Collagen, best known as the key protein in skin, also protects against loose bits of plaque that can cause heart attacks. New images (below) of human arteries hardened by plaque illustrate the importance of collagen (green). The plaques (red and orange) in the left two micrographs are stable, while the plaques in the photos on the right are vulnerable to breaking away from the blood vessel...
Oceanfront property doesn’t come cheap. Except, perhaps, for some seafaring microbes.
Steady streams of tiny plastic pieces making their way into the ocean give microbial squatters a place to take up residence. Each plastic home comes equipped with a solid surface to live on in an otherwise watery world. These floating synthetic dwellings and their microbial inhabitants have a name: the...
Plants protect themselves from bacterial assault with mystery compounds that interrupt the bacteria’s best laid plans. Now, researchers have finally identified one of those protective compounds.
Rosmarinic acid is a plant’s secret weapon for disarming bacteria, researchers report in the Jan. 5 Science Signaling. Tino...
News in Brief
A preliminary report from scientists at the biotech company Amgen Inc. questions a cancer drug’s ability to fight Alzheimer’s disease. In experiments described February 4 in F1000Research, bexarotene, a drug approved by the FDA to treat lymphoma, didn’t...
At the 2013 trials of DARPA’s robotics competition in Florida, a high-tech robot named Hubo had just about completed a tricky challenge: climbing up a ladder roughly the height of a small elephant.
Hubo, a 5-foot-tall walking bot, was pitting its skills against a slew of formidable contenders, all in a contest designed to simulate what...
For Daily Use
Gas concentrations in the gut can reveal secrets about digestive tract health, and may be skewed in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. But sampling gas in breath or stool doesn’t give the most accurate picture of what’s bubbling in the intestines. Australian researchers have designed a swallowable gas-sensing capsule that could someday provide an inside look at the gases in the human...
Florida harvester ants “make a nest that is truly beautiful in its architecture,” says Walter Tschinkel. He has poured molten metal or plaster into the underground nests and dug up the hardened casts to reveal their multilevel shapes. Much about these ant nests, however, defies explanation.
For reasons still unknown,...
50 Years Ago
Soviet TV lands on moon —The first spacecraft to land on the moon without demolishing itself in the process did so on Feb. 3. The Soviet Union sent it, and it proved its feat by sending back photographs of the lunar surface...
For a planet that hasn’t technically been discovered yet, Planet Nine is generating a lot of buzz. Astronomers have not actually found a new planet orbiting the sun, but some remote icy bodies are dropping tantalizing clues about a giant orb lurking in the fringes of the solar system.
Six hunks of ice in the...