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Latest Washington University Stories

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...

Lead Levels In Drinking Water Spike When Copper And Lead Pipes Are Joined
2011-12-16 04:28:12

Levels linked to galvanic corrosion, disinfectants, pH Lead pipes once used routinely in municipal water distribution systems are a well-recognized source of dangerous lead contamination, but new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that the partial replacement of these pipes can make the problem worse. The research shows that joining old lead pipes with new copper lines using brass fittings spurs galvanic corrosion that can dramatically increase the amount of lead...

2011-12-15 17:10:50

Experiments 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 difficulty for the theory of evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing, and only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation multicellular existence requires ever evolve? Why aren't all creatures unicellular individualists determined...

Image 1 - Human, AI Join Forces To Pinpoint Fossil Locations
2011-11-22 10:33:21

WUSTL paleoanthropologist, colleagues develop artificial neural network model to predict location of fossil sites In 1991, a team led by Washington University in St. Louis paleoanthropologist Glenn Conroy, PhD, discovered the fossils of the first – and still the only – known pre-human ape ever found south of the equator in Africa after only 30 minutes of searching a limestone cave in Namibia. Traditionally, fossil-hunters often could only make educated guesses as to where...

The Contact Lens Of The Future
2011-11-22 09:40:51

Contact lenses have been around for decades, correcting vision problems and giving cosmetic or therapeutic aid, but what about using them as a mini-monitor to project text messages or short emails right in front of your eye? Sound like science fiction? Well, according to US researchers at Washington University, the idea of wearing computerized contact lenses is very close to reality. The futuristic technology has taken a step closer with the development of a prototype lens that could...

Nerve Cells Help Our Brain Make Sense Of Our Senses
2011-11-21 10:56:22

[ Watch the Video ] The human brain is bombarded with a cacophony of information from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin. Now a team of scientists at the University of Rochester, Washington University in St. Louis, and Baylor College of Medicine has unraveled how the brain manages to process those complex, rapidly changing, and often conflicting sensory signals to make sense of our world. The answer lies in a relatively simple computation performed by single nerve cells, an operation...

Cosmic Voyager Has A Layover In St. Louis
2011-11-10 09:15:24

[ Watch the Video ] WUSTL geochemist helps analyze rare and beautiful meteorite found by a Missouri farmer Last January two amateur meteorite hunters dropped by Randy Korotev´s office at Washington University in St. Louis to show him their latest purchase, a 17-kilogram pallasite meteorite found in 2006 near Conception Junction (population 202) in northwest Missouri. Korotev, research professor in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences and an expert in lunar...

2011-10-14 20:41:12

Scientists have developed a way to evaluate new treatments for some forms of attention deficit disorder. Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that they can use brain scans to quickly test whether drugs increase levels of a brain chemical known as dopamine. In a study published last year, the same group found that raising dopamine levels in mice alleviates attention deficits caused by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a condition that...

2011-10-05 15:13:13

"Too busy," and "too complicated." These are the typical excuses one might expect when medical professionals are asked why they fail to use online error-reporting systems designed to improve patient safety and the quality of care. But Johns Hopkins investigators found instead that the most common reason among radiation oncologists was fear of getting into trouble and embarrassment. Investigators e-mailed an anonymous survey to physicians, nurses, radiation physicists and other radiation...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.