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Next-gen GMOs are Colorful, Healthy

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

Cancer-fighting pink pineapples, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils may someday be on grocery shelves alongside more traditional products. These genetically engineered foods could receive government approval in the coming years, following the OK recently given to apples that don't brown and potatoes that don't bruise.

Gel May Improve Painkiller Delivery

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of York | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new drug release gel, which may help avoid some of the side effects...

Worm Lizards Traveled the World by Sea

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

Tiny, burrowing reptiles known as worm lizards became widespread long after the breakup of the...

Blood Test Foresees Severity of Food Allergies

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Mount Sinai | News | Comments

To detect food allergies, physicians typically use skin prick tests or blood tests that measure...

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Antioxidants May Treat Concussions

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology | News | Comments

Common among athletes and soldiers, it is estimated that 3.4 million concussions occur each year in the U.S. The development of a readily available oral supplement would have the potential to improve brain function in a percentage of concussion sufferers. A study suggests antioxidants may play a key role in reducing the long-term effects of concussions and could potentially offer a unique new approach for treatment.

Only Some Urban Ants Like Human Food

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

Research has found that some— but not all— of the ant species on the streets of Manhattan have developed a taste for human food, offering insight into why certain ants are thriving in urban environments. The findings stem from a study that tested isotope levels in New York City ants to determine the makeup of their diet.

Worm Lizards Traveled the World by Sea

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

Tiny, burrowing reptiles known as worm lizards became widespread long after the breakup of the continents, leading scientists to conclude that they must have dispersed by rafting across oceans soon after the extinction of the dinosaurs, rather than by continental drift as previously thought.

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Cancer Drug Restores Memories in Mice with Alzheimer’s

April 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Yale School of Medicine | News | Comments

A drug, AZD05030, proved disappointing in treating solid tumors but appears to block damage triggered during the formation of amyloid-beta plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study, funded by an NIH program to test failed drugs on different diseases, has led to the launch of human trials to test the efficacy of the drug in Alzheimer’s patients.

Physicists Shed Light on Strange Medical Condition

April 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Physicists have shed light on the intricate dynamics underpinning a mysterious tongue condition that has been puzzling the medical community for decades. Known as geographic tongue, the condition affects around 2 percent of the population and is characterized by evolving red patches on the surface of the tongue that can have a map-like resemblance.

Tiny Bird Migrates 1,500 Miles Nonstop

April 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst | News | Comments

For more than 50 years, scientists had tantalizing clues suggesting that a tiny, boreal forest songbird departs each fall from New England and eastern Canada to migrate nonstop in a direct line over the Atlantic Ocean toward South America. Now, biologists are reporting "irrefutable evidence" that the birds complete a nonstop flight ranging from about 1,410 to 1,721 miles in just two to three days.

Seahorses’ Tails are Clues to Flexible, Strong Devices

April 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology | News | Comments

Researchers are making progress in using computer modeling and 3-D shape analysis to understand how the unique grasping tails of seahorses evolved. These prehensile tails combine the seemingly contradictory characteristics of flexibility and rigidity, and knowing how seahorses accomplish this feat could help engineers create devices that are both flexible and strong.

Nature of Nurture is All About Mom

April 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Guelph | News | Comments

When it comes to survival of the fittest, it's all about your mother— at least in the squirrel world. New research shows that adaptive success in squirrels is often hidden in the genes of their mother.

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Why Prenatal Nutrition Impacts Weight Later

March 31, 2015 3:00 pm | by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology | News | Comments

Babies receiving poor nutrition in the womb tend to be smaller at birth, which has been linked to the development of obesity and other health problems later in life. A new study examines how poor fetal nutrition affects protein expression in the fat tissue of adult rats, revealing key differences between males and females.

Fish Holds Its Breath for Hours to Survive

March 31, 2015 3:00 pm | by American Physiological Society | News | Comments

The desert pupfish has been playing evolutionary catch-up because of the extreme changes in its environment over the last 10,000 years. The shrinking scope of its natural habitat has caused the pupfish to adapt in a surprising way— it essentially goes without oxygen for up to five hour stretches.

Glowing Tampons ID Sewage in Rivers

March 31, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Sheffield | News | Comments

The natural, untreated cotton in tampons readily absorbs optical brighteners— chemicals used to enhance whites and brighten colors— that show up under UV light. Using a mix of tests and field trials, researchers have shown that when tampons are suspended in water contaminated by even very small amounts of detergents or sewage, they will pick up optical brighteners and glow under UV light.

