Fateful evolution: New study improves accuracy of cancer diagnosis

Fateful evolution: New study improves accuracy of cancer diagnosis

A disorder known as Barrett's esophagus (BE) affects some 200,000 Americans each year. The condition, which is caused by stomach acid damaging the lining of the esophagus, can lead to the development of a serious, potentially fatal cancer of epithelial tissue, known as esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC).

In a new study, Carlo Maley, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, uses evolutionary theory to make predictions about which BE patients will go on to develop cancer.

Well-wrapped feces allow lobsters to eat jellyfish stingers without injury

Well-wrapped feces allow lobsters to eat jellyfish stingers without injury

Lobsters eat jellyfish without harm from the venomous stingers due to a series of physical adaptations. Researchers from Hiroshima University examined lobster feces to discover that lobsters surround their servings of jellyfish in protective membranes that prevent the stingers from injecting their venom. The results are vial for aquaculture efforts to sustainably farm lobsters for diners around the world.

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films

Researchers discovered a procedure to restore defective graphene oxide structures that cause the material to display low carrier mobility. By applying a high-temperature reduction treatment in an ethanol environment, defective structures were restored, leading to the formation of a highly crystalline graphene film with excellent band-like transport. These findings are expected to come into use in scalable production techniques of highly crystalline graphene films.

Where does AlphaGo go?

Where does AlphaGo go?

On March 15, 2016, Lee Sodol, an 18-time world champion of the ancient Chinese board game of Go, was defeated by AlphaGo, a computer program. The event is one of the most historic in the field of artificial intelligence since Deep Blue bested chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the late 1990s. The difference is that AlphaGo may represent an even bigger turning point in AI research. As outlined in a recently published paper, AlphaGo and programs like it possess the computational architecture to handle complex problems that lie well beyond the game table.

Researchers identify possible pathway to reboot immune system after bone-marrow transplant

Researchers identify possible pathway to reboot immune system after bone-marrow transplant

New research has shown how a cell surface molecule, Lymphotoxin β receptor, controls entry of T-cells into the thymus; and as such presents an opportunity to understanding why cancer patients who undergo bone-marrow transplant are slow to recover their immune system.

The study, published in the Journal of Immunology, used mouse models to reveal an in vivo mechanism that researchers believe might also represent a novel pathway for immunotherapeutic targeting to support patients following transplantation.

High-tech alternative to brain surgery proves effective for most common movement disorder

A study published today in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine offers the most in-depth assessment yet of the safety and effectiveness of a high-tech alternative to brain surgery to treat the uncontrollable shaking caused by the most common movement disorder. And the news is very good.

Study: Biofuels increase, rather than decrease, heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions

ANN ARBOR -- A new study from University of Michigan researchers challenges the widely held assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are inherently carbon neutral.

Contrary to popular belief, the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas emitted when biofuels are burned is not fully balanced by the CO2 uptake that occurs as the plants grow, according to a study by research professor John DeCicco and co-authors at the U-M Energy Institute.

Coffee drinking habits can be written in our DNA, study finds

Researchers have identified a gene that appears to curb coffee consumption.

People with a DNA variation in a gene called PDSS2 tend to drink fewer cups of coffee, the study found.

Experts say the findings suggest that the gene reduce the ability of cells to breakdown caffeine, causing it to stay in the body for longer.

This means that a person would not need to consume as much coffee to get the same caffeine hit, the team says.

A look at the molecular quality assurance within cells

Proteins fulfill vital functions in our body. They transport substances, combat pathogens, and function as catalysts. In order for these processes to function reliably, proteins must adopt a defined three-dimensional structure. Molecular "folding assistants", called chaperones, aid and scrutinize these structuring processes. With participation from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), a team of researchers has now revealed how chaperones identify particularly harmful errors in this structuring process. The findings were published in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.

In the aftermath of disaster, social media helps build a sense of community

Social media can disseminate critical information as well as unite disaster victims during their recovery efforts, suggests a study published in Frontiers in Communication.

After natural disasters communities rely heavily on local governments to provide the necessary resources and information to respond to such disasters, but these approaches are not well equipped to meeting individual needs.