Pancreatic Cancer Test; Bonobos Talk Like Babies; Yeast Cleans Toxic Waste

Posted August 5th, 2015 at 8:10 pm (UTC-4)
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Simple Urine Test for Pancreatic Cancer Possible

Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that high levels of three specific proteins in urine can indicate early-stage pancreatic cancer.

They say that their discovery could lead to an inexpensive and noninvasive test to screen people who are at high risk of developing the disease, which is almost always fatal.

The research team at Bart’s Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London found that the particular three-protein ‘signature’ can detect the most common form of pancreatic cancer when still in its early stages.

World’s Glaciers Melting Faster Than Ever

A new study shows that the world’s glaciers are melting faster than ever.

An international team of researchers led by the World Glacier Monitoring Service have completed a comprehensive analysis of data on global glacial changes for the last 120 years.

The researchers at the University of Zurich find that glaciers today are losing between one half to one meter of ice thickness each year.

Even if climate remains stable, the study indicates that glaciers in many parts of the world will very likely suffer further ice loss.

Bonobos Make Sounds Like Human Infants

A new study provides evidence that bonobos, our closest relatives in the animal world, can vocalize in a way that is similar to human infants.

After conducting their study on wild bonobos, researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, and the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, found that these primates produce a call type, they call the ‘peep.’

Their research indicated that the sound of the bonobos ‘peeps’ varied depending on context, such those made when alarmed, during feeding, traveling, resting or grooming.

These sound variations were found to be similar to those made by human infants.

New Yeast Strain Could Help Toxic Waste Cleanup

Russian microbiologists have found that a new strain of yeast called Yarrowia lipolytica Y-3492 was quite effective in treating waste water that contain certain chemical compounds.

Conducting their research at peat bogs in Western Siberia, the scientists from Kazan Federal University found that this new yeast strain was effective in eliminating nitro compounds. These organic nitro compounds are commonly used in such products as explosives, herbicides, insecticides, polymers, dyes, and some medications.

The scientists focused on a waste product called trinitrotoluene (TNT), which is known to be a serious health threat.

High amounts of this nitro compound waste are produced by industries such as oil refineries and military equipment manufacturers.

Study: Religious Affiliation Low in Areas With Beautiful Weather and Scenery

Can being surrounded with beautiful weather and scenery make you less likely to join a religious congregation?

Researchers from Baylor University, a Christian school in Texas, have found that U.S. counties that have more beautiful weather and scenery also happen to have lower numbers of people affiliated with religious groups.

Beautiful weather and surroundings, according to the researchers, could be providing the kind of ‘spiritual resources’ to people that may be actually competing with traditional religious groups.

Rick Pantaleo
Rick Pantaleo maintains the Science World blog and writes stories for VOA’s web and radio on a variety of science, technology and health topics. He also occasionally appears on various VOA programs to talk about the latest scientific news. Rick joined VOA in 1992 after a 20 year career in commercial broadcasting.

One response to “Pancreatic Cancer Test; Bonobos Talk Like Babies; Yeast Cleans Toxic Waste”

  1. TAPAS GOSWAMI says: