Work of Field Museum scientist addresses question of chance in evolution
As Darwin observed, natural selection leading to adaptation of individuals and populations is occurring gradually and all the time. But over very long spans of time, the major channels of genetic organization, organism form, and the different ways organisms develop arose as outcomes of history-de...
Ecologists question effects of climate change on infectious diseases
Recent research has predicted that climate change may expand the scope of human infectious diseases. A new review, however, argues that climate change may have a negligible effect on pathogens or even reduce their ranges. The paper has sparked debate in the ecological community.
In a forum in t...
New models question old assumptions about how many molecules it takes to control cell division
Blacksburg, Va. -- A single cell whether a yeast cell or one of your cells is exquisitely sensitive to its surroundings. It receives input signals, processes the information, makes decisions, and issues commands for making the proper response. As with any control system, noise errors, slip-ups,...
Previous claims of siRNA therapeutic effects called into question by report in human gene therapy
New Rochelle, NY, September 2, 2008The many recent reports documenting the therapeutic efficacy of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in animal models of human disease may actually be describing non-specific therapeutic effects related to the ability of siRNA to activate an immune response, according...
Mate or hibernate? That's the question worm pheromones answer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. If worms could talk, they might tell potential suitors, "I like the way you wriggle," complete with that telltale come slither look. But worms send their valentines via signals known as pheromones, a complex chemical code researchers are now cracking, according to a study publis...
Answer to troublesome question of why some genetic assoc. studies have failed replication attempts
Boston, MA - A team of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and elsewhere have described a possible reason why some studies have been unable to replicate associations between genes and traits -- namely that the strength of a gene/trait associ...
Mountain on Mars may answer big question
The Martian volcano Olympus Mons is about three times the height of Mount Everest, but it's the small details that Rice University professors Patrick McGovern and Julia Morgan are looking at in thinking about whether the Red Planet ever had or still supports life.
Using a computer modeling sy...
How to stop regaining weight? That's the real question
The key focus of the Diogenes study is to identify the most effective diet to help adults stop regaining weight after initial successful weight loss.
To participate in the Diogenes study, adult family members were required to lose at least 8% of their body weight, before the whole family was ad...
Genomics throws species definition in question for microbes
Until a decade ago, scientists categorized microorganisms almost exclusively by their physical characteristics: how they looked, what they ate, and the by-products they produced. With the advent of genomic sequencing and genetic analysis in the 1990s, our understanding of the relationships between...
One big biology question solved
An Australian research team has solved one of biology's most fundamental questions ?why males produce sperm and females produce eggs. The finding is a breakthrough that could lead to improved infertility treatment, cancer therapy and pest management.
The team, led by Dr Josephine Bowles and Pr...
Climate-caused biodiversity booms and busts in ancient plants and mammals
...M Museum of Paleontology. "Some plants and animals flourished while others suffered."
When considering today's global warming, Woodburne said, "The question
is, on which side of this picture will mankind be found?"
Growing evidence of marijuana smoke's potential dangers
...to cause lung cancer due to the difficulty in identifying and studying people who have smoked only marijuana.
The new study begins to address that question
by comparing marijuana smoke vs. tobacco smoke in terms of toxicity to cells and to DNA. Scientists exposed cultured animal cells and bacteria to cond...
Holding breath for several minutes elevates marker for brain damage
...e, according to a new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology . However, the appearance of the protein, S100B, was transient and leaves open the question
of whether lengthy apnea (breath-holding) can damage the brain over the long term.
"The results indicate that prolonged, voluntary apnea affects t...
DNA computation gets logical at the Weizmann Institute of Science
...tal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.' When fed a rule (All men are mortal) and a fact (Socrates is a man), the computer answered the question
'Is Socrates Mortal?' correctly. The team went on to set up more complicated queries involving multiple rules and facts, and the DNA computing devices...
August 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
...n, the short-faced bear and the helmeted musk-ox. But how did this remote Arctic region support such a diverse array of grazing megafauna? This is the question
addressed by Duane Froese of the University of Alberta and his international team of colleagues. They focus on the Klondike region of Yukon, one of No...
UC San Diego engineer provides insights to decades-old DNA squabble
...ing tools can provide new insights into biology," he added.
"When we talk about cancer and its link to abnormal gene regulation, we have to ask the question
why are these genes misfiring? In the end, it boils down to the protein machinery that makes up and regulates chromatin," he explained. "You could hav...
Freshwater fish at the top of the food chain evolve more slowly
...and other species that feed primarily on fish, the researchers wanted to know how this feeding strategy affected the pace and shape of evolution. "The question
we wanted to ask was: What is the interplay between the evolution of diet and the evolution of form?" says Collar.
To find out, the researchers e...
Common allergy drug reduces obesity and diabetes in mice
...ice neither became obese nor developed diabetes.
"The best thing about these drugs is that we know it's safe for people," says Shi. "The remaining question
now is: Will this also work for people?"
Shi now intends to test both cromolyn and ketotifen fumarate on obese and diabetic non-human primates.
Bad mitochondria may actually be good for you
...ed by mitochondria while they make energy slowly accumulate and begin damaging cells, including the mitochondria. Several recent studies have begun to question
this theory, though, and to get some more direct answers, Siegfried Hekimi and colleagues at McGill University examined the mitochondria of MCLK1-defe...
New research finds possible genetic link to cause of pregnancy loss and disorders
... to Bub1 having a role in maternal age-induced fertility issues," said Venkatachalam. "Now that we know the gene seems to have this role, the next big question
is why, and we hope to continue the research in that direction."
LincRNAs serve as genetic air-traffic controllers
...e molecules in many biological processes, including stem cell pluripotency, cell cycle regulation, and the innate immune response.
