Scientific literacy happens … when students think for themselves
Give college students less instruction and more freedom to think for themselves in laboratory classes, and the result may be a four-fold increase in their test scores.
CRP liver protein induces hypertension, UT Southwestern researchers have found
C-Reactive Protein, widely regarded as a risk factor for hypertension and other forms of cardiovascular disease, plays a direct role in the onset of hypertension, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. more
Antibody signal may redirect inflammation to fuel cancer
As evidence mounts that the body's normally protective inflammation response can drive some precancerous tissues to become fully malignant, UCSF scientists report discovering an apparent trigger to this potentially deadly process. more
Largest-ever search for autism genes reveals new clues
The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11. Based on 1,168 families with at least two affected members, the genome scan adds to evidence that tiny, rare variations in genes may heighten risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). more
Cancer that colonizes our bodies
To Robert C. von Borstel, cancer is a metaphorical example of the perfect invasion by a founder species. Like the first pregnant finch that landed on a deserted island in the Galapagos Archipelago, the first cancer cell in the human body has to undergo many mutations through many generations to establish itself as an invader of different organs in the body. But once it is there, like any newly stabilized species in different ecological niches, cancer is tough to get rid of.
Tobacco companies obstructed science, history professor says
"Doubt is our product," stated a tobacco industry memo from 1969. For half a century, the tobacco industry tried to muddy the link between smoking and cancer. Now, with that effort long since failed, cigarette producers facing dozens of potentially ruinous lawsuits are once again attempting to manufacture doubt. more
Targeting the adrenal gland could be key strategy against heart failure, Jefferson scientists show
Scientists at the Center for Translational Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have staved off heart failure in animals by using gene therapy to shut down the adrenal gland’s excessive output of fight or flight hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. By blocking GRK2, an important regulatory enzyme, they cut the hormone production that forces the heart to pump too hard, leading to heart failure. Such a novel approach – targeting the adrenal gland in addition to the heart – provides a potential new strategy against heart failure, and could lead to a new class of drugs. more
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