Medicine

Telling people they’re getting a placebo does not stop it from working

Does giving a placebo require lying to a patient? This study concludes...no! Placebos still work even when the patient knows, at least for emotional distress.


Horseshoe crabs are critical to the biotech industry

Did you know that the modern US biomedical industry is built around the baby blue blood of horseshoe crabs? Come find out what scientists are doing to help…


Diet and exercise can shape how your mind ages

Dementia is a condition that many of us are all too familiar with within friends and family. Dementia itself is a blanket term that describes several conditions…


Can a Chinese medicinal herb Psoralea fructus build healthy bones?

Osteoblasts are cells that are responsible for bone formation. A lack of osteoblasts will cause osteoporosis – a disease that occurs when the body has too…


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Researchers in Germany and Switzerland used next generation sequencing to study an active aquaponics system. They sampled a biofilm from the side of the tank, the fish excrement, the plant roots, and the inside of the tank filter, called a biofilter.

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The latest cutting-edge water filtration technique comes from a biochemistry process that predates even dinosaurs. It involves harnessing aquaporins, a protein in cell membranes which are present in all living things.

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Nitrogen pollution is a big problem in standing water such as lakes and ponds. The nitrogen comes from many sources, often agricultural fertilizers. Some of this nitrogen is in the water, but the rest of it is actually trapped in the sediment at the bottom of the lake. You can see evidence of this pollution when a…

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Plants have five basic needs – food, water, air, light, and space. Outdoors, plants get everything they need from nature and some human intervention. However, when growing plants indoors, these five basic needs have to be provided artificially. Why would we want to grow plants indoors? The biggest reason is to be…

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A group of agricultural researchers at West Virginia University wanted to find out if it was possible to grow lettuce year round using high tunnel aquaponics instead of traditional greenhouse methods. Aquaponics is a term that combines “aquaculture,” the practice of farming fish as livestock in managed bodies of…

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For several decades scientists have been interested in the ability of psychrophilic (cold- loving) microbial communities to degrade the various components of crude oil, which is a process known as bioremediation. Because temperature has a direct impact on enzyme activity there is a concern that, at very low…

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Human-caused climate change, ocean acidification and species extinctions may eventually threaten the collapse of civilization, according to some scientists, while other people argue that for political or economic reasons we should allow industrial development to continue without restrictions. In a new paper, two…

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Harnessing ‘people power’ to manage fisheries in the developing world has significantly benefited local communities and coral reefs, according to new research. “Studies about the environment, and particularly fisheries, abound with bad news, but here, we see a glimmer of hope,” says lead author…