Science Updates Archive 15
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Sugars Killing Coral Reefs (11/09/06) - Bacterial growth, stimulated by the presence of simple sugars in untreated sewage and agricultural runoff, can now be added to the list of things contributing to the demise of coral reefs.
Oceans Full of Microbes (09/01/06) - Researchers working on the International Census of Marine Microbes find microbial life in the ocean is far more diverse than ever imaged.
Human Gut Microbes Sequenced (08/08/06) - Human Gut Microbes Sequenced - If you're sitting in a room by yourself, don't think you're alone. You have the company of trillions of microbes living in your gut and other parts your body. And now, the genomes of the ones living in your gut have been sequenced via a metagenomics approach.
Sputum Samples May Predict Lung Cancer (05/26/06) - A non-invasive test currently under investigation may be able to predict who will get lung cancer as much as 18 months before people show any other signs of the disease. And to do the test, all people have to do is provide a sputum sample.
The Heart that Glows (4/27/06) - Genetically altered mice have hearts that glow green -- a feature that lets researchers study how cells communicate, and how the heart grows and develops.
Does Soy Really Workl? (3/17/06) - Soy helps lower cholesterol levels, but only when it is part of a whole heart-healthy diet plan. A study from the American Heart Association sheds light on the confusion.
Ancient Swarm of Locusts Made Trans-Atlantic Trip (1/25/06) - Genetic detective work has revealed that various grasshopper species in North America are descended from the desert locust from Africa that migrated to the Americas between three to five million years ago. The research solves a number of mysteries about grasshoppers and locusts on both continents, according to Nathan Lovejoy, PhD, professor of life sciences at the University of Toronto.
More Flu Viruses Around (11/29/05) - Genetic studies of the human influenza virus are changing the understanding of how fast and how frequently viruses mutate. New studies show that flu viruses swap genetic information far more frequently than was thought, and that there are more versions of flu than researchers suspected.
Hurricanes Increase Mosquito Populations (10/27/05) - Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left devastation in their wakes, but they didn't lead to increased rates of West Nile Virus (WNV) or other mosquito-borne illnesses as some feared. This was in spite of vast amounts of standing water left by the storms and booming mosquito populations.
Test Vaccines Protect Macaques Against Marburg, Ebola (09/20/05) - A pair of test vaccines has proven to be effective at protecting monkeys against the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Developed by researchers in Canada and the US, the vaccines represent a big step forward in the quest to protect humans from these two deadly diseases.
Daily Activities Help with Weight Control (06/13/05) -Walking to the car, climbing a few stairs or making extra trips to the fax machine. These aren't the sort of things you do at the gym, but each of these activities counts in terms of burning calories and keeping weight under control.
Dope Smoking Changes Brain (04/05/2005) - Regular marijuana use causes changes in blood flow to the brain that can persist for at least a month after stopping use of the drug. Changes could explain why frequent users have memory loss.
New Hominid Species (01/20/05) - Researchers from Australia discovered remains of ancient bones that show early Homo sapiens had company: a new species
Bad HDL Cholesterol (11/15/04) - Normally thought of as the "good" cholesterol, HDL doesn't always do its job. In some people HDL undergoes changes that cause it to not do its job of cleaning up plaque.
Metal-Eating Bacteria (09/25/04) - Researchers are unraveling the details of just how certain types of bacteria are able to use iron in their metabolic processes, and cause corrosion in oil pipelines..
Sonic Squirrels (08/25/04) - Ground squirrels living in the Northern plains of North American have been found to emit screams in the ultrasonic range to warn others of their kind of oncoming danger. Until now, it was not known that any mammal used ultrasound as an alarm.
Ancestral Hemoglobin (07/15/04) - A primitive form of hemoglobin has been found in single-cell microbes living in extreme environments, and is providing an important clue about the way hemoglobin developed and changed over the past 2.5 billion years.
Stem Cell Conversion (05/15/04) - Researchers in Germany have converted stem cells from adult human bone marrow into another sort of stem cell -- ones that will turn into functioning brain cells. The findings could lead to people with conditions such as Alzheimer Disease becoming their own donors to repair brain tissue.
