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M6P Deficiency Leaves B Cells Out Of Sorts

A group of white blood cells known as B cells play a key role in the human immune response but...

Glycogen Storage Disease Type IIIa: Shared Genetic Mutation For Disease In Inuit

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Acupuncture is as effective and longer-lasting in managing the common debilitating side effects of hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive sweating (vasomotor symptoms) associated with breast cancer treatment and has no treatment side effects compared to conventional drug therapy, according to a study presented September 24, 2008, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

Findings also show there were additional benefits to acupuncture treatment for breast cancer patients, such as an increased sense of well being, more energy, and in some cases, a higher sex drive, that were not experienced in those patients who underwent drug treatment for their hot flashes.


A study has given new insights into why Oval BA, a giant anticyclone on Jupiter also known as Red Spot Junior, suddenly turned from white to red in a period of just a few months.

The Oval BA is an enormous anticyclone (high-pressure system) that may be compared to a colossal hurricane in the Earth’s atmosphere. Oval BA is half the size of the Great Red Spot and is large enough to contain the Earth inside it.

Oval BA was formed in 2000 by the merger of smaller vortices called the White Ovals in a chain of collisions that started back in 1998. The apparent reddening was first reported by amateur astronomers in early 2006, but it was not until April that professional astronomers were able to image the impressive alteration of the second largest storm in the Solar System after the Great Red Spot (GRS).


There are more bacteria in our bodies than there ever have been people on the Earth. In fact, there are more bacteria in the colon than there are human cells in our bodies. Most of the bacteria in our guts are harmless and many are beneficial to our health. However, for several decades scientists have thought that some microbes living in the gut may play a role in the formation of sporadic colorectal cancer.

Research published in the October issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology says they have discovered that a molecule produced by a common gut bacterium activates signalling pathways that are associated with cancer cells.

Tetrapods, the first four-legged land animals, have also been considered the first organisms that had fingers and toes but researchers at Uppsala University say that is not the case.

Using medical x-rays, they found rudiments of fingers in the fins in fossil Panderichthys, the “transitional animal,” which indicates that rudimentary fingers developed considerably earlier than was previously thought.

Our fish ancestors evolved into the first four-legged animals, tetrapods, 380 million years ago. They are the forerunners of all birds, mammals, crustaceans, and batrachians (Editor - and reptiles! We have the most eagle-eyed readers anywhere.) Since limbs and their fingers are so important to evolution, researchers have long wondered whether they appeared for the first time in tetrapods or whether they had evolved from elements that already existed in their fish ancestors.


Scientists have decoded the genome of the Pristionchus pacificus nematode and gained valuable insight into the evolution of parasitism.

In their work, the scientists have shown that the genome of the nematode consists of a surprisingly large number of genes, some of which have unexpected functions. These include a number of genes that are helpful in breaking down harmful substances and for survival in a strange habitat: the Pristionchus uses beetles as a hideout and as means of transport, and feeds on the fungi and bacteria that spread out on their carcasses once they have died. It thus provides the clue to understanding the complex interactions between host and parasite.


Chemical clues from a comet’s halo are challenging common views about the history and evolution of the solar system and showing it may be more mixed-up than previously thought. A new analysis of dust from the comet Wild 2, collected in 2004 by NASA’s Stardust mission, has revealed an oxygen isotope signature that suggests an unexpected mingling of rocky material between the center and edges of the solar system. Despite the comet’s birth in the icy reaches of outer space beyond Pluto, tiny crystals collected from its halo appear to have been forged in the hotter interior, much closer to the sun.

The result counters the idea that the material that formed the solar system billions of years ago has remained trapped in orbits around the sun. Instead, the new study in Science suggests that cosmic material from asteroid belts between Mars and Jupiter can migrate outward in the solar system and mix with the more primitive materials found at the fringes.