The Nutshell

Daily News Roundup

Most Recent

Video: See fish grow

By | August 19, 2010

Combining various imaging techniques, an interdisciplinary team of scientists in Europe have developed a way to visualize and quantify early embryogenesis in zebrafish, according to a study published this week in Science. "We want to turn all the verbal descriptions of biology into something that's going to be quantitative and formal," said embryologist and coauthor Nadine Peyriéras of the linkurl:National Centre for Scientific Research; (CNRS) in France. "We've been larg

1 Comment

NIH to study health after spill

By | August 18, 2010

The National Institutes of Health is planning a $10 million study to track the long-term health effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Image: National Oceanographic andAtmospheric AdministrationIn a conference call with reporters, public health practitioners, and members of the Gulf Coast community, linkurl:Dale Sandler,; an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Scien


Eye popping from MTV to the lab

By | August 13, 2010

When linkurl:Song Zhang,; a mechanical engineer at Iowa State University, was approached by U2's people last spring asking if the band could use his novel 3D imaging technology for a concert performance, he immediately sent an email to his lab asking: "Does anyone know who U2 is and whether or not we should spend time on them?" Zhang had a similarly hard time two years ago deciding if collaborating with alt


Nanosensor peers inside cell

By | August 12, 2010

A new virus-sized probe can look deeper into cells than ever before, and finally allows scientists to monitor intracellular activities without disrupting the cells' external membranes, according to a study published today in Science. Nano-size transistor penetrates cell membraneImage: Charles Lieber "This is a paper that can bring breakthrough and revolutionary insight into our understanding of intracellular structures," said linkurl:Zhong Lin Wang,; wh

1 Comment

Critical plant bank in danger

By | August 11, 2010

Plant scientists around the world are warning that hundreds of years of accumulated agricultural heritage are in danger of being plowed under after a Russian court ruled today (August 11) that the land occupied by a world-renowned plant bank on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg may be transferred to the linkurl:Russian Housing Development Foundation,; which plans to build houses on the site. Image: Isue via WikimediaThe fate of the collection at the linkurl:Pavlovsk Exp


How huntingtin kills neurons?

By | August 11, 2010

Researchers have revealed new clues to how a defective form of the huntingtin protein may cause the deadly changes that lead to Huntington's disease -- by potentially disrupting the process of neurogenesis, thereby decreasing neural progenitor cells. Huntingtin proteinImage: Wikimedia commons, Jawahar Swaminathan and MSD staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute"[This is] the first study to demonstrate that normal huntingtin has fundamental developmental roles in mitotic spindle function


Knockout rats have arrived

By | August 11, 2010

Scientists have created a knockout rat that finally opens the model organism to the kinds of experiments that have only been possible in mice and some non-mammalian species, they report online today (August 11) in Nature. Image: Wikimedia commons, Janet Stephens "We're finally going to enable genetic manipulation in the most widely studied and well characterized animal model of human disease," said molecular geneticist linkurl:Aron Geurts; of the Medic


Publish or post?

By | August 9, 2010

A new European-funded initiative is advocating an entirely new system of science publishing, in which scientists avoid the hassles of traditional peer review by taking a quietly radical step: post their results on their websites. Image: Wikimedia commons, GfloresAs the linkurl:news release; for LiquidPublication simply states: "Don't print it; post it." To disseminate the information, the progra


Q&A: Why the reactome is real

By | August 9, 2010

Over the last several months, biochemists have linkurl:questioned the validity; of a new technique heralded as a "breakthrough" technology when it was linkurl:published in Science;;326/5950/252 in October 2009 -- a reactome array of nearly 2,500 metabolites and other substrate compounds tethered to a glass slide that would allow scientists to assess the functionality of hundreds of active proteins s


Bats at risk of extinction

By | August 5, 2010

Bat populations across eastern North America are at risk of extinction -- possibly within just 16 years -- as a result of the spreading incidence of white-nose syndrome, according to a study published this week in Science. Little brown bat with WNSImage: Alan Hicks"I think people who study and care about bats had a sense that something this dire was happening," said evolutionary physiologist linkurl:Craig Willis; of the University of Winnipeg, who did not part


Popular Now

  1. Next Generation: Nanotube Scaffolds Reconnect Spinal Neurons
  2. Mapping the Human Connectome
    Daily News Mapping the Human Connectome

    A new map of human cortex combines data from multiple imaging modalities and comprises 180 distinct regions.

  3. Will Organs-in-a-Dish Ever Replace Animal Models?
  4. Your Office Has a Distinct Microbiome