to an article published in the June 2007 issue of BioScience. Growing trade in folk medicines made from tiger parts and tiger skins, along with habitat loss and fragmentation, is believed to be the chief reason for the losses....

Researchers find 24 species believed new to science in Suriname rainforest

Scientists exploring the remote highlands of eastern Suriname discovered 24 species believed to be new to science, including a frog with florescent purple markings and other amphibians, fish and insects. Presented in a report made public today, the findings from a 2005 expedition led by Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) and a follow-up survey in 2006 demonstrate the v...

Cigarette smoke alters DNA in sperm, genetic damage could pass to offspring

The science has long been clear that smoking causes cancer, but new research shows that children could inherit genetic damage from a father who smokes. Canadian researchers have demonstrated in mice that smoking can cause changes in the DNA sequence of sperm cells, alterations that could potentially be inherited by offspring. The results of their study are published in the June 1 issue of Ca...

Old memory traces in brain may trigger chronic pain

Why do so many people continue to suffer from life-altering, chronic pain long after their injuries have actually healed" The definitive answer -- and an effective treatment -- has long eluded scientists. Traditional analgesic drugs, such as aspirin and morphine derivatives, haven’t worked very well. A Northwestern University researcher has found a key source of chronic pain appears to b...

Gene therapy delivery of nerve growth factors reverses erectile dysfunction in animal model

Rats with erectile dysfunction, or ED, that were injected with a gene therapy vector containing either of two nerve growth factors were able to regain normal function after four weeks, according to a study conducted by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers. These findings are being presented at the 10th annual meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy, which is convening...
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