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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

2013-05-07 16:18:57

Scientists´ picture of how a gene strongly linked to Alzheimer´s disease harms the brain may have to be revised, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found. People with harmful forms of the APOE gene have up to 12 times the risk of developing Alzheimer´s disease compared with those who have other variations of the gene. Many researchers believe that the memory loss and cognitive problems of Alzheimer´s result from the buildup over...

2013-05-01 15:32:07

A type of low-grade but sometimes lethal brain tumor in children has been found in many cases to contain an unusual mutation that may help to classify, diagnose and guide the treatment of the tumors, report scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The researchers led a study of pediatric low-grade gliomas, samples of which were collected through an international consortium organized by brain tumor specialists at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center. Their findings are being...

2013-04-30 23:19:24

Prof Rick Larrick looks at how political ideology affects how people buy energy-efficient products When it comes to deciding which light bulb to buy, a label touting the product's environmental benefit may actually discourage politically conservative shoppers. Dena Gromet and Howard Kunreuther at The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Rick Larrick at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business conducted two studies to determine how political ideology affected a person's...

2013-04-30 10:56:05

This past weekend teams from the National Football League used statistics like height, weight and speed to draft the best college players, and in a few weeks, armchair enthusiasts will use similar measures to select players for their own fantasy football teams. Neuroscientists at Carnegie Mellon University are taking a similar approach to compile "dream teams" of neurons using a statistics-based method that can evaluate the fitness of individual neurons. After assembling the teams, a...

2013-04-30 10:50:15

Mammalian females ovulate periodically over their reproductive lifetimes, placing significant demands on their ovaries for egg production. Whether mammals generate new eggs in adulthood using stem cells has been a source of scientific controversy. If true, these "germ-line stem cells" might allow novel treatments for infertility and other diseases. However, new research from Carnegie's Lei Lei and Allan Spradling demonstrates that adult mice do not use stem cells to produce new eggs. Their...

2013-04-23 12:53:36

Researchers illustrate how changes to farming could dramatically increase future costs of conservation In the face of unprecedented deforestation and biodiversity loss, policy makers are increasingly using financial incentives to encourage conservation. However, a research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) revealed that in the long run, conservation incentives may struggle to compete with future agricultural yields. Their findings were first published online in...

2013-04-18 21:35:20

Research led by a scientist at the University of York has thrown new light on the way breakdowns in the DNA copying process inside cells can contribute to cancer and other diseases. Peter McGlynn, an Anniversary Professor in the University's Department of Biology, led a team of researchers who have discovered that the protein machines that copy DNA in a model organism pause frequently during this copying process, creating the potential for dangerous mutations to develop. The research,...

2013-04-16 14:10:25

20 to 40% of European plant and animal species endangered A new study on extinction risk based on extensive data from 7 taxonomic groups and 22 European countries has shown that proportions of plant and animal species being classified as threatened on national Red Lists are more closely related to socio-economic pressure levels from the beginning than from the end of the 20th century. Stefan Dullinger of the University of Vienna and Franz Essl from the Austrian Environment Agency together...


Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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