NEWS

Material could offer ‘smarter’ wound healing

Posted on: Friday, August 3, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A new study takes a step toward the development of smarter skin grafts that facilitate healing while minimising infection for chronic skin wounds. “Our group has expertise in developing new…

Scientists reanimate disembodied pigs’ brains

Posted on: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Do you want to live forever? If so, there’s some good news. Or so it seems. For it appears that we may have taken a step closer to making immortality…

Evidence shows animals can play back memories

Posted on: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have found the first evidence that non-human animals can mentally replay past events from memory. The discovery could help advance the development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.…

Tool gives scientists a glimpse of real-time brain activity

Posted on: Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A new invention could give researchers a dynamic tool to study the brain’s role in various behaviors. It’s a neuroscientist’s dream: being able to track the millions of interactions among…

Implanting stem cell ‘patch’ can restore vision

Posted on: Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have developed a specially engineered retinal patch to treat people with sudden, severe sight loss. In July 2015, 86-year-old Douglas Waters developed severe age-related macular degeneration. He struggled to…

These dentures deliver drugs to battle infection

Posted on: Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have created 3D-printed dentures that can deliver drugs to prevent the kinds of infections that affect so many people who use artificial teeth. Nearly two-thirds of the US denture-wearing…

3D-printed bio-ink brings platelets to injuries

Posted on: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have incorporated platelet-rich plasma into a bio-ink: a 3D-printed mixture of cells and gel that could eventually be part of skin grafts and regenerative tissue implants. If injury strikes…

Smart phone as a faster infection detector

Posted on: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Washington State University researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a phone that works nearly as well as clinical laboratories to detect common viral and bacterial infections. The work…

Five reasons why robots won’t take over the world

Posted on: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Scientists are known for making dramatic predictions about the future – and sinister robotsare once again in the spotlight now that artificial intelligence has become a marketing tool for all sorts of different…

Implant would put a mole on your skin to warn of tumour

Posted on: Monday, April 23, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A prototype early warning system for the four most common types of cancer makes a visible mole appear on the skin when calcium levels indicate a tumor has developed. Many…

‘Smart socks’ enhance telemedicine for physical therapy

Posted on: Friday, April 20, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A pair of “smart socks” might offer a solution to the limitations of video consultations with physiotherapists and other specialists, report researchers. Consulting via video saves patients’ time and money,…

3D-printed cervixes teach how to screen for cancer

Posted on: Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A new device could help train doctors and nurses in developing countries and low-resource areas of the US to screen for cervical cancer—and improve the health outlook for women with…

A.I. creates ‘maps’ of immune system fighting cancer

Posted on: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Using artificial intelligence and deep learning on very high-resolution images of tumor tissue, researchers produced maps of how the immune system fights cancer. By combining data on pathology images of…

CRISPR and DNA ‘barcode’ track cancer growth

Posted on: Friday, April 6, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Scientists have found a way to modify pairs of cancer-related genes in the lungs of mice and then precisely track individual cells of the resulting tumor. The combined technique could…

Your dog may be your perfect training partner

Posted on: Friday, March 30, 2018 by Staff Reporter

January is the month of ambitious resolutions – and getting fit and losing weight tend to top the list. But how many people manage to maintain their exercise goals? Gyms…

‘Fish hooks’ speed up the search for new drugs

Posted on: Friday, March 30, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have developed a new screening method that speeds up the search for drugs, making it cheaper and more efficient. At the center of the method is a new DNA-encoded…

Polymers that mimic chameleon skin

Posted on: Friday, March 30, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Biological tissues have complex mechanical properties — soft-yet-strong, tough-yet-flexible — that are difficult to reproduce using synthetic materials. An international team has managed to produce a biocompatible synthetic material that…

A.I. may spot heart failure signs early

Posted on: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A new method that uses deep learning to analyze vast amounts of personal health record data could identify early signs of heart failure, researchers say. A paper, which appears in…

