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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

2013-04-12 15:54:36

Researchers have discovered that rising temperature induces key changes in the dengue virus when it enters its human host, and the findings represent a new approach for designing vaccines against the aggressive mosquito-borne pathogen. The researchers found that the dengue virus particles swell slightly and take on a bumpy appearance when heated to human body temperature, exposing "epitopes," or regions where antibodies could attach to neutralize the virus. The discovery is significant...

2013-04-12 15:46:28

First method to use weather station measurements to obtain daily evaporation rates Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Boston University have developed the first method to map evaporation globally using weather stations, which will help scientists evaluate water resource management, assess recent trends of evaporation throughout the globe, and validate surface hydrologic models in various conditions. The study was published in the April 1 online Early Edition of Proceedings of the...

2013-04-09 18:36:42

NIH study identifies a protein that helps trigger both processes Two researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered a new genetic link between the rapid growth of healthy fetuses and the uncontrolled cell division in cancer. The findings shed light on normal development and on the genetic underpinnings of common cancers. The work, conducted using mouse and human tissue, appears in today's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors, Julian C....

2013-04-09 18:34:58

There's an epic battle taking place that's not on the national radar: intercellular competition. While it's not an Olympic event, new research from UC Santa Barbara demonstrates that this microscopic rivalry can be just as fierce as humans going for the gold. Christopher Hayes, UCSB associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, along with postdoctoral fellow Sanna Koskiniemi, graduate student James Lamoureux, and others, examined the role certain proteins, called...

2013-04-08 12:14:47

Aluminum salts, or alum, have been injected into billions of people as an adjuvant to make vaccines more effective. No one knows, however, how they boost the immune response. In the March 19, 2013, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers at National Jewish Health continue unraveling the mystery of adjuvants with a report that host DNA coats the alum adjuvant and induces two crucial cells to interact twice as long during the initial stimulation of the adaptive...

2013-04-08 12:13:20

3-year study offers new evidence about where scientists should be looking A structural biologist at the Florida State University College of Medicine has made discoveries that could lead scientists a step closer to understanding how life first emerged on Earth billions of years ago. Professor Michael Blaber and his team produced data supporting the idea that 10 amino acids believed to exist on Earth around 4 billion years ago were capable of forming foldable proteins in a high-salt...

2013-04-04 15:35:36

Varying lectures with tests improves attention, note-taking, and retention The number of online educational offerings has exploded in recent years, but their rapid rise has spawned a critical question: Can such “virtual” classes cut through the maze of distractions –  such as email, the Internet, and television – that face students sitting at their computers? The solution, Harvard researchers say, is to test students early and often. By interspersing...

2013-04-02 12:46:05

The most common genetic cause of both ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and FTD (frontotemporal dementia) was recently identified as an alteration in the gene C9orf72. But how the mutation causes neurodegenerative disease appeared mysterious. Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have demonstrated that this ALS/FTD mutation may be harmful because it creates an "RNA sponge," soaking up an important regulatory protein that binds RNA. The results were published online Monday...

2013-04-02 12:32:57

Mutations in a protein called SPOP (speckle-type POZ protein) disarm it, allowing another protein called steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3) to encourage the proliferation and spread of prostate cancer cells, said researchers led by those at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Normally SPOP acts as a tumor suppressor gene by marking SRC-3 for destruction, said Dr. Nicholas Mitsiades, assistant professor of...

2013-03-26 19:57:42

Solutions that meet the broad, varied, and often competing priorities of conservation are difficult to come by. Research published in the March 28 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences takes a hard look at why, in an effort to find ways to resolve the issue. "People often think of conservation solutions that are effective, cost-efficient, and equitable —— the so-called triple bottom line solutions —— as the holy grail, the best possible...


Word of the Day
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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