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The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Updated: 6 min 18 sec ago

How lactoferrin clamps down on free roaming iron ions to stop nefarious effects on cells

20 hours 45 min ago
What prevents our cells being damaged due to overexposure to iron ions is a protein called lactoferrin, known for its ability to bind tightly to such ions. In a new study published in EPJ E, Lilia Anghel from the Institute of Chemistry in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, and research collaborators use combined experimental and molecular dynamics simulationto study the changes in the structure of lactoferrin as it binds to iron ions.
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In depression the brain region for stress control is larger

20 hours 45 min ago
Although depression is one of the leading psychiatric disorders in Germany, its cause remains unclear. A recent study at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig, Germany, found that those affected by depressive disorder have a larger hypothalamus compared to their healthy counterparts. This could explain why many sufferers show increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and are very often afflicted with periods of tension.
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New research finds annual well visit increases likelihood of preventive services

20 hours 45 min ago
A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study assesses the effect of receiving an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) between 2011 and 2013 on the annual rate of eight preventive services recommended for the Medicare population following the AWV. The study is published online in Preventive Medicine.
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Scientists solve the golden puzzle of calaverite

20 hours 45 min ago
There's quite a story behind calaverite. Apart from its marked impact on the Gold Rush, the mineral has been a headache and a great paradox for crystallographers for decades. The deeper researchers dug into it, the more new questions came up. Scientists from Russia and Germany have succeeded in interlacing all the oddities of calaverite within a simple model, so experimenters can now hunt for the new compound they predicted, AuTe, unknown until now.
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Nerve cells in the human brain can 'count'

20 hours 45 min ago
How do we know if we're looking at three apples or four? Researchers at the Universities of Bonn and Tübingen were able to demonstrate that some brain cells fire mainly for quantities of three, others for quantities of four and others for other quantities. A similar effect can be observed for digits: In humans, the neurons activated in response to a '2' are for instance not the same as the neurons activated for a '5'.
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A one-way street for salt

20 hours 45 min ago
Barely heard of a couple of years ago, quinoa today is common on European supermarket shelves. The hardy plant thrives even in saline soils. Researchers from the University of Würzburg have now determined how the plant gets rid of the excess salt.
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Scientists make significant discovery in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis

20 hours 45 min ago
Researchers from Newcastle University and Demuris Ltd have identified that a naturally occurring antibiotic, called kanglemycin A -- related to the antibiotic rifampicin -- is active against rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
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What can salad dressing tell us about cancer? Think oil and vinegar

20 hours 45 min ago
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified another way the process that causes oil to form droplets in water may contribute to solid tumors, such as prostate and breast cancer. Researchers found evidence that mutations in the tumor suppressor gene SPOP contribute to cancer by disrupting a process called liquid-liquid phase separation. Liquid-liquid phase separation is seen often in nature and is the reason why oil and vinegar separate in salad dressing.
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Octopuses given mood drug 'ecstasy' reveal genetic link to evolution of social behaviors in humans

20 hours 45 min ago
By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or 'ecstasy,' scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree.
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Scientists grow human esophagus in lab

20 hours 45 min ago
Scientists working to bioengineer the entire human gastrointestinal system in a laboratory now report using pluripotent stem cells to grow human esophageal organoids. The newly published research in the journal Cell Stem Cell is the first time scientists have been able to grow human esophageal tissue entirely from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which can form any tissue type in the body.
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Novel biomarker found in ovarian cancer patients can predict response to therapy

20 hours 45 min ago
Researchers have identified an independent prognostic factor, cancer/testis antigen 45, that is associated with extended disease-free survival for women with advanced ovarian cancer. Patients with high levels of CT45 in their tumors lived more than seven times as long as patients who lacked sufficient CT45.
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What's eating these endangered orchids?

20 hours 45 min ago
A species of seed-feeding fly is critically damaging the seed production of multiple orchid species, as revealed by a group of Japanese researchers. If the damage caused by this fly is occurring long-term and across Japan, these already-endangered orchid species could become unable to reproduce using seeds, and their dwindling numbers will take a large hit.
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Nomadic hunter-gatherers show that cooperation is flexible, not fixed

20 hours 45 min ago
Why do humans cooperate? For six years, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have worked to answer this great puzzle, focusing on the Hadza, a nomadic hunter-gatherer population in Tanzania. New findings suggest that cooperation is flexible, not fixed.
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Gambling monkeys help scientists find brain area linked to high-risk behavior

20 hours 45 min ago
Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one's willingness to make risky decisions.
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Stanford study identifies stem cell that gives rise to new bone and cartilage in humans

20 hours 45 min ago
A decade-long effort led by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists has been rewarded with the identification of the human skeletal stem cell.
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We are bombarded by thousands of diverse species and chemicals, Stanford study finds

20 hours 45 min ago
Stanford scientists have measured the human 'exposome,' or the particulates, chemicals and microbes that individually swaddle us all, in unprecedented detail.
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Kiwifruit duplicated its vitamin C genes twice, 50 million and 20 million years ago

20 hours 45 min ago
Today's kiwifruit, a member of the Chinese gooseberry family, contains about as much vitamin C as an orange. This extra boost in vitamin C production is the result of the kiwifruit's ancestors' spontaneously duplicating their DNA in two separate evolutionary events approximately 50-57 million and 18-20 million years ago, as reported September 20 in the journal iScience.
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Researchers identify human skeletal stem cells

20 hours 45 min ago
Human skeletal stem cells that become bone, cartilage, or stroma cells have been isolated from fetal and adult bones. This is the first time that skeletal stem cells, which had been observed in rodent models, have been identified in humans. The researchers were also able to derive the skeletal stem cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells, opening up new therapeutic possibilities. The discovery appears Sept. 20, 2018, in the journal Cell.
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MDMA (a.k.a. ecstasy) makes octopuses more social too

20 hours 45 min ago
When people take MDMA, the drug popularly known as ecstasy, a rush of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin produces feelings of emotional closeness and euphoria, making people more interested than normal in connecting with other people. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 20 have made the surprising discovery that a species of octopus considered to be primarily solitary and asocial responds to MDMA similarly: by becoming much more interested in engaging with one other.
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Why do people share? It's contagious, six-year study of Hadza people shows

20 hours 45 min ago
In the modern world, people cooperate with other people including strangers all the time. We give blood, tip providers of various services, and donate to charity even though there is seemingly nothing in it for us. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 20 who've studied Hadza hunter-gatherer people in Tanzania over a six-year period have new and surprising insight into why people work together.
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