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Cancer cell fingerprints in the blood may speed up childhood cancer diagnosis

2014-11-01
Newly-identified cancer cell fingerprints in the blood could one day help doctors diagnose a range of children's cancers faster and more accurately, according to research* presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference next week. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, found unique molecular fingerprints for 11 types of children's tumours,** which could be used to develop blood tests to diagnose these cancers. This may eventually lead to a quicker, more accurate way to diagnose tumours, ...

Study of Chile earthquake finds new rock structure that affects earthquake rupture

Study of Chile earthquake finds new rock structure that affects earthquake rupture
2014-11-01
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found an unusual mass of rock deep in the active fault line beneath Chile which influenced the rupture size of a massive earthquake that struck the region in 2010. The geological structure, which was not previously known about, is unusually dense and large for this depth in the Earth's crust. The body was revealed using 3-D seismic images of Earth's interior based on the monitoring of vibrations on the Pacific seafloor caused by aftershocks from the magnitude 8.8 Chile earthquake. This imaging works in a similar way to ...

Breaking down DNA by genome

2014-10-31
New DNA sequencing technologies have greatly advanced genomic and metagenomic studies in plant biology. Scientists can readily obtain extensive genetic information for any plant species of interest, at a relatively low cost, rapidly accelerating the pace of genome sequencing. However, since plant tissues harbor three separate genomes (nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial), it can often be challenging to isolate the particular genome of interest from extracted DNA samples. Sequencing DNA containing all three genomes therefore results in a considerable amount of wasted ...

Goodbye to rainy days for US, Japan's first rain radar in space

2014-10-31
After 17 years of groundbreaking 3-D images of rain and storms, the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) will come to an end next year. NASA predicts that science operations will cease in or about April 2015, based on the most recent analysis by mission operations at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. On July 8, 2014, pressure readings from the fuel tank indicated that TRMM was near the end of its fuel supply. As a result, NASA ceased station-keeping maneuvers that would keep the satellite at ...

Tracking a gigantic sunspot across the Sun

Tracking a gigantic sunspot across the Sun
2014-10-31
An active region on the sun – an area of intense and complex magnetic fields – rotated into view on Oct. 18, 2014. Labeled AR 12192, it soon grew into the largest such region in 24 years, and fired off 10 sizable solar flares as it traversed across the face of the sun. The region was so large it could be seen without a telescope for those looking at the sun with eclipse glasses, as many did during a partial eclipse of the sun on Oct. 23. "Despite all the flares, this region did not produce any significant coronal mass ejections," said Alex Young a solar scientist ...

Massive geographic change may have triggered explosion of animal life

Massive geographic change may have triggered explosion of animal life
2014-10-31
AUSTIN, Texas— A new analysis of geologic history may help solve the riddle of the "Cambrian explosion," the rapid diversification of animal life in the fossil record 530 million years ago that has puzzled scientists since the time of Charles Darwin. A paper by Ian Dalziel of The University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences, published in the November issue of Geology, a journal of the Geological Society of America, suggests a major tectonic event may have triggered the rise in sea level and other environmental changes that accompanied the apparent ...

Scientists replicate the tide with two buckets, aquarium tubing, and a pump

2014-10-31
Rachel MacTavish is growing salt marsh plants in microcosms that replicate the tide. She assembled them in an outdoor greenhouse at the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve in Georgia, USA, with buckets from a hardware store, aquarium tubing, and pumps. Her tidal simulation units could be an important tool for preserving and restoring environmentally important wetlands, because they enable researchers to investigate tidal marsh plant growth in a controlled setting. "Tidal wetlands are often influenced by many factors, and controlled experiments allow researchers ...

Are my muscular dystrophy drugs working?

2014-10-31
INDIANAPOLIS -- People with muscular dystrophy could one day assess the effectiveness of their medication with the help of a smartphone-linked device, a new study in mice suggests. The study used a new method to process ultrasound imaging information that could lead to hand-held instruments that provide fast, convenient medical information. In the study presented Oct. 30 at the Acoustical Society of America's annual meeting, researchers determined how well muscles damaged by muscular dystrophy responded to a drug in mice with an animal form of the disease. They did so ...

