Category Archives: News & Archives

Egg and sperm race: Scientists create precursors to human egg and sperm

Scientists at the University of Cambridge working with the Weizmann Institute have created primordial germ cells -- cells that will go on to become egg and sperm -- using human embryonic stem cells. Although this had already been done using rodent stem cells, the study, published in the journal Cell, is the first time this…
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New, tighter timeline confirms ancient volcanism aligned with dinosaurs’ extinction

A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive volcanic explosions 66 million years ago spewed enormous amounts of climate-altering gases into the atmosphere immediately before and during the extinction event that claimed Earth's non-avian dinosaurs, according to new research from Princeton University. A primeval volcanic range in western India known as the Deccan…
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New species found in the deepest trench on Earth

Whitman biology professor Paul Yancey and students Anna Downing '16 and Chloe Weinstock '17 have returned from the first detailed study of the Mariana Trench aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor. The Mariana Trench -- located in the Western Pacific near Guam -- has been the focus of high-profile voyages to conquer Challenger Deep,…
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Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice

Rice University scientists have detected at least three instances of cross-species mating that likely influenced the evolutionary paths of "old world" mice, two in recent times and one in the distant past. The researchers think these instances of introgressive hybridization -- a way for genetic material and, potentially, traits to be passed from one species…
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NASA Rover Finds Active, Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. "This temporary increase in methane -- sharply up and then back down -- tells us there must be some relatively localized…
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Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains

The link between a mother and child is profound, and new research suggests a physical connection even deeper than anyone thought. The profound psychological and physical bonds shared by the mother and her child begin during gestation when the mother is everything for the developing fetus, supplying warmth and sustenance, while her heartbeat provides a…
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Injectable 3-D vaccines could fight cancer, infectious diseases

One of the reasons cancer is so deadly is that it can evade attack from the body's immune system, which allows tumors to flourish and spread. Scientists can try to induce the immune system, known as immunotherapy, to go into attack mode to fight cancer and to build long lasting immune resistance to cancer cells. Now,…
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DNA survives critical entry into Earth’s atmosphere

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into Earth's atmosphere -- and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission. Applied to the outer shell of the payload section of a rocket using pipettes,…
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Ebola Update: Vaccines in Tests, Spike in Mali, Dips in Liberia

No cases of Ebola remain in the United States at the moment, but researchers are busy working on vaccines as the virus continues to spread in West Africa. In a few areas in Liberia, cases may be on the decline, new reports find. Researchers working on a vaccine against the Zaire strain of Ebola virus,…
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