While conducting a study about a link between breast size and heart cancer, Helena Jernström, an oncologist at Lund University in southern Sweden, discovered a gene that that about half of women possess is involved in breast cancer - and so is coffee.
About three times a second, a 10,000-year-old stellar corpse sweeps a beam of gamma-rays toward Earth. This object, known as a pulsar, is the first one known to "blink" only in gamma rays, and was discovered by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and international partners.
"This is the first example of a new class of pulsars that will give us fundamental insights into how stars work," says Stanford University's Peter Michelson, principal investigator for the LAT. The LAT data is processed by the DOE's Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and analyzed by the International LAT Collaboration.
A unique, patent-pending collection of microbes that can be used both for cleaning up the environment and addressing our energy needs has earned the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory kudos from a newsletter covering the rapidly expanding field of nanotechnology.
Nanotech Briefs awarded SRNL's BioTiger™ a spot on its fourth annual Nano 50™ list, described as the top 50 technologies, innovators and products expected to revolutionize the industry. Nanotech Briefs will present the awards during the National Nano Engineering Conference, Nov. 12-13 in Boston. For more information, visit www.techbriefs.com/nano
Researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered that when the leaf of a plant is under attack by a pathogen, it can send out an S.O.S. to the roots for help, and the roots will respond by secreting an acid that brings beneficial bacteria to the rescue.
The finding quashes the misperception that plants are "sitting ducks"--at the mercy of passing pathogens--and sheds new light on a sophisticated signaling system inside plants that rivals the nervous system in humans and animals.The green represents the beneficial bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which has formed a biofilm on the Arabidopsis root surface. Photo Credit: University of Delaware/Thimmaraju Rudrappa
A single molecule in the intestinal wall, activated by the waste products from gut bacteria, plays a large role in controlling whether the host animals are lean or fatty, a research team, including scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center, has found in a mouse study.
When activated, the molecule slows the movement of food through the intestine, allowing the animal to absorb more nutrients and thus gain weight. Without this signal, the animals weigh less.
The study shows that the host can use bacterial byproducts not only as a source of nutrients, but also as chemical signals to regulate body functions. It also points the way to a potential method of controlling weight, the researchers said.