Ann

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Bacteria 'see' like tiny eyeballs

<b>Biologists say they have solved the riddle of how a tiny bacterium senses light and moves towards it: the entire organism acts like an eyeball.</b><p>In a single-celled pond slime, they observed how incoming rays are bent by the bug's spherical surface and focused in a spot on the far side of the cell.<p>By …

Biology

Zika: Of Virus, Vector, Victim, Drought, Deforestation, the World Cup, the Epigenome & Evolution (updated 2|2|2016)

Among the daily mix of outrageous mayhem and unfathomable disaster of the Evening News, Zika stands out as a nightmare apart: a virus that targets …

The Zika virus is a public health emergency. Here's what we must do now

Now that the World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a public health emergency, we must remember one thing: we can’t turn the clock back on globalization. There is no role for travel or trade bans unless we issue mosquitoes passports and restrict their movement – a ridiculous …

Public Health

What 3-Parent Babies Mean For The Future Of Reproductive Medicine

Bespoke embryos raise ethical questions for lawmakers and bioethicists alike<p>Last week members of the British House of Commons passed a bill legalizing mitochondrial DNA transfers--a process that combines three different sets of DNA to create an embryo. That means one day, it could be possible for …

Genetics

Some Viruses Gang Up, Research Shows

Viruses such as EV-D68 and its distant cousin polio gang up to infect cells, researchers reported Friday.<p>Then these gaggles of enteroviruses cloak themselves in pieces of the infected cell to sneak out and infect other cells.<p>The findings, reported in the journal Cell, may help lead to treatments …

Public Health

The hunt is on for new antibiotics

Global antibiotic resistance is imperilling our existence. We need clever ways to find new bug-beating drugs<p>In 1945, Alexander Fleming, the scientist who first observed the action of a new bacteria-fighting substance on a mouldy Petri dish, sounded a sober note. I imagine it may have clashed …

Microbiology

The New Measles

One of the most infectious viruses on the planet is making a comeback in the United States, and many doctors have never even seen it.<p>Measles used to be an illness everyone got.<p>Before vaccination became widespread in the 1960s, pediatricians knew to check their patients' throats for the spray of …

Public Health

Creating a 'genetic firewall' for GMOs

Synthetic amino acids may one day allow scientists to create "genetic firewalls" that prevent GMO crops or animals from escaping into the wild and causing environmental damage, according to Harvard and Yale researchers.<p>On Wednesday, scientists announced that they had genetically engineered bacteria …

Biology

US Senate agrees that climate change is real in a 98 to 1 vote

But can't agree on its causes<p>The vast majority of US senators have agreed that climate change is real, a result of a vote on Wednesday that saw 98 members of the Senate vote in favor of an amendment to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline bill that declares that climate change is "not a hoax." …

Rosetta discovers water on comet 67p like nothing on Earth

Findings from Rosetta spacecraft’s Rosina instrument appear to suggest previously held theory is simplistic<p>The Rosetta spacecraft has detected water coming off comet 67P, the rubber duck-shaped lump of ice and dust that it placed the Philae robotic lander on last month.<p>The presence of water is not …

The Big Future: Can we conquer infectious disease?

With ambitious vaccine projects taking on the flu virus, Ebola, and other significant threats to human health, will our future be less sick? Is it possible we'll never be felled by the flu again?<p>The future of the flu<p>Scientists are working on an ambitious effort at a global flu vaccine — so seasonal …

Have scientists found first sign of Dark Matter?

A signal picked up by Dutch and Swiss scientists is thought to be the first phsical evidence of Dark Matter<p>It was first theorised more than 70 years ago, but after decades of searching, scientists believe they have seen the first sign of elusive Dark Matter.<p>Researchers have picked up unexpected …

Dark Matter

Climate talks resume in Peru with clock ticking on global deal

Negotiators from more than 190 countries get together Monday in Lima for the last main stop of the U.N. climate negotiations on the road to a planned global warming deal in Paris next year.<p>The slow-moving talks have gained momentum in the past two months with pledges from the world's top carbon …

NASA Thinks Life May Lurk Beneath Europa's Surface

Forget moonmen and those old “canals” on Mars, if you want to find life in our solar system, your best bet might be to set your sights beyond the asteroid belt to Jupiter’s moon Europa, which appears to be frozen stiff at first glance.<p>But appearances can be deceiving, and scientists now believe …

Scientists Coax Human Embryonic Stem Cells Into Making Insulin

A team of Harvard scientists said Thursday that they had finally found a way to turn human embryonic stem cells into cells that produce insulin. The long-sought advance could eventually lead to new ways to help millions of people with diabetes.<p>Right now, many people with diabetes have to regularly …

Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2 Years After Shooting

<i>Update: Oct. 10, 7:06 a.m. ET</i><p>Pakistani youth activist Malala Yousafzai was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, an honor she shares with …

Texas health care worker tests positive for Ebola

DALLAS — A health care worker who cared for the Ebola patient who died last week tested positive for the deadly virus, sending health officials scrambling Sunday to find the "breach in protocol" that resulted in her infection.<p>The woman was among caregivers for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Wednesday …

Ebola isn't the only public health emergency, British Medical Journal tells WHO

Deaths from Ebola 'will pale into insignificance' compared to those from climate change, editorial says<p><i>The British Medical Journal</i> called on the World Health Organization today to declare a public health emergency. Not because of any specific disease, but because climate change will cause an …

New alliances being formed outside governments to fight climate change

A day after world leaders gathered for a United Nations Climate Summit in an attempt to garner the political will needed to confront climate change, New York’s Empire State Building played host Wednesday to an alliance of civil society, private sector and diplomatic leaders planning a transition to …

Superbugs meet their match in rapid genome sequencing

Close to real-time tracking of deadly superbugs such as MRSA promises to close down outbreaks faster and save lives<p>It was the first sign of trouble. Three babies on the special care ward at Rosie Hospital in Cambridge tested positive for the MRSA superbug. Fearing an outbreak of the dangerous …

Researchers Have Developed an Artificial Spleen That Cleans Up Blood Infections

Top images show the magnetic nanobeads binding to <i>Escherichia coli</i> (left) and <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>(right) in the blood. Bottom images show the …

Could Ebola Become As Contagious As The Flu?

Back in August, scientists reported that the Ebola virus is mutating during this epidemic.<p>When a virus spreads between people and reproduces, it copies its genetic code in a sloppy way. So there can be unpredictable changes.<p>In theory, it's possible that these genetic changes could alter the way …

How the 2014 Ebola Crisis Unfolded

The Path of Transmission<p>The early stages of the Ebola outbreak began in the village of Meliandou, Guinea, where it spread to immediate family members and caretakers. In mid-February, a hospital worker contracted the disease and spread it to other villages. By April, the outbreak threatened a much …

Disease

Physicists Make Big Leap In Quantum Teleportation

The experiment, conducted over optical fibre at the University of Geneva, beat the team's previous record in 2003 of six kilometres (3.7 miles).<p>It showed that "the quantum state of a photon can be maintained while transporting it into a crystal without the two coming directly into contact," the …

Bacteria in our gut may influence both our physical and mental health

If bacteria in your gut can affect your health, can they affect your brain, too?<p>Researchers are finding more and more evidence that the trillions of bacteria contained in our gut are sending signals to the brain and influencing behavior and cognitive functioning.<p>People in the fields of appetite and …

A beautiful Icelandic sunset at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Photo by @magnumji http://instagram.com/p/scYUiAIMWW/

2050 and the Future of Infrastructure

Much of the world around us has been formed around key pieces of infrastructure. Most see this as a testament to who we are as a society, and part of …