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  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:43 PM

How to Build an Ant Bridge: Start Small

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You know when you're out walking with a big horde of your friends and you come to a chasm you can't step across, so a bunch of you clasp each other's limbs and make yourselves into a bridge for the rest to walk on?


Eciton army ants do this. And they're not the only ants that build incredible structures out of their strong, near-weightless bodies. Weaver ants make chains between leaves by holding onto each other's waists. Fire ants cling together to form rafts and survive floodin........ Read more »

Reid CR, Lutz MJ, Powell S, Kao AB, Couzin ID, & Garnier S. (2015) Army ants dynamically adjust living bridges in response to a cost-benefit trade-off. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26598673  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:05 PM

Synapse discovery could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of researchers led by UNSW Australia scientists has discovered how connections between brain cells are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – work that opens up a new avenue for research on possible treatments for the degenerative brain condition.... Read more »

  • November 27, 2015
  • 09:28 AM

Designer proteins helping biomedicine

by ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

Professor Meiering and her colleagues were able to incorporate both structure and function into the design process by using bioinformatics to leverage information from nature. They then analyzed what they made and measured how long it took for the folded, functional protein to unfold and breakdown... Read more »

Broom A, Ma SM, Xia K, Rafalia H, Trainor K, Colón W, Gosavi S, & Meiering EM. (2015) Designed protein reveals structural determinants of extreme kinetic stability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(47), 14605-10. PMID: 26554002  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 05:52 AM

Biomarkers in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of RCC

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Tumour biomarkers are measurable changes in cancer cells that could be used to improve available therapies. The identification of early biomarkers could increase early diagnosis rates and provide insight into tumour biology including aggressiveness. In addition tumour subtype-specific biomarkers could help identify the treatments most likely to be effective and also be used to measure response. The search for biomarkers in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is an active field, with various types of pote........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:06 AM

Premature mortality and autism continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Premature mortality was markedly increased in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] owing to a multitude of medical conditions."So said the study by Tatja Hirvikoski and colleagues [1] and findings that although making uncomfortable reading, highlight how we have some way to go when it comes to addressing important health inequalities as and when a label of autism or ASD is given.Drawing on Swedish data including over 27,000 people diagnosed with an ASD between 1987 and 2009 compared against........ Read more »

Hirvikoski T, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Boman M, Larsson H, Lichtenstein P, & Bölte S. (2015) Premature mortality in autism spectrum disorder. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 26541693  

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