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Latest National Academy of Sciences Stories

2013-12-17 11:04:05

Targeting the stem rather than the head of a critical protein is the challenging but promising tactic of a new study Every year the approach of flu season sets off a medical guessing game with life or death consequences. There are many different strains of flu and they vary from year to year. So each season authorities must make an educated guess and tell manufacturers which variants of the flu they should produce vaccines against. Even when this system works, flu-related illnesses can...

2013-12-17 10:56:35

Researchers included 48 middle- and high-school students in five states, from Arkansas to Maine A chemical bond discovered by Vanderbilt University scientists that is essential for animal life and which hastened the "dawn of the animal kingdom" could lead to new therapies for cancer and other diseases. The report, published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), was co-authored by 83 participants in the "Aspirnaut" K-20 STEM pipeline program for...

2013-12-10 10:29:34

A team led by a longtime Oregon Health & Science University researcher has demonstrated in mice what could be a revolutionary new technique to cure a wide range of human diseases — from cystic fibrosis to cataracts to Alzheimer's disease — that are caused by "misfolded" protein molecules. Misfolded protein molecules, caused by gene mutation, are capable of maintaining their function but are misrouted within the cell and can’t work normally, thus causing disease. The OHSU team...

2013-12-10 10:27:32

Shifts in zinc's location could be exploited for early diagnosis of prostate cancer Zinc, an essential nutrient, is found in every tissue in the body. The vast majority of the metal ion is tightly bound to proteins, helping them to perform biological reactions. Tiny amounts of zinc, however, are only loosely bound, or "mobile," and thought to be critical for proper function in organs such as the brain, pancreas, and prostate gland. Yet the exact roles the ion plays in biological systems...

2013-11-26 14:00:16

Rice U. researchers find misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates A method by Rice University researchers to model the way proteins fold – and sometimes misfold – has revealed branching behavior that may have implications for Alzheimer’s and other aggregation diseases. Results from the research will appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In an earlier study of the muscle protein titin, Rice chemist Peter Wolynes...

2013-11-26 10:26:13

The findings have the potential to translate into millions of saved lives Sepsis, the body's response to severe infections, kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. On average, 30 percent of those diagnosed with sepsis die. A new study conducted by Jamey Marth, director of UC Santa Barbara's Center for Nanomedicine and professor of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, reports a new method to increase survival in sepsis. The results appear...

2013-11-26 10:23:29

Retroviruses are important pathogens capable of crossing species barriers to infect new hosts, but knowledge of their evolutionary history is limited. By mapping endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), retroviruses whose genes have become part of the host organism's genome, researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, can now provide unique insights into the evolutionary relationships of retroviruses and their host species. The findings will be published in a coming issue of Proceedings of the National...

2013-11-19 12:22:00

Drugs known as PDE3 inhibitors save many lives by helping failing hearts do a better job of pumping blood. But those same medications come with a sometimes deadly cost when taken for long periods: an increased risk for sudden cardiac death. The drugs work by inhibiting PDE3A, an enzyme that regulates how the heart pumps blood. When PDE3A is inhibited, the heart contracts more forcefully, pumping more blood. Developing a medication that has the benefits of current drugs but doesn't...

2013-11-05 10:53:12

Study of internet dating suggests racial barriers can be overcome Usually, research findings on the state of U.S. race relations are pretty bleak. But a study of online dating by UC San Diego sociologist Kevin Lewis suggests that racial barriers to romance are not as insurmountable as we might suppose. Published Nov. 4 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "The Limits of Racial Prejudice" analyzes, over a two-and-a-half month period, the...

2013-11-04 14:15:08

Scientists find that key gene activates muscle growth For decades, scientists have searched for treatments for myopathies — genetic muscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy and ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease. Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Arizona State and Stanford Universities, and the University of Arizona, has discovered a new avenue to search for treatment possibilities. The team's research findings are featured in an article in this week's early...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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