Methionine Rich Diet May Boost Memory Loss

March 31, 2015 3:00 pm | by American Physiological Society | News | Comments

Researchers investigated the effects of a diet rich in methionine— an amino acid most abundant in eggs, fish and meats— on memory loss. They found that the diet promoted memory loss through increased methylation of netrin, a protein important for maintaining the brain.

U.S. Pledges to Cut Emissions in Global Treaty

March 31, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Josh Lederman | News | Comments

The U.S. pledged today to cut its greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent as part of a global treaty aimed at preventing the worst effects of climate change. The Obama administration's contribution to the treaty, which world leaders expect to finalize in December, codifies a commitment the president made late last year in Beijing, when he announced a joint U.S.-China climate deal.

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Date Syrup Helps Stem Infections

March 31, 2015 3:00 pm | by Society for General Microbiology | News | Comments

Date syrup— a thick, sweet liquid derived from dates that is widely consumed across the Middle East— shows antibacterial activity against a number of disease-causing bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.  

Medieval Remedy Kills MRSA

March 31, 2015 8:21 am | by The Univ. of Nottingham | News | Comments

A one thousand year old Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections that originates from a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the modern-day superbug MRSA in an unusual research collaboration.                  

Plants Enable Extremely Accurate Temperature Sensor

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by ETH Zurich | News | Comments

In order to develop an extremely sensitive temperature sensor, researchers took a close look at temperature-sensitive plants. However, they did not mimic the properties of the plants— instead, they developed a hybrid material that contains, in addition to synthetic components, the plant cells themselves.  

Confirmed: Positive Feedback Occurs in Climate Change

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Exeter | News | Comments

A new study has confirmed the existence of a positive feedback operating in climate change whereby warming itself may amplify a rise in greenhouse gases resulting in additional warming.

Today in Lab History: Patent Issued for New Life

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On March 31, 1981, microbiologist Ananda Chakrabarty patented a new single cell life form. This led to a long lawsuit over the patent as the U.S. Patent Office felt one could not patent a living organism.

Blueberries May Help Treat PTSD

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by American Physiological Society | News | Comments

Up to 8 percent of people in the U.S. suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently, the only approved therapy for PTSD is SSRIs, such as Zoloft and Paxil, but their effectiveness is marginal. Now, researchers have found that a readily available superfood— the blueberry— could be an effective treatment.

Genetic Pathway is Involved in Body Odor Production

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Society for General Microbiology | News | Comments

Researchers have studied the underarm microbiome and identified a unique set of enzymes in the bacterium Staphylococcus hominis that is effective at breaking down sweat molecules into compounds known as thioalcohols, an important component of the characteristic body odor smell.

Semiconductor Tech Key to ‘Google Maps’ for Human Body

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of New South Wales | Videos | Comments

Previously top-secret technology that zooms through the human body down to the level of a single cell could be a game-changer for medicine. The imaging technology, developed by high-tech German optical and industrial measurement manufacturer Zeiss, was originally developed to scan silicon wafers for defects.

Bursts of High-impact Exercise Before Fatty Meals Helps Heart

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Exeter | News | Comments

A short burst of intensive exercise before eating a high fat meal is better for blood vessel function in young people than the currently recommended moderate-intensity exercise.

Stalagmites Link 2,200 Years of Cyclones, Floods, El Niño

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Cornell College | News | Comments

Stalagmites, which crystallize from water dropping onto the floors of caves millimeter by millimeter over thousands of years, leave behind a record of climate change encased in stone. Newly published research applied a novel technique to stalagmites from the Australian tropics to create a 2,200-year-long record of flood events that might also help predict future climate change.

Scientists Survey Salmonella Species in Snakes

March 30, 2015 3:00 pm | by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology | News | Comments

To better understand the variety of Salmonella species harbored by captive reptiles, the Staten Island Zoo has teamed up with a college. The researchers want to know how many Salmonella species live among the Staten Island Zoo rattlesnakes. The zoo has a long history of exhibiting one of the most comprehensive rattlesnake collections in the world, currently with 21 of 38 species on display.

‘Lightning Bolts’ in Brain Show Learning in Action

March 30, 2015 3:00 pm | by NYU Langone Medical Center | News | Comments

Researchers have captured images of the underlying biological activity within brain cells and their tree-like extensions, or dendrites, in mice that show how their brains sort, store and make sense out of information during learning.

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