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Stink bomb gas puts mice into suspended animation

April 21, 2005

Suspended animation has been deliberately induced in a species of mouse which does not naturally hibernate, using hydrogen sulphide.

If a similar response could be triggered in humans, there would be major healthcare benefits and the futuristic idea of putting astronauts into suspended animation on long-haul space flights could move a step closer to reality.

Exercise changes structure and function of heart

April 23, 2008

Harvard University Health Services and Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have found that just 90 days of vigorous athletic training produce significant changes in the heart’s structure and function, and that the type of change varies with the type of exercise performed.

Both strength athletes (football players) and endurance athletes (rowers) had significant overall increases in the size of their hearts, but there also were significant functional differences. The relaxation… read more

UK gives go-ahead for human cloning

March 6, 2002

The British government has approved research on embryonic stem cells for developing new treatments for disease and for therapeutic cloning, involving the cloning of embryos up to 14 days old.

NASA Reproduces A Building Block Of Life In Laboratory

November 11, 2009

NASA Ames scientists studying the origin of life have non-biologically reproduced uracil (a component of RNA) in the laboratory, under conditions found in space, where pyrimidine (frozen in water ice) exposed to ultraviolet radiation produces uracil.

Earth Has Become Brighter, but No One Is Sure Why

May 6, 2005

Reversing a decades-long trend toward “global dimming,” Earth’s surface has become brighter since 1990, scientists are reporting today.

The brightening means that more sunlight – and thus more heat – is reaching the ground. That could partly explain the record-high global temperatures reported in the late 1990′s, and it could accelerate the planet’s warming trend.

Study reveals how neurons generate movement

April 25, 2008

University of California San Francisco researchers have learned how neurons fire when orchestrating visual tracking.

They found that individual neurons do not fire independently across the entire duration of a motor function, as has been traditionally thought. Instead, the neurons coordinate their activity with other neurons.

Individual neurons encode different aspects of behavior, sometimes controlling eye-velocity fluctuations, but the entire population of neurons collectively controls the entire movement… read more

A Dim View of a ‘Posthuman Future’

April 7, 2002

In a new book, “Our Posthuman Future,” political theorist Francis Fukuyama warns that biotechnology may disruptively alter human nature.Fukuyama, who is also the author of “The End of History and the Last Man,” is concerned about genetic engineering of the human germline, mood-altering drugs, and major increases in human longevity, all of which could change society and alter the balance of human nature and cause us to “lose our humanity,”… read more

YouTube to Help Sites Gather News Clips

November 17, 2009

YouTube has signed up NPR, Politico, The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle for YouTube Direct, a new method for managing video submissions from citizen journalists.

How aging-related brain diseases affect the brain

October 11, 2011

Synapses in Drosophila overgrow when exposed to oxidative stress. Left:Drosophila synapse from a normal animal; right: synapse after exposure to excessive oxidative stress. (Credit: S.Sweeney)

Research by biologists at the University of York and Hull York Medical School has revealed that under stressful conditions, such as during neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, resulting high-energy forms of damaging oxygen cause synapses to grow excessively, potentially contributing to dysfunction.

The scientists studied the responses using a model of lysosomal storage disease, an inherited incurable childhood neurodegeneration where enlarged… read more

NEMS Device Detects The Mass Of A Single DNA Molecule

May 23, 2005

Cornell University researchers have built a device that can detect a single DNA molecule.

The device can be combined with microfluidics to perform genetic analysis of very small samples of DNA, even the amount present in a single cell. Current techniques for genetic analysis require small samples of DNA to be replicated many times through PCR amplification.

The researchers believe their technology could be used to identify even… read more

Computerized Combat Glove

April 29, 2008
(Brittany Sauser)

RallyPoint, a startup based in Cambridge, MA, has developed a sensor-embedded glove that allows the soldier to easily view and navigate digital maps, activate radio communications, and send commands without having to take his or her hand off their weapon.

It includes four push-button sensors, a mouse funtion, three accelerometers, and an USB connection.

First permanent wireless retinal prothesis implanted

April 30, 2002

Ophthalmologists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have implanted the first permanent wireless microelectronic retinal prothesis.
Visual signals from a video camera will be sent to the 16-electrode intraocular electrode array attached to the retina via a receiver implanted behind the patient’s ear.

Researchers hope the retinal prosthesis, intended to stand in for the damaged retinal cells in people suffering from such blinding… read more

How the Brain Filters out Distracting Thoughts to Focus on a Single Bit of Information

November 24, 2009

A mechanism that the brain uses to filter out distracting thoughts to focus on a single bit of information has been discovered by researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

They found that the hippocampus selectively tunes in to different frequencies of gamma waves coming from different brain areas. The lower gamma wave… read more

Scientists uncover previously hidden network that regulates cancer genes

October 18, 2011

Net One

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and two other institutions have uncovered a vast gene regulatory network (“mPR network“) in mammalian cells that could explain why there is such genetic variability in cancer.

The researchers say the findings could broaden inquiry into how tumors develop and grow, who is at risk for cancer, and even inactivate key cancer molecules.

“The discovery… read more

Fertilizer from the stars

June 1, 2005

Gamma-ray bursts from nearby supernovas of giant stars or a collision between neutron stars could have showered our planet with nitrate, an essential nutrient for plants, helping plants colonize the land about 440 million years ago.

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