“Regressive evolution,” or the reduction of traits over time, is the result of either natural selection or genetic drift, according to a study on cavefish by researchers at New York University’s Department of Biology, the University of California at Berkeley’s Department of Integrative Biology, and the Harvard Medical School. Previously, scientists could not determine which forces contributed to regressive evolution in cave-adapted species, and many doubt the role of natural selection in this process.
Does orange juice taste sweeter if it's a brighter orange? A new study in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research finds that the color of a drink can influence how we think it tastes. In fact, the researchers found that color was more of an influence on how taste was perceived than quality or price information.
When man made his way out of Africa some 60,000 years ago to populate the world, he was not alone: He was accompanied by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastritis in many people today. Together, man and the bacterium spread throughout the entire world. This is the conclusion reached by an international team of scientists led by Mark Achtman from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany.
Whether they're fighting postoperative soreness or relieving chronic discomfort from conditions such as cancer, morphine and other opioids are powerful weapons against pain. Now, in research published online in Nature Neuroscience, Brown University scientists give one reason why these painkillers work so well.
In a study spanning the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, researchers writing in the Feb. 15 New England Journal of Medicine say a nasal spray flu vaccine reduced the influenza "attack rate" in children by 55 percent when compared with a group of children who received the traditional flu shot in the arm or thigh.
Doctors who fear their own death say they are more prepared than other doctors to hasten death in sick newborns for whom further medical treatment is considered futile, reveals research published ahead of print in the Fetal & Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.
The findings are based on an anonymous survey of 138 doctors specialising in the care of sick newborns (neonatologists) across Australia and New Zealand.
Just as homes have smoke detectors, cells have an enzyme that responds to a buildup of fatty acids by triggering the production of a key molecule in the biochemical pathway that breaks down these fatty acids, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This breakdown of fatty acids, in turn, provides the cell energy while reducing the chance that excess fatty acids will accumulate.
When the next big earthquake hits a region like San Francisco, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grantee Kristy Tiampo wants to ensure that communities will not only be able to evacuate, but also rebuild.
This is why Tiampo, the NSERC and Benfield/ICLR Industrial Research Chair in Earthquake Hazard Assessment, is involved in an international effort to improve earthquake forecasting. She studied earthquake engineering in California as an undergraduate, and is now using her research to build better forecasting maps in Canada and other countries.
While previous biomedical research studies have found that genetics and race increase risk for some diseases, a new look into how researchers study genetic triggers of type 2 diabetes suggests that defining race remains an inexact science, with social and historic facts mixing with biology throughout the research process.
The new study by a UC Irvine anthropologist calls into question not only how race-specific information is being gathered and interpreted by the medical community, but how it is presented to the public through media and pharmaceutical marketing.
The rise of multicellular animals about 540 million years ago was a turning point in the history of life. A group of Finnish scientists suggests a new climate-biosphere interaction mechanism for the underlying processes in a new study, which will be published on February 14, 2007 in PLoS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication from the Public Library of Science (PLoS).