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To sea or not to sea: When it comes to salmon sex, size sometimes doesn't matter

The ones that stay and the ones that stray are biological puzzles among Pacific salmon, of whom the vast majority ?but not all ?travel thousands of miles to sea and back to the streams where they hatched. . .. Just p...

What the eye doesn't see

The first experimental evidence that birds can be deceived by camouflage in the same way that humans are deceived, is published today in Nature [3 March 2005]. .. . Innovative research from the University of Bristol provides the strongest e...

DOE JGI launches IMG public online microbial genome data clearinghouse

As the microbial world comes to light through DNA sequencing, the new Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) will deliver valuable information for the benefit of the global research community. .. "The IMG system is an essential enhancement to the computational toolkit supported by DOE," said Dr. Aristides A. Pa...

Columbia study shows widely used artery clearing device does not help patients during heart attack

Interventional cardiologists from Columbia University Medical Center have shown that a commonly used procedure to remove fatty debris from blocked arteries during a heart attack does not improve patient outcomes. .. The procedure, called distal microcirculatory protection, is commonly and successfully used during angioplasty in vein grafts and stenting in carotid arteries. The study, published in...

Does vitamin C help prevent or treat the common cold? Maybe not, after all.

Linus Pauling's book Vitamin C and The Common Cold, published in 1970, was a bestseller and led many people to believe in the value of the vitamin for cold prevention and treatment. But an article in this month's PLoS Medicine reviewing all of the best clinical research on this topic, suggests that the public's enthusiasm for the vitamin may be unjustified. . Robert M Douglas of the Australian Na...

How exactly does the brain control breathing?

An understanding of exactly how the brain controls breathing is fundamental to the treatment of respiratory disorders. We know that breathing is an automatic rhythmic process that persists without conscious effort whether we are awake or asleep, but the question that has intrigued many scientists for well over 100 years is what maintains this almost fail safe vital rhythm throughout life? . Exper...

DOE's Office of Science sets up program to aid scientists displaced by Hurricane Katrina

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science has established a program to assist scientists displaced by the effects of Hurricane Katrina. . .. "The Office of Science would like to help in the effort t...

Does manganese inhaled from the shower represent a public health threat?

.. . "If our results are confirmed, they could have profound implications for the nation and the world," said John Spangler, M.D., an asso...

How does Mycobacterium tuberculosis infect the lung?

Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common major infectious disease today. It is estimated that two billion people--or one-third of the world's population--are chronically infected without active symptoms. Nine million new cases of active disease are diagnosed annually, resulting in two million deaths. TB is predominantly a lung disease. It is caused by a microbe called Mycobacterium tuberculosis which...

How does the brain know what the right hand is doing?

A new experiment has shed more light on the multi-decade debate about how the brain knows where limbs are without looking at them. . .. (2) the inflow hypothesis suggests that the brain relies on information from sensors within tissu...

Study finds evolution doesn't always favor bigger animals

Biologists have long believed that bigger is better when it comes to body size, since many lineages of animals, from horses to dinosaurs, have evolved into larger species over time. . .. The scientists found that populations of tiny crustaceans retrieved from deep-sea sediments over the past 40 million years grew bigger and evolved into lar...

Molecule does more than slice and dice RNA

A team of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists has peeled back some of the mystery of how cells are able to turn off genes selectively to control critical events of development. The new insights arise from the first clear molecular images of the structure of Dicer, an enzyme that enables cells to dissect genetic material precisely. . The finding, which is reported in the January 13,...

Does father know best?

A study forthcoming in the June 2006 issue of Current Anthropology sheds new light a contentious issue: How accurate are men's suspicions of whether or not they are a child's biological father? Some studies have suggested that up to 10 percent of fathers are not the biological parents of their alleged child, but little is known about how this differs across cultures and to what extent men's pate...

Losing sleep undoes the rejuvenating effects new learning has on the brain

As the pace of life quickens and it becomes harder to balance home and work, many people meet their obligations by getting less sleep. . .. A team of researchers from the University of California and Stanford University...

Suicide risk does not increase when adults start using antidepressants, study finds

The risk of serious suicide attempts or death by suicide generally decreases in the weeks after patients start taking antidepressant medication, according to a new study led by Group Health Cooperative researchers and published in the January issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry. The study also found that the risk of suicidal behavior after starting 10 newer antidepressant medications is l...

DOE JGI releases IMG 1.5 with curated archaeal genomes

Version 1.5 of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system of the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) has been released to the public. IMG 1.5 now contains a total of 741 genomes (435 bacterial, 32 archaeal, 15 eukaryotic genomes and 259 bacterial phages) of which 602 are finished and 139 are draft genomes. . IMG 1.5 contains 62 finished and 100 draft ge...

DOE JGI sequences, releases genome of symbiotic tree fungus

The DNA sequence of Laccaria bicolor, a fungus that forms a beneficial symbiosis with trees and inhabits one of the most ecologically and commercially important microbial niches in North American and Eurasian forests, has been determined by the U.S. Department of Energy DOE Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI). The complete Laccaria genome sequence was announced July 23 at the Fifth International Co...

Tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention does not benefit most women

Most women at high risk for breast cancer do not increase their life expectancy by taking the drug tamoxifen, according to a new analysis by researchers from UC Davis, UCSF, the University of Pittsburgh and McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In addition, the researchers showed that tamoxifen is an extraordinarily expensive cancer-prevention strategy, costing as much as $1.3 million per year...

DOE JGI finishes 100th microbial genome

Microbes, thriving in even the world's most extreme environments, are capable of performing myriad biological functions, learned over the billions of years they have inhabited the planet. Those lessons, and how they can be captured to render clean renewable sources of energy and to repair damaged environments, are among the many secrets encoded in their DNA sequence. On May 23, at the general m...

