Archive for October, 2011

Got a shovel?

In the field of forensics, scientists can tell the story of how, when and where certain outdoor crimes occurred by analyzing the soil and its contents.  One of its contents includes DNA.  DNA from the victim or suspect can be recovered from the soil at a crime scene. In addition, DNA from other animals can be recovered in these same locations as animals slough off cells from their skin and waste.

According to a recent study in Molecular Ecology, scientists have shown that DNA fragments found in the soil can not only determine what species occupy a given area, but also More >

A Prize and a Passing

As some of you may have noticed, I have blogged about pancreatic cancer in the past because it is such a nasty type of cancer. Now, pancreatic cancer is in the news because, sadly, Ralph M. Steinman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his ground-breaking work on the immune system, died before he could receive the Award. Dr. Steinman primarily worked on immune cells, but his work also touched on cancer. The immune system monitors the body for both foreign invaders, like bacterial infections, and rogue cells that might become cancerous. The immune system is More >