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Grasping metaphors: UC San Diego research ties brain area to figures of speech

What does it take to fathom a proverb ?catch the figurative meaning of "an apple doesn't fall far from the tree"? .. . Ramachandran and colleagues tested four right-handed patients with damage to the left angular gyrus. Fluent in English and otherwise intelligent and mentally lucid, the patients showed gross defi...

Conserved amino acids play both structural and mechanistic roles in sandwich-like protein

The question of whether amino acids in sandwich-like proteins are there to stabilize the structure or to speed up the protein-folding process is best answered by "all of the above," according to researchers at Rice University in Houston. .. . The Rice scientists studied azurin ?a copper-containing protein essential to electron transfer. Azurin is part of a group...

Sandia completes depleted uranium study

Sandia National Laboratories has completed a two-year study of the potential health effects associated with accidental exposure to depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf War. . .. U.S. and British forces used DU in armor-piercing penetrator bullets to disable enemy tanks during the Gulf and Balkan war...

Scientists find evidence of catastrophic sand avalanches, sea level changes in Gulf of Mexico

Identical twins lose some fundamental similarities as they grow older, a new study reports. . .. .. Scientists think that chemical exposure, dietary h...

Hand sanitizer gel works

Randomized trial finds reduced spread of GI infections in families with children in day careUsing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel significantly reduces the spread of gastrointestinal infections in the home, according to a study in the September issue of Pediatrics. In a study of 292 Greater Boston families -- half of which were given hand sanitizer -- those that used the gel had a 59 percent...

Pulp mill devastates swans' sanctuary in Chile

A recently opened pulp mill in Chile has devastated one of South America's most biologically outstanding wetlands, decimating its famed population of black-necked swans, along with most other bird life, a WWF-led team of investigators said Monday. . "What was probably the largest population of black necked swans in South America has been wiped out in less than a year. It is an environmental cata...

Sangamo BioSciences demonstrates its ZFP treatment protects cells from HIV infection

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. today announced that data from its program to develop a ZFP Therapeutic for HIV/AIDS were presented at the 45th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Washington, DC. The study represents the first demonstration that cells can be made resistant to HIV infection by treatment with Sangamo's proprietary zinc finger DNA-binding pr...

In SAD patients, autumn antidepressants can prevent winter depression

For patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), starting treatment with an antidepressant medication during the fall can reduce the risk of developing depression throughout the fall and winter months, reports a study in the Oct. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry, official journal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, a world-leading scientific and medical publisher....

Portable cocaine sensor developed at UC Santa Barbara

A real-time sensor for detecting cocaine –?made with inexpensive, off-the-shelf electronics –?has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Two local high school students and a Nobel laureate participated in the discovery. The potential applications of the sensor are far-reaching and include bioterrorism detection and important medical uses. . The hig...

Commonly used antidepressants may also affect human immune system

Drugs that treat depression by manipulating the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain may also affect the user's immune system in ways that are not yet understood, say scientists from Georgetown University Medical Center and a Canadian research institute. . That's because the investigators found, for the first time, that serotonin is passed between key cells in the immune system, and that the c...

UC San Diego partners with Venter Institute to build marine microbial genomics cyberinfrastructure

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) will build a state-of-the-art computational resource and develop software tools to decipher the genetic code of communities of microbial life in the world's oceans. . The new resource will help scientists understand how microbes function in their natural ecosystems, enable studies on the effect humans are having on the environment, as...

Zebra finches remember songs dad sang

Researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, believe they have located a place in the brain where songbirds store the memories of their parents' songs. The discovery has implications for humans, because humans and songbirds are among the few animals that learn to vocalize by imitating their caregivers. . In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scien...

Nobelist discovers antidepressant protein in mouse brain

A protein that seems to be pivotal in lifting depression has been discovered by a Nobel Laureate researcher funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). . "Mice deficient in this protein, called p11, display depression-like behaviors, while those with sufficient amounts behave as if they have been treated with antidepressants," explained Paul Greengar...

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...

UC San Diego biologists solve plant growth hormone enigma

Gardeners and farmers have used the plant hormone auxin for decades, but how plants produce and distribute auxin has been a long-standing mystery. Now researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found the solution, which has valuable applications in agriculture. . The study, published in the July 1 issue of the journal Genes and Development, describes the discovery of a whole f...

Sandia work launched on space shuttle shows live cells influence growth of nanostructures

Albuquerque, N.M. -- Far above the heads of Earthlings, arrays of single-cell creatures are circling Earth in nanostructures. . .. Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Ad...

Sandia research to focus on early detection of harmful algal blooms

Sandia National Laboratories researchers Todd Lane and Victoria VanderNoot have been awarded a research grant to develop a technology that can successfully detect deadly toxins from harmful algal blooms (HABs). The funding is provided by the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET), a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA...

Sandia researchers discover way to see how a drug attaches to a cell

Sandia National Laboratories researchers John Shelnutt and Yujiang Song have discovered a better way to see where a drug attaches to a cell through a new process that produces novel hollow platinum nanostructures. . .. .. In their paper Shelnutt and Song describe a new way of producing porous, nanoscopic, hol...

One signal elicits thousands of answers

Cell signaling mechanisms often transmit information via protein modifications, most importantly the reversible attachment of phosphate, the so-called protein phosphorylation. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried have now developed a technology to identify and quantify the specific sites in proteins that get phosphorylated in answer to certain stimuli in living c...

Hundreds of thousands of viral species present in the world's oceans

The ocean is full of life--large, small, and microscopic. Bacteriophage (phage) viruses are minute, self-replicating bundles that alter microorganisms' genetic material and moderate their communities through predation and parasitism. Despite their small size, they are astoundingly abundant with about as many of them in a bucket full of seawater as there are humans on the planet. As a result, they...

Failure to meet United Nations sanitation target could affect millions of the world's poorest

Worldwide, billions of people lack access to a reliable source of safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. To address the problem, the United Nations established the Target 10 initiative, which aims to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. . Target 10 was launched in 2000 as part of the U.N. Millennium Developmen...

Ebola outbreaks killing thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees

Why have large outbreaks of Ebola virus killed tens of thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees over the last decade? Observations published in the May issue of The American Naturalist provide new clues, suggesting that outbreaks may be amplified by Ebola transmission between ape social groups. The study provides hope that newly developed vaccines could control the devastating impact of Ebola on wil...

Sandia researchers take new approach to studying how cells respond to pathogens

A Sandia National Laboratories research team led by Anup Singh is taking a new approach to studying how immune cells respond to pathogens in the first few minutes and hours of exposure. . .. Called the Microscale Immune Studies Laboratory (MISL) Grand Challenge, the work is in its second of three years of funding by the internal Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. Sandia...

Technique monitors thousands of molecules simultaneously

A chemist at Washington University in St. Louis is making molecules the new-fashioned way ?selectively harnessing thousands of minuscule electrodes on a tiny computer chip that do chemical reactions and yield molecules that bind to receptor sites. Kevin Moeller, Ph.D., Washington University professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, is doing this so that the electrodes on the chip can be used...
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