‘Brain stethoscope’ turns brain waves into sound

Posted on: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Staff Reporter

New research shows that medical students and nurses—non-specialists, in other words—can listen to a new “brain stethoscope” and reliably detect so-called silent seizures—a neurological condition where patients have epileptic seizures…

How CRISPR could fight genetic hearing loss

Posted on: Thursday, March 15, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Gene editing could one day help people at risk of losing their hearing due to genetic mutations, according to new research. Xue (Sherry) Gao, an assistant professor of chemical and…

Chunky monkeys hint obesity risk starts before birth

Chunky monkeys hint obesity risk starts before birth

Posted on: Sunday, January 7, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A new study with vervet monkeys suggests how genes, pedigree, and environment work together to influence adult obesity. In 2004, the monkeys of the Vervet Research Colony got an unpleasant…

‘Tags’ sewn into clothes could monitor vital signs

Tags sewn into clothes could monitor vital signs

Posted on: Saturday, January 6, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A new system for monitoring vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and breath rate uses a cheap and covert system of radio-frequency signals and microchip “tags,” similar to the…

Spider web-inspired implant could change insulin delivery

Spider web-inspired implant could change insulin delivery

Posted on: Saturday, January 6, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have created a method for implanting hundreds of thousands of insulin-producing pancreatic cell clusters into diabetes patients to help manage the disease. A thin hydrogel coating protects the cell…

Scientists aim to turn off mosquito genes for biting

Scientists aim to turn off mosquito genes for biting

Posted on: Friday, January 5, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Focusing on Wyeomyia smithii, also known as pitcher plant mosquitoes, researchers have pinpointed and sorted out 902 genes related to blood feeding and 478 genes linked to non-blood feeding among…

Why are so many of our pets overweight?

Why are so many of our pets overweight?

Posted on: Friday, January 5, 2018 by Staff Reporter

When I looked at my appointment book for the day, I thought something must be wrong. Someone who worked in the fitness industry was bringing his cat in to the…

Killer robots, free will and the illusion of control

Killer robots, free will and the illusion of control

Posted on: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 by Staff Reporter

Control. We all like to think we have it, but is it all just an illusion? It might seem like a very existential question but it plays an important part…

The libraries of the future will be made of DNA

The libraries of the future will be made of DNA

Posted on: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by Staff Reporter

There are 6,000 tweets sent a second. In the time you have read this sentence, 42,000 tweets will have been sent. At an average of 34 characters per tweet that’s…

App looks at your pupil to detect concussion

App looks at your pupil to detect concussion

Posted on: Monday, January 1, 2018 by Staff Reporter

A smartphone app could detect concussions and other brain injuries in the field, whether on the sidelines of a sports game, on the battlefield, or in the home of older…

Welfare of zoo animals set to improve

Welfare of zoo animals set to improve

Posted on: Thursday, December 21, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The wellbeing of zoological animals is set to improve following the successful trial of a new welfare assessment grid, a new study in the journal Veterinary Record reports. Researchers from…

Warm-up could obliterate 33% of Earth’s parasites

Warm-up could obliterate 33% of Earth’s parasites

Posted on: Monday, December 18, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Changing climate around the globe could cause the extinction of up to a third of the world’s parasite species by 2070, report researchers. Parasites are one of the most threatened…

Drones and wildlife – working to co-exist

Drones and wildlife – working to co-exist

Posted on: Friday, December 15, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The drone market is booming and it is changing the way we use airspace, with some unforeseen consequences. The uptake of remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) has been swift. But despite…

Molecules drill into cells to deliver drugs or kill

Molecules drill into cells to deliver drugs or kill

Posted on: Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Motorized molecules can drill holes in cell membranes to either deliver drugs or kill the cell, researchers report. In lab tests, the researchers demonstrated how rotors in single-molecule nanomachines can…

A tiny device offers insights to how cancer spreads

A tiny device offers insights to how cancer spreads

Posted on: Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Staff Reporter

As cancer grows, it evolves. Individual cells become more aggressive and break away to flow through the body and spread to distant areas. What if there were a way to…