Tau, not amyloid-beta, triggers neuronal death process in Alzheimer's

2014-10-31
WASHINGTON — New research points to tau, not amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaque, as the seminal event that spurs neuron death in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The finding, which dramatically alters the prevailing theory of Alzheimer's development, also explains why some people with plaque build-up in their brains don't have dementia. The study is published online today in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration. Neuronal death happens when tau, found inside neurons, fails to function. Tau's role is to provide a structure — like a train track —inside ...

Resveratrol could reverse benefits of being active

2014-10-31
Contrary to popular belief, use of the supplement resveratrol (RSV) may not actually enhance the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Many news outlets and health blogs have long recommended RSV as a complement to exercise and to enhance performance. However, results from a study by Queen's researcher Brendon Gurd suggest that RSV may actually impede the body's response to training. "The easiest way to experience the benefits of physical activity is to be physically active," says Dr. Gurd, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. "The ...

Immune cells proposed as HIV hideout don't last in primate model

2014-10-31
Where does HIV hide? Antiretroviral drugs can usually control the virus, but can't completely eliminate it. So any strategy to eradicate HIV from the body has to take into account not only the main group of immune cells the virus targets, called CD4 or helper T cells, but other infected cells as well. New research from Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, sheds light on the question of which cells support viral replication and persistence, and the answers have implications for future efforts to eliminate HIV from the body in human patients. The ...

Mussels on California Coast contaminated with giardia transmitted from land-based sources

Mussels on California Coast contaminated with giardia transmitted from land-based sources
2014-10-31
The pathogen Giardia duodenalis is present in mussels from freshwater run-off sites and from areas where California Sea Lions lounge along the coast of California, according to a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis. One of the G. duodenalis strains found is known to infect humans; the two others occur mostly in dogs and other canids. "Thus, the detection of these assemblages implies a potential public health risk if consuming fecally contaminated water or uncooked shellfish," says coauthor Woutrina Smith. The research is published ahead of print ...

Avivagen publishes evidence for natural alternative to antibiotic use in livestock

Avivagen publishes evidence for natural alternative to antibiotic use in livestock
2014-10-31
Today the leading journal PLOS ONE published research that provides underlying scientific support for a fundamentally new type of natural alternative to the use of antibiotics in livestock feeds for growth promotion and disease prevention. The paper is the result of work by both independent and company scientists. Avivagen Inc. is a wellness company developing and delivering products that support and enhance the health and quality of life for animals and the people who care for them. The discovery that the product formed by full, spontaneous oxidation of beta-carotene, ...

Drug tests on mothers' hair links recreational drug use to birth defects

Drug tests on mothers hair links recreational drug use to birth defects
2014-10-31
Drug tests on 517 mothers in English inner city hospitals found that nearly 15% had taken recreational drugs during pregnancy and that mothers of babies with birth defects of the brain were significantly more likely to have taken drugs than mothers with normal babies. The study found no significant links between recreational drug use and any other type of birth defect. The study was led by a team of UCL researchers co-ordinating data collection from hospitals across London, Bristol and Birmingham and the results are published in the journal PLOS ONE. The study included ...

Bladderwrack: Tougher than suspected

2014-10-31
It is up to 30 centimetres long, it has a green-brown color and is probably known to every beach walker on the North and Baltic Sea: the bladderwrack, a seaweed, which is common on the coasts of the whole North Atlantic area. The bladderwrack provides food and habitat for many other organisms. Its abundance is considered to be an indication of whether a coastal ecosystem is intact or not. Especially in the German Baltic Sea, however, the populations have declined considerably in the past decade. The reasons for this are not yet fully known. "Against this background, it ...

Fun and games make for better learners

2014-10-31
Four minutes of physical activity can improve behaviour in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd. A brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a "FUNterval," for Grade 2 and Grade 4 students reduced off-task behaviours like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom. "While 20 minutes of daily physical activity (DPA) is required in Ontario primary schools, there is a need for innovative and accessible ways for teachers to meet this requirement," says Dr. Gurd, lead researcher and professor in the School of Kinesiology ...

Scientists seek cure for devastating witches' broom disease of the chocolate tree

Scientists seek cure for devastating witches broom disease of the chocolate tree
2014-10-31
In the early 1900s, Brazil was the world's largest producer of cocoa. Chocolate trees (Theobroma cacao) were cultivated in a 800, 000 ha region of rainforest in the state of Bahia, beneath a dense canopy of native shade trees. Whereas the surrounding rainforest was a biodiversity hotspot, the chocolate trees, which were derived mainly from a handful of seeds introduced in the mid 1700s, had very low levels of genetic variation. According to Brazilian scientist Gonçalo Pereira, "This scenario created a very romantic, but extremely fragile situation". Genetic variation ...

