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Women often opt to surgically remove their breasts, ovaries to reduce cancer risk

PHILADELPHIA Many women at high risk for breast or ovarian cancer are choosing to undergo surgery as a precautionary measure to decrease their cancer risk, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention , a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. "Women...

Venomous sea snakes play heads or tails with their predators

In a deadly game of heads or tails venomous sea snakes in the Pacific and Indian Oceans deceive their predators into believing they have two heads, claims research published today in Marine Ecology . The discovery, made by Dr Arne Redsted Rasmussen and Dr Johan Elmberg, showed that Yellow-lip...

Protecting cells from their neighbors

Almost all organisms evolve from a single cell, a fertilised egg. In the first hours after fertilisation, the fate of its future development is determined. It is dictated by the separation of cells that will become sperm and ovules - germ cells-, from the remaining cells, which will be responsible...

E-Noses: Testing their mettle against fly noses

Scientists from CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship have made a breakthrough in efforts to extend the sensory range of 'electronic noses' (e-noses) by developing a system for comparing their performance against the much-superior nose of the common house fly. "Although e-noses already have many uses s...

Microbes and their hosts -- exploring the complexity of symbiosis in DNA and cell biology

New Rochelle, NY, July 28, 2009The unique association between microorganisms and their hosts, whether insects, plants, or mammals, provides a fascinating view into how microbial symbionts adapt to changing biological environments. Insights into the diversity and complexity of symbiotic relationshi...

After dinosaurs, mammals rise but their genomes get smaller

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Evidence buried in the chromosomes of animals and plants strongly suggests only one group -- mammals -- have seen their genomes shrink after the dinosaurs' extinction. What's more, that trend continues today, say Indiana University Bloomington scientists in the first issue of ...

Smaller plants punch above their weight in the forest, say Queen's biologists

New findings from Queen's University biologists show that in the plant world, bigger isn't necessarily better. "Until now most of the thinking has suggested that to be a good competitor in the forest, you have to be a big plant," says Queen's Biology professor Lonnie Aarssen. "But our research...

Coralline algae in the Mediterranean lost their tropical element between 5 and 7 million years ago

An international team of researchers has studied the coralline algae fossils that lived on the last coral reefs of the Mediterranean Sea between 7.24 and 5.3 million years ago. Mediterranean algae and coral reefs began to resemble present day reefs following the isolation of the Mediterranean from...

Cells use import machinery to export their goods as well

In the bustling economy of the cell, little bubbles called vesicles serve as container ships, ferrying cargo to and from the port - the cell membrane. Some of these vesicles, called post-Golgi vesicles, export cargo made by the cell's protein factory. Scientists have long believed that other, sim...

How mitochondria get their membranes bent

This release is available in German . Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells. Underneath their smooth surface they harbor an elaborately folded inner membrane. It holds a multitude of bottleneck like invaginations, which expand into elongated cavities (cristae). The narrow shape of the...

Scientists should look at their own carbon footprint

Scientists studying the impact of climate change on the Arctic need to consider ways to reduce their own carbon footprints, says a researcher who regularly flies north to study the health of caribou. In the June issue of Arctic , the journal of the University of Calgary's Arctic Institute of N...

City rats loyal to their 'hoods, scientists discover

In the rat race of life, one thing is certain: there's no place like home. Now, a study published this week in the journal Molecular Ecology finds the same is as true for rats as for humans. Although inner city rodents appear to roam freely, most form distinct neighborhoods where they spe...

Opposites attract -- how genetics influences humans to choose their mates

Vienna, Austria: New light has been thrown on how humans choose their partners, a scientist will tell the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics today (Monday May 25). Professor Maria da Graa Bicalho, head of the Immunogenetics and Histocompatibility Laboratory at the Univers...

The importance of being helpful -- Cooperative cichlids boost their own reproductive success

Subordinate individuals living within a group of vertebrates sometimes assist a more dominant pair by helping to raise the dominant pair's offspring and this has been shown to occur among subordinate female cichlids. Reporting in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE , Dik Heg a...

Athletes with asthma need more help from their team trainers

COLUMBUS, Ohio Very few athletic trainers associated with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) programs said that they were following best practice standards for managing asthma among their athletes, according to a new study. For athletes with asthma, the dangers of the condition ca...

Our brains make their own marijuana: We're all pot heads deep inside

U.S. and Brazilian scientists have just proven that one of Bob Dylan's most famous lines"everybody must get stoned" is correct. That's because they've discovered that the brain manufactures proteins that act like marijuana at specific receptors in the brain itself. This discovery, published online...

Food security for leaf-cutting ants: Workers and their fungus garden reject endophyte invaders

New diseases directly affect human survival and food security, especially as population density climbs. Leaf-cutting ants, one of a few groups of social insects to cultivate crops, have harvested plant material to fertilize their underground fungal gardens for ~50 million years. New results from t...

Genes that make bacteria make up their minds

Bacteria are single cell organisms with no nervous system or brain. So how do individual bacterial cells living as part of a complex community called a biofilm "decide" between different physiological processes (such as movement or producing the "glue" that forms the biofilm)? In the prestigio...

Children who are dissatisfied with their appearance often have problems with their peer group

Being satisfied with one's appearance is one of the most important prerequisites for a positive self image. However, in today's appearance culture it is the rule rather than the exception that children and young people are dissatisfied with their appearance. Those children who are teased or subj...

