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Tag: "eco" at biology news

Mouse brain cells rapidly recover after Alzheimer's plaques are cleared

Brain cells in a mouse model of Alzheimer's.disease have surprised scientists with their ability to recuperate.after the disorder's characteristic brain plaques are removed..Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.injected mice with an antibody for a key component of brain plaques,.the amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide. In areas of the brain where.antibodies cleared plaque...

Ecological destruction fuels emerging diseases

The destruction of habitat by human activity and the extinction of species around the world is more than a looming environmental catastrophe, warns a Canadian zoologist. This ecological damage also endangers human health by turning parasites into "evolutionary land mines." .. . "The biodiversity crisis is not just about extinctions," says Dr. Brooks, whose pioneering parasi...

Live Recombinant Adenovirus Vaccine Technique Explored

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are exploring ways to develop new vaccines for a variety of illnesses using genetically modified adenoviruses, a common cause of respiratory infections. Oral adenovirus vaccines have long been proven to be safe and effective. The researchers believe their process for constructing a replicating live recombinant adenovirus could lea...

Dinosaur DNA? New Patent Covers Degraded DNA recovery

The US Patent Office issued Patent # 6,872,552, "A Method of Reconstituting Nucleic Acid Molecules" today to Burt D. Ensley, Ph.D, Chairman of MatrixDesign, and CEO of DermaPlus, Inc. The patent covers methods for recovering and reconstituting genes from "degraded" DNA samples, and could allow scientists to reassemble everything from prehistoric, extinct animals to unsolved crime scenes. . "This...

Spider Venom Could Yield Eco-Friendly Insecticides

Biochemist Glenn King is searching for an alternative to chemical pesticides. King's research on insect-specific neurotoxins focuses on one the world's most efficient insect predators -- spiders. The Blue Mountains funnel-web spider (Hadronyche versuta) -- a large Australian spider with a bite that is deadly to humans and insects -- is an ideal source of venom for King's research. The spider "coo...

Essential mangrove forest threatened by cryptic ecological degradation

The recent killer tsunami has highlighted once more the importance of coastline protection. In natural conditions, this function is taken up by mangroves, forests thriving at the edge of land and sea that are ecologically and socio-economically important for local people in tropical countries on all continents. Using biology, geography, hydrology, socio-economic interviews, and 18th-century histo...

Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have discovered the cause of a deadly type of secondary stroke known as cerebral vasospasm. . .. Vasospasm, says neurology department researcher Joseph Clark, PhD, results from a buildup of toxins caused by bleeding from the initial stroke. "Norma...

DNA Recombination and Repair—A New Twist to RecA Function

Molecular motors harness the energy of ATP (or GTP, a related energy currency) and transform it into mechanical force. Well-known examples of motors include myosin and dynein, proteins that use ATP to ferry intracellular cargo along fibers made of actin or tubulin proteins. The ATP-dependent assembly of actin or tubulin fibers itself can work as a motor: for instance, the march of white blood cel...

Tiny scaffolding allows stem cells to become working fat cells

Researchers here have used a new microscopic, three-dimensional scaffolding to coax mouse stem cells to transform themselves into fat cells, and then to function identical to how fat cells naturally do in the body. . .. This discovery offers hope of a new approach to growing fat tissue for use in breast reconstruction...

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...

Bone Density Recovers After Teens Stop Injected Contraceptive

Lower bone density appears to recover in adolescent females once they stop using the injected contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), according to a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. .. Previous studies had shown that women who use DMPA, marketed under the brand name Depo-Provera, experience a loss of...

DuPont's first biologically derived polymer receives global recognition

DuPont's newest polymer innovation, the first DuPont polymer derived from a biological source, has been recognized by the China State Intellectual Property Office and China Central Television (CCTV) as "Most Visionary Innovation" at a recent award ceremony. .. will receive the 2005 "New Technologies in Renewable Materials and Processes" award at the Global Plastics and Environmental Conference,...

New online portal merges vast data on Gulf of Maine ecosystem

A new online portal consolidates decades of rich marine data, much of it available for the first time, enabling resource managers and scientific researchers to combine and analyze information in unprecedented ways, creating new insights into the Gulf of Maine's ecology. . .. With the collaboration of the Gulf of...

U-M team recovers ancient whale in Egyptian desert

Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have, for the first time, induced a state of reversible metabolic hibernation in mice. This achievement, the first demonstration of "hibernation on demand" in a mammal, ultimately could lead to new ways to treat cancer and prevent injury and death from insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues. . "We are, in essence, temporarily convertin...

