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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

2012-08-07 09:59:57

Hearing generic language to describe a category of people, such as "boys have short hair," can lead children to endorse a range of other stereotypes about the category, a study by researchers at New York University and Princeton University has found. Their research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), also points to more effective methods to reduce stereotyping and prejudice. The study focused on "social essentialism," or the belief that certain...

2012-08-02 15:26:11

The body has a built-in system known as autophagy, or 'self-eating,' that controls how cells live or die. Deregulation of autophagy is linked to the development of human diseases, including neural degeneration and cancer. In a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Oxford discovered a critical molecular switch that regulates autophagy. They also studied the links between autophagy...

2012-08-02 13:46:02

It's relatively easy to collect massive amounts of data on microbes. But the files are so large that it takes days to simply transmit them to other researchers and months to analyze once they are received. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a new computational technique, featured in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that relieves the logjam that these "big data" issues create. Microbial communities living in soil or the ocean...

New Coating Boots Out Biofilms For Good
2012-07-30 16:23:35

Slippery technology shown to prevent more than 99 percent of harmful bacterial slime from forming on surfaces Biofilms may no longer have any solid ground upon which to stand. A team of Harvard scientists has developed a slick way to prevent the troublesome bacterial communities from ever forming on a surface. Biofilms stick to just about everything, from copper pipes to steel ship hulls to glass catheters. The slimy coatings are more than just a nuisance, resulting in decreased energy...

2012-07-26 14:29:23

Viral evolution and host protein levels predict rapid disease progression Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified several factors in people infected with the hepatitis C virus that may predict whether the unusually rapid progression of disease from initial infection to severe liver conditions, such as cirrhosis, will occur. Knowing whether a patient's condition is likely to deteriorate quickly could help physicians decide on the best course of treatment. The...

2012-07-18 01:14:06

Managers who have more -- and more subtle — tools may be able to generate more profit from a sustainable fishery than they can using marine protected areas alone As spatial planning is used increasingly to manage fisheries and other ocean resources, researchers are working to determine the best ways to use and refine the various spatial management tools. Among them are marine protected areas (MPAs), one of the most common methods, which limit or entirely curtail fishing in a given...

New Therapeutic Option Derived From Cord Blood Cells
2012-07-16 15:02:22

Protocol may open new avenues for cell-replacement therapies for neurological conditions For more than 20 years, doctors have been using cells from blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after childbirth to treat a variety of illnesses, from cancer and immune disorders to blood and metabolic diseases. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found a new way-using a single protein, known as a transcription factor-to convert cord blood (CB) cells...

Let Fungus Reproduce
2012-07-16 14:27:40

New biogeochemical understanding of manganese oxidation lends insight to environmental remediation Harvard-led researchers have discovered that an Ascomycete fungus that is common in polluted water produces environmentally important minerals during asexual reproduction. The key chemical in the process, superoxide, is a byproduct of fungal growth when the organism produces spores. Once released into the environment, superoxide reacts with the element manganese (Mn), producing a highly...

Eyes In The Sky
2012-07-11 13:12:17

UI researchers develop technique to help pollution forecasters see past clouds Until now, scientists who study air pollution using satellite imagery have been limited by weather. Clouds, in particular, provide much less information than a sunny day. University of Iowa scientists have created a technique to help satellites "see" through the clouds and better estimate the concentration of pollutants, such as soot. The finding is important, because, like GPS systems, clouds block...

2012-07-10 10:27:29

Diels and Alder won the Nobel; now UCLA's Kendall Houk makes the movie In 1928, chemists Otto Diels and Kurt Alder first documented diene synthesis, a chemical reaction important for synthesizing many polymers, alkaloids and steroids. Their work on this mechanism, which came to be known as the Diels—Alder reaction, won them the 1950 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Since then, the iconic reaction has become the most commonly used and studied mechanism in organic chemistry. But what...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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