This Week: Ancient water = ancient habitat?
In the News: Methane on the menu in the Gulf of Mexico?
Coming Thursday: Roaches: A lot smarter than you thought!
Viruses can act like “intelligent agents” against cancer. Some viruses home in on cancer cells; others can only reproduce in them. While making more virus, the tumor cell dies. Then the new virus infects more cells. Is this real progress in the war on cancer?
Bacteria: you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all? Not. There’s a chemical war going on in that Petri dish, and a new study identifies specialist “super-killers” can kill off a broad range of competitors. Could “bacterial soldiers” help us fight resistance to antibiotics?
Imagine a transistor so tiny that it can slip inside a living cell to measure electrical potential. Now coat that transistor so the cell will pull it inside without damage. Then adapt the transistor to measure RNA and proteins. Nanofabrication tricks convert science fiction into science fact!
Changes in the junctions between nerve cells determine how well a bird will learn to sing. Regular change in these junctions helps the bird remember the song of its species, which it needs to learn to reproduce that song. Study could explain why older people have such trouble learning a new language.
New video captures AIDS moving inside immune cells: HIV enters pods that form on the surface, then jumps across into a healthy immune cell that is now doomed to spread HIV — and die.
Scientists learn to make human embryonic stem cells without using eggs, embryos, or legal hassles. Adding four genes to skin cells did the trick.
Survive the vaccination routine? That’s no fun for anyone — parent or child.
Computer graphics and microbiology unite as scientists build complex digital models of cellular machinery to view a microscopic world in powerful new ways.