Decoding the logic of olfaction

Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have succeeded in mapping the unique patterns of neural activity produced by a wide range of odors, including vanilla, skunk, fish, urine, musk, and chocolate. Revealing these distinct ?but often overlapping ?patterns of neural activity represents a significant step in understanding how the brain translates complex signals from odorant receptor...

Putting ecology back into river restoration

An ambitious plan is under way in the ecological community to agree a set of standards for ecologically successful river restoration. The plan is being led by the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, which this month is publishing a special profile on river restoration. Opening the debate is a paper by 22 leading US river ecologists proposing five criteria for ecologically suc...

Changing ecosystems throw scientists mega-challenges

Accelerating environmental changes have presented humanity with some significant scientific and engineering challenges, according to the new National Science Foundation (NSF) report, Pathways to the Future: Complex Environmental Systems: Synthesis for Earth, Life and Society in the 21st Century. . Among the changes the report cites are rapid shifts in climate and ecosystems, the degradation of fr...

Stanford gut check shows diversity of intestinal ecosystem

The universe of microbes that lives in your stomach may be nearly as unique as your fingerprint, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine who have embarked on the early stages of exploring the intestinal ecosystem. . Using molecular techniques that detect all known types of microbes and borrowing statistical techniques from field ecology and population genetics, Paul...

Low oxygen likely made Great Dying worse, greatly delayed recovery

The biggest mass extinction in Earth history some 251 million years ago was preceded by elevated extinction rates before the main event and was followed by a delayed recovery that lasted for millions of years. New research by two University of Washington scientists suggests that a sharp decline in atmospheric oxygen levels was likely a major reason for both the elevated extinction rates and the v...

Scripps scientists find potential for catastrophic shifts in Pacific ecosystems

Opening the door to a new way of understanding ocean processes and managing and protecting marine resources, a group of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a groundbreaking analysis of the North Pacific Ocean and how dramatic changes can unfold across its waters. . The study, published in the May 19 issue of the journal Natu...

Important discovery about second most fatal cancer

An international team of medical scientists has made an important advance in our understanding of the second most fatal form of cancer in the industrialized world. Professor Jeremy R. Jass, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Gastrointestinal Pathology at McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues in Australia and Japan have shown that in some cases colorectal cancer can be inherited. The new...

Making Sure Sacred Sheep Don't Become Extinct

Animal geneticist Harvey D. Blackburn is responsible for collecting and storing thousands of samples of animal germplasm -- mainly semen and embryos -- to make sure there's enough genetic material to reintroduce a species if necessary. Much of his collection deals with important livestock such as Holstein cattle and Yorkshire pigs. . But one of the collections Blackburn, who is the coordinator of...

Internet viruses help ecologists control invasive species

Studying how computer viruses spread through the internet is helping ecologists to prevent invasions of non-native species. New research published today in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, describes the use of network theory to predict how the spiny water flea - a native of Russia - will spread through the Canadian lake system. .. Ecologists Jim Muirhead and Professor...

An (ecological) origin of species for tropical reef fish

Dealing a new blow to the dominant evolutionary paradigm, Luiz Rocha and colleagues from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Harvard University the University of Florida and the University of Hawaii, report coral reef fish from neighboring habitats may differ more from one another than from fish thousands of miles away. An ecological speciation model for coral reef organisms may spur the...

Scientists use manufacturing methods to reconstruct mastodon

Combining 13,000-year-old bones with 21st century auto manufacturing techniques, scientists and exhibit preparators at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural history are reconstructing a male mastodon skeleton for an exhibit that opens to the public May 21. . Meanwhile, museum visitors can peek through special viewing windows to watch preparators assemble the skeleton, which will be...

Second messenger NAADP shows fast, dose-related impact on satiety cycle

One traditional approach to pharmaceutical design uses so-called "first messengers" ?hormones, other natural facilitators or synthetic products ?to initiate various cellular cascades for the desired physiological effect. To date, despite concerted efforts at all levels of research, this approach has failed to develop a truly successful obesity drug to address this major global health problem. . E...

Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists

Coral reefs damaged in the Asian tsunami tragedy should be allowed to recover naturally before countries launch into expensive restoration plans, according to some of the world's leading scientists. .. . Although the devastation caused by the tsunami was on a much larger scale, the scientists...

