Just how single-celled organisms began forming multi-cellular clusters—that ultimately became plants and animals—500 million years ago has remained a mystery. Evolutionary biologists believe they’ve cracked the puzzle, however, and have recently replicated this crucial step in the laboratory using common Brewer's yeast, a single-celled organism.
An elegant approach to synthesizing amphotericin B, which has been used extensively as an antifungal for more than 50 years, has allowed researchers to learn its elusive mode of action. The finding may change drug development directions and improve antifungal treatments, but there is still a downside to the drug.
Until now, methods to obtain highly detailed anatomical images of whole brains have been painstakingly slow and available only to a handful of specialized research teams. Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have adapted two-photon microscopy to open 3D whole brain mapping to a much wider field of researchers.
Despite cryo-electron microscopy’s ability to resolve viruses, scientists have been unable to clearly visualize structures inside of viruses because radiation is used to image them. Reserachers at the National Institutes of Health invented a new technique that turns this radiation into an imaging asset.
Biotechnology company Life Technologies Corp. announced it has developed a machine to decode an individual's DNA in a day for $1,000, a long-sought price goal for making the genome useful for medical care.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed a new laboratory test that can rapidly identify the bacterium responsible for staph infections. This new test takes advantage of unique isotopic labeling combined with specific bacteriophage amplification to rapidly identify Staphylococcus aureus .
Scientists in a Harvard University lab have invented a tiny device designed to read the minute electrical changes produced when DNA strands are passed through tiny holes—called nanopores—in an electrically charged membrane. The device can do this quickly and cheaply offering the possibilities of millions of arrays.
Currently, physicians use computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans for melanoma cancer detection. Soon, however, commercial production of a device invented by University of Missouri researchers that measures melanoma using photoacoustics, or laser-induced ultrasound, will begin. The device will be available to scientists for cancer studies.
A team of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have created an endoscopy device that can capture high-resolution optical images of the interior of a single living cell without injuring or damaging that cell.
An innovative design for a small-volume molecular imaging instrument by University of Pittsburgh physicists has been hampered by a major question: How does one measure a magnetic field accurately using the resonance of single electrons within a diamond crystal? It’s too difficult with normal computers, but the scientists think they may now have an answer.
A new study has identified a gene mutation that researchers estimate dates back to 11,600 B.C., making it the second oldest human disease mutation yet discovered. Researchers say that although the mutation, which causes a rare vitamin deficiency, is found in vastly different ethnic populations, it originated in a single, prehistoric individual and was passed down to that individual's descendents.
Those who want to be London taxi drivers must acquire what's known as "the Knowledge," learning 25,000 complicated streets over a time span of three to four years. According to a recent study, the experience actually changes the very structure of the trainees’ brains.
Fifty years after the pioneering discovery that a protein's 3D structure is determined solely by the sequence of its amino acids, an international team of researchers has taken a major step toward predicting the structure of a protein from its sequence alone.
Researchers at Tufts University were surprised to discover that when they manipulated the membrane voltage in a tadpole’s back and tail, it caused the growing animal to develop eyes in those locations. It could be the first recorded instance of deliberate organogenesis through altered bioelectric communication.
Once limited to fingerprints, faces, and irises, forensic scientists can now have shared access to a greatly expanded set of biometric recently approved and standardized by NIST. It is the first international standard for the exchange of DNA data.
The frogs jumping in Calaveras County, Calif., might be special, but even ordinary frogs can leap several times farther than their physiology would seem to allow. Using high-speed X-ray video technology, a Brown University research has determined that the frog’s tendons are what gives it the ability to soar.
Scientists refer to a state that a system that cannot escape from as an absorbing state. In a surprise finding, researchers in Germany have succeeded in building a simple biological model system of an absorbing state consisting of only three components: fibers, motor proteins and cross-linking molecules.
A new University of Minnesota study has revealed that the release of treated municipal wastewater—even wastewater treated by the highest-quality treatment technology—can have a significant effect on the quantities of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, often referred to as "super bacteria", in surface waters.
Within just one tenth of a second, certain species of bat are able to change their outer ear shapes, transforming the animals’ ultrasonic hearing pattern. Using a combination of high-speed stereo vision and high-resolution tomography, researchers have reconstructed the 3-D geometries of these dramatic physical changes.
Leica Microsystems has signed an agreement with the Max Planck Society and the German Cancer Research Center for the development of the next generation of super-resolution STED (stimulated emission depletion) microscopy. The new STED nanoscopy will provide improved spatial resolution over confocal microscopy in living cells.
Using plasmas, researchers have found that sealed plastic bags can be modified at atmospheric pressure so that human cells can adhere to and reproduce on their walls. Cell culture bags of this kind may eventually replace the Petri dishes used today.
In recent years, scientists have learned that some patients believed to be in a vegetative state actually have some awareness. A new study suggests a portable brain monitor can detect signs of this, perhaps making it possible someday for doctors to easily double-check the diagnosis at the bedside.
Prehistoric paintings of horses found in caves through France have depicted black, brown, or spotted horses, leading to speculation about whether the artists were dreaming up patterns or painting what they saw. DNA analysis of fossilized horse bones and teeth suggest they were more like da Vinci than Dali.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a first-of-its-kind device, called MelaFind, that makes detailed digital images of skin growths and uses a computer to analyze them for signs of cancer, offering a sort of second opinion to doctors.
One of the most comprehensive analyses yet done of the ancient history of insect-borne disease concludes for the first time that malaria is not only native to the New World, but it has been present long before humans existed and has evolved through birds and monkeys.