Letters to the Editor
Sugarcoated05/03/2017 - 11:20 Cancer, Technology, Animals
A new wave of potential immune therapies aims to target the network of complex sugars that coat cancer cells, Esther Landhuis reported in “Cancer’s sweet cloak” (SN: 4/1/17, p. 24). Some of these sugars, called sialic acids, help tumors hide from the immune system.
“Are the offending sugars referred to in this article the ones we are eating or are they the result of...
Zika virus plays hard to get.
Weeks after the virus disappears from the bloodstream, it still lingers in the lymph nodes and the central nervous system of rhesus monkeys, researchers report online April 27 in Cell. That could help explain why Zika infection can cause neurological problems in both infants and adults.
“Zika does stick around for a lot longer than we originally...
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy does not increase the risk of autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, two new large studies suggest. Genetic or environmental influences, rather than prenatal exposure to the drugs, may have a greater influence on whether a child will develop these disorders. The studies are published online April 18 in JAMA.
Clinically, the message is...
Soon after systems biologist Juergen Hahn published a paper describing a way to predict whether a child has autism from a blood sample, the notes from parents began arriving. “I have a bunch of parents writing me now who want to test their kids,” says Hahn, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “I can’t do that.”
That’s because despite their promise, his group’s results,...
Letters to the Editor
New normal04/05/2017 - 10:39 Mental Health, Animals, Physics
People who stay mentally healthy throughout life are exceptions to the rule, a small study suggests. Only 17 percent of study participants experienced no bouts of anxiety, depression or other mental ailments from late childhood to middle age, Bruce Bower reported in “Lasting mental health may be unusual” (SN: 3/4/17, p. 7).
Reader Lou Floyd found the article disturbing and the...
News in Brief
WASHINGTON — Immune cells engineered to hunt and destroy cancer cells may help some people with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) live much longer.
Outcomes depended upon disease severity before treatment, oncologist Jae Park reported April 3 at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.
In ALL — expected to strike 5,970 people and kill 1,440 in the United States...
Could fluorescence matter to a frog? Carlos Taboada wondered. They don’t have bedroom black lights, but their glow may still be about the night moves.
Taboada’s question is new to herpetology. No one had shown fluorescence in amphibians, or in any land vertebrate except parrots, until he and colleagues recently tested South American polka dot tree frogs. Under white light, male and...
Not too long ago, the internet was stationary. Most often, we’d browse the Web from a desktop computer in our living room or office. If we were feeling really adventurous, maybe we’d cart our laptop to a coffee shop. Looking back, those days seem quaint.
Today, the internet moves through our lives with us. We hunt Pokémon as we shuffle down the sidewalk. We text at red lights. We tweet...
There are few simple answers in science. Even seemingly straightforward questions, when probed by people in search of proof, lead to more questions. Those questions lead to nuances, layers of complexity and, more often than we might expect, conclusions that contradict initial intuition.
In the 1990s, researchers asking “How do we fight oxygen-hungry cancer cells?” offered an obvious...
Malaria parasites seduce mosquitoes on the sly.
Plasmodium falciparum parasites produce a molecule that makes parasite-infected blood more attractive to malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, researchers report online February 9 in Science. The insects slurp up this enticing meal, helping the parasite spread to new hosts.
“It’s a really intriguing glimpse into how Plasmodium might have...