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Fish on the menu of our ancestors

This release is available in German . The isotopic analysis of a bone from one of the earliest modern humans in Asia, the 40,000 year old skeleton from Tianyuan Cave in the Zhoukoudian region of China (near Beijing), by an international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute fo...

Why do we choose our mates? Ask Charles Darwin, prof says

Charles Darwin wrote about it 150 years ago: animals don't pick their mates by pure chance it's a process that is deliberate and involves numerous factors. After decades of examining his work, experts agree that he pretty much scored a scientific bullseye, but a very big question is, "What have w...

Scientists explain how 'death receptors' designed to kill our cells may make them stronger

It turns out that from the perspective of cell biology, Nietzsche may have been right after all: that which does not kill us does make us stronger. In a review article published in the June 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal ( http://www.fasebj.org ), scientists from the Mayo Clinic explain h...

Scientists find formula to uncover our planet's past and help predict its future

Studies of climate evolution and the ecology of past-times are often hampered by lost information lost variables needed to complete the picture have been long thought untraceable but scientists have created a formula which will fill in the gaps of our knowledge and will help predict the future. ...

Snakes and how they helped our big brains evolve

From the temptation of Eve to the venomous murder of the mighty Thor, the serpent appears throughout time and cultures as a figure of mischief and misery. The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpentbut why, when so few of us...

Tiny differences in our genes help shed light on the big picture of human history

By examining very small differences in people's genes, scientists from Cornell University have developed a new tool for identifying big events in human history and pinpointing the origins of specific gene mutations. This research, published in the May issue of the journal GENETICS ( http://www.g...

Is it really only our kidneys that control blood pressure?

The problem of high blood pressure has reached pandemic proportions, causing premature death through heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease in a third of the UK population. For decades, scientists have battled at length over its cause yet still cannot agree; is the kidney or the brain to blame?...

Taking the pulse of our planet

Volunteers across the nation are being recruited to get outdoors and help track the effects of climate on seasonal changes in plant and animal behavior. The USA-National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), a consortium of government, academic and citizen-scientists, is launching a new national program...

'It takes a genome: How a clash between our genes and modern life is making us sick'

It's not just the climate that is struggling with what humans have done to the modern world, our genes are feeling the pressure as well, according to Professor Greg Gibson's recently published book. In It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick , Profess...

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

Wash away your gray? Maybe. A team of European scientists have finally solved a mystery that has perplexed humans throughout the ages: why we turn gray. Despite the notion that gray hair is a sign of wisdom, these researchers show in a research report published online in The FASEB Journal ( htt...

Evolution in action: Our antibodies take 'evolutionary leaps' to fight microbes

With cold and flu season in full swing, the fact that viruses and bacteria rapidly evolve is apparent with every sneeze, sniffle, and cough. A new report in the January 2009 issue of The FASEB Journal ( http://www.fasebj.org ), explains for the first time how humans keep up with microbes by rear...

Researchers advance knowledge of little 'nano-machines' in our body

Montreal, December 18, 2008 A discovery by Canada-U.S. biophysicists will improve the understanding of ion channels, akin to little 'nano-machines' or 'nano-valves' in our body, which when they malfunction can cause genetic illnesses that attack muscles, the central nervous system and the heart. ...

Human connection to our nation's fisheries comes alive through oral history project

Voices from the Fisheries , an archive of oral histories of recreational and commercial fishermen and the communities and families that rely on them, documents the human experience with the nation's coastal, marine and Great Lakes environments and living marine resources. Social scientists Sus...

£20 million to fight virtual crime and treat our aging population

Fighting virtual crime, treating an ageing population, and turning research into commercial enterprises, will be the focus of a 20 million ($30.4 million) investment announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Biotechno...

£20 million to fight virtual crime and treat our ageing population

Fighting virtual crime, treating an ageing population, and turning research into commercial enterprises, will be the focus of a 20 million ($30.4 million) investment announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Biotechno...

Improving our ability to peek inside molecules

LIVERMORE -- It's not easy to see a single molecule inside a living cell. Nevertheless, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are helping to develop a new technique that will enable them to create detailed high-resolution images, giving scientists an unprecedented look at the at...

Pictures of hot fudge sundaes arouse: Understanding emotions improves our food choices

Menus and advertising affect our emotions, and if we understand those emotions, we make better food choices, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research . Authors Blair Kidwell, David M. Hardesty, and Terry L. Childers (all University of Kentucky) examined the "emotional intel...

The 'satellite navigation' in our brains

Our brains contain their own navigation system much like satellite navigation ("sat-nav"), with in-built maps, grids and compasses, neuroscientist Dr Hugo Spiers told the BA Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool today. The brain's navigation mechanism resides in an area know as the...

Rattlesnake-type poisons used by superbug bacteria to beat our defenses

Colonies of hospital superbugs can make poisons similar to those found in rattlesnake venom to attack our bodies' natural defences, scientists heard today (Monday 8 September 2008) at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin. The toxi...

Life isn't 2-D, so why should our encyclopedias be?

Biologists and biochemists are now able to access 3D images of biomacromolecules underlying biological functions and disease. Rather than relying on text to provide the understanding of biomacromolecule structures, a collaborative website called Proteopedia now provides a new resource by linking w...

Saving our bees

Most of the world's plant species rely on animals to transfer their pollen to other plants. The undisputed queen of these animal pollinators is the bee, made up of about 30,000 species worldwide, whose daily flights aid in the reproduction of more than half of the world's flowering plants. In rece...