But even as one question
was being answered, another was close on its heels: What, exactly, were these mysterious molecules doing?
They now appear to have found an importa...
Avoiding hysterectomy: Major interventional radiology E-collection info available
...yvinyl Alcohol Microspheres," a randomized study by Gary P. Siskin, M.D., FSIR, and colleagues at Albany Medical College, that answers a key technical question
regarding choice of embolic material. Also important are "Economic Evaluation of Uterine Artery Embolization Versus Hysterectomy in the Treatment of S...
New theory on why male, female lemurs same size
... the extinction of predatory birds.
"Scientifically, this is quite a big question
that researchers have debated for over 20 years," said Dunham, assistant pr... undergraduate, working in Ranomafana (National Park in Madgascar), and the question
about size monomorphism has bugged me since then."
In a paper featured o...
Baylor researchers unravel mystery of DNA conformation
...ormal cellular stresses involved in doing its job? That was the problem that Zechiedrich and her colleagues tackled.
Their results also addresses a question
posed by another Nobel laureate, the late Dr. Linus Pauling, who asked how the information encoded by the bases could be read if it is sequestered ins...
Building memories with actin
...nds on reorganization of the supporting actin cytoskeleton. However, researchers didn't know what controlled these changes.
Rex et al. tackled the question
by dosing slices of rat hippocampus with adenosine, a naturally occurring signal that squelches LTP. Adenosine prevents phosphorylation and inactivati...
Landmark project to map genomics of complex ant systems
...erent sizes and muscle structures," she says. "The genetic basis for what makes a soldier ant different from a worker ant is an incredibly interesting question
A key part of the project is bringing genomics into classrooms, by giving high school and college students experience at analyzing gen...
2 reproductive factors are important predictors of death from ovarian cancer
... M.D., Ph.D., director of the Personalized Cancer Risk Assessment Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, said these results raise the question
"can the amount and/or duration of reproductive hormones to which women are exposed affect the aggressiveness of ovarian cancer and/or its resistance ...
Forsyth scientists suggest linkages between obesity and oral bacterial infection
...ing factors," said Dr. J. Max Goodson, senior author of the study. "However, the inflammatory nature of the disease is also recognized. This led me to question
potential unknown contributing causes of obesity. Could it be an epidemic involving an infectious agent?" "It is exciting to image the possibilities i...
Forest fire prevention efforts will lessen carbon sequestration, add to greenhouse warming
...ructure," Harmon said. "It's almost impossible anyway to mechanically treat the immense areas that are involved and it's hugely expensive. As a policy question
we have to face issues of what approaches will pay off best and what values are most important."
The report was just published in Ecological Appli...
Playing it safe
... who dismantle tissue in the laboratory must carefully separate and analyse the cells to establish which cell type they have under the microscope. The question
of potency is a controversial one among stem cell researchers, as binding benchmarks have yet to be defined. What some scientists would define as "plu...
Brain malformations significantly associated with preterm birth, Wake Forest research shows
...SALEM, N.C. New research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine provides for the first time a solid scientific answer for the long-standing question
of whether there is an association between preterm birth and brain malformations.
In a study of more than 1,000 preterm infant autopsies, research...
Recent news reports of sweetener reformulations raise questions about motivations
Recent announcements by Starbucks and other brands that they will remove high fructose corn syrup from certain products are being called into question
in news articles by several experts and respected journalists. These articles have poked holes in companies' marketing efforts and put forth scientif...
Debate on admin. of magnesium sulfate to pregnant women to prevent cerebral palsy in pre-term infants
... in the roundtable, Alison G. Cahill, MD, MSCI, and Aaron B. Caughey, MD, PhD, observe, "Despite well-designed and executed studies, the answer to the question
of whether evidence-based medicine supports the use of magnesium for neuroprophylaxis in all preterm pregnancies remains unclear."
Dwight J. Rouse,...
The faster they come
...rch team from the University of Sydney is trying to find the answer to this question
by studying the interactions between male mosquitofish to see if their beha...her they are hereditary or acquired. They are also planning to address this question
by conducting breeding studies designed to distinguish between underlying g...
Trio of signals converge to induce liver and pancreas cell development in the embryo
... at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
How the developing embryo starts to apportion different functions to different cell types is a key question
for developmental biology and regenerative medicine.
Guidance along the correct path is provided by genetic regulatory proteins that attach to chro...
Policy transparency key to saving world's fisheries
...e country in the world was consistently good with respect to all these management attributes. So which countries are doing well and which are not is a question
whose answer depends on the specific attribute you are looking at."
The results of the study show that wealthier countries, though they have predom...
Targeting helpers of heat shock proteins could help treat cancer, cardiovascular disease
...roid receptors in the liquid portion of a cell but receptors have to get to the cell nucleus to be functional. "We know who folds them up, but our big question
is: Who takes them over there? It could be that chaperones and helpers both are important for trafficking receptors. If we can inhibit the trafficking...
American Chemical Society's Weekly Presspac -- June 17, 2009
...will produce results in a fraction of the time now required with animal studies.
But the switch won't be easy, the C&EN article notes. Some experts question
the validity of these next-generation tests. Meanwhile, new technologies for predicting toxicity may emerge and complement conventional animal tests, ...
Scientists capture the first image of memories being made
...ange and adapt, called synaptic plasticity, may be the fundamental basis of learning and memory.
"But, if this network is constantly changing, the question
is how do memories stay put, how are they formed? It has been known for some time that an important step in long-term memory formation is "translation...
Improved method developed to test carcinogen risk
...ut that doesn't mean that table salt is a poison at the doses that humans normally consume.
"With compounds that we know can cause cancer, the real question
is how much is too much," Bailey said. "What we have found is that traditional approaches to making that evaluation, which are almost always based on ...