16 Stories

Water-Loving Animal Seems to 'Live Forever'

Scientists still puzzled by the hydra

(Newser) - A water-loving animal called the hydra may measure less than a half-inch, but still has something on us: It seems to live forever. Treehugger revisits this biological mystery, calling hydra "marvels of the animal world" that share "regenerative powers" with the multi-headed Hydra of Greek mythology. We know... More »

Soda Ages Our Cells as Much as Smoking

Study: 20 ounces a day associated with 4.6 years of aging

(Newser) - Drink a 20-ounce soda daily, and you may be causing your cells to age as much as they would if you smoked, a study suggests. Researchers investigated DNA from 5,309 adults, focusing on telomeres, the caps on the ends of our cells' chromosomes, Time reports. They found that drinking... More »

Why Victims of Racism May Age Faster

Researchers raise concerns about internalized bias

(Newser) - Racism may take a clear physical toll on victims, causing their cells to age faster, scientists have found. Researchers conducted a study on blood samples from 92 black men in the Bay Area, investigating their DNA. Specifically, the Pacific Standard reports, they looked at the length of chunks of genetic... More »

New Treatment Kills Cancer Like It's a Cold

T-cells are infused with genes to kill off cancer

(Newser) - What if people's immune cells could battle cancer like they fight off the common cold? Researchers at three US cancer centers are testing just such an idea by reprogramming the T-cells of cancer patients to destroy cancer cells—and it's working remarkably well, CNN reports. "This is... More »

Paralyzed Dogs Saved by Own Noses

Cell transplants may offer hope to humans

(Newser) - A group of paralyzed dogs is walking again—with a little help from a harness—after scientists injected cells from the dogs' noses into the injured portion of their spinal cords. The procedure could eventually help paralyzed humans regain some degree of movement, researchers say, though they caution that such... More »

Chemistry Nobel Goes to 2 US Scientists

Their work helps explain how the body's cells communicate

(Newser) - Two American scientists won the Nobel prize for chemistry this morning for their work, which helps explain how the billions of cells in our bodies manage to reach through their otherwise impenetrable membranes to communicate with one another and sense their environment, reports the BBC . Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka... More »

Computer Simulates Full Organism for 1st Time

Single-cell Mycoplasma genitalium, now available by hard drive

(Newser) - Maybe they'll computerize an entire human brain one day—or even just a couple of cells. For now, Stanford scientists have created the first-ever software simulation of a full single-cell organism, the New York Times reports. It is incredibly small: a bacterium called the Mycoplasma genitalium, which has the... More »

Worldwide Mega-Organism Spawned All Life

Ocean-wide network of cells survived by sharing proteins

(Newser) - Here's a subject for a monster movie—only there would be no victims, because it happened about 3 billion years ago. According to a new theory, the first life form on Earth was a mega-organism that once filled the world's oceans, then split up into parts that later... More »

Why Women Live Longer Than 'Disposable' Men

Females built to last for reproductive success: scientist

(Newser) - Women have their hardworking cells to thank for the fact that they tend to live longer than men, argues a scientist. Experts believe aging is caused by tiny problems in the body, and we die when our bodies stop repairing these issues, the Daily Mail reports. Women, suggests the UK... More »

Cord Blood Breakthrough Offers Leukemia Hope

Multiplying umbilical stem cells could overcome need for donor matching

(Newser) - A pioneering technique for multiplying umbilical cord cells has placed the long-elusive "holy grail" of leukemia research in sight, offering new hope for bone marrow transplant recipients. Researchers have manipulated a "signaling pathway" in umbilical cord cells to create more stem cells—thus overcoming the longstanding problem of... More »

Promising 'Trojan Horse' Cells Kills Animal Cancer

Sydney biotech firm to begin human trials in coming months

(Newser) - Australian researchers have achieved promising results with a new approach to treating cancer, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Scientists have developed mutant bacteria nanocells that slip into tumor cells to switch off drug-resistant genes, and allow cancer-fighting drugs inside, also delivered by the nanocells. The strategy has achieved near-universal success... More »

RNA: Secret Weapon Against Disease

Once seen as weak partner of DNA, gene helps control cells' activity

(Newser) - RNA has long been seen as DNA’s little brother, a messenger between the human genome and cells’ protein factories. But studies point to a bigger role—ribonucleic acid can “turn off” certain genes, for example, fighting a range of health problems, the New York Times reports. “This... More »

Why Fat is Phat

The body's most maligned cells are actually critically valuable players

(Newser) - Fat is underappreciated, New York Times health columnist Natalie Angier writes: just because a lot of people now have too much of it doesn't mean it should be villified. The fat cell is in fact a marvel of science, a sophisticated mechanism finely tailored not only for energy storage but... More »

'Caffeinated' Workout May Cut Cancer

Combo of exercise and coffee can fight skin cancer

(Newser) - New research suggests that drinking coffee, combined with regular exercise, speeds up the killing off of cells damaged by ultraviolet-B radiation. Researchers at Rutgers University specifically examined UVB apoptosis — the programmed death of cells that become damaged by ultraviolet rays – in hairless mice. This sort of cell-suicide helps... More »

Mouse Stem Cell Discovery Speeds Cures

'Missing link' embryonic cell boosts fight against Parkinsons, diabetes

(Newser) - British scientists have discovered a new type of stem cell in mice that's much closer to human embryonic stem cells, making them invaluable in the search for cures for diseases like Parkinson's and diabetes. Two independent teams from Oxford and Cambridge today revealed the "missing link" cells, which can... More »

Vitamin D Slashes Cancer Rates

New study ties nutrient in milk, tuna, salmon to 60% decrease

(Newser) - The first research linking vitamin D directly to cancer prevention shows the nutrient sharply reduces cancer rates in older women. Only 3% of the 1,179 women monitored while taking a combination of vitamin D and calcium developed cancer over 4 years, a 60% lower rate than those given placebos,... More »

16 Stories