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South America's vast pantanal wetland may become next everglades, UNU experts warn

South America's giant Pantanal wetlands, one of the world's most bio-diverse ecosystems, is at growing risk from intensive peripheral agricultural, industrial and urban development ?problems expected to be compounded by climate change, United Nations University experts warn. . Covering more than 165,000 square kilometers ?an area roughly equal to Florida ?in the heart of South America, the Pantan...

First North American Encapsulated Islet Transplant without Long-term Immune Suppression into a Patient with Type 1 Diabetes

Biologists at the University of Liverpool have discovered how the plagues of the Middle Ages have made around 10% of Europeans resistant to HIV. Scientists have known for some time that these individuals carry a genetic mutation (known as CCR5-delta32) that prevents the virus from entering the cells of the immune system but have been unable to account for the high levels of the gene in Scandinavi...

Health costs soar as 60 million Americans classed as obese

A new method for manipulating macromolecules has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The technique uses double-stranded DNA to direct the behavior of other molecules. .. In previous DNA nanotechnology efforts, duplex DNA has been used as a static lattice to construct geometrical objects in three dimensions. Instead of manipulating DNA alone into such s...

Discovery of an American salamander where it shouldn't be: Korea

Imagine discovering pandas in California or kangaroos in Argentina. .. . "I've discovered and named nearly 50 species of salamanders - more than 10 percent of the total in the world. I've discovered new genera in Guatemala and Cost Rica. But this...

Drug resistant avian influenza viruses more common in Southeast Asia than North America

Analysis of a key protein in different subtypes of avian flu viruses shows that resistance to the antiviral drug amantadine in H5N1 occurs worldwide, but is especially prevalent in China, according to St. Jude .. . The St. Jude team reached this conclusion by analyzing sequence data of the so-called M2 protein of avian influenza viruses of d...

Proposal would allow wild animals to roam North America

If Cornell University researchers and their colleagues have their way, cheetahs, lions, elephants, camels and other large wild animals may soon roam parts of North America. . .. Greene and a number of other highly eminent ecologists and conserv...

DNA traces evolution of extinct sabertooths and the American cheetah-like cat

By performing sequence analysis of ancient DNA, a team of researchers has obtained data that help clarify our view of the evolutionary relationships shared by the large predatory cats that once roamed the prehistoric New World. . .. Toward the end of the last Ice Age, around 13,000 years ago, North and South America were home to a variety of large cats such as the sabertooths (Smilodon and Homoth...

North & South American researchers find architectural abnormalities in T. cruzi ribosome

A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator from Albany, New York, and an HHMI international research scholar from Buenos Aires, Argentina have combined their expertise to identify two peculiar features of the protein-making machinery of the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Their findings could help scientists develop a safe and effective drug for the disease, whose cardiac complications k...

Hunger in America rises by 43 percent over last five years

Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released today. The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. . The USDA report, Household Food Security in the United State...

Newly discovered birdlike dinosaur is oldest raptor ever found in South America

Relative of Velociraptor rewrites evolutionary charts .. The recent discovery of a 90-million-year-old dinosaur in Patagonia demonstrates that dromaeosaurs, a group of carnivorous theropods that includes Velociraptor and is closely related to birds, originated much earlier than previously thought. Rather than originating during the Cretaceous, dromaeosaurs can now be traced back to the Jurassic,...

Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from Asia

Thick-skinned bottle gourds widely used as containers by prehistoric peoples were likely brought to the Americas some 10,000 years ago by individuals who arrived from Asia, according to a new genetic comparison of modern bottle gourds with gourds found at archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. The finding solves a longstanding archaeological enigma by explaining how a domesticated varian...

T-rays: New imaging technology spotlighted by American Chemical Society

T-ray sensing and imaging technology, which can spot cracks in space shuttle foam, see biological agents through a sealed envelope and detect tumors without harmful radiation, was the focus of a recent symposium at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. . at Yale, and Xi-Cheng Zhang, professor and director of the Center for Terahertz Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Ins...

