Challenging an old idea

Challenging an old idea

For more than 80 years, scientists have thought that cancer cells fuel their explosive growth by soaking up glucose from the blood, using its energy and atoms to crank out duplicate sets of cellular components. But is this really true? Work in a metabolomics laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis suggests not.
Shedding light on the day-night cycle

Shedding light on the day-night cycle

New research sheds light on how the rhythms of daily life are encoded in the brain. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that different groups of neurons, those charged with keeping time, become active at different times of day despite being on the same molecular clock.
The jaws of a nutcracker? Not this human ancestor

The jaws of a nutcracker? Not this human ancestor

Anthropologists from Washington University in St. Louis are among an international research team that found Australopithecus sediba did not have the jaw and tooth structure necessary to exist on a steady diet of hard foods. The findings are contrary to a 2012 study that gained international attention.
A bumper sticker inspires

A bumper sticker inspires

While at Washington University, Kelsi Singer noticed Bill McKinnon’s bumper sticker, “My other vehicle is on its way to Pluto.” Today, she works on the New Horizons mission and has her own sticker: “My other vehicle explored Pluto.”
The geography of Antarctica’s underside

The geography of Antarctica’s underside

Scientists were able to deploy ruggidized seismometers that could withstand intense cold in Antarctica only recently. A line of seismometers strung across the West Antarctic Rift Valley and the Marie Byrd Land have given geologists their first good look at the mantle beneath the ice and rocks, revealing areas of hot rock that might affect the behavior of the overlying ice sheet.
Fish that have their own fish finders

Fish that have their own fish finders

African fish called mormyrids communicate by means of electric signals. Fish in one group can glean detailed information from a signal’s waveform, but fish in another group are insensitive to waveform variations. Research at Washington University in St. Louis has uncovered the neurological basis for this difference in perception.
Functioning brain follows famous sand pile model

Functioning brain follows famous sand pile model

In 1999, Danish scientist Per Bak made the startling proposal that the brain remained stable for much the same reason a sand pile does; many small avalanches hold it at a balance point, where — in the brain’s case — information processing is optimized. Now scientists have shown for the first time that a brain receiving and processing sensory input follows these dynamics.
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