Culture

The discovery by Uppsala University researchers of a previously unknown protein in the cells of the lower air ways brings new potential for early diagnosis of a serious lung disease. The findings, published today in the Web edition of the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can also provide new knowledge of the cause of common diseases like asthma and chronic bronchitis.

DURHAM, N.C. – An immune system response that is critical to the first stages of fighting off viruses and harmful bacteria comes from an entirely different direction than most scientists had thought, according to a finding by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center.

"This finding will have important implications in vaccine science and autoimmune disease therapy development," said Michael Gunn, M.D., an immunologist and cardiologist at Duke and senior author of the study published in Nature Immunology.

Jülich, 27 February 2009 – Just as sonar sends out sound waves to explore the hidden depths of the ocean, electrons can be used by scanning tunnelling microscopes to investigate the well-hidden properties of the atomic lattice of metals. As researchers from Göttingen, Halle and Jülich now report in the high-impact journal "Science", they succeeded in making bulk Fermi surfaces visible in this manner. Fermi surfaces determine the most important properties of metals.

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have discovered how changes to a frog's immune system may be the key to beating a viral infection which is devastating frog populations across the UK.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Lip reading is a critical means of communication for many deaf people, but it has a drawback: Certain consonants (for example, p and b) can be nearly impossible to distinguish by sight alone.

Tactile devices, which translate sound waves into vibrations that can be felt by the skin, can help overcome that obstacle by conveying nuances of speech that can't be gleaned from lip reading.

When Evo Morales, Bolivia's first president of Indian origin, was appointed in 2006 he initiated a "decolonising revolution".

In a new thesis in social anthropology at the University of Gothenburg, Anders Burman examines how the Government policy for decolonization has been interwoven with the rituals and cosmology of the indigenous population.

For the indigenous population in the Bolivian Andes, colonialism was not something that was consigned to history when Bolivia was founded. Their exploitation and marginalisation simply took on new forms.

Researchers Antonio G. Pisabarro (Professor of Microbiology) as well as José Luis Lavín and José Antonio Oguiza, from the Genetic and Microbiology Group at the Public University of Navarre, have taken part in the international project for the sequencing of the genome of the Postia placenta fungus. The results, published recently in the American National Academy of Sciences' scientific journal (PNAS), has enabled the determination of the mechanisms with which this fungus attacks wood in order to use the cellulose contained within.

Nestled just off the east coast of Australia, picturesque North Stradbroke Island is a haven for local wildlife. Yet some of the inhabitants of the island's creeks and swamps are far from peaceful. Slender crayfish are aggressive territorial creatures, explains ecologist Robbie Wilson of the University of Queensland, Australia. When two crayfish catch sight of one another, they size each other up in a ritualistic display, which can quickly escalate from careful tapping of their opponent's chelae (enlarged front claws) to a full-blown fight.

COLUMBA, MO—Shiitake mushrooms are the third most popular mushroom species in the U.S. In addition to taste, shiitake have a multitude of health benefits. Low in calories, glucose and sodium, shiitake are high in potassium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.

Beyond those positive nutritional factors, shiitake also contain elements that lower blood cholesterol and improve the immune system. It's no wonder that demand is increasing for these nutritional powerhouses.

New research expands our understanding of how a type of immune cell called a B lymphocyte enables the immune system to mount a successful defense against an intestinal parasite. The study, published by Cell Press online in the journal Immunity on 26 February, provides some intriguing insight into the variety of mechanisms implemented by B cells to protect the host from infection.