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Vatican looks to heavens for signs of alien life

E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.

"The questions of life'... Read More

Travel Secrets of Ulcer Causing Bacteria Revealed

A team from Boston University, MIT, and Harvard discovered how the H. pylori bacteria penetrate the stomach mucus to cause ulcers in the lining.

H. pylori secretes the enzyme urease, which interacts with urea in the stomach to produce ammonia--the ammonia is what neutralizes the acids in the ... Read More

A remarkable diversity of bone-eating worms

The females of the recently discovered Osedax marine worms feast on submerged bones via a complex relationship with symbiotic bacteria, and they are turning out to be far more diverse and widespread than scientists expected. Californian researchers investigating the genetic history of Osedax wor... Read More

First use of antibody and stem cell transplantation to successfully treat advanced leukemia

For the first time, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have reported the use of a radiolabeled antibody to deliver targeted doses of radiation, followed by a stem cell transplant, to successfully treat a group of leukemia and pre-leukemia patients for whom there previously had... Read More

41 Nobel Prize Winners sign open letter to Congress in support of the Federal Research Public Access Act

"As scientists and Nobel Laureates, we write to express our strong support for S. 1373, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). This bi-partisan legislation, sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would enhance access to federally funded, published research a... Read More

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Electron micrograph of type 4 Streptococcus pneumoniae adherent to pharyngeal epithelial cell Read More

AIDS Divisions of 2 Large Drug Makers Form Company to Focus on the Disease

Two of the world’s biggest drug makers last week spun off their divisions that manufacture AIDS drugs and combined them into one company focusing on the disease.

The new company, ViiV Healthcare, will initially be 85 percent controlled by GlaxoSmithKline and 15 percent controlled by Pfizer. W... Read More

DNA Molecules In Moss Open Door To New Biotechnology

Plasmids, which are DNA molecules capable of independent replication in cells, have played an important role in gene technology. Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have now demonstrated that plasmid-based methods, which had been limited to single-cell organisms such as bacteria and ye... Read More

One fish tank, two discoveries - archaea ammonia eater

It's not every day you find clues to the planet's inner workings in aquarium scum. But that's what happened a few years ago when University of Washington researchers cultured a tiny organism from the bottom of a Seattle Aquarium tank and found it can digest ammonia, a key environmental function.... Read More

Senator proposes paid sick leave for swine flu

Americans infected by the H1N1 flu virus would be guaranteed paid sick leave under emergency legislation U.S. Senator Chris Dodd plans to unveil on Tuesday in response to the swine flu pandemic.

Dodd's measure is similar to one already introduced in the House of Representatives intended to en... Read More

Antimicrobials: Silver (and Copper) Bullets To Kill Bacteria

Dana Filoti of the University of New Hampshire is presenting thin films of silver and copper she has developed that can kill bacteria and may one day help to cut down on hospital infections.

The antimicrobial properties of silver and copper have been known for centuries -- last year, the U.S.... Read More

'X-ray vision' on microbes that halt uranium deep underground

Like Superman, scientists can now "see" through layers of earth and rock. Unlike the Man of Steel, researchers are using this new ability to learn how microbes are halting uranium’s movement in groundwater underneath nuclear weapons sites. This new ability is known as surface spectral-induced po... Read More

The Limitations of the Luria-Bertani Medium

Hiroshi Nakaido, PBD Faculty Scientist, Structural Biology Department, and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UC Berkeley, has authored a guest post on the Small Things Considered Blog regarding the limitations of LB medium.

"LB broth contains, per ml, 10 mg tryptone (... Read More

Discovery Allows Scientists For The First Time To Annotate Genomes Experimentally

Over the last 20 years, the sequencing of the human genome, along with related organisms, has represented one of the largest scientific endeavors in the history of humankind. The information collected from genome sequencing will provide the raw data for the field of bioinformatics, where compute... Read More

UT-Austin, Southwestern U Developing New Biomarker Screening Technology

Researchers at The University of Texas, Austin and Southwestern University will use a $730,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new method for rapidly screening blood samples for protein biomarkers, UT-Austin said last week.

The three-stage screening method will invol... Read More

New Imagining Technique Could Lead To Better Antibiotics And Cancer Drugs

A recently devised method of imaging the chemical communication and warfare between microorganisms could lead to new antibiotics, antifungal, antiviral and anti-cancer drugs, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

The new article was published Nov. 8 in Nature Chemical Biology. It describe... Read More

A broader-spectrum antiviral?

Griffithsin is a sugar-binding protein identified in 2005 as an inhibitor of HIV-1. At the fall meeting of the American Cancer Society it was reported that griffithsin can also block replication of SARS virus and ebolavirus. The protein appears to act by binding carbohydrates on the virion surfa... Read More

Newly Discovered Fat Molecule: An Undersea Killer With An Upside

A chemical culprit responsible for the rapid, mysterious death of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean has been found by collaborating scientists at Rutgers University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). This same chemical may hold unexpected promise in cancer research.

... Read More

LA Times Booster Shots: Swine Flu

Pandemic H1N1 influenza is now worldwide, with more than 199 countries and territories reporting laboratory-confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization. The official toll is now more than 6,000 deaths, but WHO authorities think that is an underestimate, since laboratory testing h... Read More

Head-mounted microscope sees brain beneath the skull

A small microscope that can be mounted on an animal's head should offer a front-row view of how its brain processes visual and other stimuli on the move.

A laser inside the device scans the activity of neurons through a tiny hole in the skull, made prior to the experiment under anaesthetic. W... Read More

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