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Researchers Discover 305 Million-Year-Old “Early Spider” Fossil

March 31, 2016

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305 Million-Year-Old Early Spider Fossil

A team of scientists has discovered the fossil of a 305 million-year-old arachnid, revealing more about the early origins of modern-day spiders. The new species, named Idmonarachne brasieri in honor of Professor Martin Brasier, University of Oxford, who passed away in December 2014, was found in Montceau-les-Mines, France, and researchers from The University of Manchester, […]

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New Findings Provide a Design for an HIV Vaccine Germline-Targeting Immunogen

March 28, 2016

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Scientists Announce New Anti-HIV Agent

A team of researchers has found HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody precursor B cells that are present in most people, and has described the design of an HIV vaccine germline-targeting immunogen capable of binding those B cells. Some people infected with HIV naturally produce antibodies that effectively neutralize many strains of the rapidly mutating virus, and […]

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Yale Biologists Solve the Mystery of the Tully Monster

March 21, 2016

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Mystery of the Tully Monster Solved

A newly published study from Yale University reveals that the Tully Monster had gills and a notochord, which functioned as a rudimentary spinal cord. The Tully Monster, an oddly configured sea creature with teeth at the end of a narrow, trunk-like extension of its head and eyes that perch on either side of a long, […]

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New Stem Cell Innovation Could Someday Help Treat Parkinson’s

March 17, 2016

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Stem Cell Innovation Could Treat Parkinson’s

A team of researchers from Rutgers and Stanford have created a new way to inject healthy human nerve cells into the brain that could someday help treat Parkinson’s disease and other devastating brain-related conditions that affect millions of people. The technology – a major innovation – involves converting adult tissue-derived stem cells into human neurons […]

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Yale Researchers Track How the Brain Routes Visual Signals

March 10, 2016

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Yale Scientists Track How Brain Routes Visual Signals

Newly published research from Yale’s Department of Neuroscience provides some clues to how cells in the visual cortex direct sensory information to different targets throughout the brain. Understanding how the brain manages to process the deluge of information about the outside world has been a daunting challenge. By imaging activity in the mouse brain, the […]

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Yale Study Shows Gut Bacteria Aggressively Protect Their Territory

March 8, 2016

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Study Shows Friendly Bacteria Aggressively Protect Their Territory

A newly published study from Yale University details how human gut bacteria take on many tasks crucial to health. Bacterially speaking, it gets very crowded in the human gut, with trillions of cells jostling for a position to carry out a host of specialized and often crucial tasks. A new Yale study, published the week […]

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Neuroscientists Discover a Behavioral State Gene That May be Linked to Autism

March 7, 2016

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Gene for Behavioral State May be Linked to Autism

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT reeval a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states – which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate neuropeptides — tiny proteins that carry messages between neurons […]

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Scientists Discover 520 Million-Year-Old Fossilized Nervous System

March 1, 2016

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Researchers Discover 520 Million-Year-Old Fossilized Nervous System

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a 520 million-year-old fossilized nervous system is the most complete and best example found to date. Researchers have found one of the oldest and most detailed fossils of the central nervous system yet identified, from a crustacean-like animal that lived more than 500 million years ago. The […]

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Yale Researchers Identify Gene That Regulates the Growth of Melanoma

February 29, 2016

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Yale Identifies Gene That Regulates the Growth of Melanoma

New research from Yale University identifies a gene in melanoma that can dramatically affect the growth of the disease. The findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, provide new insight into how melanoma grows and identifies a new target for treatment of melanoma and other cancers. Enzymes that chemically modify DNA, known as DNA methyltranferases, […]

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MIT Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

February 16, 2016

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Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

In a newly published study, MIT neuroscientists reveal how they identified a brain region that represents the feelings of loneliness. Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than […]

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Yale Scientists Reveal Underlying Cause of Myeloma

February 11, 2016

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Yale Scientists Discover Underlying Cause of Myeloma

Scientists from the Yale Cancer Center have identified what causes a third of all myelomas, a type of cancer affecting plasma cells. The findings, published February 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, could fundamentally change the way this cancer and others are treated. Multiple myeloma is a cancer involving the growth of plasma […]

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Scientists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

February 8, 2016

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Neurobiologists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

In a newly published study, neurobiologists from the Max Planck Institute reveal that (in fruit flies) four classes of nerve cell are involved in calculating directionally selective signals. The ability to see the direction in which something is moving is vital for survival. Only in this way is it possible to avoid predators, capture prey […]

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Was Frozen Mammoth or Giant Ground Sloth Served for Dinner?

February 8, 2016

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Yale Researchers Put Prehistoric Mystery Meat to the Test

A famous dinner for scientists in the 1950s supposedly served meat from a woolly mammoth that was discovered frozen in the arctic. Yale scientists obtained a preserved sample of the meat, which DNA analysis proves is actually from a modern green sea turtle. The green sea turtle is an endangered species, so the flesh sample […]

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Biologists Extend Lifespan in Mice by 35 Percent

February 4, 2016

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Researchers Extend Lifespan in Mice by as Much as 35 Percent

A team of biologists from the Mayo Clinic have shown that senescent cells – cells that no longer divide and accumulate with age – negatively impact health and shorten lifespan by as much as 35 percent in normal mice. The results, which appear today in Nature, demonstrate that clearance of senescent cells delays tumor formation, […]

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Life-Extending Hormone FGF21 Also Protects Against the Loss of Immune Function

January 14, 2016

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FGF21 Hormone Protests Against the Loss of Immune Function

New research from Yale University shows that the hormone FGF21, which extends lifespan in mice by 40%, protects against the loss of immune function that comes with age. Published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 11, the study’s findings have future implications for improving immune function in the elderly, […]

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New Research Shows Hyperactive Neurons May Trigger Alzheimer’s

January 13, 2016

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Hyperactive neurons may be culprit in Alzheimer’s

New research from Yale University shows that an increase in neuronal activity can spur the creation of plaques and toxic amyloid beta peptides, which are believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. A long-term reduction in neuronal activity reduces amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Yale University researchers have found. The study, using mouse models of Alzheimer’s, […]

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New Study Shows Neanderthals Boosted Our Immune System

January 7, 2016

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New Research Shows Neanderthals Boosted Our Immune System

A new study from the Max Planck Institute reveals that the mixing of archaic human forms played an important role in shaping the immune system of modern humans. When modern humans met Neanderthals in Europe and the two species began interbreeding many thousands of years ago, the exchange left humans with gene variations that have […]

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Scientists Should Focus on Changes in Species to Recognize and Avoid a Mass Extinction

December 17, 2015

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Reserachers Examine Rarity in Mass Extinctions and the Future of Ecosystems

New research from Yale University urges scientists to move their focus from species extinction to species rarity in order to recognize, and avoid, a mass extinction in the modern world. Writing in the journal Nature the week of December 16, Yale’s Pincelli Hull and colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution argue that modern extinction rates may […]

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