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Breaks in Biological News

Fowl soil additive breaks down crude oil

It is an unlikely application, but researchers in China have discovered that chicken manure can be used to biodegrade crude oil in contaminated soil. Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution the team explains how bacteria in chicken manure break down 50% more crude oil t...

Book breaks new ground in the study of economics and forest threats management

Asheville, NC The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) today announced the publication of The Economics of Forest Disturbances: Wildfires, Storms, and Invasive Species . Edited by three SRS scientists, the book offers a synthesis of new approaches to understanding the economics of...

Lab study shows methadone breaks resistance in untreatable forms of leukemia

PHILADELPHIA Researchers in Germany have discovered that methadone, an agent used to break addiction to opioid drugs, has surprising killing power against leukemia cells, including treatment resistant forms of the cancer. Their laboratory study, published in the August 1 issue of Cancer Resea...

No magic tomato? Study breaks link between lycopene and prostate cancer prevention

Tomatoes might be nutritious and tasty, but don’t count on them to prevent prostate cancer. In the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers based at the National Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report that lycopene, an antioxidant predo...

HIV vaccine trial breaks ground for future research

The results of the world's first phase 3 HIV vaccine efficacy trial are reported in the March 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online. Although the vaccine was ineffective in preventing HIV infection, the trial represents a landmark in the fight against HIV and offers th...

Abnormal brain circuits may prevent movement disorder

...s second area of pathway disruption abrogated the effects of the first lesion. Normally, the cerebellum (a region that controls movement) puts the breaks on the motor cortex by potentiating inhibition at the cortical level. It is likely that mutation carriers have a developmental problem in the flow of ...

Jet-propelled imaging for an ultrafast light source

... professor of experimental physics at Cambridge University, discovered that a smooth, cylindrical jet of liquid emerging from an orifice spontaneously breaks up to form a train of spherical droplets. In the late 1990s, physicist Alfonso Gan-Calvo of the University of Seville found a way to surround the stre...

Experimental treatment halts hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in newborns

...has been known about what these enzymes do in neonatal cerebral hypoxic-ischemia, according to the researchers. The enzyme in this case, tPA, normally breaks down proteins and other molecules to eliminate blood clots. The current study, posted on the journal's website this month, included one-week-old r...

Freshwater fish at the top of the food chain evolve more slowly

... unchanged compared with their insect- and snail-eating cousins. As these fishes became top predators in aquatic ecosystems, natural selection put the breaks on evolution, say researchers. A highly sought-after game fish, the largemouth bass belongs to a group of roughly 30 freshwater fishes known as cen...

UTMB study identifies women at risk of gaining excessive weight with injectable birth control

...chanism of DMPA-related weight gain is still unknown, but researchers note that possible mechanisms include glucocorticoid-like activity, how the body breaks down simple carbohydrates such as glucose, and DMPA-associated interference with insulin action. Previous findings seem to argue against the theory th...

Researchers design first model motor nerve system that's insulated and organized like the human body

...ect explained: "The nodes of Ranvier act like power station relays along the myelin sheath. They chemically boost signals, allowing them to get across breaks in myelin, or from node to node, at the electrically charged nodes of Ranvier. Nerve malfunctions, called neuropathies, involve a breakdown in the wa...

Iowa State University researchers develop process for 'surgical' genetic changes

...sses a natural process called homologous recombination to precisely introduce DNA at a predetermined location in the plant genome through targeted DNA breaks generated by zinc finger nucleases. This occurs about 1 in 50 attempts and is very efficient compared to unassisted methods that allow the same change...

Promising new treatment for Alzheimer's suggested based on Hebrew University research

... should actually be more protected from the devastating effects of the disease, since the mutated protein (the enzyme that is the product of the gene) breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at a slower rate than in those who have the normal gene. The result is that the carriers maintain higher level...

Happier, healthier, more productive hens on omega-3?

...en bones within flocks was reported. Latest evidence suggests this is getting worse, with many birds from barn and free range flocks having sustained breaks or fractures by the end of their lifetime. Fractures of the sternum (keel) are common, causing pain, preventing important behaviours and leading t...

