A potential new malaria vaccine puts weakened parasites into the body

Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases on the planet, killing about 2,000 people every day. Much effort has been put into developing a vaccine, and while there have been some encouraging results, it's proved difficult to control the malaria parasites and their mosquito carriers. Now, a new vaccine actually makes… » 8/11/13 5:30pm 8/11/13 5:30pm

Researchers uncover key clues in the mystery of limb regeneration

Why do some salamanders regenerate limbs faster than others? A team of biologists has identified genetic factors that may dictate the rate at which limbs and organs re-grow in these incredible amphibians, shedding much-needed light on one of the most remarkable physiological feats in the animal kingdom. » 7/03/13 2:00pm 7/03/13 2:00pm

"Naked Darth Vader" is the most bizarre science press release we've…

As someone who deals with academic press releases on a frequent basis, I have to sympathize with journal and university press offices. They have to put together a press release that's attention grabbing enough to pique the interest of writers, is clear enough to explain the concepts to the untrained, but doesn't lose… » 8/24/12 7:30am 8/24/12 7:30am

Why doctors are treating allergies with parasitic worms

Hookworms are ghastly little creatures. Tiny, parasitic, and frighteningly invasive, these wriggling hell-spawn consistently rank among leading causes of morbidity in underdeveloped nations, abound in regions of the world suffering from poor sanitation, and have been described by various epidemiologists as "the… » 8/10/12 11:00am 8/10/12 11:00am

Unknown disease causes woman to grow fingernails instead of hair

In 2009, student Shanyna Isom experienced an allergic reaction to a steroid treatment she received for an asthma attack. Since then, she's been afflicted by a medical disorder that's left physicians at Johns Hopkins University stumped. What was initially mistaken for eczema and a staph infection has left Isom with… » 8/10/12 9:35am 8/10/12 9:35am

Our cells lock up Shigella bacteria in cages to stop it from killing us

Shigella is an incredibly nasty bacteria related to E coli and Salmonella, and it's only found in apes — including us humans. When we get infected, it can cause lethal dysentery, so we've evolved a cunning way of fighting off the bug, a technique which has only just been observed. The human cells attack the invading… » 12/04/11 11:00am 12/04/11 11:00am

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded posthumously…

Earlier today, the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann (pictured left and center, respectively) "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity;" and to Ralph M. Steinman "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive… » 10/03/11 3:35pm 10/03/11 3:35pm