Detecting pollution with a compact laser source

Researchers at EPFL have come up with a new middle infrared light source that can detect greenhouse and other gases, as well as molecules in a person’s breath. The compact system, which resembles a tiny suitcase, contains just two parts: a standard laser together with a photonic chip measuring a few millimeters across. The research is detailed in an article […]

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Copycat fungus deceives immune system and deactivates body’s response to infection

Fungus can imitate signals from our immune system and prevent our body from responding to infection, new research from the University of Sheffield has found. Life-threatening fungal infection is a major killer of people with immune system problems such as blood cancers, HIV infection or following organ transplant. The new study focused on one of the most dangerous infections for […]

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Research implicates causative genes in osteoporosis, suggesting new targets for future therapy: Innovative functional genomics tools likely to aid discovery in other genetic diseases

Scientists have harnessed powerful data analysis tools and three-dimensional studies of genomic geography to implicate new risk genes for osteoporosis, the chronic bone-weakening condition that affects millions of people. Knowing the causative genes may later open the door to more effective treatments. “Identifying a disease’s actual underlying cause often helps to steer us toward correct, targeted treatments,” said study leader […]

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Narwhals spend at least half time diving for food, can fast for several days after meal: Tracking data from male Narwhal shows whales regularly dive to depths of over 700m

Narwhals — enigmatic arctic whales known for their sword-like tusk — spend over half their time diving to find food but are also able to last up to three days without a meal, according to a study by Manh Cuong Ngô and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published in PLOS Computational Biology. Narwhals are deep-diving whales that […]

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Hydrogel contact lens to treat serious eye disease

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have created a hydrogel that could one day be made into a contact lens to more effectively treat corneal melting, a condition that is a significant cause for blindness world-wide. The incurable eye disease can be initiated by a number of different causes such as autoimmune diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, or Stevens-Johnson […]

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How viruses outsmart their host cells: Scientists decipher protein structure after more than fifty years of research

Viruses depend on host cells for replication, but how does a virus induce its host to transcribe its own genetic information alongside that of the virus, thus producing daughter viruses? For decades, researchers have been studying a type of bacteriophage known as ‘lambda’ to try and find an answer to this question. Using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy, a research group from […]

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How a fungus can cripple the immune system: Research team clarifies the mechanism of gliotoxin, a mycotoxin from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

It is everywhere — and it is extremely dangerous for people with a weakened immune system. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus occurs virtually everywhere on Earth, as a dark grey, wrinkled cushion on damp walls or in microscopically small spores that blow through the air and cling to wallpaper, mattresses and floors. Healthy people usually have no problem if spores find […]

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Method to ‘turn off’ mutated melanoma: New study provides novel insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of NRAS mutant melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and notorious for its resistance to conventional chemotherapy. Approximately 25 percent of melanoma is driven by oncogenic mutations in the NRAS gene, making it a very attractive therapeutic target. However, despite decades of research, no effective therapies targeting NRAS have been forthcoming. For the first time, an international group of researchers has […]

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Bioethicists call for more robust system of ethical governance in human gene-editing

University of Otago bioethicists are calling for a more robust system of ethical governance in human gene-editing in the wake of the Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children. In an opinion article in the latest issue of the Journal of Zhejian University-SCIENCE B, a major international journal based in China, Professor Jing-Bao Nie, Dr Simon Walker and Jing-ru […]

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Those with inadequate access to food likely to suffer from obesity

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, over one-third of U.S. adults are obese. At the same time, obesity is the second leading cause of premature death in the North America and Europe. A recent study by public policy professors Alexander Testa and Dylan Jackson at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) assesses the link between […]

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