Body

Scientists studying one of nature’s simplest organisms have helped to unravel the structure of a key molecule that controls pain in humans.

Chronic pain, unlike the acute pain associated with trauma, has no apparent physiological benefit, often being referred to as the ‘disease of pain’. Complete and lasting relief of chronic pain is rare and often the clinical goal is pain management through one or more medications.

A startling discovery on the development of human embryonic stem cells by scientists at McMaster University will change how future research in the area is done.

A study this week reports on a new understanding of the growth of human stem cells. It had been thought previously that stem cells are directly influenced by cells in the local environment or ‘niche’, but the situation may be more complex. Human embryonic stem cells are perpetual machines that generate fuel for life.

A detailed understanding of key chemical reactions that take place in interstellar space has been provided by groundbreaking research at two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories and two European universities.

Neutrophils are biological killers. These white blood cells patrol the body and guard against infection by bacteria and fungi, identifying and destroying any invaders that cross their path. But new evidence, which may lead to better drugs to fight deadly pathogens, indicates that neutrophils might actually distinguish among their targets.

Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming on the same amount of land---according to new findings which refute the long-standing assumption that organic farming methods cannot produce enough food to feed the global population.

Scientists at the University of Minnesota have been evaluating the impact of antibiotic feeding in livestock production on the environment.

This particular study, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), evaluated whether food crops accumulate antibiotics from soils spread with manure that contains antibiotics. Results from the study are published in the July-August 2007 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.Soil Science Society of America Meeting in November 2006.

Scientists at the University of Bonn, together with colleagues from Romania, have discovered a gene variant that significantly increases the risk of developing gallstones.

The strongest and fittest of a species might be expected to produce the best offspring, but this is not always the case, researchers at the University have found.

Studies of red deer suggest that the most successful males are more likely to produce less fertile daughters.

Male and female deer need different attributes to succeed. Genes which prove to be an advantage in fathers don't necessarily prove beneficial in daughters.

The development of a living being is based on general laws written into the genetic code of each cell and which enable them to develop a specialist function, modifying the way they divide, their form and their behavior.

Not all fat is bad. Brown fat is a type of adipose tissue that generates heat and counters obesity caused by overeating.

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a long-sought "master switch" in mice for the production of brown fat and they say that turning up the equivalent switch in people might be a new strategy for treating overweight and obesity. The investigators said their next step is to rev up the control in mice and overfeed them to see if they are resistant to becoming obese.