DNA Divergence in Cora (03/16/04) - Corals once thought to be closely related turn out to be in different families, while others turn out to be close relatives, thanks to findings from DNA taxonomic detective work.
Influenza- Crossing the Species Barrier (02/29/04) - Flu viruses have their origins in birds, but intense exposure, mutations and mingling with human-adapted viruses can make them highly infectious to humans. Clues are seen in the similaries between the 1918 flu virus and avian viruses.
Tough Micro-organisms (02/09/04) - Some micro-organisms thrive in conditions that would kill most other life. For some scientists, extremophiles provide the clue that life may exist on other planets.
Preventing Prion Disease (01/19/04) - Could genetically altering cattle so they don't create any natural prions help in the fight against Mad Cow Disease? Virginia researchers embark on a novel approach to the problem of prion disease.
It's a Small World (12-31-03) - Researchers have built a guitar about the size of a red blood cell, and can play it too.
Childhood Obesity- a Growing Problem (12/15/03) One in eight school children has a cluster of risk factors that means they will likely develop heart disease and possibly diabetes at an age far younger than their parents or grandparents.
HIV Vax- The Next Generation - (12/01/02) An effective vaccine remains the elusive but essential goal of biological researchers around the world. A new generation of vaccines now entering clinical trials could represent an important new front in the battle against AIDS.
The Eyes Have It (7/17/02) - New technologies could help ensure public health and safety as security sytems that scan the iris of the eye may soon help speed you through those long lines at the airport.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Reconsidered (HRT (6/17/02) - Once considered a boon to women during and after menopause, the risks of hormone supplementation now appear to outweigh the putative benefits, at least in some patients.
Meow Mix Cat Clone (2/15/02) - Having already cloned cattle, pigs and goats, researchers at Texas A&M University have moved on to house pets, with the first successful cloning of a common house cat.
Prehistory of Art (1/10/02) - The discovery of Paleolithic art in a cave in South Africa is causing researchers to consider an older and less Euro-centric view of the origins of what is considered 'modern behavior'.
Slowing Vision Loss (11/7/01) - Macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the Western world, has no cure and no truly effective treatment. Now researchers are happy to have discovered a treatment that at least slows the development of the disease in the form of a potent combination of antioxidant vitamins.
Nobel Biology (10/17/01) - Three biologists share this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for helping to unlock the secrets of the cell cycle, findings with broad implications in biology and medicine.
Anthrax Research (10/08/01) - New findings reported by Harvard biologists may help explain how anthrax does it damage and could lead to new strategies to prevent infection.
Whale Tale (9/24/01) - A combination of molecular biological sleuthing and good old fashioned paleontology now suggests that hippos and whales share a branch on the family tree, with one branch staying at least partly land based and the other heading for the water full time.
Disaster Response (9/12/01) - The unspeakable tragedy of recent events casts a pall of fear and uncertainty around the world. Teachers and parents are on the front lines when it comes to helping children deal with disaster. We provide here some resources we hope may help in this task.
Attacking Alzheimer's (8/3/01) - Decades of painstaking basic research in the laboratory into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease may soon pay off in the form of new screening methods and treatments for the devastating neurological disorder.
Future Vision (7/21/01) - Ophthalmic surgeons, the ones who brought us intraocular lenses for cataract treatment and LASIK for improvement of visual acuity using a laser, are now setting their sights on presbyopia, the gradual loss of near vision that accompanies aging.
Glee for Gleevec (6/21/01) - Rarely has the world of cancer research seen such enthusiasm as that surrounding the approval of new treatment called Gleevec. The new drug represents a new highly targeted approach to cancer treatment.
Sizing Up the Brain (5/14/01) - From the time of Aristotle, humans have attempted to define the distinctions between themselves and all of the other animals. This has been accompanied by questions about the nature of human nature and the soul. A series of new studies of the brain suggest new ways to look at these fundamental questions.