DOE publishes research roadmap for developing cleaner fuels

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released an ambitious new research agenda for the development of cellulosic ethanol as an alternative to gasoline. The 200-page scientific "roadmap" cites recent advances in biotechnology that have made cost-effective production of ethanol from cellulose, or inedible plant fiber, an attainable goal. The report outlines a detailed research plan for devel...

How many genes does it take to learn? Lessons from sea slugs

Scientists analyzing the genomics of a marine snail have gotten an unprecedented look at brain mechanisms, discovering that the neural processes in even a simple sea creature are far from sluggish. . At any given time within just a single brain cell of sea slug known as Aplysia, more than 10,000 genes are active, according to scientists writing in Friday's (Dec. 29, 2006) edition of the journal...

How does a zebrafish grow a new tail?

If a zebrafish loses a chunk of its tail fin, it'll grow back within a week. Like lizards, newts, and frogs, a zebrafish can replace surprisingly complex body parts. A tail fin, for example, has many different types of cells and is a very intricate structure. It is the fish version of an arm or leg. . The question of how cold-blooded animals re-grow missing tails and other appendages has fascinat...

Does natural selection drive the evolution of cancer?

The dynamics of evolution are fully in play within the environment of a tumor, just as they are in forests and meadows, oceans and streams. This is the view of researchers in an emerging cross-disciplinary field that brings the thinking of ecologists and evolutionary biologists to bear on cancer biology. . .. A review by researchers at The Wistar Institute of current research in this new field,...

Does missing gene point to nocturnal existence for early mammals?

A gene that makes cells in the eye receptive to light is missing in humans, researchers have discovered. . .. .. "The classical view of how the eye sees is t...

What does the public really know about HPV?

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States, and certain "high risk" types have been shown to cause cervical cancer. Despite recent advances in the detection and prevention of HPV, the link between the virus and cervical cancer is not well known to the public. In June 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first vaccin...

'Failed' experiment yields a biocontrol agent that doesn't trigger antibiotic resistance

MADISON - A failed experiment turned out to be anything but for bacteriologist Marcin Filutowicz. . .. The discovery also led to the startup of a promising new biotechnology firm that has already brought Wisconsin a dozen new, high-paying, highly skilled jobs. Filutowicz is a professor of bacteriology in the University of Wisconsin-Madis...

How does your brain tell time?

"Time" is the most popular noun in the English language, yet how would we tell time if we didn’t have access to the plethora of watches, clocks and cell phones at our disposal? . .. "The value of this research lies in understanding how the brain works," said Dean Buonomano, ass...

Does evolution select for faster evolvers?

It's a mystery why the speed and complexity of evolution appear to increase with time. For example, the fossil record indicates that single-celled life first appeared about 3.5 billion years ago, and it then took about 2.5 billion more years for multi-cellular life to evolve. That leaves just a billion years or so for the evolution of the diverse menagerie of plants, mammals, insects, birds and o...

Does a peptide affect the heart's response to social isolation?

A team of researchers investigating the effects of oxytocin, a peptide produced by the brain that regulates social behavior, has found that it can prevent detrimental cardiac responses in adult female animals exposed to social isolation. The findings may provide further insight into how these mechanisms affect humans. . The study was conducted by Angela J. Grippo, C. Sue Carter and Stephen W. Po...

UCLA: How does your brain respond when you think about gambling or taking risks?

Should you leave your comfortable job for one that pays better but is less secure? Should you have a surgery that is likely to extend your life but poses some risk that you will not survive the operation? Should you invest in a risky startup company whose stock may soar even though you could lose your entire investment? In the Jan. 26 issue of the journal Science, UCLA psychologists present the f...

Latest advances in DNA sequencing highlighted at DOE Joint Genome Institute User Meeting

Four hundred researchers tapping the massive flow of DNA sequence information will gather March 28-30 to share their recent developments at the 2nd Annual U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) User Meeting. DOE JGI is the world's only user facility dedicated to making high-throughput DNA sequencing available to a diverse research community and individual investigators who oth...

Does God answer prayer? ASU research says 'yes'

Does God or some other type of transcendent entity answer prayer? . .. “There have been a number...

Why doesn't the immune system attack the small intestine?

Answering one of the oldest questions in human physiology, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered why the body's immune system - perpetually on guard against foreign microbes like bacteria ?doesn't attack tissues in the small intestine that harbor millions of bacteria cells. . In a study in the February issue of Nature Immunology, and which is currently available on the journ...

Misusing vitamin to foil drug test may be toxic; plus, it doesn't work

Taking excessive doses of a common vitamin in an attempt to defeat drug screening tests may send the user to the hospital—or worse. . .. Both adult patients suffered skin irritation, while both adolescents had potentially life-threatening reactions, including liver toxicity and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar...

Vitamins: Science doesn't always match policy

Some one hundred years after the first vitamin was named, what is known about them has not translated into beneficial, standardized recommendations for public health, says Irwin Rosenberg, MD, University Professor, and director of the Nutrition and Neurocognition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. Based on his presentation at the...

DOE JGI sets 'gold standard' for metagenomic data analysis

With the advent of more powerful and economical DNA sequencing technologies, gene discovery and characterization is transitioning from single-organism studies to revealing the potential biotechnology applications embedded in communities of microbial genomes, or metagenomes. The field of metagenomics is still in its infancy -- the equivalent of the early days of the California Gold Rush, with lab...

Does amateur boxing cause brain damage?

Blows to the head in amateur boxing appear to cause brain damage, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 ?May 5, 2007. . .. For the study, researchers used lumbar puncture to determine if there were elevated levels of bioc...
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