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Erupting Bardarbunga Volcano In Iceland Sits On A Massive Magma Hot Spot

 Massive amounts of erupting lava have connected with the fall of civilizations, the destruction...

Ebola's Evolutionary Roots Are Ancient

Though Ebola tends to occur in waves, the filoviruses family to which Ebola and its lethal relative...

Genetically Modified Stem Cells Kill Brain Tumors

There may soon be a new way to use stem cells in the fight against brain cancer. A team has created...

Smart Aquaculture Outsmarts Climate Change

El Niño is nothing new for fishers. Long before it was being used as evidence of climate change...

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Cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae or pond scum, is found in nearly every habitat, from oceans to fresh water to bare rocks to soil, and is a source of many unique chemical structures.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy are collaborating with the Ohio State University and two other organizations to discover new cancer therapies derived from natural sources such as pond scum and plants from tropical rainforests.

UIC researchers, led by principal investigator Jimmy Orjala, assistant professor of pharmacognosy, will collect small samples of pond scum throughout the Midwest and grow them in liquid solutions in a temperature-controlled laboratory.

Researchers in Madagascar have confirmed the existence of a population of greater bamboo lemurs more than 400 kilometers (240 miles) from the only other place where the Critically Endangered species is known to live, raising hopes for its survival.

The discovery of the distinctive lemurs with jaws powerful enough to crack giant bamboo, their favorite food, occurred in 2007 in the Torotorofotsy wetlands of east central Madagascar, which is designated a Ramsar site of international importance under the 1971 Convention on Wetlands.

Updated information on the species will be presented at the upcoming International Primatological Society 2008 Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Aug. 3-8, as part of a new assessment of the world's primates that shows the state of mankind's closest living relatives.

The nerve connections that keep a fly's gaze stable during complex aerial manoeuvres, enabling it to respond quickly to obstacles in its flight path, are revealed in new detail in research published today.

Scientists from Imperial College London have described the connections between two key sets of nerve cells in a fly's brain that help it process what it sees and fast-track that information to its muscles. This helps it stay agile and respond quickly to its environment while on the move.

The study is an important step towards understanding how nervous systems operate, and could help us improve our knowledge of more complex animals. It could also be used to improve technical control systems in autonomous air vehicles - robots that stay stable in the air without crashing and with no need for remote control.

A researcher at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has pinpointed stem cells within the spinal cord that, if persuaded to differentiate into more healing cells and fewer scarring cells following an injury, may lead to a new, non-surgical treatment for debilitating spinal-cord injuries.

The work in PLoS Biology is by Konstantinos Meletis, a postdoctoral fellow at the Picower Institute, and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Their results could lead to drugs that might restore some degree of mobility to the 30,000 people worldwide afflicted each year with spinal-cord injuries.

In a developing embryo, stem cells differentiate into all the specialized tissues of the body. In adults, stem cells act as a repair system, replenishing specialized cells, but also maintaining the normal turnover of regenerative organs such as blood, skin or intestinal tissues.

An abundant chromosomal protein that binds to damaged DNA prevents cancer development by enhancing DNA repair, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report online this week in PNAS. The protein, HMGB1, was previously hypothesized to block DNA repair, senior author Karen Vasquez, Ph.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Carcinogenesis at the Science Park - Research Division in Smithville, Texas.

Identification and repair of DNA damage is the frontline defense against the birth and reproduction of mutant cells that cause cancer and other illnesses.

Pinpointing HMGB1's role in repair raises a fundamental question about drugs under development to block the protein, Vasquez said. The protein also plays a role in inflammation, so it's being targeted in drugs under development for rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis.

Carbon dioxide has been getting a bad rap for the last few years, what with "Waterworld" and the IPCC's preference for French nuclear plants, but laser resurfacing appears to be an effective long-term treatment for facial wrinkles, according to a report in the July/August issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. So at least aging rich women will look good when the planet dies.

The carbon dioxide laser vaporizes water molecules inside and outside of cells, causing thermal damage to the surrounding tissue, the authors write as background information in the article. In response to this insult, the skin produces more of the protein collagen, which fills in wrinkles. "In addition to structural changes, the healing process frequently leads to pigmentary [coloring] changes," the authors write. "These changes in skin pigmentation may be desirable, such as when patients wish to remove solar evidence of aging; however, changes in pigmentation after treatment can often be a troubling adverse effect."