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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:39 pm

Scientists confirm existence of largest single volcano on earth

HOUSTON, Sept. 5, 2013 – A University of Houston (UH) professor led a team of scientists to uncover the largest single volcano yet documented on Earth. Covering an area roughly equivalent to the British Isles or the state of New Mexico, this volcano, dubbed the Tamu Massif, is nearly as big as the giant volcanoes of Mars, placing it among the largest in the Solar System.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:21 pm

Device offers promise of no brain tumor left behind

A tiny probe equipped with a laser might reveal what the human eye doesn’t always see: the difference between a tumor and healthy tissue. A new study suggests the device might provide brain surgeons with a roadmap as they go about the delicate business of removing tumors.

Surgeons try to excise as much of brain tumors as possible, but they risk harming the patient if they remove healthy tissue. “This problem,” says surgeon Daniel Orringer of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, “has vexed brain surgeons for as long as they have taken out tumors,” since the first half of the 20th century. “Basically, we do it by feel — the texture, color and vascularity of the tissues. Tumors tend to bleed a little more than normal brain.”

Although removing and testing tissue samples, or biopsies, can help to characterize the tissue at the tumor margins, it’s a cumbersome and time-consuming process. In the new study, Orringer and his colleagues instead exposed such borderline brain tissues to a weak laser. Then they used Raman spectroscopy, a technique that reveals vibrations of specific chemical bonds in tissues. The revved up form of Raman spectroscopy that the researchers used is sensitive enough to distinguish between proteins and lipids. Since tumors are higher in protein than healthy brain tissue, the authors designed the technique to present protein signatures as blue images on a screen, and lipids as green.

Using the device as a probe, the researchers examined human brain tumor cells that had been implanted in live mice. The device could distinguish where the new tumor ended and healthy tissue began. A separate analysis of tissue that had recently been removed from a human brain cancer patient similarly revealed stark differences between the tumor and normal tissue. The findings appear in the Sept. 4 Science Translational Medicine.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:29 pm

Copper Destroys Highly Infectious Norovirus
Sep. 9, 2013 — Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that copper and copper alloys rapidly destroy norovirus -- the highly-infectious sickness bug. Worldwide, norovirus is responsible

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:27 pm

Pretty scary...

Possibility of Selectively Erasing Unwanted Memories

Sep. 10, 2013 — The human brain is exquisitely adept at linking seemingly random details into a cohesive memory that can trigger myriad associations -- some good, some not so good. For recovering addicts and individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unwanted memories can be devastating. Former meth addicts, for instance, report intense drug cravings triggered by associations with cigarettes, money, even gum (used to relieve dry mouth), pushing them back into the addiction they so desperately want to leave.
Now, for the first time, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been able to erase dangerous drug-associated memories in mice and rats without affecting other more benign memories.

The surprising discovery, published this week online ahead of print by the journal Biological Psychiatry, points to a clear and workable method to disrupt unwanted memories while leaving the rest intact.


Scientists Create New Memories by Directly Changing the Brain
Sep. 10, 2013 — By studying how memories are made, UC Irvine neurobiologists created new, specific memories by direct manipulation of the brain, which could prove key to understanding and potentially resolving learning and memory disorders.

Research led by senior author Norman M. Weinberger, a research professor of neurobiology & behavior at UC Irvine, and colleagues has shown that specific memories can be made by directly altering brain cells in the cerebral cortex, which produces the predicted specific memory. The researchers say this is the first evidence that memories can be created by direct cortical manipulation.

Study results appeared in the August 29 issue of Neuroscience.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:33 pm

Guinness Record: World’s Thinnest Glass Is Just Two Atoms Thick

Sep. 12, 2013 — At just a molecule thick, it's a new record: The world's thinnest sheet of glass, a serendipitous discovery by scientists at Cornell and Germany's University of Ulm, is recorded for posterity in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The "pane" of glass, so impossibly thin that its individual silicon and oxygen atoms are clearly visible via electron microscopy, was identified in the lab of David A. Muller, professor of applied and engineering physics and director of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science.

The work that describes direct imaging of this thin glass was first published in January 2012 in Nano Letters, and the Guinness records officials took note. The record will now be published in the Guinness World Records 2014 Edition.

Just two atoms in thickness, the glass was an accidental discovery, Muller said. The scientists had been making graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms in a chicken wire crystal formation, on copper foils in a quartz furnace. They noticed some "muck" on the graphene, and upon further inspection, found it to be composed of the elements of everyday glass, silicon and oxygen.

They concluded that an air leak had caused the copper to react with the quartz, also made of silicon and oxygen. This produced the glass layer on the would-be pure graphene.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:39 pm




Image

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Re: Science News

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Kenya aquifers discovered in dry Turkana region

A huge water source has been discovered in the arid Turkana region of northern Kenya which could supply the country for 70 years, the government says.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:55 pm

Hmnn...

