By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Giving cheap aspirin to cancer patients may turbo-charge the effectiveness of expensive new medicines that help their immune systems fight tumors, experiments on mice suggest. Immunotherapy promises to revolutionize cancer care by offering a better, longer-lasting response with fewer adverse side effects than conventional treatment, but the new drugs do not work well in all cases. One reason is that cancer cells often produce large amounts of the molecule prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which turns down the immune system's normal attack response to tumor cells, according to scientists at London's new Francis Crick Institute.
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It was a creature that one scientist said resembled "a strange, gluttonous lizard that swallowed a small Frisbee." But a sophisticated skull analysis showed that this reptile called Eunotosaurus africanus that lived in southern Africa 260 million years ago is actually the earliest-known turtle, even though it had no shell, researchers said on Wednesday. Eunotosaurus, about a foot (30 cm) long, possessed wide and flat ribs that gave it a distinctly rounded and turtle-like profile. "Think of your neighborhood box turtle, but much more flattened and with scaly skin and a long tail," said New York Institute of Technology anatomy professor Gaberiel Bever, describing Eunotosaurus.
Two contractors hired to manage NASA's vehicle fleet at the Kennedy Space Center defrauded the agency of at least $387,000 for unnecessary tire replacements, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Florida. The complaint accuses URS Federal Services Inc of Maryland, owned by the global management services firm AECOM Technology Corp, and its subcontractor, Yang Enterprises of Florida, of systematically defrauding the government between 2009 and 2015 by filing more than 1,000 claims for undocumented and unreasonable early replacement of car tires.
By Jim Drury Ambitious plans to build a twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) tall space elevator tower have been announced by a Canadian space technology firm. Although this distance is a mere fraction of that reached in space missions, Thoth Technology says its ThothX Tower will make a major cost reduction in space flights by helping navigate the difficult first 50 kilometers (31 miles) of travel that traditionally requires rockets. Despite first being proposed more than a century ago, the idea of a space elevator has always appeared fanciful.
By Matthew and Stock Scientists from the University of Cambridge have built a mother robot that independently builds its own children and then tests their performance to inform the design of the next generation. By analyzing the data it collects from observing the child, the mother robot ensures that preferential traits are passed down to the next iteration, while letting weaknesses fall by the wayside. "We developed a robot that creates robots.