When our protective armor shows weakness

New knowledge points to the fact that a genetically induced lack of filaggrin, a key protein of the skin barrier, plays a decisive role in the origin of allergies. In a large study on more than 3000 school-children scientists of the Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen and the Technische Universitt Mnchen fou...

Did the gene for ADHD help our nomadic ancestors?

An ADHD-associated version of the human gene DRD4 is linked to better health among nomadic tribesmen, but may cause malnourishment in their settled cousins, according to new research by a team directed by an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). A study by UWM assistant...

Getting better with a little help from our 'micro' friends

PASADENA, Calif.-- A naturally occurring molecule made by symbiotic gut bacteria may offer a new type of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, according to scientists at the California Institute of Technology. "Most people tend to think of bacteria as insidious organisms that only make us ...

Ancient ecosystems organized much like our own

It was an Anomalocaris-eat-trilobite world, filled with species like nothing on today's Earth. But the ecology of Cambrian communities was remarkably modern, say researchers behind the first study to reconstruct detailed food webs for ancient ecosystems. Their paper, published this week in the ope...

How what and how much we eat (and drink) affects our risk of cancer

SAN DIEGO A healthy diet and lifestyle protect against a wide range of diseases, and new research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2008 Annual Meeting, April 12-16, shows that cancer is no exception. Researchers demonstrate how excessive alcohol drinking could lead to an ...

New study finds anticipating a laugh reduces our stress hormones

SAN DIEGO, CA In 2006 researchers investigating the interaction between the brain, behavior, and the immune system found that simply anticipating a mirthful laughter experience boosted health-protecting hormones. Now, two years later, the same researchers have found that the anticipation of a posi...

Viruses, oxygen and our green oceans

Some of the oxygen we breathe today is being produced because of viruses infecting micro-organisms in the worlds oceans, scientists heard today (Wednesday 2 April 2008) at the Society for General Microbiologys 162nd meeting being held this week at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. ...

Lemurs' evolutionary history may shed light on our own

DURHAM, N.C. -- After swabbing the cheeks of more than 200 lemurs and related primates to collect their DNA, researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) and Duke Lemur Center now have a much clearer picture of their evolutionary family tree. Found in nature only on the...

Can Dungeness crab and eelgrass help improve management of our marine resources?

Putting theory into practice to manage complex and closely linked social and ecological systems along our coasts is a challenge, but one NOAA researcher Anne Guerry says can be addressed by a new approach to managing the value of our ocean resources. Guerry will discuss the use of ecosystem se...

Can plant-based ethanol save us from our fossil fuel addiction?

On November 1415, over 40 scientists will convene at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) in Millbrook, New York to discuss the future of biofuel production in the United States. Participants will include some of our nations leading biofuel experts, including Drs. David Pimentel (Cornell Unive...

Does the desire to consume alcohol and tobacco come from our genetic makeup?

Austin, TX Alcohol and smoking can be harmful, if not deadly. While the desire for these substances can be due to environmental cues, genomic factors also play an important role. The etiology of these desires is multifactorial and a result of complex interactions with the environment. Adoption an...

Math that powers spam filters used to understand how brain learns to move our muscles

A team of biomedical engineers has developed a computer model that makes use of more or less predictable “guesstimates” of human muscle movements to explain how the brain draws on both what it recently learned and what it’s known for some time to anticipate what it needs to develop new motor sk...

Eating with our eyes: Why people eat less at unbused tables

People watching the Super Bowl who saw how much they had already eaten -- in this case, leftover chicken-wing bones -- ate 27 percent less than people who had no such environmental cues, finds a new Cornell study. The difference between the two groups -- those eating at a table where leftover bon...

Cancer that colonizes our bodies

To Robert C. von Borstel, cancer is a metaphorical example of the perfect invasion by a founder species. Like the first pregnant finch that landed on a deserted island in the Galapagos Archipelago, the first cancer cell in the human body has to undergo many mutations through many generations to est...

Smashing the time it takes to repair our bones

New research by Queensland University of Technology is helping scientists better understand how bone cells work and may one day lead to the development of technology that can speed up the time it takes to heal fractured and broken bones. QUT recent graduate Dr Gwynne Hannay has built a gadget cap...

Proteins anchor memories in our brain

Scientists have discovered that autoimmunity can be triggered in the thymus, where the immune system's T cells develop, if T cells fail to recognize just one of the body's thousands of proteins as "self." The research confirms an emerging view that autoimmunity can start in this cradle of the immu...

Too mellow for our predatory world

Marine iguanas on the Galápagos Islands live without predators - at least this was the case up until 150 years ago. Since then they have been confronted with cats and dogs on some islands of the Archipelago. For scientists, they are therefore a suitable model of study in order to discover if such ...

'Fruit fly dating game' provides clues to our reproductive prowess

There's growing evidence that the dinosaurs and most their contemporaries were not wiped out by the famed Chicxulub meteor impact, according to a paleontologist who says multiple meteor impacts, massive volcanism in India, and climate changes culminated in the end of the Cretaceous Period. The C...

Where we change our mind

Whether finding your way through an unfamiliar neighborhood to a friend's house or deciding on a political candidate, your brain is adept at adapting. It can make decisions based on incomplete information and update those decisions based on new information. The nature of such sophisticated decisi...
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