A fundamental axiom of biology used to be that cell fate is a one-way street—once a cell commits to becoming muscle, skin, or blood it always remains muscle, skin, or blood cell. That belief was upended in the past decade when a Japanese scientist introduced four simple factors into skin cells and returned them to an embryonic-like state, capable of becoming of almost any cell type in the body.
An international team of scientists has discovered that two of the world’s most devastating plagues – the plague of Justinian and the Black Death, each responsible for killing as many as half the people in Europe—were caused by distinct strains of the same pathogen, one that faded out on its own, the other leading to worldwide spread and re-emergence in the late 1800s.
Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures.
Exercises meant to boost mental sharpness can benefit older adults as many as 10 years after they received the cognitive training, researchers said. A multi-institutional team of researchers reported that older adults who had participated in the mental exercise programs reported less difficulty with everyday tasks of living than were those who had not participated, even after 10 years had passed.
Whether it's a mug full of fresh-brewed coffee, a cup of hot tea, or a can of soda, consuming caffeine is the energy boost of choice for millions who want to wake up or stay up. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found another use for the popular stimulant: memory enhancer.
In a study of the range of treatments being employed for young children with autism and other developmental delays, UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have found that families often use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments and that the most frequent users of both conventional and complementary approaches are those with higher levels of parental education and income.
Researchers have discovered a promising strategy for treating cancers that are caused by one of the most common cancer-causing changes in cells.
Researchers have discovered a possible new target for treating movement disorders such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
A study in The Journal of General Physiology helps explain how nicotine exploits the body's cellular machinery to promote addiction. The findings could lead to new therapies to help people quit smoking. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco accounts for the greatest number of preventable deaths worldwide by any single agent.
There is more than meets the eye following even a mild traumatic brain injury. While the brain may appear to be intact, new findings report that the brain’s protective coverings may feel the brunt of the impact.
A byproduct of cholesterol functions like the hormone estrogen to fuel the growth and spread of the most common types of breast cancers, researchers report.
Scientists have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The new data reveal unexpected structural features of this protein and should greatly speed efforts to make an effective hepatitis C vaccine.
A study shows for the first time that X-ray lasers can be used to generate a complete 3-D model of a protein without any prior knowledge of its structure.
Computer engineers and hearing scientists at The Ohio State University have made a potential breakthrough in solving a 50-year-old problem in hearing technology: how to help the hearing-impaired understand speech in the midst of background noise.
A multi-institutional research team, led by Johns Hopkins engineers, says it has solved the puzzle of why animals push in directions that don’t point toward their goal, like the side-to-side sashaying of a running lizard or cockroach.