An atomic-resolution view of an enzyme found only in the eye has given researchers at the University of Washington (UW) clues about how this enzyme, essential to vision, is activated. The enzyme, phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6), is central to the way light entering the retina is converted into a cascade of signals to the brain.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2008 jointly to Osamu Shimomura, of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Boston University Medical School, Martin Chalfie of Columbia University, and Roger Y. Tsien of the University of California, San Diego "for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP."
Scientists filming in one of the world's deepest ocean trenches have found groups of highly sociable snailfish swarming over their bait, nearly five miles (7700 metres) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time cameras have been sent to this depth.
Health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society have released a report that lists 12 pathogens that could spread into new regions as a result of climate change, with potential impacts to both human and wildlife health and global economies. Called The Deadly Dozen: Wildlife Diseases in the Age of Climate Change, the new report provides examples of diseases that could spread as a result of changes in temperatures and precipitation levels.
Small stretches of seemingly useless DNA harbor a big secret, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. There's one problem: We don't know what it is. Although individual laboratory animals appear to live happily when these genetic ciphers are deleted, these snippets have been highly conserved throughout evolution.
Women who receive one to one instruction on how to contract the pelvic floor muscles and practice pelvic floor muscle exercises with health professional supervision are less likely to suffer urine leakage during or after pregnancy. A systematic review from The Cochrane Library suggests that these exercises are effective for preventing and treating incontinence.
It may very well be that models used for the design of new drugs have to be regarded as impractical. This is the sobering though important conclusion of the work of two Leiden University scientists published in Science.
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have found that treatment with stimulant drugs does not increase and appears to significantly decrease the risk that girls with ADHD will begin smoking cigarettes or using alcohol or drugs.