3-D-printed biomaterials that degrade on demand

3-D-printed biomaterials that degrade on demand

Posted on: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Brown University engineers have demonstrated a technique for making 3-D-printed biomaterials that can degrade on demand, which can be useful in making intricately patterned microfluidic devices or in making cell…

Human skin cells transformed directly into motor neurons

Human skin cells transformed directly into motor neurons

Posted on: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists working to develop new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases have been stymied by the inability to grow human motor neurons in the lab. Motor neurons drive muscle contractions, and their…

‘Pen’ flags cancer in about 10 seconds

‘Pen’ flags cancer in about 10 seconds

Posted on: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new device rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds—more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The handheld MasSpec Pen gives…

Tiny gold specks may cut false positives in medical tests

Tiny gold specks may cut false positives in medical tests

Posted on: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have created a new biomedical assay that eliminates the readout of “false positive” results in medical tests for pregnancy, allergies, infectious disease, and more. It could lead to far…

Protecting the guardians

Protecting the guardians

Posted on: Friday, December 8, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Keeping the immune system in balance is no small feat. It must remain keenly alert to spot and disarm foreign invaders and smart enough to recognize the body’s own tissues…

Tiny DNA capsules smuggle molecules into cells

Tiny DNA capsules smuggle molecules into cells

Posted on: Friday, December 8, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A team of scientists has designed a way to use microscopic capsules made out of DNA to deliver a payload of tiny molecules directly into a cell. The technique gives…

We’re still using these ancient fish gut genes

We’re still using these ancient fish gut genes

Posted on: Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A network of genes in the lining of the intestines—many linked to human illnesses such as inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes, and obesity—have stayed remarkably the same from fish to humans…

3D ‘encyclopedia’ to show vertebrates inside and out

3D ‘encyclopedia’ to show vertebrates inside and out

Posted on: Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new initiative will take specimens from museum shelves to the internet by CT scanning 20,000 vertebrates and making the 3D images available to researchers, educators, students, and you. The…

Will CRISPR fears fade with familiarity?

Will CRISPR fears fade with familiarity?

Posted on: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The first “test-tube baby” made headlines around the world in 1978, setting off intense debate on the ethics of researching human embryos and reproductive technologies. Every breakthrough since then has…

‘Genome cloaking’ keeps private genetic info hidden

Genome cloaking keeps private genetic info hidden

Posted on: Monday, December 4, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have developed a method for keeping private genetic information protected when scouring complete human genomes for the presence of disease-associated genes. This “genome cloaking” technique ameliorates many concerns about…

You and some 'cavemen' get a genetic checkup

You and some ‘cavemen’ get a genetic checkup

Posted on: Monday, December 4, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Had an arrow in his back not felled the legendary Iceman some 5,300 years ago, he would have likely dropped dead from a heart attack. Written in the DNA of…

Allergies? Exhausted regulatory T cells may play a role

Allergies? Exhausted regulatory T cells may play a role

Posted on: Friday, December 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have evidence that the specialized T cells responsible for maintaining a balanced immune response are vulnerable to exhaustion that disrupts normal functioning and may even contribute to allergic reactions.…

Anti-sense’ RNA aids repair of damaged nerves

Anti-sense’ RNA aids repair of damaged nerves

Posted on: Friday, December 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists have discovered that an “anti-sense” RNA (AS-RNA) is expressed after nerve injury to regulate how the damaged nerves rebuild their coating of myelin. That myelin, like the cladding around…

The pets of the future will be robots!

