The study shows that RNA is capable of catalyzing electron transfer under conditions similar to those of the early Earth. Because electron transfer, the moving of an electron from one chemical species to another, is involved in many biological processes, the study’s findings suggest that complex biochemical transformations may have been possible when life began.
Scientists have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, they now have evidence that the bone underneath the cartilage is also a key player and exacerbates the damage.
More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of a vaccine scare that raised the specter of autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease. This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year.
Do your kids love chocolate milk? It may have more calories on average than you thought. Same goes for soda. Until now, the only way to find out what people in the United States eat and how many calories they consume has been government data, which can lag behind the rapidly expanding and changing food marketplace.
With obesity reaching epidemic levels in some parts of the world, scientists have only begun to understand why it is such a persistent condition. A new study reports the discovery of a molecular chain of events in the brains of obese rats that undermined their ability to suppress appetite and to increase calorie burning.
Academic researchers have found that breathing motor vehicle emissions triggers a change in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, altering its cardiovascular protective qualities so that it actually contributes to clogged arteries.
The production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass would benefit on several levels if carried out at temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Celsius. Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have employed a promising technique for improving the ability of enzymes that break cellulose down into fermentable sugars to operate in this temperature range.
An international team of scientists using a new X-ray method recorded the internal structure and cell movement inside a living frog embryo in greater detail than ever before. This result showcases a new method to advance biological research and the search for new treatments for genetic diseases.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure traditionally used during cardiac surgeries and in the ICU that functions as an artificial replacement for a patient's heart and lungs, has also been used to resuscitate cardiac arrest victims in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
Raising hopes for cell-based therapies, researchers have created the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. In mice, the tissue can be used to foster the development of white blood cells the body needs to mount healthy immune responses and to prevent harmful autoimmune reactions.
The World Health Organization says a yellow fever booster vaccination given 10 years after the initial shot isn't necessary. The U.N.'s global health agency said Friday that its expert group on immunization believes a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer lifelong immunity against the disease.
Injectable nanoparticles developed at MIT may someday eliminate the need for patients with Type 1 diabetes to constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels and inject themselves with insulin. The nanoparticles were designed to sense glucose levels in the body and respond by secreting the appropriate amount of insulin, thereby replacing the function of pancreatic islet cells, which are destroyed in patients with Type 1 diabetes.
The breakthrough technique that allowed scientists to obtain one-of-a-kind, colorful images of the myriad connections in the brain and nervous system is about to get a significant upgrade. A group of Harvard researchers has made a host of technical improvements in the “Brainbow” imaging technique.
Despite adolescence being a high-risk time for developing major psychiatric and drug dependence disorders, very little is known about the teenage brain. A new research project aims to shed light on what happens to the brain as young people mature.
People who have non-melanoma skin cancer may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. The study showed that individuals with skin cancer were nearly 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease compared with people who did not have skin cancer. No such association was found with other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia.
Scientists have finally recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos, a longstanding goal that could lead to new treatments for such illnesses as Parkinson's disease and diabetes. A prominent expert called the work a landmark, but noted that a different, simpler technique now under development may prove more useful.
Expensive, state-of-the-art medical devices and surgeries often are thwarted by the body’s natural response to attack something in the tissue that appears foreign. Now, engineers have demonstrated in mice a way to prevent this sort of response.
New research reports that synthetic silicate nanoplatelets (also known as layered clay) can induce stem cells to become bone cells without the need of additional bone-inducing factors. Synthetic silicates are made up of simple or complex salts of silicic acids.
Purple bacteria are among Earth’s oldest organisms, and among its most efficient in turning sunlight into usable chemical energy. Now, a key to their light-harvesting prowess has been explained by scientists through a detailed structural analysis.
Scientists have advanced our understanding of brain plasticity by showing that the brain forms complex new circuits after damage, often far from the damaged site, to compensate for lost function. The study identified the exact regions of the brain that take over when a learning and memory center, known as the hippocampus, is damaged.
A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer's disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease in humans.
The endothelium, the cellular layer lining the body’s blood vessels, is extremely resilient. Measuring just a few hundred nanometers in thickness, this super-tenuous structure routinely withstands blood flow, hydrostatic pressure, stretch and tissue compression to create a unique and highly dynamic barrier that maintains the organization necessary to partition tissues from the body’s circulatory system.
A dozen years after a customer revolt forced Monsanto to ditch its genetically engineered potato, another company aims to resurrect high-tech spuds. This month, tuber processing giant J.R. Simplot Co. asked the U.S. government to approve five varieties of biotech potatoes. They're engineered not to develop ugly black bruises.
A soon-to-be-tested class of drug inhibitors were predicted to help a limited number of patients with B-cell lymphomas with mutations affecting the EZH2 protein. However, a research team now reports that these agents may, in fact, help a much broader cross section of lymphoma patients.
A team of researchers has invented a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. Through a biodegradable implant in combination with a newly-developed Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) that increases nerve growth and healing, the functionality of a torn or damaged nerve could ultimately be restored.