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Our Ears Help Us See

Thu, 29 May 2014 15:33:18 +00002014-05-29T15:33:18Z

(image)
Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Researchers have discovered that the visual cortex in the brain uses auditory information to help create visual images. Sound waves detected by the ears and visual ...

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Red Wine Could Help Prevent Cavities

Mon, 26 May 2014 14:06:44 +00002014-05-26T14:06:44Z

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Credit: John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Could red wine help prevent cavities? A recent study presented in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that red wine and grape seed extract are effective at destroying bacteria biofilm. Biofilm is a slimy substance that protects bacteria from antibiotics, chemicals, and other substances that are hazardous to the microbes. As bacteria feed on sugars present in the mouth, they produce acid which destroys tooth enamel and creates cavities.

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How Pathogenic Bacteria Colonize Vegetables

Fri, 23 May 2014 15:11:19 +00002014-05-23T15:11:19Z

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E. coli Bacteria
Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

James Hutton Institute researchers have identified the process by which E. coli bacteria infect plant products. An E. coli O157:H7 bacterium uses its flagellum, a long protrusion used for movement, to pierce through the plant cell wall. The attached bacterium is then able to colonize the surface of the vegetable. Eating these infected plants could cause food poisoning.

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Dangerous Bacteria on Aircraft Cabin Surfaces

Wed, 21 May 2014 19:11:55 +00002014-05-21T19:11:55Z

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Image Credit: Vera Kratochvil / Public Domain Images

Two dangerous types of bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli, are able to survive on airplane cabin surfaces for as long as a week. Researchers tested several surfaces including armrests, plastic tray tables, and cloth and leather seat pockets. When the surfaces were exposed to bacteria under conditions similar to those on an airplane, the bacteria were able to survive for days.

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Why Octopuses Don't Get Tangled in Their Tentacles

Fri, 16 May 2014 08:26:35 +00002014-05-16T08:26:35Z

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Octopus
Albert Kok/Wikimedia Commons

Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have made an interesting discovery that helps answer the question of why an octopus doesn't get tangled up in its tentacles. Unlike the human brain...

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Ecuadorian Wasps Mummify Host

Fri, 09 May 2014 11:00:08 +00002014-05-09T11:00:08Z

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This is a mummified host caterpillar with abdominal bending, parasitized by the Shakira wasp.
Credit: Eduardo Shimbori; CC-BY 4.0

Researchers have discovered several new species of Aleiodes wasps that parasitize caterpillars and actually mummify them. These wasps were found in Ecuador and mummify their victims, specific caterpillars, by injecting their eggs into them. The developing wasp larva feeds on the caterpillar, causing the caterpillar to mummify. Once fully developed, the wasp cuts an opening in the mummified remains and flies away.

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Coffee May Help Prevent Sight Loss

Wed, 07 May 2014 15:01:26 +00002014-05-07T15:01:26Z

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Image Credit: Savit Keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Cornell University study indicates that coffee has protective benefits against the progressive loss of eyesight associated with retinal degeneration. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue layer within the eye. It contains layers of nerves that relay visual information to the central nervous system. The researchers discovered that an antioxidant in coffee, chlorogenic acid (CLA), stopped the development of retinal degeneration in mice.

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Ocean Bacteria Vital to Global Carbon Cycling

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 11:50:45 +00002014-04-29T11:50:45Z

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Image Credit: PDPhoto.org

Researchers have identified an individual species of bacteria that play an important role in the nutrient cycling of carbon dioxide. Alteromonas bacteria consume dissolved organic carbon in the ocean and use it to provide energy for their own biological processes. Carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere through bacterial respiration. Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers have found that just one of these bacteria can take up as much dissolved organic carbon as a community of several other microbes.

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Antimicrobial Chemical Linked to Breast Cancer

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:22:17 +00002014-04-23T11:22:17Z

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Image: Keerati FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Researchers have discovered that the antimicrobial agent triclosan promotes breast cancer cell growth. Triclosan is used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, toothpaste, and other household products. Triclosan chemicals function similarly to hormones and cause endocrine system disruptions.

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Cancer Cell Gene Activity

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:00:21 +00002014-04-18T06:00:21Z

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This shows dividing human cancer cells as visualized by fluorescence microscopy.
Image: Aki Endo (Lamond Lab)

Researchers have used fluorescence microscopy to visually demonstrate gene activity in cancer cells during the cell cycle. Cancer cells divide uncontrollably and may develop as a result of several factors, including recombination errors that occur during the cell cycle and infections from certain cancer viruses....

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