Posted on: Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Dr Gordon Roberts

Over half of the people in western society spend their lives with pets and our shared history goes back tens of thousands of years. But, how will a technological revolution…

Lasers used to detect risk of heart attack and stroke

Lasers used to detect risk of heart attack and stroke

Posted on: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes may be spotted earlier thanks to a diagnosis tool that uses near-infrared light to identify high-risk arterial plaques, according to research carried…

Mussel-inspired glue could one day make fetal surgery safer

Mussel-inspired glue could one day make fetal surgery safer

Posted on: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Whether to perform surgery on a fetus is a heart-wrenching decision. This type of surgery involves penetrating the highly delicate amniotic sac, increasing health risks to the fetus. Now researchers…

Science hasn’t seen 99% of the microbes in your body

Science hasn’t seen 99% of the microbes in your body

Posted on: Friday, November 24, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new survey of DNA fragments circulating in human blood suggests our bodies contain vastly more diverse microbes than anyone previously understood. In fact, 99 percent of that DNA is…

Origami-inspired robot

Origami-inspired robot

Posted on: Friday, November 24, 2017 by Staff Reporter

New research from a team of University of Illinois Mechanical Science and engineering professors and students, published as an invited paper in Smart Materials and Structures, details how origami structures…

We owe a bit of our skull shape to cheese

We owe a bit of our skull shape to cheese

Posted on: Thursday, November 23, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The advent of farming, especially dairy farming, had a small but significant effect on the shape of human skulls, research suggests. Put another way, the invention of cheese changed our…

Everything you need to know about cloning

Posted on: Thursday, November 23, 2017 by Dr Gordon Roberts

It is inevitable that one day we will have to say a final goodbye to our pets as sadly, they just don’t live long enough. Some pet owners find it…

Scientists develop novel 'dot' system to improve cancer detection

Scientists develop novel ‘dot’ system to improve cancer detection

Posted on: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have developed a proof-of-concept nanosystem that dramatically improves the visualization of tumors. Published in Nature Communications, the platform achieves a five-fold…

Fossils reveal how bizarre mammal beat extinction

Fossils reveal how bizarre mammal beat extinction

Posted on: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Animals that live on islands are among the most at risk from extinction. A remarkable eighty percent of extinctions occurring since 1500AD have been on islands, with inhabitants facing dangers…

To screen for pancreatic cancer, take a selfie with new app

To screen for pancreatic cancer, take a selfie with new app

Posted on: Monday, November 20, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new app could let people easily screen themselves for pancreatic cancer and other diseases, all by snapping a selfie with their smartphone. Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst…

Musician plays sax during surgery to remove brain tumor

Musician plays sax during surgery to remove brain tumor

Posted on: Monday, November 20, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Music teacher Dan Fabbio had a tumor in his brain—and in an area responsible for music function. His journey to recovery culminated with him awake and playing a saxophone as…

DNA sequencing is vulnerable to this sneaky attack

DNA sequencing is vulnerable to this sneaky attack

Posted on: Friday, November 17, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have found evidence of poor computer security practices among common, open-source DNA processing programs. Rapid improvement in DNA sequencing has sparked a proliferation of medical and genetic tests that…

DNA blood test may spot cancer early

DNA blood test may spot cancer early

Posted on: Friday, November 17, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists have developed a blood test that spots tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA, a step towards accurate screening of seemingly healthy patients for early stage cancers. The noninvasive test correctly…

5 technologies that are disrupting veterinary medicine

Posted on: Thursday, November 16, 2017 by Dr Gordon Roberts

We are at the dawn of a technological revolution which will see a complete disruption of both human and veterinary medicine. Bleeding-edge technologies are being leveraged to achieve things that…

Artificial womb raises hopes for premature babies

Artificial womb raises hope for premature babies

Posted on: Thursday, November 16, 2017 by Staff Reporter

An artificial womb has been successfully used to incubate healthy baby lambs for a period of one week, and researchers hope the technology will one day be able to do…

Gut microbes may talk to the brain through cortisol

Gut microbes may talk to the brain through cortisol

Posted on: Thursday, November 16, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Gut microbes have been in the news a lot lately. Recent studies show they can influence human health, behavior, and certain neurological disorders, such as autism. But just how do…

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

Posted on: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by Staff Reporter

New research has discovered a potential means to trigger damaged heart cells to self-heal. The discovery could lead to groundbreaking forms of treatment for heart diseases. For the first time,…

Scientists aim to ease blindness with video goggles

Scientists aim to ease blindness with video goggles

Posted on: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists are still a long way from creating a visual prosthesis that works as well as a real human eye. But, engineers are making steady progress in what was once…

Gut bacteria chemicals keep old animals young. Us, too?

