Category Archives: News & Archives

‘Big Brain’ Gene Found in Humans, Not Chimps

A single gene may have paved the way for the rise of human intelligence by dramatically increasing the number of brain cells found in a key brain region. This gene seems to be uniquely human: It is found in modern-day humans, Neanderthals and another branch of extinct humans called Denisovans, but not in chimpanzees. By…
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Scientists announce anti-HIV agent so powerful it can work in a vaccine

In a remarkable new advance against the virus that causes AIDS, scientists from the Jupiter, Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have announced the creation of a novel drug candidate that is so potent and universally effective, it might work as part of an unconventional vaccine. The research, which involved scientists from more than…
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New antibiotic holds promise against antibiotic-resistant infections

Estimates of deaths from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the United States range upwards of 19,000 annually. Around 1960, when Staphylococcus aureus developed resistance to first-generation penicillin, methicillin and other second-generation beta-lactam antibiotics were adopted to fight the illness. The modern variants of the bacterium have developed resistance to the four drugs now used to…
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Telomere extension turns back aging clock in cultured human cells, study finds

A new procedure can quickly and efficiently increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are linked to aging and disease, according to scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Treated cells behave as if they are much younger than untreated cells, multiplying with abandon in the…
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DNA clock helps to get measure of people’s lifespans

Scientists have identified a biological clock that provides vital clues about how long a person is likely to live. Researchers studied chemical changes to DNA that take place over a lifetime, and can help them predict an individual's age. By comparing individuals' actual ages with their predicted biological clock age, scientists saw a pattern emerging.…
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Nanoparticle drug stops cancer’s spread in mice

When a person dies from cancer, the culprit is usually not the original tumor but rather the cancerous cells that spread throughout the body and replicate in distant organs, a process called metastasis. Researchers have long known that metastasizing cancer cells slip their bonds and avoid immune detection by altering the sugars on their surfaces.…
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Out of the pouch: Ancient DNA extracted from extinct giant kangaroos

Scientists have finally managed to extract DNA from Australia's extinct giant kangaroos ─ the mysterious marsupial megafauna that roamed Australia over 40,000 years ago. A team of scientists led by Dr Bastien Llamas and Professor Alan Cooper from the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) have extracted DNA sequences from two species:…
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First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory

In a laboratory first, Duke researchers have grown human skeletal muscle that contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. The lab-grown tissue should soon allow researchers to test new drugs and study diseases in functioning human muscle outside of the human body. The study was…
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The simple math that explains why you may (or may not) get cancer

Why? That’s the first word on many lips after a cancer diagnosis. “It’s a perfectly reasonable question,” says Bert Vogelstein, a cancer geneticist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has spent a lifetime trying to answer it. Thanks to his friendship with a recently minted Ph.D. in applied mathematics, the two now propose…
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Epic Short Film ‘Wanderers’ Envisions Humanity’s Future in Space

Wanderers - a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo. "Wanderers" is a short science fiction film by Erik Wernquist – a digital artist and animator from Stockholm, Sweden. Wernquist notes that the film is a vision of humanity's future expansion into the solar system. Although admittedly speculative, the visuals in the…
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