Decoding the emergence of metastatic cancer stem cells

2014-10-31
In the first study of its kind, Rice University researchers have mapped how information flows through the genetic circuits that cause cancer cells to become metastatic. The research reveals a common pattern in the decision-making that allows cancer cells to both migrate and form new tumors. Researchers say the commonality may open the door to new drugs that interfere with the genetic switches that cancer must flip to form both cancer stem cells and circulating tumor cells -- two of the main players in cancer metastasis. "Cells have genetic circuits that are used to switch ...

Cell division, minus the cells

Cell division, minus the cells
2014-10-31
The process of cell division is central to life. The last stage, when two daughter cells split from each other, has fascinated scientists since the dawn of cell biology in the Victorian era. For just as long, it has been notoriously difficult to study this final step, when the dividing cell creates a furrow before cleaving in two. The name given to this process by those early biologists, cytokinesis, translates as "cell movement" and captures the sense of a highly active and organized series of events. Scientists have now learned much more about the proteins involved ...

Is fleet diversity key to sustainable fisheries?

Is fleet diversity key to sustainable fisheries?
2014-10-31
Santa Barbara, Calif. — Concern about fisheries is widespread around the world. Over the past several decades, a robust discussion has taken place concerning how to manage fisheries better to benefit ecosystems and humans. Much of the discussion has focused on preserving biological diversity, a critical component of healthy ecosystems. One aspect that gets less attention is the role of fishing fleet diversity. Fishing fleets can be diverse in many ways, including the gear they use, the fishing grounds they visit and when, and the species they target. A new study ...

Captive rhinos exposed to urban rumbles

2014-10-31
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2014 -- The soundtrack to a wild rhinoceros's life is wind passing through the savannah grass, birds chirping, and distant animals moving across the plains. But a rhinoceros in a zoo listens to children screaming, cars passing, and the persistent hum of urban life. A group of researchers from Texas believes that this discrepancy in soundscape may be contributing to rhinos' difficulties thriving and reproducing in captivity. During the 168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), which will be held October 27-31, 2014, at the ...

Insomnia increases risk of motor vehicle deaths, other fatal injuries

2014-10-31
DARIEN, IL – New research suggests that insomnia is a major contributor to deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional fatal injuries. The results underscore the importance of the "Sleep Well, Be Well" campaign of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. Results show that the risk of unintentional fatal injury increased in a dose-dependent manner with the number of insomnia symptoms present. People with all three symptoms of insomnia were 2.8 times more likely to die from a fatal injury than those with no insomnia symptoms, even after adjusting ...

Advance directives can benefit patients, families, and health care system

2014-10-31
Nearly one out of four older Americans say that either they or a family member have experienced excessive or unwanted medical treatment, according to the latest issue of The Gerontological Society of America's Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR), which goes on to show that Americans strongly support holding doctors accountable when they fail to honor patients' end-of-life health care wishes. This PP&AR, titled "Advanced Illness Care: Issues and Options," features 12 articles that present new ways of understanding the complexity of securing appropriate advanced illness ...

A new generation of storage -- ring

A new generation of storage -- ring
2014-10-31
A bright synchrotron source that emits over a wide part of the electromagnetic spectrum from the infrared to hard X-rays is currently being built in Lund, Sweden. The MAX IV facility presents a range of technical challenges for the team putting together its component parts in a storage - ring synchrotron system that will have a circumference of just a few hundred metres. Nevertheless, if these various challenges can be addressed then an entirely new class of experiments that require source brightness and transverse coherence will be possible. Pedro Tavares and colleagues ...

Viewing cancer on the move: New device yields close-up look at metastasis

Viewing cancer on the move: New device yields close-up look at metastasis
2014-10-31
Johns Hopkins engineers have invented a lab device to give cancer researchers an unprecedented microscopic look at metastasis, the complex way that tumor cells spread through the body, causing more than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths. By shedding light on precisely how tumor cells travel, the device could uncover new ways to keep cancer in check. The inventors, from the university's Whiting School of Engineering and its Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT), published details and images from their new system recently in the journal Cancer Research. Their article ...
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