Posted on: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A class of chemicals, called indoles, made by intestinal bacteria help worms, flies, and mice stay mobile and resilient longer in their lives, report researchers. “This is a direct avenue…

Boy is given new skin thanks to gene therapy

Posted on: Thursday, November 9, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A medical team at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum’s burn unit and the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Modena (Italy) were the first ever to successfully treat a child…

60th anniversary of Laika’s historic space mission

Posted on: Friday, November 3, 2017 by Karen Cornish

On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first animal into space. Laika, a Siberian husky cross, was living as a stray on the streets of Moscow before…

Sorry, aging is ‘mathematically inevitable’

Posted on: Thursday, November 2, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Aging is impossible to stop in multicellular organisms, a new mathematical study suggests. “You might be able to slow down aging but you can’t stop it…” “Aging is mathematically inevitable—like,…

Mapping the microbiome of … everything

Posted on: Thursday, November 2, 2017 by Staff Reporter

In the Earth Microbiome Project, an extensive global team co-led by researchers at University of California San Diego, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory collected…

Can you train yourself to develop ‘super senses’?

Posted on: Thursday, November 2, 2017 by Staff Reporter

  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to hear what people whispered behind your back? Or to read the bus timetable from across the street? We all differ dramatically…

Can gold nanostars and lasers vaccinate against cancer?

Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

When researchers combined an FDA-approved cancer immunotherapy with a new tumour-roasting nanotechnology, both therapies improved, according to a new proof-of-concept study. Further, the potent combination also attacked satellite tumours and…

Your dog might want praise even more than food

Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Given the choice, many dogs prefer praise from their owners over food, according to one of the first studies to combine brain-imaging data with behavioral experiments to explore canine reward…

What elephants teach us about cancer prevention

Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Every time a cell divides, there is a chance for a mutation (mistake) to occur in the DNA – the substance that carries genetic information in all living organisms. These…

How robots can help us embrace a more human view of disability

Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

When dealing with the otherness of disability, the Victorians in their shame built huge out-of-sight asylums, and their legacy of “them” and “us” continues to this day. Two hundred years…

Salmon sex moves mountains (very slowly)

Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Salmon play a significant role in shaping mountain landscapes, according to a new study that shows that when they spawn, the earth moves. But it only happens over the course…

How man’s best friend is helping cancer treatment

How man’s best friend is helping cancer treatment

Posted on: Friday, October 27, 2017 by Staff Reporter

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the…

We all need to forget, even robots(

We all need to forget, even robots

Posted on: Thursday, October 26, 2017 by Staff Reporter

We all know what it’s like to forget something. A loved one’s birthday. A childhood memory. Even people capable of extraordinary memory feats– say, memorising the order of a deck of…

Speeding up skin cancer detection

Speeding up skin cancer detection

Posted on: Thursday, October 26, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have developed a new terahertz imaging approach that, for the first time, can acquire micron-scale resolution images while retaining computational approaches designed to speed up image acquisition. This combination…

Mulberry leaf extract could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Mulberry leaf extract could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Posted on: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Consuming refined carbohydrates is linked to a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, not to mention heart disease. But what if a supplement could decrease the breakdown of carbohydrates…

Organoids - the future of medical research

Organoids – the future of medical research

Posted on: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Most of the research behind new medical advances is carried out using either animal tissues or cancer cells. Both tools have their problems: results from animals and humans do not…

Microgravity may keep fractures from healing in space

Microgravity may keep fractures from healing in space

Posted on: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Bioengineers have discovered that microgravity, experienced in space, may inhibit cartilage formation. The research suggests that healing fractures for astronauts in space—or patients on long bed rest here on Earth—could…

