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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

2012-09-20 16:58:57

MGH study identifies components responsible for therapy-blocking solid stress, suggests therapeutic strategies It's a high-pressure environment within solid tumors. Abnormal blood and lymphatic vessels cause fluids to accumulate, and the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells within limited space leads to the buildup of what is called solid stress. Both types of pressure can interfere with the effectiveness of anticancer treatments, but while strategies have been developed that reduce...

2012-09-20 16:50:12

Scientists have identified a key molecular player in a chain of events in the body that can lead to fatty liver disease, Type II diabetes and other metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity. By blocking this molecule, the researchers were able to reverse some of the pathology it caused in obese mice. Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. MiR-34a (pronounced MEER-34a), a micro-RNA, occurs at higher than normal levels in the livers of obese...

2012-09-19 16:54:50

Positive results shown for cancer, Alzheimer´s and obesity drugs Nanoparticles have shown great promise in the targeted delivery of drugs to cells, but researchers at the University of Georgia have refined the drug delivery process further by using nanoparticles to deliver drugs to a specific organelle within cells. By targeting mitochondria, often called "the powerhouse of cells," the researchers increased the effectiveness of mitochondria-acting therapeutics used to treat cancer,...

2012-09-05 11:12:44

Scientists and engineers around the world are working to find a way to power the planet using solar-powered fuel cells. Such green systems would split water during daylight hours, generating hydrogen (H2) that could then be stored and used later to produce water and electricity. But robust catalysts are needed to drive the water-splitting reaction. Platinum catalysts are quite good at this, but platinum is too rare and expensive to scale up for use worldwide. Several cobalt and nickel...

2012-09-04 10:49:44

You already know it's hard to balance your checkbook while simultaneously reflecting on your past. Now, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine – having done the equivalent of wire-tapping a hard-to-reach region of the brain – can tell us how this impasse arises. The researchers showed that groups of nerve cells in a structure called the posterior medial cortex, or PMC, are strongly activated during a recall task such as trying to remember whether you had...

2012-09-04 10:45:34

Scorekeeping of past favors isn't, however, a factor While exchanging favors with others, humans tend to think in terms of tit-for-tat, an assumption easily extended to other animals. As a result, reciprocity is often viewed as a cognitive feat requiring memory, perhaps even calculation. But what if the process is simpler, not only in other animals but in humans as well? Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have determined monkeys may gain the...

2012-08-21 23:30:56

Discovery could lead to therapies for this condition, and a better understanding of how genetic mutations in the nervous system cause movement disorders in other parts of the body with a long term view to encouraging the re-growth of damaged cells A research team from King's College London and the University of Exeter Medical School has identified how a genetic mutation acts during the development of nerves responsible for controlling eye muscles, resulting in movement disorders such as...

2012-08-21 01:26:58

Discovery may inform new strategies for curbing worldwide obesity epidemic Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a common compound in the modern diet that could play a major role in the development of abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. The findings are published in the August 20, 2012 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research team, led by Helen Vlassara, MD, Professor and Director of the Division of...

2012-08-21 01:25:21

A new study suggests that a polyclonal antibody that blocks follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in mice without ovaries might offer a more effective way to prevent or arrest osteoporosis than currently available treatments. The study used a mouse model of menopause to show that an injection of a polyclonal antipeptide antibody enhances bone regeneration by simultaneously slowing bone destruction and building bone, say researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. In addition,...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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