Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers have shown.
Over the last few months, the Nobel Prize has generated much controversy—again. More than 3,000 scientists contributed to the most high profile science event of 2012: the discovery of the Higgs boson subatomic particle. Yet the Nobel can only be split between three laureates. Was the Nobel Prize finally obsolete, the press fretted, in one angst-ridden blog after another?
A half-century quest for a holy grail of organ transplantation seemed on the verge of ending in March 2012 when a group of researchers announced some kidney transplant patients had been drug-free for more than a year. This January, they did it again.
A baby born with the AIDS virus appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who's now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. There's no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus' genetic material still lingering.
“Genetic engineering is moving faster than anything we have ever seen.” With these words, Harvard University genomics pioneer George Church captured the excitement of many talks at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have eluded researchers for decades. A major reason for this is because researchers have not pinned down a clear mechanism for the disease. Without knowing what causes Alzheimer’s, researchers have not been successful in developing effective treatment regimens to combat it.
In this video, Tim Studt, Editorial Direct for Advantage Business Media's Science Group, presents results from the 2012 Global R & D Funding Forecast and discusses what these results mean for the life sciences.
MIT engineers have created genetic circuits in bacterial cells that not only perform logic functions, but also remember the results, which are encoded in the cell’s DNA and passed on for dozens of generations. The circuits could be used as long-term environmental sensors, efficient controls for biomanufacturing, or to program stem cells to differentiate into other cell types.
Artificial bone, created using stem cells and a new lightweight plastic, could soon be used to heal shattered limbs. The use of bone stem cells combined with a degradable rigid material that inserts into broken bones and encourages real bone to re-grow has been developed at the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton.
When a pathogen attacks a plant, infection usually follows after the plant’s immune system is compromised. A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside focused on Phytophthora, the pathogen that triggered the Irish Famine of the 19th century, and deciphered how it succeeded in crippling the potato plant’s immune system.
For centuries, the fate of the original Otomí inhabitants of Xaltocan, the capital of a pre-Aztec Mexican city-state, has remained unknown. Researchers have long wondered whether they assimilated with the Aztecs or abandoned the town altogether. According to new anthropological research, the answers may lie in DNA.
Vaccines usually consist of inactivated viruses that prompt the immune system to remember the invader and launch a strong defense if it later encounters the real thing. However, this approach can be too risky with certain viruses, including HIV.
A new study of 152 Vietnam veterans with combat-related brain injuries offers the first detailed map of the brain regions that contribute to emotional intelligence – the ability to process emotional information and navigate the social world.
Biomedical researchers studying aging and cancer are intensely interested in telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. In a new study, scientists at UC Santa Cruz used a novel technique to reveal structural and mechanical properties of telomeres that could help guide the development of new anti-cancer drugs.
The diverse complexity seen amongst individual species within the animal kingdom evolved from a surprisingly small gene pool. The key to morphological and behavioral complexity, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests, is the regulation of gene expression by a family of DNA-binding proteins called “transcription factors.”
Exposing pregnant mice to low doses of the chemical tributyltin can lead to obesity for multiple generations without subsequent exposure, a study has found. After exposing pregnant mice to TBT in concentrations similar to those found in the environment, researchers saw increased body fat, liver fat and fat-specific gene expression in their offspring over multiple generations.
A recent study on how tadpoles re-grow their tails identified which genes were activated during tail regeneration and showed that several genes that are involved in metabolism are activated, in particular those that are linked to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) - chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen that are commonly believed to be harmful to cells.
Roy Curtiss wants to vaccinate children and animals alike in the far regions of the world from the most basic scourges of the Earth—typhoid fever, pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis. But to do that, he must get them to swallow Salmonella-laced liquids.
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have found, for the first time that young humans (infants, children and adolescents) are capable of generating new heart muscle cells. These findings refute the long-held belief that the human heart grows after birth exclusively by enlargement of existing cells.
To plant food, insect repellant and other homespun uses for spent coffee grounds, scientists are adding an application that could make the gunk left over from brewing coffee a valuable resource for production of dietary supplements. Their new report concludes that used coffee grounds are a rich source of healthful antioxidant substances.
On the list of undesirable medical conditions, a parasitic worm infection surely ranks fairly high. Although modern pharmaceuticals have made them less of a threat in some areas, these organisms are still a major cause of disease and disability throughout much of the developing world. But parasites are not all bad, according to new research by a team of scientists.
Epigenetics research has expanded rapidly over the last several years, as evidenced by the exponential increase in published literature in this field. Breakthroughs have been made in the elucidation of basic epigenetic mechanisms such as histone modification, and with these advances have come an understanding of the critical role epigenetic modifications play in the development and progression of cancer.
University of Florida researchers and colleagues have identified a protein that, when absent, helps the body burn fat and prevents insulin resistance and obesity. The discovery could aid development of drugs that not only prevent obesity, but also spur weight loss in people who are already overweight.
A variant of a gene associated with active personality traits in humans seems to also be involved with living a longer life. This derivative of a dopamine-receptor gene – called the DRD4 7R allele – appears in significantly higher rates in people more than 90 years old and is linked to lifespan increases in mouse studies.
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.