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Metastasis, the spread of cancer throughout the body, can be explained by the fusion of a cancer cell with a white blood cell in the original tumor, according to Yale School of Medicine researchers, who say that this single event can set the stage for cancer’s migration to other parts of the body.

The studies, spanning 15 years, have revealed that the newly formed hybrid of the cancer cell and white blood cell adapts the white blood cell’s natural ability to migrate around the body, while going through the uncontrolled cell division of the original cancer cell. This causes a metastatic cell to emerge, which like a white blood cell, can migrate through tissue, enter the circulatory system and travel to other organs.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Germany believe they can achieve a significant increase in the accuracy of one of the fundamental constants of nature by boosting an electron to an orbit as far as possible from the atomic nucleus that binds it. The experiment could put the modern theory of the atom to the most stringent tests yet.

It could also mean more accurate identifications of elements in everything from stars to environmental pollutants.

The physicists’ quarry is the Rydberg constant, the quantity that specifies the precise color of light that is emitted when an electron jumps from one energy level to another in an atom. The current value of the Rydberg constant comes from comparing theory and experiment for 23 different kinds of energy jumps in hydrogen and deuterium atoms.

CSIRO researchers have discovered a new class of fatty acids -- alpha-hydroxy polyacetylenic fatty acids -- that they say could be used as sensors for detecting changes in temperature and mechanical stress loads.

CSIRO Entomology business manager, Cameron Begley, said researchers believed the discovery opened up an entirely new class of chemistry. “Some of these alpha-hydroxy polyacetylenic fatty acids act as indicators for a range of different conditions, such as mechanical stress or heat, and display self-assembling properties. Others display anti-microbial properties,” he said.

New findings suggest that the ancient human “cousin” known as the “Nutcracker Man” wasn’t regularly eating anything like nuts after all.

A University of Arkansas professor and his colleagues used a combination of microscopy and fractal analysis to examine marks on the teeth of members of an ancient human ancestor species and found that what it actually ate does not correspond with the size and shape of its teeth. This finding suggests that structure alone is not enough to predict dietary preferences and that evolutionary adaptation for eating may have been based on scarcity rather than on an animal’s regular diet.

The ability to regenerate lost body parts is unevenly distributed among higher organisms. Among vertebrates, some amphibians are able to replace lost limbs completely, while mammals are unable to regenerate complex appendages.

The only exception to this rule is the annual replacement of deer antlers.

The annual regrowth of these structures is the only example of regeneration of a complete, anatomically complex appendage in a mammal, and antlers are therefore of high interest to regeneration biologists.

The epimorphic regeneration of appendages may involve progenitor cells created through reprogramming of differentiated cells or through the activation of resident stem cells. Hans J.

Degas, van Gogh and Picasso swore it enhanced their creativity but thujone, the compound widely believed responsible for absinthe’s mind-altering effects, is not really a factor, according to a new study.

In the most comprehensive analysis of old bottles of original absinthe, a team of scientists from Europe and the United States have concluded the culprit was plain and simple: Alcohol.

Although consumed diluted with water, absinthe contained about 70 percent alcohol, giving it a 140-proof wallop. Most gin, vodka, and whiskey are 80 – 100-proof and contain 40-50 percent alcohol or ethanol.