Tag Archives: mystery

Why Elephants Rarely Get Cancer

A Potential Mechanism Identified That May Be Key to Cancer Resistance

SALT LAKE CITY—Why elephants rarely get cancer is a mystery that has stumped scientists for decades. A study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and Arizona State University, and including researchers from the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, may have found the answer. (more…)

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Major cause of blindness linked to calcium deposits in the eye

Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, by UCL-led research.

AMD affects 1 in 5 people over 75, causing their vision to slowly deteriorate, but the cause of the most common form of the disease remains a mystery.* The ability to spot the disease early and reliably halt its progression would improve the lives of millions, but this is simply not possible with current knowledge and techniques. (more…)

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Mystery of 1918 Pandemic Flu Virus Solved by UA Researchers

University of Arizona researcher Michael Worobey and his team have discovered that the key to understanding influenza pandemics may lie in flu exposure during childhood.

Just as the world was recovering from the devastation of World War I, another killer swept across the globe. A deadly flu virus attacked more than one-third of the world’s population, and within months had killed more than 50 million people – three times as many as the war – and had done it more quickly than any other illness in recorded history. (more…)

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The Search for Seeds of Black Holes

How do you grow a supermassive black hole that is a million to a billion times the mass of our sun? Astronomers do not know the answer, but a new study using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has turned up what might be the cosmic seeds from which a black hole will sprout. The results are helping scientists piece together the evolution of supermassive black holes — powerful objects that dominate the hearts of all galaxies.

Growing a black hole is not as easy as planting a seed in soil and adding water. The massive objects are dense collections of matter that are literally bottomless pits; anything that falls in will never come out. They come in a range of sizes. The smallest, only a few times greater in mass than our sun, form from exploding stars. The biggest of these dark beasts, billions of times the mass of our sun, grow together with their host galaxies over time, deep in the interiors. But how this process works is an ongoing mystery. (more…)

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How Did Life Arise? Fuel Cells May Have Answers

How life arose from the toxic and inhospitable environment of our planet billions of years ago remains a deep mystery. Researchers have simulated the conditions of an early Earth in test tubes, even fashioning some of life’s basic ingredients. But how those ingredients assembled into living cells, and how life was first able to generate energy, remain unknown.

A new study led by Laurie Barge of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., demonstrates a unique way to study the origins of life: fuel cells. (more…)

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Scientists Chip Away at the Mystery of What Lives in Our Mouths

Sequencing of harmless oral bacterium offers insights about its disease-causing relative

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists have pieced together sections of DNA from 12 individual cells to sequence the genome of a bacterium known to live in healthy human mouths.

With this new data about a part of the body considered “biological dark matter,” the researchers were able to reinforce a theory that genes in a closely related bacterium could be culprits in its ability to cause severe gum disease. (more…)

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