Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare condition that alters the speech centers of the brain. The result: altered speech patterns that make it sound like one speaking with a foreign accent. To find out more about this mysterious condition, listen to this podcast from BrainFacts.org. Listen to the podcast...
NIH Center for Cancer Research: A new study published August 10, 2017, in Molecular Cell reveals how changes in the architecture of the nucleus can enable B lymphocytes to spring to action during an immune system attack and help fight infection. The discovery could lead scientists to a better understanding of how some tumor cells, especially blood cancer cells, make similar transitions from a dormant to an active state. Read more...
A profile of Semahat Demir, former director of the National Science Foundation's Biomedical Engineering program. Article published in IEEE Pulse.
Hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching activities have increased in 28 U.S. states over the last five years, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation State Overview Report shows that the largest increase – 47 percent – occurred in Alaska, with Louisiana a close second at 40 percent. MORE
South African conservationists unveiled details of a proposal to overturn a 30-year global ban on rhinoceros horn trade, on the final day of the IVth International Wildlife Management Congress in Durban, South Africa. The proposal marks the latest effort to curb rhino poaching, which has spiked in recent years, threatening the continued survival of critically endangered black and white rhinos. MORE
Nine bioengineers describe their research and why Southern California has the biotech market cornered. Article published in IEEE Pulse magazine.
With a vibrant yellow crown of petals atop an array of one-inch purplish spines, yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) is the most common exotic plant in California, covering some 15 million acres (Pitcairn et.al. 2006). During the dry summer months, its colors fade and the plant becomes dangerously combustible — a fuel for wildfires. Able to thrive in the disturbed soils of agricultural lands, this invasive releases a toxin that deters native plant growth and has deep tap roots that rob other plants of water. It also spreads very rapidly. MORE
The Asian redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) is half the length of an eyelash and resembles an armor-plated, flying coffee bean. It bores into the trunks of trees, leaving telltale strips of frass, and begins to cultivate fungal spores that females transport inside their head. The fungus provides food for the beetle but also cuts off the tree’s food and water transport system, killing a healthy tree within months. This disease, called “laurel wilt,” attacks at least eight Laurel family species, including avocado. MORE
Some call it Frankenfish. Others, Fishzilla. With a snake-like head and sharp teeth for impaling prey, the invasive snakehead fish (Channa spp.) is a voracious predator that eats whatever crosses its path — especially other fish, even its own species. It can also out-compete native species in poor habitats because it survives on low oxygen, enabling it to live under ice or mud for months. It can even breathe air and survive on land as long as it stays moist — a trait that has inspired a string of B movies about killer fish walking the Earth. MORE