Body

Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that propel mucus out of airways, have to agree on the direction of the fluid flow to get things moving. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discovered a novel two-step mechanism that ensures that all cilia beat in unison.

An effective way to fight leukemia might be to knock out a specific protein that protects cancer cells from dying, a new study shows.

The findings suggest that a drug that can block this "survival protein" might on its own be an effective therapy.

But such a drug used in combination with several existing drugs might also offer an effective one-two punch against drug-resistant forms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The two forms of cancer kill about 20,500 Americans yearly.

The most recent census of mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park—one of only two places in the world where the rare gorillas exist—has found that the population has increased by 6 percent since the last census in 2002, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Max Planck Institute of Anthropology and other groups that participated in the effort.

The rise of the central nervous system (CNS) in animal evolution has puzzled scientists for centuries. Vertebrates, insects and worms evolved from the same ancestor, but their CNSs are different and were thought to have evolved only after their lineages had split during evolution. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg now reveal that the vertebrate nervous system is probably much older than expected.

Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not commit mass suicide by leaping off of cliffs into the sea. In fact, they are quite fond of staying alive. A bigger threat to the rodents is climate change, which could deprive them of the snow they need for homes and lock up their food in ice, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which is launching a study to examine how these tiny but important players in the ecological health of the far North will fare in the age of global warming.

The largest study to date of genetic variation among chimpanzees has found that the traditional, geography-based sorting of chimps into three populations—western, central and eastern—is underpinned by significant genetic differences, two to three times greater than the variation between the most different human populations.

People who significantly cut back on the amount of salt in their diet could reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease by a quarter, according to a report on bmj.com today.

Researchers in Boston also found a reduction in salt intake could lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by up to a fifth.

Strawberries are good for you, but serving them in daiquiri form may make them even healthier, scientists show.

While exploring ways to help keep strawberries fresh during storage, researchers from Thailand and the US discovered that treating the berries with alcohol led to an increase in antioxidant capacity and free radical scavenging activity within the fruit. While such a boost helped the berries resist decay, the same compounds would also be expected to make the strawberries healthier to eat.

The ability to eliminate waste and toxins from production processes early on, to create more efficient and flexible solar panels, and to remove contaminants from water, is becoming an exciting reality with nanotechnology. This "green nanotechnology" involves designing nanoproducts for the environment and with the environment in mind. Green nano is not just a niche among a few scientists or environmentalists. The investment community has recognized these green nano advances as big business and rewarded corporate innovators.

The study reveals the likely mechanism by which the Arabidopsis plant flowers in response to changes in day length. Earlier research had shown that plants' leaves perceived seasonal changes in day length, which triggers a long-distance signal to travel through the plant's vascular system from the leaf to the shoot apex, where flowering is induced. However, the identity of the long-distance signal remained unclear.