Printing drugs would ease burden of multiple pills a day

Printing drugs would ease burden of multiple pills a day

Posted on: Monday, October 23, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new technology can print pure, precisely customized doses of drugs. The technology could enable on-site printing of custom-dosed medications at pharmacies, hospitals, and other locations. The technique can print…

vesicles

New method for tissue regeneration, inspired by nature

Posted on: Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists have found a way of mimicking our body’s natural healing process, using cell derived nano-sized particles called vesicles, to repair damaged tissue. The paper, published in Scientific Reports, describes a…

parrots on a branch

How yellow and blue make green in parrots

Posted on: Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Staff Reporter

When it comes to spectacular displays of color, birds are obvious standouts in the natural world. Many brightly colored birds get their pigments from the foods that they eat, but…

nerve-rendering-devices

Making surgery safer by enabling doctors to see nerves

Posted on: Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Staff Reporter

During operations, it can be difficult for surgeons to avoid severing crucial nerves because they look so much like other tissue. A new noninvasive approach that uses polarized light to…

The future of bone replacements

The future of bone replacements

Posted on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A UBC Okanagan researcher has discovered a new artificial bone design that can be customized and made with a 3D printer for stronger, safer and more effective bone replacements. Hossein…

Electronic skin' takes wearable health monitors to the next level

Electronic skin’ takes wearable health monitors to the next level

Posted on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new, electronic skin microsystem tracks heart rate, respiration, muscle movement and other health data, and wirelessly transmits it to a smartphone. The electronic skin offers several improvements over existing…

How the red fox adapted to life in our towns and cities

How the red fox adapted to life in our towns and cities

Posted on: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Flexible foxes can be found in almost any sort of terrain. Indeed, one species, the red fox or Vulpes vulpes, is the most widely distributed land carnivore of all, ranging…

Why worms and fish are good models for epilepsy

Why worms and fish are good models for epilepsy

Posted on: Monday, October 16, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in the UK – about 600,000 people have the condition. Unfortunately, for a third of those people, there are no effective treatments. But…

DNA reveals how cats conquered the world

DNA reveals how cats conquered the world

Posted on: Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Humans may have had pet cats for as long as 9,500 years. In 2004, archaeologists in Cyprus found a complete cat skeleton buried in a Stone Age village. Given that…

How animals got their spots and stripes – according to maths

Posted on: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The natural world presents a palette of beautiful complexity. From the peacock tail and the eyespots of a butterfly, to the evolving camouflage of the chameleon, nature loves patterns. Biologists…

Do cats purr when humans aren’t around?

Posted on: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Why do cats purr? Humans tend to think that purring is a sign of happiness in a cat – and indeed it can be – but there are other reasons…

Study uncovers a link between genes and intelligence

Study uncovers a link between genes and intelligence

Posted on: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Exactly what constitutes intelligence, and to what extent it is genetic, are some of the most controversial questions in science. But now a new study of nearly 80,000 people, published…

Should we really move rhinos from Africa to Australia

Should we really move rhinos from Africa to Australia?

Posted on: Thursday, October 5, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Rhinos are one of the most iconic symbols of the African savanna: grey behemoths with armour plating and fearsome horns. And yet it is the horns that are leading to…

Why we don't trust robots

Why we don’t trust robots

Posted on: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Robots raise all kinds of concerns. They could steal our jobs, as some experts think. And if artificial intelligence grows, they might even be tempted to enslave us, or to…

T cells more actively sniff out cancer than we thought

Posted on: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 by Staff Reporter

New research suggests that cancer-fighting T cells can find cancerous cells exhibiting much less evidence of the disease than researchers previously thought. The research focuses on a problem facing scientists…

How the search for mythical monsters can help conservation

Posted on: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 by Staff Reporter

After fears the Loch Ness Monster had “disappeared” last winter, a new sighting in May 2017 was celebrated by its enthusiasts. The search for monsters and mythical creatures (or “cryptids”) such as Nessie, the…

Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth solved

Posted on: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Research led by The Australian National University (ANU) has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would…

