Production of new nerve cells in the human brain is linked to learning and memory, according to a new study from the University of Florida (UF). The research is the first to show such a link in humans. The findings, published online and in an upcoming print issue of the journal Brain, provide clues about processes involved in age- and health-related memory loss and reveal potential cellular targets for drug therapy.… read more
August 28, 2006
Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have discovered a molecular mechanism that maintains memories in the brain. In an article in Science magazine, they demonstrate that by inhibiting the molecule they can erase long-term memories, much as you might erase a computer disc.
Furthermore, erasing the memory from the brain does not prevent the ability to re-learn the memory, much as a cleaned computer disc may be re-used. This… read more
June 3, 2008
Weizmann Institute physicists have demonstrated, for the first time, the existence of “quasiparticles” with one quarter the charge of an electron. This finding could be a first step toward creating exotic types of quantum computers that might be powerful, yet highly stable.
Quarter-charge quasiparticles have been sought as the basis of the theoretical “topographical quantum computer.” When particles such as electrons, photons, or even those with odd fractional charges… read more
December 21, 2007
UC Irvine scientists have found a new way to sort stem cells that should be quicker, easier and more cost-effective than current methods.
The technique could in the future expedite therapies for people with conditions ranging from brain and spinal cord damage to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
A suspected genetic relationship between the dental disease periodontitis and coronary heart disease (CHD) has been confirmed by reseachers at the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology, University of Kiel, Germany.
Both CHD and periodontitis are propagated by the same risk factors — most importantly, smoking, diabetes and obesity.
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a potentially important new therapeutic target that could prevent stress-related cell death, a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, as well as heart attack and stroke.
The scientists showed they could disrupt a specific interaction of a critical enzyme that would prevent cell death without harming other important enzyme functions. c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK), pronounced “junk,” has been… read more
December 11, 2009
Princeton University scientists have produced a systematic listing of the ways a particular cancerous cell has “gone wrong,” pinpointing the alterations in cancer pathways to reveal the underlying regulatory code in DNA.
The findings give researchers a powerful tool that eventually could make possible new, more targeted therapies for patients.
Employing modern methods of systems biology, a computer program sorts through the behavior of each of 20,000 genes… read more
July 8, 2008
Stanford University researchers have found a “dimmer switch” that stops a gene from sending protein signals that promote cancer.
When the Myc gene makes too much of the protein Myc, cells lose the ability to kill themselves when they’re damaged, and instead keep growing. The researchers found that by turning down the Myc switch, they could shrink tumor cells to normal sizes and restore their ability to die.… read more
February 19, 2015
Limpet teeth might be the strongest natural material known, with biological structures so strong (3.0 to 6.5 GPa tensile strength) they could be copied to make future cars, boats, and planes, a new study by researchers from the University of Portsmouth has found.
The research was published (open access) Wednesday Feb. 18 in the Royal Society journal Interface.
“Until now, we thought that spider… read more
May 15, 2002
Scientists at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs have developed a microscopy technique that can image individual atoms within a silicon sheet, allowing for precision analysis of dopant distribution.
As transistor sizes shrink, they require higher concentrations of electrons to work and are more sensitive to problems with dopant distribution.
The Lucent microscope shoots a narrow beam of high-energy electrons and measures deflection angles to locate individual atoms.
September 25, 2007
Rice University scientists have captured the first optical images of carbon nanotubes inside inside living fruit flies, using near-infrared fluorescent imaging.
Based on their assays, the team estimates that only about one in 100 million nanotubes passed through the gut wall and became incorporated into the flies’ organs.
January 21, 2003
For years, connecting university and research-center supercomputers so they could share resources simply wasn’t feasible. New standards are changing that and opening the door to new research possibilities.
October 19, 2009
By directly manipulating the activity of individual neurons, University of Oxford and University of Virginia scientists have given flies false memories of a bad experience, enabling scientists to now obtain a level of evidence about brain function that was impossible before.
To pinpoint the exact 12 neurons responsible for this memory among thousands in the fly brain, the researchers used a technique they developed called optogenetics, in which a… read more
September 13, 2007
There is new hope that Earth, if not the life on it, might survive an apocalypse five billion years from now.
That is when, scientists say, the Sun will run out of hydrogen fuel and swell temporarily more than 100 times in diameter into a so-called red giant, swallowing Mercury and Venus.
Astronomers are announcing that they have discovered a planet that seems to have survived the puffing… read more
June 16, 2005
Scientists have discovered a way to create new mice brain cells in a dish, using stem cells.
If the discovery also applied to humans, it could be possible to generate enough of a patient’s own stem cells to restore damaged brain function. Since the recipient of a transplant would also be the donor, the procedure could also be carried out without the need for immune system suppressing drugs.