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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

2013-02-05 10:28:21

Surprising result suggests that enhancing these mutations´ impact could offer a new way to treat cancer. A typical cancer cell has thousands of mutations scattered throughout its genome and hundreds of mutated genes. However, only a handful of those genes, known as drivers, are responsible for cancerous traits such as uncontrolled growth. Cancer biologists have largely ignored the other mutations, believing they had little or no impact on cancer progression. But a new study from...

2013-01-29 10:14:54

A new way of looking at a cell's surface reveals the distribution of small molecules in the cell membrane, changing the understanding of its organization. A novel imaging study by researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of Illinois and the National Institutes of Health revealed some unexpected relationships among molecules within cell membranes. Their findings provide a new way of studying cell structure and ultimately its function. Led by Mary Kraft...

2013-01-29 09:47:14

Tooth development and weaning in chimpanzees not as closely related as once thought, researchers say For more than two decades, scientists have relied on studies that linked juvenile primate tooth development with their weaning as a rough proxy for understanding similar developmental landmarks in the evolution of early humans. New research from Harvard, however, is challenging those conclusions by showing that tooth development and weaning aren't as closely related as previously thought....

2013-01-28 13:52:49

Vanderbilt biochemists have discovered that the process bacteria undergo when they become drug resistant can act as a powerful tool for drug discovery. Their findings — reported this week in the Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — should give a major boost to natural products drug discovery — the process of finding new drugs from compounds isolated from living organisms — by substantially increasing the number of novel...

2013-01-25 09:29:46

The mosquitoes that spread dengue fever tap into the domestic networks of humans, along with their bloodstreams, finds a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The data from Iquitos, Peru, shows that the trail of the most rapid transmission of human infections does not lead through large, public gathering places, as might be expected, but from house-to-house, as people visit nearby friends and relatives. “It´s common in a...

2013-01-23 11:53:54

The amount of rainfall and number of tropical storms during the summer monsoon season greatly impact the agriculture, economy, and people in Asia. Though meteorologists and climate scientists have worked for years to develop helpful prediction systems, seasonal predictions of these two types of weather phenomena are still poor. Scientists working at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, have now made a promising breakthrough for predicting in spring both...

2013-01-22 10:42:06

Studies suggest new approach to treating HIV A team of researchers based at Johns Hopkins has decoded a system that makes certain types of immune cells impervious to HIV infection. The system's two vital components are high levels of a molecule that becomes embedded in viral DNA like a code written in invisible ink, and an enzyme that, when it reads the code, switches from repairing the DNA to chopping it up into unusable pieces. The researchers, who report the find in the Jan. 21 early...

2013-01-16 10:37:00

Ecologists at the University of Toronto and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) have found that, given time, invading exotic plants will likely eliminate native plants growing in the wild despite recent reports to the contrary. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that recent statements that invasive plants are not problematic are often based on incomplete information, with insufficient time having passed to observe...

2013-01-15 10:44:38

Using an innovative approach, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have determined the structure of Ltn1, a recently discovered “quality-control” protein that is found in the cells of all plants, fungi and animals. Ltn1 appears to be essential for keeping cells´ protein-making machinery working smoothly. It may also be relevant to human neurodegenerative diseases, for an Ltn1 mutation in mice leads to a motor-neuron disease resembling amyotrophic lateral...

2013-01-08 23:21:42

Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics -- the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry. "Most chemical feedstocks come from petroleum and natural gas, and we need other sources," said Shota Atsumi, assistant professor of chemistry at UC Davis and lead author on the study published Jan. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The U.S....


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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