Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations

Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species — in as little as 15 years — as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.

After contact with the invasive species, the native lizards began perching higher in trees, and, generation after generation, their feet evolved to become better at gripping the thinner, smoother branches found higher up.

Berkeley Lab study reveals molecular structure of water at gold electrodes

Berkeley Lab study reveals molecular structure of water at gold electrodes

When a solid material is immersed in a liquid, the liquid immediately next to its surface differs from that of the bulk liquid at the molecular level. This interfacial layer is critical to our understanding of a diverse set of phenomena from biology to materials science. When the solid surface is charged, just like an electrode in a working battery, it can drive further changes in the interfacial liquid. However, elucidating the molecular structure at the solid-liquid interface under these conditions has proven difficult.

Bristol team creates designer 'barrel' proteins

Bristol team creates designer 'barrel' proteins

Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood.

Desert streams: Deceptively simple

Desert streams: Deceptively simple

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.

UT Southwestern scientists discover new clues to how weight loss is regulated

UT Southwestern scientists discover new clues to how weight loss is regulated

DALLAS – Oct. 23, 2014 – A hormone seen as a popular target to develop weight-loss drugs works by directly targeting the brain and triggering previously unknown activity in the nervous system, UT Southwestern Medical Center obesity researchers have found.

The fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) hormone has been a key target for developing weight-loss drugs because the protein increases energy expenditure, causing the body to burn calories. But how the hormone worked wasn't known until now.

How ferns adapted to one of Earth's newest and most extreme environments

Ferns are believed to be 'old' plant species – some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.

Dartmouth study measures breast cancer tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy

A Dartmouth study suggests that it may be possible to use Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Tomographic imaging (DOST) to predict which patients will best respond to chemotherapy used to shrink breast cancer tumors before surgery. These findings could eliminate delays in effective early treatment for tumors unlikely to respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). The study, "Predicting breast tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Tomography prior to treatment," was published online in Clinical Cancer Research on October 7, 2014.

European multicenter harmonization study shows anaplastic lymphoma kinase immunohistochemistry testing comparable to, if not bet

DENVER – Sixteen institutions across Europe collaborated together to show for the first time that a semi-quantitative anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) protein expression test, immunohistochemistry (IHC), is reliable amongst several laboratories and reviewers when test methodology and result interpretation are strictly standardized and the scoring pathologists are appropriately trained on the test.

Novel software application can stratify early-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients

DENVER –CANARY, Computer-Aided Nodule Assessment and Risk Yield, is a novel software tool developed at Mayo Clinic that can automatically quantitate adenocarcinoma pulmonary nodule characteristics from non-invasive high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) images and stratify non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients into risk groups that have significantly different disease-free survival outcomes.

Experimental breast cancer drug holds promise in combination therapy for Ewing sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma tumors disappeared and did not return in more than 70 percent of mice treated with combination therapy that included drugs from a family of experimental agents developed to fight breast cancer, reported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists. The study will appear in the November 6 edition of the scientific journal Cell Reports.