Body

Acrylamide is considered to be a probable carcinogen and is produced from foods such as potatoes, coffee, wheat and other cereals when they are cooked at high temperatures. Reduced cooking times and temperatures can help to decrease this potentially harmful chemical but scientists at Rothamsted Research and the University of Reading are trying to tackle this problem from its source by investigating how to reduce the precursors of acrylamide in cereal plants. They will report their findings at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Annual Main Meeting in Glasgow on Sunday 1st April.

Inherent gender differences – instead of more sun exposure – may be one reason why men are three times more likely than women to develop certain kinds of skin cancer, say researchers at Ohio State University Medical Center.

Tree frogs have the unique ability to stick to smooth surfaces even when they are tilted well beyond the vertical - some small tree frogs can even adhere when completely upside down. Conversely when walking or jumping they can detach their toe pads easily. Researchers from the University of Glasgow will present insights into how this fascinating ability is controlled at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Annual Meeting in Glasgow, UK.

Most people know that their nails always go soft and bendy when they immerse them in hot water for any length of time. Conversely when you cut your nails they dry up and become hard and brittle. But why is this? Biologists working with material scientists at the University of Manchester have worked out the best conditions for our nails which may ultimately help the cosmetic industry to mimic the real thing and refine their false nail and varnish products.

Box jellyfish are much more active swimmers than other jellyfish – they exhibit strong directional swimming, are able to perform rapid 180 degree turns, and can deftly move in between objects. So how do they manage to manoeuvre the obstacle course that is in the sea bed? Given that they possess an impressive 24 eyes one would think they would be well equipped for this challenge!

The next time you are struggling to carry your bags home from the supermarket just remember that this could, in fact, be the reason you are able to walk upright on two legs at all! How we have evolved to walk on two legs remains a fundamental but, as yet, unresolved question for scientists. A popular explanation is that it is our ability to carry objects, particularly children, which forced early hominins onto two legs.

Previously, only amorphous polymer materials approached such levels of performance. On the other hand, these “gigantic respiration” and their respiration, which takes place at constant overall shape, is reversible.

Proteins, which form much of the molecular machinery required for life, are the targets of most drug molecules. One third of all proteins are membrane proteins – embedded within the cell’s fatty outer layer. While scientists can easily study the other two-thirds using such tools as antibodies, they have not had such methods to investigate the membrane-embedded portions of proteins.

Chemists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Arizona State University have proposed an elegantly simple technique for cleaving proteins into convenient pieces for analysis.

Using a brace of the most modern tools of materials research, a team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Northwestern University has shed new light on one of mankind’s older construction materials—cement.

The city of London, with funding from the European Space Agency, has launched AirTEXT, which delivers air pollution alerts and health advice via SMS text messages.

What would large women think if a dress sold for lower cost to women of smaller sizes?

Common sense says this would turn them off.

But swimmers react well to items claimed to improve speed if they know the product is given away free to Olympic swimmers.

If you perceive the person getting the good deal as being smarter than you, you are okay with it. You are even more likely to pay full price.

A new, complete 'tree of life' tracing the history of all 4,500 mammals on Earth shows that they did not diversify as a result of the death of the dinosaurs, says new research published in Nature today.

The study was undertaken in the UK by scientists at Imperial College London and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). It contradicts the previously accepted theory that the Mass Extinction Event (MEE) that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago prompted the rapid rise of the mammals we see on the earth today.

It is a natural history tale that every third grader knows: The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for hundreds of millions of years, until an asteroid struck the Yucatan Peninsula and triggered a mass extinction that allowed the ancestors of today’s mammals to thrive.

The asteroid part of the story may still hold true, but a new study challenges the notion that a mass extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago played a major role in the dominance of today’s mammals.

A new report published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) shows that patients treated with bronchial thermoplasty, the first non-drug treatment for asthma, demonstrated an overall improvement in asthma control.