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Science News Archive - June 30, 2009

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Paleontologists visiting the Creation Museum at the conclusion of a convention got more than they bargained for when they found their life’s work under attack.

A research team in Texas has mapped the genome of the parasite that causes schistosomiasis, a debilitating disease that can impair childhood development. The work done at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research may lead to a vaccine and better treatments, Timothy Anderson, the research leader, told the San Antonio Express-News. If we can understand why parasites can be resistant to drugs, if we can understand the biochemical pathways that are attacked by these drugs, we can re-engineer those drugs so they do work, or we can design new drugs, The research was published Tuesday in Genome Biology. Unlike the most common parasitic disease, malaria, which remains a major killer, schistosomiasis, the second most common, is not usually fatal.

Word of the Day
upstander
  • A person who stands up for something, as contrasted to a bystander who remains inactive.
  • One of the upright handlebars on a traditional Inuit sled.
The word 'upstander' in the first sense here is a play on the word 'bystander' and the idea of 'standing up' for something.