Science News Feature

Each spring, powerful dust storms in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China send thick clouds of particles into the atmosphere. Eastward winds sweep these particles as far as the Pacific, where dust ultimately settles in the open ocean. This desert dust contains, among other minerals, iron — an essential nutrient for hundreds of species of phytoplankton that make up the ocean’s food base.

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard (e.g., bacon) produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a study published August 27 in Cell Metabolism. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard.

Rice University scientists have made a living circuit from multiple types of bacteria that prompts the bacteria to cooperate to change protein expression. The subject of a new paper in Science, the project represents the first time the Rice researchers have created a biological equivalent to a computer circuit that involves multiple organisms to influence a population.

Pre-conception trauma results in transmission of epigenetic changes from the exposed parents to their children. An international team lead by Rachel Yehuda, professor at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, and for the molecular analyses Elisabeth Binder, director at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, studied the genes of 32 Jewish individuals who had been held in concentration camps, experienced torture or had been forced into...

For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival. Using genetic profiling to study bone marrow samples from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), researchers found that those whose cells still carried mutations 30 days after the initiation...

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Science News Desk

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have found a way to induce antibodies to fight a wide range of influenza subtypes—work that could one day eliminate the need for repeated seasonal flu shots.

Science News Desk

Scientists have exposed a chink in the armour of disease-causing bugs, with a new discovery about a protein that controls bacterial defences. Bacteria react to stressful situations - such as running out of nutrients, coming under attack from antibiotics or encountering a host body’s immune...

Science News Desk

Treatments for the same opportunistic bacteria found in cystic fibrosis patients can work in one area in the lung and be less effective in others. The reason, reported August 20 in Cell Host & Microbe, is that bacteria become isolated from one another and evolve region-specific traits....

Science News Desk

Every year, more strains of bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotics we use to treat deadly infections. At The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) scientists have been working to develop new forms of these drugs, including an antibiotic called arylomycin—but tests have shown that it is...

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Science News Desk Fri, 06/26/2015

An investigation of blood flow network in the brain has revealed some surprising behavior of vessels during stroke, according to Yale researchers. The findings provide a new target for potential drugs to improve stroke outcome, said Jaime Grutzendler, associate professor of neurology and of...

Science News Desk Thu, 06/25/2015

You might think that young children would first learn to recognize sounds and then learn how those categories of sounds fit together into words. But that isn’t how it works. Rather, kids learn sounds and words at the same time. In fact, the higher-level patterns—those words—are...

Science News Desk Tue, 06/23/2015

A recently published paper in the New England Journal of Medicine is about a promising new treatment for melanoma. The treatment Montaser Shaheen, MD, and his colleagues tested in the clinical trial caused tumors to shrink in 61 percent of the people treated. In another 22 percent, the tumors...

Science News Desk Tue, 06/23/2015

A review of medical records for almost 200 patients with breast cancer suggests that more selective use of biomarker testing for such patients has the potential to save millions of dollars in health care spending without compromising care, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

Science News Desk Tue, 06/23/2015

Researchers have devised a breath test that can help doctors diagnose the early signs of oesophageal and gastric cancer in minutes. The test has produced encouraging results in a clinical study, and will now be tested in a larger trial involving three hospitals in London.