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Ants save trees from elephants

By | September 2, 2010

Ants known to defend certain species of Acacia trees from elephant predation deter the massive herbivores so effectively that they are impacting entire savanna ecosystems, according to a study published online today (2nd September) in Current Biology. Ants on a whistling-thorn treeImage: Todd Palmer"I don't think any one had suspected how strong an effect the ants [had] in terms of driving elephants to avoid the Acacia," said ecologist David Augustine of the linkurl:US Department of Agriculture


Surprise breast cancer source

By | September 2, 2010

Some breast cancer tumors may not originate from stem cells as previously believed, according to a study published in the September 3rd issue of Cell Stem Cell. The discovery is an important step in the development of treatments for these cancers. BRCA1 structureImage: Wikimedia commons,Lijealso"Understanding the origins of these types of breast cancer is not only critical for developing preventative strategies against the disease but also for developing new targeted therapies," said linkurl:Ma


Nice bacteria finish last

By | September 1, 2010

Altruism is alive and well in bacterial populations, according to new linkurl:research; in __Nature__, which found that a few altruistic bacteria help their neighbors withstand the assaults of antibiotics, even at a cost to themselves. Image:flickr/celerity59Researchers from Boston University found that a minority of resistant bacteria help their susceptible neighbors survive by producing and sharing high amounts of the signali


Dramatic rise in monkeypox

By | August 31, 2010

Cases of monkeypox, a disease caused by a DNA virus closely related to smallpox and cowpox, have increased dramatically in rural villages in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to researchers working in the war-ravaged African country.A monkeypox patient in Lomela, Congo.The patient,who was examined by epidemiologist Anne Rimoin,eventually died from monkeypox-related complications.Image courtesy of Anne Rimoin Reporting their linkurl:results;


Hungry flies ok with less sleep

By | August 31, 2010

There may be certain conditions under which animals can forgo sleep without serious consequences, even though scientists have considered it an activity that is absolutely indispensible, new research suggests. Image: Matthew Thimganand Cassandra VanDunkWhen flies are starved, they are able to stay awake for long periods of time without suffering the negative outcomes of sleep deprivation, including cognitive impairment, according to a study published online today (August 31) in PLoS Biology. T


Top 7 papers in neuroscience

By | August 31, 2010

1. How neurons grow There's another layer of complexity in the developing nervous system: Spontaneous neuronal activity can regulate the differentiation of neurons, which can in turn affect swimming behavior in frog larvae. M. Demarque et al., Neuron 2010 Jul 29 67(2):321-34. linkurl:Eval by; Keith Sillar, University of St Andrews; Judith S Eisen, University of Oregon; Antonia Marin-Burgin and Alejandro Schinde, Leloir Institute ID: 452

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Cell biologist dies

By | August 27, 2010

Gerd Maul, an accomplished artist and scientist at the linkurl:Wistar Institute; in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed away last Monday (23rd August) of a heart attack at the age of 70. Gerd Maul Widely recognized for his discovery of new nuclear structures called "nuclear dots" in the early 1990s, Maul turned to vaccinology later in his career, pursuing a novel cytomegalovirus vaccine. The multi-faceted researcher was also an linkurl:admired sculptor and arti

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Q&A: Frank Gehry

By | August 27, 2010

In Sin City, where the Eiffel Tower is a stone's throw away from Venice, New York, and Camelot, stands a haven for doctors and researchers hard at work combating neurodegenerative diseases. A far cry from your average, blocky clinical facility, the linkurl:Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health; has a distinct flare and style that seems appropriate for Las Vegas.Frank GehryImage:flickr/SmakuAnd the man behind the building's unorth


Bugs vs plants vs bugs

By | August 26, 2010

The enemy of my enemy is my friend is an adage that holds true for plants, suggests a linkurl:study; that found that plants rely on chemicals in the saliva of leaf-eating insects to attract predators of those insects.Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology/Danny KesslerGeocoris approaches Manduca eggs and hatchling Reporting in Science, researchers linkurl:Ian Baldwin; and linku

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Editorials: To sign or not?

By | August 26, 2010

Only a few major journals continue to print anonymous editorials representing a publication's point of view. Most opt instead to run articles signed by staff or outside experts -- and many in the scientific, medical and publishing communities say that's a good thing. Image: Guillaume Carels via Wikimedia CommonsNewspapers across the globe are known for taking political stances, with anonymously authored pieces spreading a publication's point of view across its editorial pages. Major scientific


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