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E.g., 12/09/2016
E.g., 12/09/2016
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  • News

    Cells avoiding suicide may play role in spread of cancer

    SAN FRANCISCO — Mostly dead is still partly alive, even for cells on the brink of suicide, new research suggests.

    Near-death experiences may play a role in embryo development and help cancer cells that survive chemotherapy spread throughout the body, Denise Montell, a cell biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reported December 6 at the annual meeting of the American...

    12/09/2016 - 11:51 Cells, Cancer
  • News

    Vacuum’s quantum effect on light detected

    Observations of the dense remnant of an exploded star have provided the first sign of a quantum effect on light passing through empty space.

    Light from the stellar remnant, a neutron star located about 400 light-years away, is polarized, meaning that its electromagnetic waves are oriented preferentially in a particular direction like light that reflects off the surface of water (SN: 7/8/...

    12/09/2016 - 08:00 Quantum Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Epigenetic marks may help assess toxic exposure risk — someday

    Nearly everything people do, eat or come into contact with can change them in little ways — sometimes with big consequences. Exposure to some chemicals can damage DNA, leading to cancer and other problems. Other molecular changes—chemical tags added to DNA or to proteins called histones — may affect health without injuring DNA.

    There are more than 100 varieties of these chemical tags,...

    12/09/2016 - 06:00 Epigenetics, Toxicology
  • Science Ticker

    Graphene Silly Putty detects pitter-patter of spider footsteps

    Graphene-infused Silly Putty forms an electrical sensor that is sensitive enough to detect the gentle caresses of spider feet walking across it.

    Mixing graphene, or atom-thick sheets of carbon, and polysilicone, the substance found in the children’s toy Silly Putty, made it conduct electricity. Its electrical resistance was highly sensitive to pressure: Squishing the putty caused the...

    12/08/2016 - 14:00 Materials, Technology
  • News

    Early RNA may have used isolation strategy to defeat useless mutants

    Long before modern cells were around to house genetic material, tiny water droplets might have protected the first self-replicating molecules from parasitic mutants. New experimental evidence shows that such temporary compartments can help RNA molecules resist takeover by shorter, faster-replicating mutants, researchers report in the Dec. 9 Science.

    “We have a lot of theoretical papers...

    12/08/2016 - 14:00 Molecular Evolution, Chemistry
  • Context

    Health official calls on neuroscience to fight mental illness

    SAN DIEGO — Society’s record for protecting public health has been pretty good in the developed world, not so much in developing countries. That disparity has long been recognized.

    But there’s another disparity in society’s approach to public health — the divide between attention to traditional diseases and the resources devoted to mental disorders.

    “When it comes to mental health...

    12/08/2016 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • The –est

    Oldest traces of smallpox virus found in child mummy

    A child mummy buried in a church crypt in Lithuania could hold the oldest genetic evidence of smallpox.

    Traces of the disease-causing variola virus linger in the mummy, which dates to about 1654, evolutionary geneticist Ana Duggan and colleagues report December 8 in Current Biology. Previously, a team of researchers had reported variola DNA in a roughly 300-year-old Siberian mummy.

    ...
    12/08/2016 - 12:00 Health, Anthropology
  • The –est

    Why crested penguins lay mismatched eggs

    In crested penguin families, moms heavily favor offspring No. 2 from the start, and a new analysis proposes why. The six or seven species of crested (Eudyptes) penguins practice the most extreme egg favoritism known among birds, says Glenn Crossin of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

    Females that lay two eggs produce a runty first egg weighing 18 to 57 percent less than the second...

    12/08/2016 - 11:00 Animals, Physiology
  • News in Brief

    Third kind of quasicrystal found in Russian meteorite

    Another “impossible” crystal has been found locked inside a Russian meteorite.

    The specimen is a quasicrystal, a type of material that shatters the rules of crystallography by having an ordered — yet never-repeating — arrangement of atoms. The new find is only the third natural quasicrystal ever found and is the first discovered in nature before being synthesized in a lab, researchers...

    12/08/2016 - 09:00 Earth, Chemistry, Condensed Matter
  • News in Brief

    Having an extra chromosome has a surprising effect on cancer

    SAN FRANCISCO — Having an extra chromosome may suppress cancer, as long as things don’t get stressful, a new study suggests. The finding may help scientists unravel a paradox: Cells with extra chromosomes grow slower than cells with the usual two copies of each chromosome, but cancer cells, which grow quickly, often have additional chromosomes. Researchers have thought that perhaps extra...

    12/07/2016 - 16:31 Cells, Cancer, Genetics