Science News: Week of June 14, 2009

Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of June 14, 2009.

Climate Change is already affecting the United States: A new government report says climate change’s measurable effects include drought and erosion.

Feather growth limits size of flying birds: Time required for moulting may be a more important factor than weight.

Major breakthrough in early detection and prevention of AMD: Kentucky researcher identifies CCR3 as key molecular target in leading cause of age-related blindness.

Nanocrystals reveal activity within cells: Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created bright, stable and bio-friendly nanocrystals that act as individual investigators of activity within a cell.

Not 1, but 2 kinds of males found in the invasive round goby: Scientists have found the existence of two types of males of a fiercely invasive fish spreading through the Great Lakes, which may provide answers as to how they rapidly reproduce.

Origins of the swine flu virus: Researchers use evolutionary history to trace the early days of the pandemic.

To read the study:

Smith, G., Vijaykrishna, D., Bahl, J., Lycett, S., Worobey, M., Pybus, O., Ma, S., Cheung, C., Raghwani, J., Bhatt, S., Peiris, J., Guan, Y., & Rambaut, A. (2009). Origins and evolutionary genomics of the 2009 swine-origin H1N1 influenza A epidemic Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature08182

Plump youngsters show heart-y risks: Even fat 7-year olds show they’re developing a risk of blood clots and other impacts of cardiovascular disease.

Powerful nutrient cocktail can put kids with Crohn’s into remission: Tel Aviv University researcher promotes liquid nutrition to combat inflammatory bowel disease.

Report on Gene for Depression Is Now Faulted: The celebrated finding that a single gene helps determine one’s risk of depression has not held up to scrutiny.

To read the study:

Caspi, A. (2003). Influence of Life Stress on Depression: Moderation by a Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene Science, 301 (5631), 386-389 DOI: 10.1126/science.1083968

TRAPping proteins that work together inside living cells: New way to probe for proteins working together reveals never-before-seen details of RNA polymerase in bacteria.

To read the study:

ChemBioChem, 10 (9), 1507-1518 DOI: 10.1002/cbic.200900029