Preventative medicine: the argument for and against

Posted on: Monday, October 2, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Preventative medicine has long used drugs to prevent the onset of disease. Those with symptoms such as high blood sugar or pressure are often diagnosed with the “pre-condition”, such as…

Pets can help children accept the challenges of foster care

Posted on: Sunday, October 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Stable, loving, secure family relationships are vital for child development and well-being. But many children who enter the foster care system have early experiences of neglect, suffering, hurt, and loss,…

Clever crows can plan for the future like humans do

Posted on: Monday, September 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Humans aren’t as unique as we used to think. Not, at least when it comes to making plans for the future. Scientists originally thought humans were the only animals that…

Why can’t cats resist thinking inside the box?

Posted on: Monday, September 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Twitter’s been on fire with people amazed by cats that seem compelled to park themselves in squares of tape marked out on the floor. These felines appear powerless to resist…

How animals can help autistic children

How animals can help autistic children

Posted on: Monday, September 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Daniel the “emotional support duck” is a pretty big deal, both in the animal and human world. His 15 minutes of fame began after he was spotted on a flight…

Why healthcare has become a target for cyber attackers

Why healthcare has become a target for cyber attackers

Posted on: Monday, September 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

More than 16m patient records were stolen from healthcare organisations in the US and related parties in 2016. That year, healthcare was the fifth most targeted industry when it came…

Why don’t hospitals use copper to kill superbugs?

Why don’t hospitals use copper to kill superbugs?

Posted on: Monday, September 25, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Fantasilandia in Chile, one of Latin America’s largest theme parks, has replaced its most frequently touched surfaces with copper to help reduce the spread of germs and protect the health…

How a genetic rescue mission could save the pink pigeon

How a genetic rescue mission could save the pink pigeon

Posted on: Friday, September 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A research project using conservation genomics has been launched to save the Pink Pigeon in Mauritius. The Conversation Africa’s Samantha Spooner asked the projects lead researchers about the bird’s plight…

How rare disease research is changing cancer treatment

How rare disease research is changing cancer treatment

Posted on: Friday, September 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researching rare diseases and treatments can be a challenging task – not least because their rarity means there may be few patients available for genetic testing, and funding is likely…

Pig-hunting dogs and humans at risk of swine brucellosis

Pig-hunting dogs and humans at risk of swine brucellosis

Posted on: Friday, September 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A disease called swine brucellosis is emerging in New South Wales, carried by feral pigs. Endemic to feral pigs in Queensland, and sometimes infecting the dogs used to hunt them,…

Global genetic study sheds light on glaucoma

Global genetic study sheds light on glaucoma

Posted on: Friday, September 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and results in vision loss and irreversible blindness in some people. The diseases usually occur on their own…

How big data is being mobilised in the fight against leukaemia

Posted on: Friday, September 22, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Healthy cell function relies on well orchestrated gene activity. Via a fantastically complex network of interactions, around 30,000 genes cooperate to maintain this delicate balance in each of the 37.2…

Animal emotions stare us in the face — are our pets happy?

Posted on: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists are starting to be able to accurately read animal facial expressions and understand what they communicate. Facial expressions project our internal emotions to the outside world. Reading other people’s…

A possible alternative to morphine – inspired by spit

Posted on: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Would you take a painkiller that had been developed from human saliva? A recent study suggests you might in future. Pain is an essential sensation. Sensory nerves with endings in…

retina-regeneration-in-mice

Zebrafish inspire retina regeneration in mice

Posted on: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists have successfully regenerated cells in the retina of adult mice, raising the hope that it may one day be possible to repair retinas damaged by eye diseases or trauma.…

3d-printing

3D printing living tissues to form living structures

Posted on: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed a new method to 3D-print laboratory- grown cells to form living structures. The approach could revolutionise regenerative medicine, enabling the production of…

Dogs’ social skills linked to oxytocin sensitivity

Posted on: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The tendency of dogs to seek contact with their owners is associated with genetic variations in sensitivity for the hormone oxytocin, according to a new study from Linköping University, Sweden.…

