Culture

Researchers at the University of Warwick's Department of Statistics and Centre for Complexity Science have devised a new research tool that could help unpick the complex cell interactions that lead to cancer and also allow social scientists to mine social networking sites such as Facebook for useful insights.

As Christmas approaches thousands of young adult carers will once again face the emotional turmoil of juggling their commitments at home with going out and sharing in the festive celebrations.

Their vital role in society and the dedication and sacrifices they make are revealed in a new report published today into the lives of what has been described as a 'hidden' and neglected group of carers. Some of their personal experiences have been published in this report.

Cowling et al. report how to build muscle mass with FHL1. The protein partners with and activates the transcription factor, NFATc1. Encouraging this partnership might provide a possible treatment for muscle wasting disorders. The article will appear in the December 15, 2008 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB).

Mutations in FHL1 are present in several myopathies, including reducing-body myopathy (RBM), but until now, both the molecular mechanisms causing the disease, and the regular function of FHL1 in healthy tissue, remained unknown.

In a new report published online today in the January issue of Addiction, researchers question whether current licensing policies have contributed to a rise in the phenomenon of "pre-drinking" amongst young people.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As ice melts away from Antarctica, parts of the continental bedrock are rising in response -- and other parts are sinking, scientists have discovered.

The finding will give much needed perspective to satellite instruments that measure ice loss on the continent, and help improve estimates of future sea level rise.

"Our preliminary results show that we can dramatically improve our estimates of whether Antarctica is gaining or losing ice," said Terry Wilson, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University.

Metastasis is the ability of cancer cells to spread from a primary site, to form tumours at distant sites. It is a complex process in which cell motility and invasion play a fundamental role. Essential to our understanding of how metastasis develops is identification of the molecules, and characterisation of the mechanisms that regulate cell motility. Hitherto, these mechanisms have been poorly understood.

Even though forgetting is such a common occurrence, scientists have not reached a consensus as to how it happens. One theory is that information simply decays from our memory—we forget things because too much time has passed. Another idea states is that forgetfulness occurs when we confuse an item with other items that we have previously encountered (also known as temporal confusability).

A newly hatched sea turtle's first swim is the most critical of its life. Having run the gauntlet of air and land predators to make it to the sea, the tiny voyager must also evade hungry fish patrolling the beaches in its bid for freedom. For youngsters hatching on the Great Barrier Reef's coral cays the risks are high: as many as 30% perish as they head for safe deep waters. But how much does this headlong dash through the waves cost the intrepid hatchlings?

Where natural disasters strike, political corruption is soon to follow, say the authors of a study in the Journal of Law and Economics. But it's not the wind and rain that turns good folks bad; it's the money that floods in afterwards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Researchers at MIT recently found an elegant solution to a sticky scientific problem in basic fluid mechanics: why water doesn't soak into soil at an even rate, but instead forms what look like fingers of fluid flowing downward.