Environment

Increased export of Brazilian beef indirectly leads to deforestation in the Amazon. New research from Chalmers and SIK that was recently published in Environmental Science & Technology shows that impact on the climate is much greater than current estimates indicate. The researchers are now demanding that indirect effect on land be included when determining a product's carbon footprint.

Molecular & Cell Biology

All our daily activities, from driving to work to solving a crossword puzzle, depend on signals carried along the body's vast network of neurons. Propagation of these signals is, in turn, dependent on myriad small molecules within nerve cells -- receptors, ion channels, and transmitters -- turning on and off in complex cascades. Until recently, the study of these molecules in real time has not been possible, but researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Munich have attached light-sensing modules to neuronal molecules, resulting in molecules that can be turned on and off with simple flashes of light.

Bioinformatics

Scientists on the Norwich Research Park have sequenced the genome of a novel strain of Clostridium botulinum, one of the most dangerous pathogens known to man. The strain produces an unusual botulinum neurotoxin, known as type A5 neurotoxin, which was isolated by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), following a case of wound botulism.

AIDS & HIV

A major new clinical trial seeks to determine whether HIV-infected asymptomatic individuals have less risk of developing AIDS or other serious illness if they begin taking antiretrovirals sooner rather than later, based on their level of CD4+ T-cells. An HIV-infected individual's level of CD4+ T-cells—commonly referred to as their CD4 count—is a key measure of immune system health. The study is co-funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Biology

A University of Florida study demonstrates extinction's ripple effect through the animal kingdom, including how the demise of large mammals 20,000 years ago led to the disappearance of one species of cowbird.

Biotechnology

Circulating tumor cells, which play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, have been known to science for more than 100 years, and researchers have long endeavored to track and capture them. Now, a UCLA research team has developed an innovative device based on Velcro-like nanoscale technology to efficiently identify and "grab" these circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, in the blood.

Biotechnology

Using genetic methods to count endangered eagles, a group of scientists showed that traditional counting methods can lead to significantly incorrect totals that they believe could adversely affect conservation efforts.




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