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  • News

    Discovery of how to prod a patient’s immune system to fight cancer wins a Nobel

    Stopping cancer by removing brakes on the immune system has earned James P. Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University in Japan the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

    “Allison’s and Honjo’s discoveries have added a new pillar in cancer therapy,” Nobel committee member Klas Kärre said in an Oct. 1 news conference...

    10/01/2018 - 14:30 Cancer, Physiology
  • Science Ticker

    Cancer immunotherapy wins the 2018 medicine Nobel Prize

    James P. Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University in Japan have won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for advances in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer.

    All previous types of cancer therapy were directed at the tumor cell, but Allison’s and Honjo’s approach was to remove brakes that keep the immune system in check, unleashing...

    10/01/2018 - 06:42 Physiology, Cancer
  • News in Brief

    Kidney stones grow and dissolve much like geological crystals

    It took a close look at crystal formation in Yellowstone’s hot springs to understand stones much closer to home. Growth and dissolution patterns found in rocks there mirror what’s going on with stones in our kidneys, says Bruce Fouke, a geobiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, contradicting the medical dogma that kidney stones don’t dissolve.

    Fouke, who usually...

    09/21/2018 - 07:00 Health, Physiology
  • News

    Tiny bits of RNA can trigger pain and itchiness

    Some snippets of RNA can be a real pain.

    A microRNA called miR-30c-5p contributes to nerve pain in rats and people, a new study finds. A different microRNA, miR-711, interacts with a well-known itch-inducing protein to cause itching, a second study concludes. Together, the research highlights the important role that the small pieces of genetic material can play in nerve cell function,...

    08/13/2018 - 14:06 Cells, Physiology, Neuroscience, Genetics
  • News

    How a slime mold near death packs bacteria to feed the next generation

    In the final frenzy of reproduction and death, social amoebas secrete proteins that help preserve a starter kit of food for its offspring.

    Dictyostelium discoideum, a type of slime mold in soil, eats bacteria. Some wild forms of this species essentially farm the microbes, passing them along in spore cases that give the next generation of amoebas the beginnings of a fine local patch of...

    07/27/2018 - 15:35 Microbes, Cells, Physiology
  • It's Alive

    How a squishy clam conquers a rock

    Burrowing giant clams have perfected the ship-in-a-bottle trick, and the one big thing that scientists convinced themselves couldn’t explain it, actually can.

    Tridacna crocea, the smallest of the 10 or so giant clam species, grows a shell that eventually reaches the size of a large fist. Starting as youngsters, the burrowers bore into the stony mass of an Indo-Pacific coral reef,...

    06/22/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Physiology, Microbes