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Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health

May 28, 2007

Research from Sheffield University suggests a common preservative found in soft drinks can switch off vital parts of DNA in mitochondria, and eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

E211, known as sodium benzoate, is a preservative used for decades by the global carbonated drinks industry. It has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin… read more

Crisis Alert in Critical State

August 25, 2004

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a mess. “Unfortunately, I think it will take a major catastrophe where hundreds of thousands of people are killed for people to understand what (we) have been saying,” said Jim Gabbert, who oversees California’s Emergency Alert System.

The FCC plans to rebuild the EAS, sending warnings to computers, PDAs, cell phones, and is considering the idea of automatically turning on TVs and radios… read more

Brain works better with neurological disease

November 26, 2008

Huntington’s disease improves ability at some cognitive tests, possibly because neurons become abnormally sensitive to the neurotransmitter glutamate, which is vital for sensory discrimination.

The finding by the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Germany strengthens the glutamate theory and suggests that the cognitive tasks be used as a test for drugs that block the glutamate response.

Eating Radiation: A New Form of Energy?

June 4, 2007

In a bizarre alternative to photosynthesis, some fungi transform radiation into energy to use as food for growth–with the role of chlorophyll taken by melanin, a chemical also found in human skin.

The fungi might be used as a biofuel to be grown in high-altitude regions.

Internet’s Speed Increases As It Turns 35 Years Old

September 7, 2004

Teams from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and CERN have sent 859 gigabytes of data in less than 17 minutes across 16,000 kilometers of computer networks at roughly 6.63 gigabits per second on the super high-speed Internet2 network, used for education and research.

Back-Button to the Future

December 5, 2008

A new browser tool called Zoetrope from Adobe Systems allows users to browse backward through time.

Zoetrope will recognize a price as it goes up or down and will show the results as a graph. It’s also possible to draw lenses on different websites and sync them in order to carry out a historical comparison.

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New implant may ‘bring music to the deaf’

June 13, 2007

A simple change to the design of “bionic ear” implants dramatically improves the quality of sound they provide, say University of Michigan and University of California, San Francisco researchers who have tested a prototype on cats.

The new device bypasses the cochlear and instead connects directly to the nerves that carry information to the brain.

Deep brain stimulation may hold promise for mild Azheimer’s disease

May 8, 2012

Deep brain stimulation (credit: Parkinson's UK)

A study at the University of Toronto on a handful of people with suspected mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) suggests that a device that sends continuous electrical impulses to specific “memory” regions of the brain appears to increase neuronal activity.

Results of the study using deep brain stimulation, a therapy already used in some patients with Parkinson’s disease and depression, may offer hope for at least some with AD,… read more

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes grown on dendrimer-based catalyst at lowest temperature

September 17, 2004

Bradley Fahlman of the Central Michigan University chemistry department has grown multiwalled carbon nanotubes on a dendrimer-based catalyst at 175 degrees Celsius, the lowest-reported temperature to date. Traditional methods involve temperatures between 600 and 1000 degrees.

This is the first instance of growing nanotubes from a dendrimer at temperatures low enough to retain individual links between nanotubes and dendrimers. The discovery could lead to many industrial applications.… read more

New Ways to Boost Memory

December 11, 2008

EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, a drug company based in Watertown, MA, is developing histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (to enable gene expression) that are more potent than existing ones and can easily enter the brain; its lead HDAC inhibitor can enhance both short- and long-term memory in mice.

While scientists don’t yet know exactly how this epigenetic regulation affects memory, the theory is that certain triggers, such as exercise, visual stimulation, or… read more

Xerox Rolls Out Semantics-Based Search

June 21, 2007

Xerox Corp. says its new search engine based on semantics will analyze the meaning behind questions and documents to help researchers find information more quickly.

Scientists Bringing ‘Table Top’ Particle Accelerators a Step Closer

September 30, 2004

Three research teams announced new developments in producing relativistic electron beams using laser-produced plasmas to accelerate the beams.

The beams have a narrow energy spread and are focusable. These new developments could help to shrink the size and cost of future particle accelerators for fundamental physics experiments and applications in materials and biomedicine. Laser electron accelerators could eventually fit into a university basement.

All three research teams published… read more

Science’s Breakthrough Of The Year: Cellular Reprogramming

December 22, 2008

In its annual list of the year’s top ten scientific breakthroughs, the journal Science has given top honors to research that produced “made-to-order” cell lines by reprogramming cells from ill patients.

The cell lines and techniques to produce them offer long-sought tools for understanding — and hopefully someday curing — difficult-to-study diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and type 1 diabetes.

Other scientific achievements named include direct detection of… read more

Canadian Mother Freezes Own Eggs For Infertile Seven Year Old Daughter

July 5, 2007

A Canadian mother has had her eggs frozen for her daughter, who is seven years old and likely to be infertile when she grows up.

Should the girl use one of her mother’s eggs to have a baby later in life, she would effectively give birth to her own half brother or sister.

New Method Identifies Chromosome Changes in Malignant Cells

October 13, 2004

Princeton scientists have invented a fast and reliable method for identifying alterations to chromosomes that occur when cells become malignant. It quickly analyzes an entire genome and produces a reliable list of chromosome sections that have been either deleted or added.

The technique helps to show how cells modify their own genetic makeup and may allow cancer treatments to be tailored more precisely to a patient’s disease.… read more

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