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An enhanced inflammatory response could be the key link between high saturated fat intake - a recognized risk factor for obesity-related disorders - and the development of diseases like type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.

A new study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry demonstrates that ingesting fats similar to those in a Mediterranean-type diet, featuring low saturated fat and high monounsaturated fat, appears to decrease the inflammatory response, both in comparison to a high saturated fat diet, as well as in relation to a low-fat diet.

If you have walked into a hotel room in Hawaii where you are paying $400 a night and been met with a card telling you they aren't going to give you towels and sheets because they are "conserving' water, and you snorted derisively, you would be about the 10 millionth person to do so. Hawaii has no water issues, you know, and this is just a way to boost the profit line of the company at your expense.

Such "greenwashing," a corporation's practice of promoting environmentally friendly programs while hiding ulterior motives, is commonplace under the guise of "sustainability" and "corporate responsibility." 

Goldenrod, Himalayan balsam, Chinese windmill palm: three plants, one problem. All are native to continents other than Europe, but were introduced to Switzerland as garden or ornamental plants. At some point they "escaped" into the wild, where they now threaten the native flora.

This phenomenon isn't limited to Switzerland: biological invasions happen on every continent every day. A major driver of this is global trade, which is increasingly shifting to the internet and being conducted on auction platforms like eBay. As a result, one click is all it takes to spread potentially invasive plants from continent to continent - and unintentionally encouraging biological invasions.

Monitoring online auctions

More than half (53 percent) of U.S. consumers want to know what’s in their DNA, according to a new survey, yet only 7 percent of respondents say that their doctor has discussed genetic screening with them.

The nationwide survey, conducted by marketing research company ORC International among a representative sample of 1,020 adults, explored knowledge of and attitudes toward genetic testing among adult consumers. The strong interest in genetic screening that is evident from the survey can be attributed to a variety of factors, but may point to an interest among consumers in using genetic screening to be more proactive about their healthcare.

When cells from the connective tissue collide, they repel one another - this phenomenon was discovered more than 50 years ago. It is only now, however, that researchers at the University of Basel have discovered the molecular basis for this process, as they report in the journal Developmental Cell. Their findings could have important implications for cancer research.

Fibroblasts are motile constituents of the connective tissue and also regulate its stiffness. Moreover, fibroblasts play an important role in malignant skin diseases such as melanoma. In research, they serve as a model system for studying cell migration.

Signaling pathway identified

Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. With this knowledge in hand, scientists may be better equipped to develop "exercise pills" that could mimic at least some of the beneficial effects of physical exercise on the body.

A review of current development efforts in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, ponders whether such pills will achieve their potential therapeutic impact, at least in the near future.