Body

YAOUNDE (16 September 2008) – A new report from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) and partners warns that an upsurge in hunting bushmeat—including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians — in tropical forests is unsustainable and that it poses serious threats to food security for poor inhabitants of forests in Africa, who rely largely on bushmeat for protein.

In a study published this week in PLoS Biology, Eric Xu and colleagues have determined the molecular structure of a nuclear receptor, which regulates the expression of specific genes within cells, that may serve as a drug target for diseases related to heart and blood vessel development, human embryonic development and female infertility. Researchers also found that the receptor, named COUP-TFII, is activated by retinoic acid, a form of Vitamin A.

Just over five years ago, an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus killed over 750 people. SARS (corona)virus, a positive-stranded RNA virus, replicates in the cytoplasm of host cells, attaching its replication complex to intracellular membranes that it has modified for this purpose.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 125 years ago Charles Darwin first reported that most plants grow in a spurt during the night, not the day – and this week, scientists are reporting the discovery of the genes that control this phenomenon.

Scientists have discovered that certain fish are capable of glowing red. Research published today in BMC Ecology includes striking images of fish fluorescing vivid red light.

The inventor of a revolutionary new forensic fingerprinting technique claims criminals who eat processed foods are more likely to be discovered by police through their fingerprint sweat corroding metal.

Dr John Bond, a researcher at the University of Leicester and scientific support officer at Northamptonshire Police, said processed food fans are more likely to leave tell-tale signs at a crime scene.

SEATTLE – A team of researchers led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reports online today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology the validation of a potential "HIV-test" equivalent for the early detection of lung cancer. The test, which relies on immune-system signals, much like an HIV test, can detect the presence of lung cancer a year prior to diagnosis, long before symptoms appear.

PHILADELPHIA, September 16, 2008 -- A new study from the National Institutes of Health finds that massage therapy may have immediate benefits on pain and mood among patients with advanced cancer. The study appears in the September 16, 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

In a randomized trial of 380 advanced cancer patients at 15 U.S. hospices, improvement in pain and mood immediately following treatment was greater with massage than with simple touch.

AUSTIN, Texas—A new species of blind, subterranean, predatory ant discovered in the Amazon rainforest by University of Texas at Austin evolutionary biologist Christian Rabeling is likely a descendant of the very first ants to evolve.

The new ant is named Martialis heureka, which translates roughly to "ant from Mars," because the ant has a combination of characteristics never before recorded. It is adapted for dwelling in the soil, is two to three millimeters long, pale, and has no eyes and large mandibles, which Rabeling and colleagues suspect it uses to capture prey.

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Researchers sequencing the DNA of blue-green algae found a linear chromosome harboring genes important for producing biofuels. Simultaneously analyzing the complement of proteins revealed more genes on the linear and the typical circular chromosomes then they'd have found with DNA sequencing alone.

A team of researchers headed by biologists at Washington University in St. Louis has sequenced the genome of a unique bacterium that manages two disparate operations – photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation – in one little cell during two distinct cycles daily.

Futuristic nanotechnology has been teamed with a decades-old drug to beat atherosclerotic plaques in research conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

(PHILADELPHIA – September 15, 2008) – In battles against chronic infections, the body's key immune cells often become exhausted and ineffective. Researchers at The Wistar Institute have found a way to restore vigor to these killer T cells by blocking a key receptor on their surface, findings that may advance the development of new therapies for diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and cancer.

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Dr. Ed Corboy had no idea what was afflicting his 80-year-old mother, Joan Corboy.

All he knew for certain was that since being treated for what was a routine diarrheal infection, she seemed to be wasting away and none of her doctors or other health specialists could explain why.

"She lost almost 55 pounds between July Fourth and Christmas in 2006," said Corboy, a resident of Wilmette. "She was so sick, so weak and despite the best care of her doctors, she was getting weaker. It was clear she was in big trouble."

CHICAGO --- A common bronchodilator drug which has been used for more than a decade by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been linked to a one-third higher risk of cardiovascular-related deaths.

The drug, ipratropium, is sold under the brand names Atrovent and Combivent, the latter a combination product that contains ipratropium.