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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

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...

2013-04-12 16:10:53

Sometimes cost saving comes in nanoscale packages. A new procedure that thickens and thins fluid at the micron level could save consumers and manufacturers money, particularly for soap products that depend on certain molecules to effectively deal with grease and dirt. Researchers at the University of Washington published their findings online April 9 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the back of most shampoos and dishwashing detergents and you'll find the word...

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...


Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.