UN: World in big ecological mess

The emergence of new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, creation of coastal "dead zones," the collapse of fisheries and shifts in regional climate are just some of the potential consequences of humankind's degradation of the planet's ecosystems, according to a new United Nations-backed report launched today. . Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 year...

Research on antibiotics receives historical recognition

Research leading to the discovery of streptomycin ?the first effective pharmaceutical treatment for tuberculosis ?will be designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark at Rutgers University in a special ceremony in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on May 24. The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, sponsors the landmarks program. . Beginning in the 1930s, Selman Waksman...

Recombinant DNA technology may enable oral, rather than injectable, delivery of protein drugs

Transferrin, a plasma protein found in blood, can be fused with large, protein-based drugs such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to create a new oral compound that is capable of surviving the journey through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and then able to cross over into the bloodstream to be used by the body, according to research from the University of Southern California Schoo...

Combination therapy leads to partial recovery from spinal cord injury in rats

Combining partially differentiated stem cells with gene therapy can promote the growth of new "insulation" around nerve fibers in the damaged spinal cords of rats, a new study shows. The treatment, which mimics the activity of two nerve growth factors, also improves the animals' motor function and electrical conduction from the brain to the leg muscles. The finding may eventually lead to new ways...

Study: Well-known protein helps stem cells become secretory cells

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that a single protein regulates secretion levels in the fruit fly's salivary gland and its skin-like outer layer. .. . The researchers discovered that a protein called CrebA single-handedly controls the entire set of events leading to secretion in the fruit fly's salivary gland and epidermis, its skin-like outer layer.<...

Late peak may have prevented severe flu season from becoming worse

The 2004-2005 flu season was at least as severe as the 2003-2004 season, but peaked later according to data from Solucient, a leading provider of healthcare information. This later peak may have prevented the most recent flu season from being even worse. . A flu season's severity is reflected in hospital admissions for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), one of the most common complications of th...

Scientists take aim at virulent bacteria by decoding machinery of key control enzyme

By deciphering the ingenious mechanism used by a particular enzyme to modify bacterial chromosome chemistry, scientists have come a step closer to designing a new kind of drug that could stop virulent bacterial infections in their tracks. Their research will be published in the May 6 issue of the journal Cell. . Scientists have known for many years that an enzyme called Dam (DNA adenine methyltra...

New insight into autoimmune disease: Bacterial infections promote recognition of self-glycolipids

The immune system is a complex and powerful weapon that provides protection against bacteria and viruses that, if left unchecked, would wreak havoc throughout the human body. The ability of the immune system to recognize the body's own tissues is essential, but sometimes the immune system loses the ability to distinguish "self" from potentially harmful invaders. This can lead to autoimmune diseas...

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Many of 2 billion dryland dwellers at risk as land degrades

Growing desertification worldwide threatens to swell by millions the number of poor forced to seek new homes and livelihoods. And a rising number of large, intense dust storms plaguing many areas menace the health of people even continents away, international experts warn in a new report. . Thick storms rising out of the Gobi Desert affect much of China, Korea and Japan and even reduce air qualit...

Newly recognized gene mutation may reduce seeds, resurrect plants

A mutated plant that seems to return from the dead may hold the secret to how some flora protect their progeny during yield-limiting drought and other stresses, according to Purdue University scientists whose study of the plant led to discovery of a gene. . .. Lipids play a role in preventing plant dehydration in forming cells' membranes, in molecular signa...

Female volunteers prepare for a second 'bedrest'

Twelve women recently completed 60 days of voluntary bedrest in order to simulate the physiological effects of weightlessness on the human body. The research team in Toulouse, France, is now actively seeking twelve new volunteers to enable them to continue and enhance the research. . At the beginning of June, the twelve volunteers from the first phase of the WISE study (Women International Simula...

Space matters: Estimating species diversity in the fossil record

Estimates for the number of living species on earth range from 3.5 million to over 30 million but only 1.9 million species have been classified and described. Estimating historical biodiversity from the fossil record is an even more daunting task. . One tool ecologists - but not paleontologists - have traditionally relied on to identify patterns of existing biological diversity is a long-establis...

Overbearing colored light may reveal a second mechanism by which birds interpret magnetic signals

Magnetic orientation is critical to the migratory success of many bird species. By studying the influence of light on the ability of migratory birds to orient to magnetic signals, researchers have found clues to suggest that birds' orientation abilities may be more complex than previously thought and that birds may be able to interpret magnetic signals by more than one mechanism. The work is repo...
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