Drug Targets Offer Hope for Less Painful, More Survivable Pancreatic Cancer

Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists have identified drug targets that could one day make pancreatic cancer less painful — and more survivable — by knocking out key molecular signals. The signals form an essential part of the process by which cancer cells invade and spread through nearby nerves, wounding nerve endings.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:

New Drug Targets Could Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Pain, Improve Outcomes

Rude Burials Might Have Fueled Blood Feuds Among Ancient Sonorans

Photo of cacti at sunset
Photo by Tomas Castelazo.

Bodies buried  in unusual postures and without funeral rites could suggest a history of revenge and blood feud in certain ancient Sonoran Desert cultures, according to a paper in the August 2016 edition of Current Anthropology.

The authors say a rude burial would have deeply distressed the victim’s family and community — and sent a message of dominance and defiance. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:

Haphazard Burials May Suggest Revenge, Blood Feud Among Sonoran Desert Cultures

Genetic Radiation Exposure Test Prepares for FDA Evaluation

Seventy-plus years into the Atomic Age, the United States still lacks a good radiation-dosage test.

But the ASU Radiation Biodosimetry Test (ARad), a device being developed by Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, could soon help doctors triage victims of a nuclear attack by gauging their exposure to ionizing radiation via changes in gene expression.

ARad is one of only a few tests under development that can detect radiation exposure levels. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:

ASU Radiation Test Uses Genes To Triage Nuclear Attack Victims

Beyond the Shadow of a Drought: Southwest U.S. Megadrought Nears Certainty

A dry riverbed in California.
Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The risk of a severe, multi-decade drought hitting the Southwest United States by the end of the century could reach as high as 99 percent if greenhouse gas emissions continue along current lines, says a paper by a team of scientists from Cornell University, Columbia University and NASA.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Worst Case: Megadrought Risk Near 99 Percent Under Current Greenhouse Emissions

Climate Change Expands Western U.S. Forest Fires — With Plenty of Help

Smoke from Arizona's Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.
Smoke from Arizona’s Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.

Human-induced climate change has doubled forest fire damage in the West over the past 30 years, says a study published online early by the journal PNAS. But human effects on fire extend far beyond climate.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Western US Forest Fires Expand, Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

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