My picks from ScienceDaily

Scorpion Venom With Nanoparticles Slows Spread Of Brain Cancer:

By combining nanoparticles with a scorpion venom compound already being investigated for treating brain cancer, University of Washington researchers found they could cut the spread of cancerous cells by 98 percent, compared to 45 percent for the scorpion venom alone.

RNA Used To Reprogram One Cell Type Into Another:

For the past decade, researchers have tried to tweak cells at the gene and nucleus level to reprogram their identity. Now, working on the idea that the signature of a cell is defined by molecules called messenger RNAs, which contain the chemical blueprint for how to make a protein, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering have found another way to change one cell type into another.

New Neurons Update Remote Memories:

It is not easy to find your student bedroom when you left university 10, 20 or 30 years ago. But once you have found it, you can easily return the next day. Indeed, by reactivating this memory, it has been strengthened and updated to provide spatial references. To achieve this, the brain recruits new neurons that were born just a week before memorizing this information. Scientists at the Centre de recherches sur la cognition animale (CNRS, Université Toulouse 3), working in collaboration with a researcher from the Centre en neurosciences intégratives et cellulaires (CNRS, Université de Bordeaux), have recently demonstrated this process in mice.

Worms Control Lifespan At High Temperatures:

The common research worm, C. elegans, is able to use heat-sensing nerve cells to not only regulate its response to hotter environments, but also to control the pace of its aging as a result of that heat, according to new research at the University of California, San Francisco.

Alligators Hint At What Life May Have Been Like For Dinosaurs:

During the last 540 million years, the earth's oxygen levels have fluctuated wildly. Knowing that the dinosaurs appeared around the time when oxygen levels were at their lowest at 12%, Tomasz Owerkowicz, Ruth Elsey and James Hicks wondered how these monsters coped at such low oxygen levels. But without a ready supply of dinosaurs to test their ideas on, Owerkowicz and Hicks turned to a modern relative: the alligator.

Ocean Dead Zones Likely To Expand: Increasing Carbon Dioxide And Decreasing Oxygen Make It Harder For Deep-sea Animals To Breath:

New calculations made by marine chemists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) suggest that low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean could expand significantly over the next century. These predictions are based on the fact that, as more and more carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, marine animals will need more oxygen to survive.

More like this

Scorpion Biodiversity Seen In 'Evolution Canyon': Scorpions possess resistance to high temperatures and the ability to conserve water for long periods of time, and as a result thrive in hot and arid parts of the world. But is this global distribution also seen at a more local level? Doctoral…
Dinosaurs May Have Been Smaller Than Previously Thought: The largest animals ever to have walked the face of the earth may not have been as big as previously thought, reveals a paper published June 21 in the Zoological Society of London's Journal of Zoology. Scientists have discovered that the…
Tinkering With Circadian Clock Can Suppress Cancer Growth: Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that disruption of the circadian clock - the internal time-keeping mechanism that keeps the body running on a 24-hour cycle - can slow the progression of cancer. How…
I just could not wait to write about a seminar that I listened to at the recent Comparative Physiology conference in Westminster, CO. The topic was "paleophysiology". You got it, the study of physiology in extinct animals! Dr. Thomasz Owerkowicz, an Assistant Project Scientist with Dr. James Hicks…