Female mammals follow their noses to the right mates

Female birds often choose their mates based on fancy feathers. Female mammals, on the other hand, may be more likely to follow their noses to the right mate. That's one conclusion of Cambridge zoologist Tim Clutton-Brock and Harvard researcher Katherine McAuliffe, whose review of evidence for fema...

Female birds 'jam' their mates' flirtatious songs

When a single female is nearby, female antbirds will sing over the songs of their male partners in an apparent attempt to keep their messages from getting through, according to a new report published online on March 12th in Current Biology , a Cell Press publication. Males respond to that interru...

Caltech and UCSD researchers shed light on how proteins find their shapes

PASADENA, Calif.--Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have brought together UCSD theoretical modeling and Caltech experimental data to show just how amino-acid chains might fold up into unique, three-dimensional fun...

Why don't more animals change their sex?

New Haven, Conn. Most animals, like humans, have separate sexes they are born, live out their lives and reproduce as one sex or the other. However, some animals live as one sex in part of their lifetime and then switch to the other sex, a phenomenon called sequential hermaphroditism. What remain...

Here's venom in your eye: Spitting cobras hit their mark

Spitting cobras have an exceptional ability to spray venom into eyes of potential attackers. A new study published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology reveals how these snakes maximize their chances of hitting the target. The name "spitting cobra" is a bit of a misnomer. Cobras don't act...

As super-predators, humans reshape their prey at super-natural speeds

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Fishing and hunting are having broad, swift impacts on the body size and reproductive abilities of fish and other commercially harvested species, potentially jeopardizing the ability of entire populations to recover, according to the results of a new study that will appear in the J...

College students find comfort in their pets during hard times

COLUMBUS, Ohio A new study suggests that college students may handle stressful situations better if they have a pet. Research has already shown that pets can improve the quality of life for people who are aging or those who are chronically ill. But researchers at Ohio State University recently...

Caltech researchers get first look at how groups of cells coordinate their movements

PASADENA, Calif.--Using novel imaging, labeling, and data-analysis techniques, scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have been able to visualize, for the first time, large numbers of cells moving en masse during some of the earliest stages of embryonic development. T...

Key to 'curing' obesity may lie in worms that destroy their own fat: McGill researchers

This release is available in French . A previously unknown mutation discovered in a common roundworm holds the promise of new treatments for obesity in humans, McGill University researchers say. Their study was published Dec. 3 in the journal Nature , and was funded by the Canadian Cance...

No place like home: New theory for how salmon, sea turtles find their birthplace

CHAPEL HILL How marine animals find their way back to their birthplace to reproduce after migrating across thousands of miles of open ocean has mystified scientists for more than a century. But marine biologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill think they might finally have unra...

Plants grow bigger and more vigorously through changes in their internal clocks

AUSTIN, TexasHybrid plants, like corn, grow bigger and better than their parents because many of their genes for photosynthesis and starch metabolism are more active during the day, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin in a new study published in the journal Nature . Their...

Fish choose their leaders by consensus

Just after Americans have headed to the polls to elect their next president, a new report in the November 13th issue of Current Biology , a Cell Press publication, reveals how one species of fish picks its leaders: Most of the time they reach a consensus to go for the more attractive of two candi...

In the war against diseases, nerve cells need their armor

In a new study, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University, and the Universit de Montral have discovered an essential mechanism for the maintenance of the normal structure of myelin, the protective covering that insulates and supports nerve cells (neurons). Up unti...

Lead-flapping objects experience less wind resistance than their trailing counterparts

It is commonly known that racing cars and bicyclists can reduce air resistance by following closely behind a leader, but researchers from New York University and Cornell University have found the opposite is true with flapping objects, such as flags. Their study, published in the most recent issue...

Red-eyed treefrog embryos actively avoid asphyxiation inside their eggs

Boston University undergraduate Jessica Rogge and associate professor Karen Warkentin, working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's laboratories in Gamboa, Panama, discovered that frog embryos at a very early developmental stage actively respond to oxygen levels in the eggas reported i...

Rare corals breed their way out of trouble

Rare corals may be smarter than we thought. Faced with a dire shortage of mates of their own kind, new research suggests they may be able to cross-breed with certain other coral species to breed themselves out of a one-way trip to extinction. This finding, released by scientists at the ARC Cent...

IOF calls on European citizens to stand tall and speak out for their bones

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) kicked off World Osteoporosis Day events today in Brussels. This year's theme of Stand Tall, Speak Out For Your Bones is a global call to take charge and improve osteoporosis healthcare policies around the world. Osteoporosis is a disease that ca...

Migratory moths may hitch their rides, but they're anything but drifters

Night-traveling migratory moths may hitch a ride on the wind, but a new study in the October 14th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, confirms that they are anything but drifters. A previous report also in Current Biology offered the first evidence that Silver Y moths rely o...

Beetles get by with a little help from their friends

Humans living in communities often rely on friends to help get what they need and, according to researchers in the lab of Cameron Currie at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, many microbes, plants and animals benefit from 'friendly' associations too. The Currie team's study, which was funded ...

Women do not recover their muscle strength as fast as men

HILTON HEAD, SCWomen are four times more likely than men to experience a broken forearm and require a cast (immobilization). To examine whether the effects of casting were similar between the sexes, researchers examined immobilized volunteers for a period of three weeks. They determined that while...

St. Jude study gives new insights into how cells accessorize their proteins

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have gained new insight into how the cell's vast array of proteins would instantly be reduced to a confusion of lethally malfunctioning molecules without a system for proteins to "accessorize" in order to regulate their function. Just as eyeg...
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