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A fateful pause: Genetic mechanism once thought rare may allow rapid cell production

We take our blood for granted, but its creation requires a complicated series of steps, starting with the formation of blood stem cells during early embryonic development, followed by progressive differentiation into the progenitors of red cells, white cells and platelets, and ultimately the full set of blood cells. Now, in the July 9 issue of Cell, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston report...

A healthy mind makes a healthy body in teens

Happier youths are also healthier youths, according to Emily Shaffer-Hudkins and her team, from the University of South Florida in the US. Adolescents' positive emotions and moods, as well as their satisfaction with life, could be more important than their anxiety or depression levels for predicting their physical health, they argue. Looking at teenagers' so-called 'subjective well-being' could...

Egypt unveils discovery of 4,300-year-old tombs

Egyptian archaeologists on Thursday unveiled a newly-unearthed double tomb with vivid wall paintings in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara near Cairo, saying it could be the start for uncovering a vast cemetery in the area.

Fireflies blink in synch to send a uniform message (w/ Video)

For decades, scientists have speculated about why some fireflies exhibit synchronous flashing, in which large groups produce rhythmic, repeated flashes in unison - sometimes lighting up a whole forest at once. Now, the first experiments on the function of this phenomenon suggest that synchronous flashing preserves female fireflies' recognition of suitable mates. The results are reported in the...

Functional MRI may predict response of hepatocellular carcinoma to chemoembolization

A research team from United States investigated whether intra-procedural diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging can predict response of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Their results indicated that intra-procedural apparent diffusion coefficient changes of > 15 percent predicted 1-mo anatomical HCC response with the greatest accuracy,...

Instant testing for sore throats wins CIMIT prize

Imagine finding out before you leave the pediatrician's office if your child has strep throat, or even something more serious requiring a different treatment. A novel application for applying DNA "nanobarcodes" in a clinical assay could help primary-care physicians quickly and more accurately determine what's causing a patient's acute pharyngitis from an easy throat swab.

Intercellular communication: From 'cable-phone' to 'cell-phone'?

Secreted microRNAs (miRNAs) from cells to blood maybe the novel class of signaling molecules mediating intercellular/interorgan communication. A research article, published this week in Molecular Cell, reports that miRNA can be secreted from one type of cells and delivered into recipient cells, decreases targeted gene expression, thus, regulates recipient cell function.

Luteolin stars in study of healthful plant compounds

Natural compounds in plants may protect us against unwanted inflammation. However, human nutrition researchers agree that many questions remain about exactly how these compounds, known as phytochemicals, do that. Studies led by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) molecular biologist Daniel H. Hwang are providing some of the missing details.

Origins of multicellularity: All in the family

One of the most pivotal steps in evolution-the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms-may not have required as much retooling as commonly believed, found a globe-spanning collaboration of scientists led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute.

Rosetta lines up for spectacular asteroid flyby

(PhysOrg.com) -- On 10 July, ESA's Rosetta will fly past 21 Lutetia, the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite. After weeks of manoeuvres and a challenging optical navigation campaign, Rosetta is perfectly lined up to skim by at 3162 km at 18:10 CEST.

Scientists find antibodies that prevent most HIV strains from infecting human cells

Scientists have discovered two potent human antibodies that can stop more than 90 percent of known global HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory, and have demonstrated how one of these disease-fighting proteins accomplishes this feat. According to the scientists, these antibodies could be used to design improved HIV vaccines, or could be further developed to prevent or treat HIV...