Egyptian stone threatens to overturn our understanding of the solar system

In 2013, researchers announced that a pebble found in south-west Egypt, was definitely not from Earth. By 2015, other research teams had announced that the 'Hypatia' stone was not part of any known types of meteorite or comet, based on noble gas and nuclear probe analyses. (The stone was named Hypatia after Hypatia of Alexandria, … Continue reading Egyptian stone threatens to overturn our understanding of the solar system

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The development of once-a-week HIV antiretrovirals can be a game changer

Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule of dosing required for the drug cocktails used to fight the virus, the researchers say. … Continue reading The development of once-a-week HIV antiretrovirals can be a game changer

Answering one evolutionary mystery results in many more

Scientists have found an explanation for how flowering plants became dominant so rapidly in ecosystems across the world -- a problem that Charles Darwin called an 'abominable mystery'. In a study in the open access journal PLOS Biology, Kevin Simonin and Adam Roddy, from San Francisco State University and Yale University respectively, found that flowering … Continue reading Answering one evolutionary mystery results in many more

Pseudomonas infections provide clues in fighting resistance

Antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas infections in cystic fibrosis patients show predictable sensitivities to other classes of antibiotics. A new study made by scientists from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark suggests that this could lead to new ways of optimizing treatments for chronic infections. "Our discovery of widespread antibiotic sensitivities … Continue reading Pseudomonas infections provide clues in fighting resistance

Plants have a DNA mutation repair system keeping watch

Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered that a cellular mechanism preferentially protects plant genes from the damaging effects of mutation. Whilst DNA sequence mutation is the fundamental fuel of species evolution, mutations in genes are often harmful. As a form of defence, organisms have evolved repair mechanisms to correct the DNA sequence following … Continue reading Plants have a DNA mutation repair system keeping watch

Sitting in a sauna may be like exercise without the activity

Over the past couple of years, scientists at the University of Eastern Finland have shown that sauna bathing is associated with a variety of health benefits. Using an experimental setting this time, the research group now investigated the physiological mechanisms through which the heat exposure of sauna may influence a person's health. Their latest study … Continue reading Sitting in a sauna may be like exercise without the activity

Middle-aged and unhealthy? There’s hope yet

Middle-aged couch potatoes may reduce or reverse the risk of heart failure associated with years of sitting if they participate in two years of regular aerobic exercise training, according to a new study in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation. Study participants who adhered to the aerobic exercise regimen had significant improvements in how their … Continue reading Middle-aged and unhealthy? There’s hope yet

Body’s immune response to Zika harms fetal development

The same proteins that mount a potent immune response to Zika viral infection can also harm the placenta and fetal development, according to a Yale-led study published in Science Immunology. Zika researchers had established that these antiviral proteins, known as type I interferons, were required to fight Zika infection in mothers. But it was not … Continue reading Body’s immune response to Zika harms fetal development

Alternatives to antibiotics may help preserve their effectiveness

Resistance to antibiotics poses a serious and sometimes deadly challenge to the treatment of severe bacterial infections. In a new Essay publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology, Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft and Sam P. Brown of Georgia Institute of Technology propose that development of alternative therapies for mild infections could help slow the development … Continue reading Alternatives to antibiotics may help preserve their effectiveness