Latest Washington University Stories

'BRIGHTS' Reveal Location Of Targeted Tissues
2012-11-21 10:41:38

Washington University in St. Louis Called BRIGHTs, the tiny probes described in the online issue of Advanced Materials on Nov. 15, bind to biomarkers of disease and, when swept by an infrared laser, light up to reveal their location. Tiny as they are, the probes are exquisitely engineered objects: gold nanoparticles covered with molecules called Raman reporters, in turn covered by a thin shell of gold that spontaneously forms a dodecahedron. The Raman reporters are molecules whose...

Bacterial Genes Make A Complex Logic Circuit
2012-10-13 11:27:12

The circuit is designed to act as the controller in synthetic bacteria that monitor and modify their environment By force of habit we tend to assume computers are made of silicon, but there is actually no necessary connection between the machine and the material. All that an engineer needs to do to make a computer is to find a way to build logic gates – the elementary building blocks of digital computers – in whatever material is handy. So logic gates could theoretically be...

2012-09-10 14:43:59

A nationwide consortium of scientists has reported the first comprehensive genetic analysis of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, a common type of lung cancer responsible for about 400,000 deaths each year. "We found that almost 75 percent of the patients' cancers have mutations that can be targeted with existing drugs -- drugs that are available commercially or for clinical trials," says one of the lead investigators, Ramaswamy Govindan, MD, an oncologist at Washington University School...

2012-08-24 19:26:57

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Glaciologists from Pennsylvania State University and Washington University said their recent study on the David Glacier that appeared in Nature Geoscience not only provides a window into the behavior of glaciers–it also could be used as a simple model for the mechanism behind slip-stick earthquakes like those that occur in Haiti or along the San Andreas Fault. From 2002 to 2003, the research team recorded over 20,000...

Foundational Concept Of Ecology Tested With Experiment
2012-06-25 10:38:21

Acting through links between four trophic levels and across two ecosystems, purple loosestrife altered life in nearby ponds An elementary school science activity asks children who have each been assigned a wetland plant or animal to connect themselves with string and tape to other “organisms” their assigned plant or animal interacts with in some way. Once an ecosystem web has been created, the teacher describes an event that affects one “organism.” That...

2012-06-19 00:03:38

International collaboration puts molecular face on enzyme family that allows plants to adjust quickly to herbivore attack or changes in growing conditions Science has known about plant hormones since Charles Darwin experimented with plant shoots and showed that the shoots bend toward the light as long as their tips, which are secreting a growth hormone, aren´t cut off. But it is only recently that scientists have begun to put a molecular face on the biochemical systems that...

2012-05-21 20:18:20

Folic acid fortification of foods may reduce the incidence of the most common type of kidney cancer and a type of brain tumors in children, finds a new study by Kimberly J. Johnson, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, and Amy Linabery, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. Incidence reductions were found for Wilms' tumor, a type of kidney cancer, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET), a type of brain cancer. Since...

2012-03-22 23:00:40

Photoacoustic tomography can 'see' in color and detail several inches beneath the skin Every new imaging technology has an aura of magic about it because it suddenly reveals what had been concealed, and makes visible what had been invisible. So, too, with photoacoustic tomography, which is allowing scientists to virtually peel away the top several inches of flesh to see what lies beneath. The technique achieves this depth vision by an elegant marriage between light and sound, combining...

Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'