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National parks look after nature's elegance for our leisure, yet additionally they comprise many of the best open air technological know-how labs on the planet. during this factor, you'll get an up-close examine key study initiatives underway at 10 diverse parks round the usa. may well venomous creepy-crawlies carry the keys to effective, non-addictive painkillers? See why biochemist Glenn King is very happy to paintings with dinner plate-sized tarantulas and lethal scorpions.

Then, see how a doctor's gamble within the nineteenth century lead the way for a brand new melanoma therapy. conversing of likelihood, are most sensible poker gamers and different gamblers expert or just fortunate? And one other burning query: Are extraterrestrial beings in the back of a star's loopy gentle styles? You'll locate solutions to those questions and extra contained in the April factor of notice.

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April 2016 DISCOVER 51 COLEY VINDICATED Over the next several decades, researchers stuck their toes into the murky and temperamental waters of immunotherapy. Since the 1960s, the medical community has gone back and forth as to whether the immune system could be made to launch an anti-tumor offensive. It’s only relatively recently that researchers have inally conirmed that, yes, our immune system is indeed programmed to ight cancer. Coley’s daughter, Helen Coley Nauts, deserves a lot of credit for keeping her father’s legacy relevant.

Surveys. ” he says. He and his colleagues use Grinnell’s data to understand how climate change has affected the distribution of these species. So far, after conducting studies in Yosemite, Sequoia, King’s Canyon and Lassen Volcanic national parks, they’ve found a perplexing jumble of migrations. While the team observed some consistent upward shifts in range to cooler areas, they also found that some species didn’t move, and that others even migrated downslope. “Climate change is lumpy,” says Beissinger, who is also studying more arid sites such as Death Valley, Mojave and Joshua Tree.

HARVESTING VENOM is easier when working with larger spiders, which secrete the toxin — then collected noninvasively with a pipette — in sufficient amounts for researchers to analyze and test. SPIDERS, CENTIPEDES AND SCORPIONS Not just any venomous creature will do to create sodium channel blockers. “The animals that we’re solely focused on are those that have neurotoxin venoms,” says King. Snake and reptile venoms typically don’t work for this type of research because most of them function as hemotoxins (which destroy red blood cells) and target components of the cardiovascular system, King says.

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