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Viral cause for chronic fatigue?

By | October 8, 2009

A recently-discovered virus found to be associated with prostate cancer has now been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), according to a linkurl:study published;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1179052 online in Science today (8 October). The study, although only correlative, lends a greater immediacy to questions about how the virus is spread and what, if any, other diseases it might cause. XMRVImage: Whittmore Peterson Institute"Either [the virus] is a causative factor or

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2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry announced

By | October 7, 2009

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will go to Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a molecular and cell biologist at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, Thomas Steitz, a molecular biochemist at Yale University, and Ada Yonath, a structural biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel for their work mapping the ribosome--one of the cell's most complex machines--at the atomic level. They will share the prize equally. Please check back later today for full coverage o

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Human variation revealed

By | October 7, 2009

Scientists have generated the most comprehensive map of the structural variation that exists among normal, healthy humans, according to a study published online today in Nature. Understanding normal variation between individuals is critical to identifying abnormal changes that may contribute to a wide variety of heritable diseases. Image: Wikimedia commons"I think it's considered to be a landmark paper," said geneticist linkurl:Frank Speleman;http://users.ugent.be/%7Efspelema/neubla/nb.htm of t

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Ribosome researchers win Nobel

By | October 7, 2009

Three researchers who made fundamental discoveries on the structure and function of the ribosome will receive the linkurl:Nobel Prize for Chemistry;http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2009/press.html this year. Understanding how the ribosome works at the atomic level has been crucial for understanding key cellular processes underlying life. Venkatraman RamakrishnanImage: MRC Laboratory ofMolecular Biologylinkurl:Venkatraman Ramakrishnan,;http://www.gf.org/fellows/11944-venkat

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EU moves to unify science

By | October 6, 2009

Europe must invest more money and create better infrastructure to support science in order to remain globally competitive, said an independent panel of scientists advising the European Union in a linkurl:report;http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1424&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en released today (October 6). Image: WikimediaThe group, called the European Research Area Board (ERAB), pointed out that Europe spends only 1% of its GDP on research, in compar

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2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine announced

By | October 5, 2009

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will go to Elizabeth Blackburn, a biochemist at the University of California, San Francisco, Carol Greider, a geneticist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Jack Szostak, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School for their discovery of telomeres and telomerases, which have helped scientists understand how chromosomes are completely copied during cell division and protected against degradation. Please check back later today for full coverage of

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Nanoparticles spur stem cells?

By | October 5, 2009

Nanoparticles may prove effective tools for improving stem cell therapy, new research suggests. Chemical engineers have successfully used nanoparticles to enhance stem cells' ability to stimulate regeneration of damaged vascular tissue and reduce muscle degeneration in mice, they report in a study published online today (October 5) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Stem cells Image: Wikipedia"This is an intriguing finding," said linkurl:Arnold Kriegstein,;http://bms.ucsf.edu/

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Telomere researchers win Nobel

By | October 5, 2009

A trio of researchers whose work on telomeres and telomerases has helped explain how chromosomes are copied during cell division will receive the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Their findings have advanced medical research in cancer, inherited diseases, and aging. Elizabeth Blackburn Image: Gerbil, Licensed byAttribution Share Alike 3.0 linkurl:Elizabeth Blackburn,;http://biochemistry.ucsf.edu/labs/blackburn/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=3 a biochemist at th

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Fragile flu, siliciferous smallpox

By | October 2, 2009

A virus has a relatively easy time replicating itself. It's just a matter of hijacking a cell to generate the necessary components and in minutes, the capsid shell proteins self-assemble around a coil of viral genome. But for the glassblowers working with British artist linkurl:Luke Jerram;http://www.lukejerram.com/projects/glass_microbiology replicating a virus wasn't so easy.Luke Jerram holding his swineflu sculptureImage: The Wellcome Trust Jerram and his assistants created glass genomes, ca

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Pathogen-resistant mosquitoes?

By | October 1, 2009

A bacterium that infects insects may provide a biological method for stunting the spread of a range of devastating human diseases. The bacteria may protect their hosts against disease-causing pathogens by hiking up the insects' immune response, according to a study published online today (October 1) in Science. Image: Wikimedia commons, US Department of Agriculture"I think the paper is quite exciting," linkurl:Scott O'Neill;http://profiles.bacs.uq.edu.au/Scott.O%27Neill.html of the University

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