Telomeres resemble DNA fragile sites

...Agnel Sfeir, a postdoctoral associate in the lab, suggests a striking similarity between telomeres and common fragile sites, parts of the genome where breaks tend to occur, albeit infrequently. (Humans have 80 common fragile sites, many of which have been linked to cancer.) De Lange and Sfeir found that the...

UAB study reveals bone coupling factor key to skeletal health

...he coupling role of TGF beta-1 in skeletal health. Bone remodeling occurs through resorption, the body's way of removing old and brittle bone to avoid breaks and skeletal disorders. Bone formation happens as skeletons grow and as the body works to counter bone resorption by laying down new bone. Cao and ...

New MRI technique could mean fewer breast biopsies in high-risk women

...out that with the right kind of MRI scan, radiologists can visually identify a cancerous lesion based on characteristics about its shape. For example, breaks or interruptions in a lesion can indicate a benign fibroadenoma. Lumps with smooth edges often are benign, while those with jagged edges can signal ca...

Singapore nanotechnology combats fatal brain infections

...because the molecular structure of most drugs is too big to enter the membrane. "Our treatment damages the structure of the pathogen and literally breaks it apart," said Yiyan Yang, Ph.D., group leader at IBN, one of the research institutes sponsored by Singapore's A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology...

Chemical in blood may explain susceptibility to bladder pain

...ntained at least 20 percent more tryptophan and kynurenine than did samples from healthy cats. Kynurenine is a brain compound produced when tryptophan breaks down in the body. An elevated level of kynurenine suggests that tryptophan is being diverted from its conversion into a chemical responsible for sendi...

Researchers describe 'implausible' chemistry that produces herbicidal compound

...very implausible chemical reaction," van der Donk said. "And the more we learned about it the more unusual it became. The enzyme is unusual because it breaks a carbon-carbon bond without needing anything except oxygen." The study is important because HEPD catalyzes a critical step in the chemical pathw...

Researchers shed light on trading behavior in animals -- and humans

...basis of the economy, and it requires a leap of faith to believe that each party will receive a payoff in return for taking a risk. When confidence breaks down, such as what happened during the recent collapse of the housing market, the economy slows. The willingness to take risk is based at least in ...

Enzyme involved in inflammatory bowel disease discovered at Penn State College of Medicine

...nzyme, coded for by the MEP1A gene, is a zinc-containing metalloprotease called meprin, and is abundant in the intestine. A protease is an enzyme that breaks down proteins in the body. Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine studied the role of meprin in IBD using genetically altered mice lacking th...

Temporary infidelity may contribute to the stability of ancient relationships

... crops for 50 million years. Each young ant queen carries a bit of fungus garden with her when she flies away to mate and establish a new nest. Short breaks in the ants' relationship with the fungus during nest establishment may contribute to the stability of this long-term mutualism, according to a study ...

Liver disease 'shrunk' by blood-pressure drug

...hers believe that the drug blocks the signalling pathway so that the liver myofibroblasts die, removing the source of scar tissue. As the scar tissue breaks up, the damaged area of the liver is repaired by the body. In this research, funded by the Medical Research Council and the British Liver Trust, th...

Lenfest forage fish task force launched

...op specific guidelines for managing forage fish using an ecosystem-based approach, which incorporates food web dynamics and environmental factors, and breaks from traditional species-by-species management. These recommendations will be delivered by 2011 to policy makers, managers, and fishery council member...

Studies shed light on collapse of coral reefs

..."We now believe that this is what's happening when the water warms or something else stresses the coral the communication from the algae to the coral breaks down, the all-is-well message doesn't get through, the algae essentially comes out of hiding and faces an immune response from the coral." This int...

Songbird study from CSHL, CCNY provides concrete measure of biology's impact on culture

...zebra finches raised in complete isolation do not sing the same song as they would if raised normally, i.e., among other members of their species. It breaks new ground in showing that progeny of these "odd birds," within several generations, will introduce improvisations that bring their song into conformi...

