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Mayo researchers identify mechanism of oncogene action in lung cancer

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified a genetic promoter of cancer that drives a major form of lung cancer. In a new paper published this week in Cancer Cell, Mayo Clinic researchers provide genetic evidence that Ect2 drives lung adenocarcinoma tumor formation.

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How Much Drought Can a Forest Take?

Aerial tree mortality surveys show patterns of tree death during extreme drought.

Why do some trees die in a drought and others don’t? And how can we predict where trees are most likely to die in future droughts?

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Georgia State Study Uses Social Media, Internet To Forecast Disease Outbreaks

When epidemiological data are scarce, social media and Internet reports can be reliable tools for forecasting infectious disease outbreaks, according to a study led by an expert in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

“Our study offers proof of concept that publicly available online reports released in real-time by ministries of health, local surveillance systems, the World Health Organization and authoritative media outlets are useful to identify key information on exposure and transmission patterns during epidemic emergencies,” the researchers said. “Our Internet-based findings on exposure patterns are in good agreement with those derived from traditional epidemiological surveillance data, which can be available after considerable delays.”

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Scientists discover how to prevent undesirable immune attacks on therapeutic viruses

LA JOLLA—Normally when we think of viruses, from the common cold to HIV, we want to boost people’s immunity to fight them. But for scientists who develop therapeutic viruses (to, for example, target cancer cells or correct gene deficiencies) a more important question is: How do we keep people’s natural immune responses at bay? In these cases, an overenthusiastic immune response actually undermines the therapy.

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Pancreatic tumors rely on signals from surrounding cells

LA JOLLA—Just as an invasive weed might need nutrient-rich soil and water to grow, many cancers rely on the right surroundings in the body to thrive. A tumor’s microenvironment—the nearby tissues, immune cells, blood vessels and extracellular matrix—has long been known to play a role in the tumor’s growth.

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Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior

One of Alaska’s most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change. This could impact the ecology of northern lakes, which already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.

That’s the main finding of a recent University of Washington study published in Global Change Biology that analyzed reproductive patterns of three-spine stickleback fish over half a century in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. The data show that stickleback breed earlier and more often each season in response to earlier spring ice breakup and longer ice-free summers.

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Heat from Earth's core could be underlying force in plate tectonics

For decades, scientists have theorized that the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates is driven largely by negative buoyancy created as they cool. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are driven significantly by the additional force of heat drawn from the Earth’s core.

The new findings also challenge the theory that underwater mountain ranges known as mid-ocean ridges are passive boundaries between moving plates. The findings show the East Pacific Rise, the Earth’s dominant mid-ocean ridge, is dynamic as heat is transferred.

David B. Rowley, professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, and fellow researchers came to the conclusions by combining observations of the East Pacific Rise with insights from modeling of the mantle flow there. The findings were published Dec. 23 in Science Advances.

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Research shows driving factors behind changes between local and global carbon cycles

Pioneering new research has provided a fascinating new insight in the quest to determine whether temperature or water availability is the most influential factor in determining the success of global, land-based carbon sinks.

The research, carried out by an international team of climate scientists including Professors Pierre Friedlingstein and Stephen Sitch from the University of Exeter, has revealed new clues on how land carbon sinks are regulated on both local and global scales.

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Prehistoric mega-lake sediment offers key insight into how inland regions responded to "super-greenhouse" event

Sediment found at the site of one of the largest lakes in Earth’s history could provide a fascinating new insight into how inland regions responded to global climate change millions of years ago.

A pioneering new study, carried out by a team of British-based researchers, has analysed sediments from the site of the vast lake which formed in the Sichuan Basin, in China, around 183 million years ago in the Jurassic period.

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Green Sahara's Ancient Rainfall Regime Revealed by Scientists

Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year "Green Sahara" period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research led by a UA geoscientist.

What is now the Sahara Desert was the home to hunter-gatherers who made their living off the animals and plants that lived in the region's savannahs and wooded grasslands 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.

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