Evolution by mistake

Charles Darwin based his groundbreaking theory of natural selection on the realization that genetic variation among organisms is the key to evolution.
Some individuals are better adapted to a given environment than others, making them more l…

K-State research looks at pathogenic attacks on host plants

MANHATTAN, KAN. — Two Kansas State University researchers focusing on rice genetics are providing a better understanding of how pathogens take over a plant’s nutrients.
Their research provides insight into ways of reducing crop losses or developi…

Personalized treatment may help some liver cancer patients

A more personalized treatment for people with a type of metastatic liver cancer –hepatocellular carcinoma — may be possible by targeting the protein c-Met, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is …

Globalized economy more sensitive to recessions

By applying the same rules that explain how genomes evolve, Rice University physicists have shown that the world economy is more sensitive to recessionary shocks and recovers more slowly from recessions now than it did 40 years ago, due to increased…

For 4-year-olds, interactions with teacher key to gains

Pre-kindergartners who spend much of their classroom day engaged in so-called free-choice play with little input from teachers make smaller gains in early language and math skills than children who receive input from teachers in a range of different…

Black holes form first, galaxies follow

A new study has uncovered more evidence that black holes form before the galaxies that contain them. The finding could help resolve a long-standing debate, says the study’s lead scientist. Marianne Vestergaard, a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at Ohio State, came to this conclusion when she studied a collection of very energetic, active galaxies known as quasars as they appeared some 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only one billion years old. While the quasars were obviously young — they contained large stellar nurseries in which new stars were forming — each also contained a very massive, fully formed black hole.

Caught sleeping: Study captures virus dormant in human cells

Scientists have taken an important step toward understanding a virus that infects and lies dormant in most people, but emerges as a serious illness in transplant patients, some newborns and other people with weakened immune systems. The virus, called human cytomegalovirus, enters the bone marrow and can hide there for a lifetime. Until now, however, scientists had not been able to study the virus in its latent stage because it infects only humans and does not readily infect or become dormant in laboratory strains of bone marrow cells. In a new study researchers demonstrated a laboratory system for studying the virus in its latent stage and discovered a set of genes that may give the virus its great capacity for stealth.

Statistics Help Infants Build Knowledge of Visual World

A baby’s first look at the world is likely a dizzying array of shapes and motion that are meaningless to a newborn, but researchers at the University of Rochester say they have now shown that babies use relationships between objects to build an understanding of the world. By noting how often objects appear together, infants can efficiently take in more knowledge than if they were to simply see the same shapes individually, says the paper published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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