DOE to establish Energy Frontier Research Center at PNNL

...volving hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen. These reactions are at the core of technologies such as solar energy and fuel cells. For example, a catalyst breaks down chemical bonds to produce electricity in a fuel cell. A fast, efficient catalyst produces more power from fuel than a slow one -- and fuel cells ...

Laughing hyenas, wailing levees, the sound of cheese and blaring bagpipes

...in the body. Unlike other therapeutic ultrasound technologies in development, which create heat to boil pathogenic tissue, histotripsy mechanically breaks apart tissue with shorter, strong pulses of ultrasound. These pulses create tiny bubbles out of dissolved gas in prostate tissue. As the bubbles viole...

Sexual harassment from males prevents female bonding, says study

...tists have previously observed a very high level of sexual harassment from males towards females. The researchers found that male harassment not only breaks down female social structures but also affects females' ability to recognise one another. The research provides the first insight into the effect o...

CSHL-led team identifies key decision-point at which cells with broken DNA repair themselves or die

...damage to double-stranded DNA catastrophic damage, such as when the strand breaks in two the phosphate molecule placed at the decision point by WSTF has to ...ue called RNA interference, or RNAi, damaged cells with double-stranded DNA breaks did not repair themselves; instead, they simply died -- underwent apoptosis...

Weizmann Institute scientists develop a unique approach for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen

...ing the third stage, light provides the energy required to cause the two OH groups to get together to form hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), which quickly breaks up into oxygen and water. 'Because hydrogen peroxide is considered a relatively unstable molecule, scientists have always disregarded this step, deemi...

A missing enzyme conveys major heart protection in pre-clinical work

...that is what Dr. Rockman and I were exploring in this study," Stamler said. The scientists also had discovered the enzyme in question, GSNOR, which breaks down GSNO and turns off the S-nitrosylation reactions in cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that the SNOs play various key roles in human health an...

Common fragrance ingredients in shampoos and conditioners are frequent causes of eczema

...tance increases", says Johanna Brred Christensson. Linalool is a fragrance ingredient found naturally in lavender, mint, and other plants. Linalool breaks down when it comes into contact with oxygen, it becomes oxidized and can cause allergy. Manufacturers do include other substances in the products to d...

Research plane Polar 5 on Arctic campaign

...s in the central Arctic which was sporadically surveyed from RV Polarstern. However, nothing is known about changes in other regions. This project breaks new ground in many ways. An ice thickness probe, the so-called EM-Bird, which is usually dragged below a helicopter, is now operated for the first tim...

Microscope reveals how bacteria 'breathe' toxic metals

...que combination of microscopes, researchers at Ohio State University and their colleagues were able to glimpse how the Shewanella oneidensis bacterium breaks down metal to chemically extract oxygen. The study, published online this week in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology , provides th...

Dancing 'adatoms' help chemists understand how water molecules split

...water. The scientists made the discovery while trying to determine the basics of how titanium dioxide -- a compound sometimes found in sunscreen -- breaks down water. The chemical reactions between water and oxygen are central to such varied processes as hydrogen production, breaking down pollutants, and...

Female birds 'jam' their mates' flirtatious songs

...ents, the team found that resident pairs of antbirds sing coordinated duets when responding to rival pairs. But under other circumstances, cooperation breaks down, leading to more complex songs. Specifically, they report that females respond to unpaired sexual rivals by jamming the signals of their own mate...

UCR scientists identify stem-cell genes that help form plant organs

...ell identity, a concept common to both the systems," he said. The study breaks ground also in the way Reddy's research team pinned down the stem-cell gene... such as genomics, live-imaging and informatics sciences. "But our work breaks ground to make this a reality and we have already initiated some work in th...

No longer a gray area: Our hair bleaches itself as we grow older

...very by examining cell cultures of human hair follicles. They found that the build up of hydrogen peroxide was caused by a reduction of an enzyme that breaks up hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen (catalase). They also discovered that hair follicles could not repair the damage caused by the hydrogen per...
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