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  • Feature

    Instead of starving a cancer, researchers go after its defenses

    Like many living things, a cancer cell cannot survive without oxygen. When young and tiny, a malignancy nestles inside a bed of blood vessels that keep it fed. As the mass grows, however, its demand for oxygen outpaces supply. Pockets within the tumor become deprived and send emergency signals for new vessel growth, a process called angiogenesis. In the 1990s, a popular cancer-...

    02/22/2017 - 12:32 Cancer, Cells, Biomedicine
  • News in Brief

    New imaging technique catches DNA ‘blinking’ on

    BOSTON — A new imaging technique takes advantage of DNA’s natural ability to “blink” in response to stimulating light.  The new approach will allow unprecedented views of genetic material and other cellular players. It’s the first method to resolve features smaller than 10 nanometers, biomedical engineer Vadim Backman said February 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the...

    02/19/2017 - 10:39 Cells, Chemistry, Biophysics
  • News

    Ricin poisoning may one day be treatable with new antidote

    WASHINGTON — It has been used by an assassin wielding a poisoned umbrella and sent in a suspicious letter to a president.

    Ricin, the potent toxin and bioterrorism agent, has no antidote and can cause death within days. But a cocktail of antibodies could one day offer victims at least a slim window for treatment.

    A new study presented February 7 at the American Society for...

    02/10/2017 - 10:02 Health, Cells, Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    How hydras know where to regrow their heads

    View the video

    Hydras, petite pond polyps known for their seemingly eternal youth, exemplify the art of bouncing back. The animals’ cellular scaffolding, or cytoskeleton, can regrow from a slice of tissue that’s just 5 percent of its full body size. Researchers thought that molecular signals told cells where and how to rebuild, but new evidence suggests there are other forces at play....

    02/09/2017 - 10:00 Animals, Biophysics, Cells
  • News in Brief

    How hydras know where to regrow their heads

    View the video

    Hydras, petite pond polyps known for their seemingly eternal youth, exemplify the art of bouncing back (SN: 7/23/16, p. 26). The animals’ cellular scaffolding, or cytoskeleton, can regrow from a slice of tissue that’s just 2 percent of the original hydra’s full body size. Researchers thought that molecular signals told cells where and how to rebuild, but new evidence...

    02/09/2017 - 10:00 Animals, Biophysics, Cells
  • News

    Mouse cells grown in rats cure diabetes in mice

    Growing human organs in other animals is a small step closer to reality.

    Injecting human stem cells into pig and cattle embryos created embryos that incorporate a small number of human cells, scientists report January 26 in Cell. The ultimate goal of the controversial research is to use hybrid, or chimeric, animals to produce human organs for transplant.

    Farm animals incubating...

    01/26/2017 - 12:00 Cells, Biomedicine, Science & Society
  • News

    Pain promoter also acts as pain reliever

    A protein that sounds the alarm when the body encounters something painful also helps put out the fire.

    Called Nav1.7, the protein sits on pain-sensing nerves and has long been known for sending a red alert to the brain when the body has a brush with pain. Now, experiments in rodent cells reveal another role for Nav1.7: Its activity triggers the production of pain-relieving molecules....

    01/11/2017 - 16:09 Neuroscience, Cells
  • Feature

    These 2016 stories could be really big — if they're true

    These findings would have rocked the scientific world, if only the evidence had been more convincing.

    New Planet 9 clues

    A giant planet lurking at the outskirts of the solar system could explain the odd orbits of far-flung hunks of icy debris (SN: 2/20/16, p. 6). If the planet exists, its average distance from the sun would be between 500 and 600 times Earth’s distance (SN: 7/23/16, p. 7...

    12/23/2016 - 10:00 Astronomy, Cells, Evolution
  • News

    Cells snack on nanowires

    Human cells can snack on silicon.

    Cells grown in the lab devour nano-sized wires of silicon through an engulfing process known as phagocytosis, scientists report December 16 in Science Advances.

    Silicon-infused cells could merge electronics with biology, says John Zimmerman, a biophysicist now at Harvard University. “It’s still very early days,” he adds, but “the idea is to get...

    12/16/2016 - 14:00 Technology, Cells
  • News

    Proteins that reprogram cells can turn back mice’s aging clock

    Four proteins that can transform adult cells into embryonic-like ones can also turn back the aging clock, a new study in mice suggests.

    Partial reprogramming of cells within prematurely aging mice’s bodies extended the rodents’ average life span from 18 weeks to 24 weeks, researchers report December 15 in Cell. Normal mice saw benefits, too: Muscles and pancreas cells healed better in...

    12/15/2016 - 12:00 Epigenetics, Health, Cells