Genomes reveal cause of disease in rare cats

Posted on: Monday, September 18, 2017 by Staff Reporter

  Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to identify DNA abnormalities that cause genetic diseases in cats, such as progressive retinal atrophy and Niemann-Pick type 1, a fatal disorder in…

How dogs could make children better readers

Posted on: Friday, September 15, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Issues around children learning to read are rarely out of the news. Which is hardly surprising – becoming a successful reader is of paramount importance in improving a child’s life…

How to talk to your dog – according to science

Posted on: Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Dogs are special. Every dog owner knows that. And most dog owners feel their dog understands every word they say and every move they make. Research over the last two…

Why we should be worried about gene-carrier screening

Posted on: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Staff Reporter

  The ability to cheaply and quickly sequence entire genomes is changing the way diseases are identified and treated. But it is also likely to change the way we make…

Tiny robots in a mouse’s stomach help heal an ulcer

Posted on: Monday, September 11, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Tiny micromotors about the width of a human hair travelled through a mouse’s stomach delivering antibiotics to treat a stomach ulcer. The motors are powered by bubbles. According to the…

Research dog helps scientists save endangered carnivores

Posted on: Saturday, September 9, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Scat-sniffing research dogs are helping scientists map out a plan to save reclusive jaguars, pumas, bush dogs and other endangered carnivores in the increasingly fragmented forests of northeastern Argentina, according…

Genomes suggest where wolves became dogs

Posted on: Thursday, September 7, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Researchers have found that prehistoric dogs from Germany may have been genetic ancestors to modern European dogs. The finding suggests a single domestication event of modern dogs from a population…

Study reveals dogs have self awareness

Posted on: Monday, September 4, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new research carried out by the Department of Psychology of the Barnard College in the USA, in publication on the journal Behavioural Processes used a sniff-test to evaluate the…

Smartphone screen technology used to trick harmful bacteria

Posted on: Sunday, September 3, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Conducting plastics found in smartphone screens can be used to trick the metabolism of pathogenic bacteria, report scientists at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at Karolinska Institutet in the scientific…

The science behind maggot therapy

Posted on: Sunday, September 3, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Maggots have one goal in life: to feed. They gorge ravenously in order to grow as quickly as possible. Speed is of the essence as they leave behind their vulnerable…

The dark side of stem cell therapy

Posted on: Saturday, September 2, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Everyone seems to be excited about stem cells. Their excellent promise as a treatment for a range of diseases and injuries mean almost guaranteed coverage for research. While some types…

A big pawprint: The environmental impact of pet food

Posted on: Friday, September 1, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Pet food is an industry worth nearly US$25 billion in the United States. Owners make decisions about what to feed their pets based on marketing, personal beliefs and pet preference.…

Dogs in Navi Mumbai are turning blue

Posted on: Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A number of very unusual-looking blue dogs have been spotted in Navi Mumbai, India. Sadly, the cause is industrial waste in the Kasadi river where stray dogs often wade. From…

5 ways 3D printing could totally change medicine

Posted on: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Staff Reporter

A new study aims to alert medical professionals to the potential of 3D printing’s future use in the field. 3D printing technology is going to transform medicine, whether it is…

Dogs trained to monitor beetles

Posted on: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Hermit beetles (Osmoderma eremita) are considered at risk, but in order to be effectively protected, they first need to be identified and consistently monitored. However, this turns out to be…

Will whoever controls gene editing control historical memory?

Posted on: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Staff Reporter

In July, Harvard scientists used a gene-editing technology first developed in 2013 to programme bacteria to do something astounding: play back an animation of a galloping horse. The GIF animation…

Your dog has a better memory than a chimpanzee

Posted on: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Staff Reporter

Any dog owner will tell you how smart they think their dog is. What we usually think of as smartness in dogs is measured or observed in their external behaviour.…

New study reveals cats domesticated themselves

Posted on: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Staff Reporter

In many cases, animal species are domesticated when humans bring them into their homes whether they want to be there or not. For example, it’s mostly accepted that humans domesticated…