National Institutes of Health researchers have used the popular anti-wrinkle agent Botox to discover a new and important role for a group of molecules that nerve cells use to quickly send messages. This novel role for the molecules, called SNARES, may be a missing piece that scientists have been searching for to fully understand how brain cells communicate under normal and disease conditions.
A recent study is the first to show that corals are not able to fully acclimate to low...
Growing lungs and other organs for transplant is still in the future, but scientists...
Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California have performed...
For more than a decade, scientists have suspected that hairpin-shaped chains of micro-RNA regulate wood formation inside plant cells. Now, scientists at North Carolina State Univ. have found the first example and mapped out key relationships that control the process. The research describes how one strand of micro-RNA reduced by more than 20% the formation of lignin, which gives wood its strength.
Cartilage injuries have ended many athletes’ career, and the general wear-and-tear of the joint-cushioning tissue is something that almost everyone will endure as they age. Unfortunately, repairing cartilage remains difficult. Bioengineers are interested in finding innovative ways to grow new cartilage from a patient’s own stem cells. A new study from the Univ. of Pennsylvania brings such a treatment one step closer to reality.
Using data derived from nuclear weapons testing of the 1950s and '60s, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have found that a small portion of the human brain involved in memory makes new neurons well into adulthood. The research may have profound impacts on human behavior and mental health.
The genetic malady known as Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited autism and intellectual disability. Brain scientists know the gene defect that causes the syndrome and understand the damage it does in misshaping the brain's synapses—the connections between neurons. But how this abnormal shaping of synapses translates into abnormal behavior is unclear. Now, researchers believe they know.
On any given day, Jason Atkins and Mohit Patel can be found toiling away inside a chemical biology laboratory at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. And they love every minute of it. The researchers recently developed new technology to transfer DNA into cells. The development is an inexpensive and non-toxic method to help DNA cross the cell membrane so that cells can be modified.
As plans for deep space exploration ramp up, radiation is a big concern. Earth's magnetic field helps to deflect much of that harmful radiation, but astronauts traveling to and from Mars would be bombarded with as much radiation as they'd get from a full-body CT scan about once a week for a year, researchers reported Thursday. That dose would, in some cases, exceed NASA's standards and is enough to raise an astronaut's cancer risk by 3%.
Structural biologists from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have captured the first 3-D crystalline snapshot of a critical but fleeting process that takes place thousands of times per second in each human cell. The research could prove useful in the study of cancer and other diseases.
Go to about any public square, and you see pigeons pecking at the ground, always in search of crumbs dropped by a passerby. While the pigeons’ scavenging may seem random, new research by psychologists at the University of Iowa suggest the birds are capable of making highly intelligent choices, sometimes with problem-solving skills to match.
Human scabs have become the model for development of an advanced wound dressing material that shows promise for speeding the healing process, scientists are reporting. The team explains that scabs are a perfect natural dressing material for wounds. In addition to preventing further bleeding, scabs protect against infection and recruit the new cells needed for healing.
Virus particles of the same type had been thought to have identical structures, like a mass-produced toy, but a new visualization technique developed by a Purdue University researcher revealed otherwise. It was found that an important viral substructure consisted of a collection of components that could be assembled in different ways, creating differences from particle to particle.
For the first time, researchers have found a particular kind of molecular switch in the food-poisoning bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium under infection-like conditions. This switch, using a process called S-thiolation, appears to be used by the bacteria to respond to changes in the environment during infection and might protect it from harm, researchers report.
The structures of most of the two million proteins in the human body are still unknown. A new algorithm developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists solves the convoluted shapes of large molecules by using images of numerous individual samples, all caught simultaneously in a split-second flash of X-rays from a free-electron laser.
Striking a blow at foodborne diseases, the 100K Pathogen Genome Project at the University of California, Davis today announced that it has sequenced the genomes of its first 10 infectious microorganisms, including strains of Salmonella and Listeria.
Cinnamon: Can the red-brown spice with the unmistakable fragrance and variety of uses offer an important benefit? The common baking spice might hold the key to delaying the onset of—or warding off—the effects of Alzheimer's disease. That is, according to scientists at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Cells in the human body do not function in isolation. Living cells rely on communication with their environment—neighboring cells and the surrounding matrix—to activate a wide range of cellular functions. This cellular communication occurs on the molecular level and it is reciprocal. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured the molecular force required to mechanically transmit function-regulating signals within a cell.
For decades, people have been getting rid of cockroaches by setting out bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in an apartment test kitchen in Florida, something went very wrong. A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation.
An amazing glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just three of the newly discovered species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University to be recognized as the top 10 of 2012. The announcement comes with a call to discover, in the next 50 years, what are thought to be 10 million undiscovered species on Earth.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised a powerful new technique for finding antibodies that have a desired biological effect. Antibodies, which can bind to billions of distinct targets, are already used in many of the world’s best-selling medicines, diagnostics, and laboratory reagents. The newly reported technique should greatly speed the process of discovering such products.
Scientists from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have determined the 3D structure of the chemically active part of an enzyme involved in stuttering. While the discovery is not likely to lead to a cure for stuttering any time soon, it is welcome news to scientists who have been studying this enzyme, known as "uncovering enzyme" or UCE, for decades.
Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy. But new research from the University of Michigan indicates that aging populations could view things differently.
Specialty drugmaker Biogen Idec said Tuesday it submitted a new injectable multiple sclerosis drug to the Food and Drug Administration for U.S. market approval. The drug, called Plegridy, is intended to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when your bag appears? A new study from investigators at the University of Michigan and Eli Lilly may reveal the brain's "switch" for new behavior.
More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of now discredited research that linked the vaccine to autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease.
An international team of scientists using a new X-ray method recorded the internal structure and cell movement inside a living frog embryo in greater detail than ever before. This result showcases a new method to advance biological research and the search for new treatments for genetic diseases.
A new study shows how complex biochemical transformations may have been possible under conditions when life began on the early Earth. The study shows that RNA is capable of catalyzing electron transfer under conditions similar to those of the early Earth. Because electron transfer is involved in many biological processes, the study’s findings suggest that complex biochemical transformations may have been possible when life began.