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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...

2012-03-16 11:20:26

Understanding factors that promote smoking key to improving cessation rates Smoking, the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, continues to disproportionately impact lower income members of racial and ethnic minority groups. In a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at how perceived discrimination influences smoking rates among...

Image 1 - Scientists Learn How Insects 'Remodel' Their Bodies Between Life Stages
2012-03-01 04:47:52

Similar mechanisms may drive changes in puberty It´s one of life´s special moments: a child finds a fat caterpillar, puts it in a jar with a twig and a few leaves, and awakens one day to find the caterpillar has disappeared and an elegant but apparently lifeless case now hangs from the twig. Then, when the jar has been forgotten, soft beating against its glass walls calls attention to a new wonder: the jar now holds a fragile-winged butterfly or dusky moth with fringed...

A New Take On Planetary Accretion
2012-02-29 09:39:21

The prevailing model for planetary accretion, also called fractal assembly, and dating back as far as the 18th century, assumes that the Solar System´s planets grew as small grains colliding chaotically, coalescing into bigger ones, colliding yet more until they formed planetesimals. The planetesimals then collided until they formed planets as varied as the Earth and Jupiter. The model assumes that this occurred in an extremely hot (as high as 1,600 degrees Celsius) environment for...

2012-02-27 10:57:52

Squirrels and raccoons will give up food to avoid ticks Here´s a riddle: What´s the difference between a tick and a lion? The answer used to be that a tick is a parasite and the lion is a predator. But now those definitions don´t seem as secure as they once did. A tick also hunts its prey, following vapor trails of carbon dioxide, and consumes host tissues (blood is considered a tissue), so at least in terms of its interactions with other creatures, it is like a lion...

2012-02-17 11:11:05

Even without combat, military service has subtle, lingering effects, study says It´s no secret that battlefield trauma can leave veterans with deep emotional scars that impact their ability to function in civilian life. But new research led by Washington University in St. Louis suggests that military service, even without combat, has a subtle lingering effect on a man´s personality, making it potentially more difficult for veterans to get along with friends, family and...

2012-01-27 10:25:50

In 2011 – to the consternation of women everywhere – a systematic review of randomized clinical trials showed that routine mammography was of little value to younger women at average or low risk of breast cancer. The review showed, for example, that for every 50-year-old woman whose life is prolonged by mammography, dozens are treated unnecessarily – some with harmful consequences – or treated without benefit. Hundreds are told they have breast cancer when they do...

2012-01-11 21:30:53

Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project findings help solve mystery of retinoblastoma's rapid growth in work that also yields a new treatment target and possible therapy Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project (PCGP) have helped identify the mechanism that makes the childhood eye tumor retinoblastoma so aggressive. The discovery explains why the tumor develops so rapidly while other cancers can take years or even decades to form. The finding also led...

Image 1 - Close Family Ties Keep Microbial Cheaters In Check
2011-12-17 04:14:20

Experiments on "slime mold" explain why almost all multicellular organisms begin life as a single cell Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special challenge for evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing; only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation required by multicellular existence actually evolve? Why aren't all creatures unicellular individualists...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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