Newborn babies have immature immune systems, making them highly vulnerable to severe infections and unable to mount an effective immune response to most vaccines, thereby frustrating efforts to protect them. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 2 million newborns and infants less than 6 months of age die each year due to infection. Now, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston believe they have found a way to enhance the immune system at birth and boost newborns' vaccine responses, making infections like respiratory syncytial virus, pneumococcus and rotavirus much less of a threat.
21st century computer modelling software has enabled a long-lost, trumpet-like instrument called the Lituus to be recreated – even though no one alive today has heard, played or even seen a picture of this forgotten instrument - allowing a work by Bach to be performed as the composer may have intended for the first time in nearly 300 years.
Generally acknowledged to be one of the greatest composers of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach was born in the German town of Eisenach in 1685 and produced over 1000 sacred and secular musical compositions. He died in Leipzig in 1750, at the age of 65.
Fingerprints are essential for crime dramas and look nicely distinct for each of us but what are fingerprints really for?
According to Roland Ennos, from the University of Manchester, other primates and tree-climbing koalas have fingerprints and some South American monkeys have ridged pads on their tree-gripping tails, so everyone presumed that fingerprints are there to help us hang onto objects that we grasp. This theory that fingerprints increase friction between the skin and whatever we grab onto has been around for over 100 years, but no one had directly tested the idea.
If you're a man, somewhere at some time some woman has said you just don't make love long enough. Okay, for some men all women have said that. But there are other extremes as well. Male flies of the species Drosophila montana are all about reproductive success so they keep going ... and going ... and going. And there's an evolutionary reason.
Researchers writing in the BMC Evolutionary Biology say that that females engaged in extended intercourse wait longer before they mate again, increasing the first fly's chances of fathering offspring.
Most people won't eat two cups of blueberries a day but tell them a cup of red wine will make them healthier and they seem downright happy. Red wine has cultural and historical mystique blueberries lack so it has a psychological edge.
Red wine contains a complex mixture of bioactive compounds, including flavonols, monomeric and polymeric flavan-3-ols, highly colored anthocyanins, as well as phenolic acids and the stilbene polyphenol, resveratrol. Some of these compounds, particularly resveratrol, appear to have health benefits.
But look at the PubMed citations and you'd think red wine is curing cancer and halting global warming.
Graying hairs that crop up with age could be more than just nature, they could be signs of stress, according to a new report in the June 12 issue of Cell.
The researchers say that the kind of "genotoxic stress" that does damage to DNA depletes the melanocyte stem cells (MSCs) within hair follicles that are responsible for making those pigment-producing cells. Rather than dying off, when the going gets tough, those precious stem cells differentiate, forming fully mature melanocytes themselves. Anything that can limit the stress might stop the graying from happening, the researchers said.