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  • News

    Folding with a little help from friends

    A chaperone protein (bottom, yellow) called SecB guides the folding of another protein (transparent) in this artist's illustration. "Interactions with chaperones are very common for all proteins," says Sander Tans of the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, and they exert a strong influence on protein shape and function.

    But previous studies of the...

    11/28/2007 - 14:27 Earth
  • News

    Tadpole Slayer: Mystery epidemic imperils frogs

    From Alaska to Florida, a novel and yet-unnamed protozoan is knocking off tadpoles. Species vulnerable to "the beast" belong to the genus Rana, which includes leopard frogs, green frogs, and bullfrogs, says ecologist John C. Maerz.

    His team at the University of Georgia in Athens stumbled across mass die-offs of southern leopard frog tadpoles in nearby ponds last year....

    11/19/2007 - 10:53
  • Feature

    Shadow World

    In a school of thought that teaches the existence of extra dimensions, Juan Maldacena may at first sound a little out of place. String theory is physicists' still-tentative strategy for reconciling Einstein's theory of gravitation with quantum physics. Its premise is that the subatomic particles that roam our three-dimensional world are really infinitesimally thin strings vibrating in nine...

    11/13/2007 - 13:43 Physics
  • Feature

    Back from the Dead?

    In December 1938, Marjorie Courtney-Latimer, curator of a natural history museum in East London, South Africa, went to the docks to look for interesting specimens among the day's catch. What she found one day she later described as "the most beautiful fish I had ever seen ... a pale mauve blue with iridescent silver markings." The discovery sent scientists into a frenzy.

    ...

    11/13/2007 - 11:15 Paleontology
  • News

    Salmonella seeks sweets

    Salmonella enterica, a major food-poisoning germ, can enter the tissues of fresh lettuce where no amount of surface washing will evict it. The scientists who reported that finding earlier this year now think that they've gotten to the root of the issue.

    To model salmonella soil contamination from livestock wastes, the researchers seeded sterile manure with one of three toxic strains of...

    11/07/2007 - 10:28 Nutrition
  • News

    Smells Funny: Fish schools break up over body odor

    Just an hour's swim in water lightly contaminated with a common pollutant can turn fish into rejects with an odor that causes their untainted schoolmates to shun them, researchers say.

    In a lab test, brief exposure to 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), a surfactant used in many soaps, detergents, and other products, disrupted the normal tendency of banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)...

    10/24/2007 - 10:35 Animals
  • Food for Thought

    Troubling Meaty 'Estrogen'

    Women take note. Researchers find that a chemical that forms in overcooked meat, especially charred portions, is a potent mimic of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. That's anything but appetizing, since studies have linked a higher lifetime cumulative exposure to estrogen in women with an elevated risk of breast cancer.

    Indeed, the new finding offers a "biologically...

    10/17/2007 - 01:38 Nutrition
  • News

    Spying Vision Cells: Eye's motion detectors are finally found

    The eye's retina does more than register images the way film or a digital camera detector does. To allow it to begin analyzing an image, the retina has specialized nerve cells that respond to motion or other important features in the image detected by the light-sensing rod and cone cells.

    Scientists discovered the specialized cells that sense motion in the retinas of cats and other...

    10/10/2007 - 15:30
  • News

    Tea compound aids dying brain cells

    From Washington, D.C., at the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health

    A constituent of green tea can revive moribund brain cells, Israeli researchers report. The team experimented with animal neurons that had been chemically poisoned to model the death of dopamine-producing cells in Parkinson's disease.

    In a test-tube study, low doses of epigallocatechin...

    09/26/2007 - 12:04 Biomedicine
  • News

    Laser printers can dirty the air

    The smaller an air-pollution particle is, the more likely it will be inhaled deep into the lungs, where it can trigger disease. A new study finds that office laser printers can spew especially small particles.

    Lidia Morawska of the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, says that her team stumbled onto the finding while attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of...

    09/05/2007 - 14:01 Earth & Environment