New peptide antibiotic isolated from American oyster

North Carolina Sea Grant researchers have isolated a new peptide antibiotic from the American oyster that may have implications for managing many diseases in oysters. . .. "This peptide may be helpful in selecting disease-resistant oysters for aquaculture and fisheries and may also allow for the development of a test to monitor oyster health," says Ed Noga, pro...

Computers to save unique type of American red squirrel

UK expertise is being exported to North America to help prevent a unique type of red squirrel dying out in as little as 30 years time. . .. .. The Mount Graham Red Squirrel, isolated for the last 10,000 years in a small area of coniferous forest on a mou...

Alcoholism, smoking and genetics among Plains American Indians

Alcoholism and smoking have a high rate of co-occurrence in the general population. Yet little is known about the co-morbidity of alcoholism and smoking among American Indians. In the March issue of . "The shared heritability between smoking and alcoholism, particularly in heavy smokers and heavy drinkers, i...

Parts of the Caribbean and Central America are likely to have less summer rain

Parts of the Caribbean and Central America are likely to experience a significant summer drying trend by the middle of this century, UCLA atmospheric scientists will report in the April 18 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). . Their research is based on an analysis of 10 global climate computer simulations, from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U...

Gene variation increases SIDS risk in African Americans

About five percent of deaths from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in African Americans can be traced to defects in one gene and half of those deaths result from a common genetic variation that increases an infant's risk of developing an abnormal heart rhythm during times of environmental stress, a research team based at the University of Chicago reports in the February 2006 issue of the Journ...

Americans support free access to research

In an online survey of public attitudes conducted recently and released today by Harris Interactive®, 8 out of 10 (82%) adults polled said they believe that "if tax dollars pay for scientific research, people should have free access to the results of the research on the Internet." . .. These findings from the Harris Poll, one of the longest running independent opinion polls in the United States,...

New HIV statistics indicate increasing toll of AIDS on African American community

The country's leading African-American lawmakers, civil rights leaders and medical experts today called on the federal government to adopt and implement a new blueprint to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African-American community. The plan is outlined in a new report, African-Americans, Health Disparities and HIV/AIDS: Recommendations for Confronting the Epidemic in Black America, written by...

American scientist's research of life's first cells

For her research of life's first cells, Irene Chen, a regional winner from North America and the Grand Prize winner, today was named to receive the $25,000 GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists, supported by GE Healthcare and the journal . Chen will receive her award in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, 11 December, during an award ceremony. She will also meet with Nobel Prize winners An...

'Terror bird' arrived in North America before land bridge, study finds

A University of Florida-led study has determined that Titanis walleri, a prehistoric 7-foot-tall flightless "terror bird," arrived in North America from South America long before a land bridge connected the two continents. . UF paleontologist Bruce MacFadden said his team used an established geochemical technique that analyzes rare earth elements in a new application to revise the ages of terror...

Mummy's amazing American maize

The far-reaching influence of Spanish and Portuguese colonisers appears not to have extended to South American agriculture, scientists studying a 1,400-year-old Andean mummy have found. . .. Surprisingly, they found both ancient and modern samples of the crop were genetically almost identical indicating that modern European influence has not been as great as previously thought. ...

Iowa State University botanists identify new species of North American bamboo

Two Iowa State University botanists and their colleague at the University of North Carolina have discovered a new species of North American bamboo in the hills of Appalachia. It is the third known native species of the hardy grass. The other two were discovered more than 200 years ago. . Lynn Clark, Iowa State professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and Ph.D. student Jimmy Tripl...

Hotspots of mercury contamination identified in eastern North America

A US and Canadian research team surveying mercury contamination in fish and birds in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada has identified five "hotspots" where concentrations of the element exceed those established for human or wildlife health. The team focused on levels of the potent neurotoxin in yellow perch and common loons, but it also took into account contamination in othe...

Caribbean frogs started with a single, ancient voyage on a raft from South America

.Massif de la Selle. Nearly all of the 162 land-breeding frog species on Caribbean islands, including the coqui frogs of Puerto Rico, originated from a single frog species that rafted on a sea voyage from South America about 30-to-50-million years ago, according to DNA-sequence analyses led by a research group at Penn State, which will be published in the 12 June 2007 issue of the Proceedings o...
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