Birth of Earth's Continents: New Research Points to Crust Stacking, Rather Than Upwelling of Hot Material

Sep. 16, 2013 — New research led by a University of Calgary geophysicist provides strong evidence against continent formation above a hot mantle plume, similar to an environment that presently exists beneath the Hawaiian Islands.

The analysis, published this month in Nature Geoscience, indicates that the nuclei of Earth's continents formed as a byproduct of mountain-building processes, by stacking up slabs of relatively cold oceanic crust. This process created thick, strong 'keels' in Earth's mantle that supported the overlying crust and enabled continents to form.

The scientific clues leading to this conclusion derived from computer simulations of the slow cooling process of continents, combined with analysis of the distribution of diamonds in the deep Earth.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:20 pm

I'm dumb so it might not have changed anything...

Novel Biomarker Identified for Diabetes Risk
Sep. 16, 2013 — Researchers at the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a biomarker that can predict diabetes risk up to 10 years before onset of the disease.

Thomas J. Wang, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiology at Vanderbilt, along with colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, report their findings in the October issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The researchers conducted a study of 188 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes mellitus and 188 individuals without diabetes who were followed for 12 years as participants in the Framingham Heart Study.

"From the baseline blood samples, we identified a novel biomarker, 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA), that was higher in people who went on to develop diabetes than in those who did not," Wang said. "That information was above and beyond knowing their blood sugar at baseline, knowing whether they were obese, or had other characteristics that put them at risk."

Individuals who had 2-AAA concentrations in the top quartile had up to a fourfold risk of developing diabetes during the 12-year follow-up period compared with people in the lowest quartile.

"The caveat with these new biomarkers is that they require further evaluation in other populations and further work to determine how this information might be used clinically," Wang said.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:24 pm

Damn you sugar!!!

Specific Sugar Molecule Causes Growth of Cancer Cells

Sep. 16, 2013 — The process of glycosylation, where sugar molecules are attached to proteins, has long been of interest to scientists, particularly because certain sugar molecules are present in very high numbers in cancer cells. It now turns out that these sugar molecules are not only present but actually aid the growth of the malignant cells. In the long term this discovery is an important step towards a cure that can stop the growth of cancer cells.


I guess that's good...

Extremely Potent, Improved Derivatives of Successful Anticancer Drug Created

Sep. 16, 2013 — Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a way to make dramatic improvements to the cancer cell-killing power of vinblastine, one of the most successful chemotherapy drugs of the past few decades. The team's modified versions of vinblastine showed 10 to 200 times greater potency than the clinical drug. Even more significantly, these new compounds overcome the drug resistance that emerges upon treatment relapse, which renders continued or subsequent vinblastine treatment ineffective in some patients.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:32 pm

Ewwwww...

Whale earwax a time capsule for stress and toxins

Wax inside a whale’s ear stores all sorts of useful information on the animal’s exposure to pollutants and stress levels throughout life, researchers have found.

The team, led by Sascha Usenko, a environmental scientist also at Baylor University, extracted an earplug from a whale killed in a collision with a ship off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, in 2007 and found it had come into contact with several organic pollutants and contained high levels of the stress hormone cortisol as it reached sexual maturity.

“It’s difficult to recover time-specific information on chemical exposure for almost any animal,” says Stephen Trumble, a biologist at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and a co-author of the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week1. That is especially true of the relatively rare blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), the world’s largest inhabitant.


In the article, a piece of earwax 25.4 cm long...

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:46 pm

Can Flow Batteries Replace Diesel Generators?

In Sandy Lake, Ontario (population 2,650), the diesel fuel that powers this remote community a thousand miles northwest of Toronto costs around $9 a gallon. And even then, in its harsh northern climate, it provides electricity only some of the time.

"There's always problems, there's always power outages," grumbles Harry Meekis, capital projects manager for the Sandy Lake First Nation. "Diesel is the only source of service that we have right now. Whether that's affordable or not, that's the only source we have," he added.

Needless to say, they're looking for alternatives, and a Canadian mining company thinks it has found one in a new battery using the little-known metal vanadium.
Without any feasible storage options, renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels can generate power only when the wind blows and the sun shines. With storage, the power could be stored and distributed whenever needed, one of the reasons storage technology is being described as the "holy grail" in renewable energy.

Multiple battery technologies are being experimented with right now, including lithium and cadmium flow batteries, but Vancouver, British Columbia-based American Vanadium thinks vanadium flow batteries could have several distinct advantages, including durability and scalability.

The battery relies on an electrolyte compound made of a mixture of vanadium, a metal commonly used to harden steel, and sulfuric acid in a container that can continuously charge and discharge. Unlike most batteries, the electrolyte would not degrade over time because the anode and cathode aren't made out of competing material. And, since it's mostly made of water, it's nontoxic and can't explode, according to Ron MacDonald, executive chairman of American Vanadium.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:12 pm

Novel Gene Discovery Could Lead to New HIV Treatments

Sep. 18, 2013 — A team of researchers led by King's College London has for the first time identified a new gene which may have the ability to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from spreading after it enters the body.

Published in Nature today, the study is the first to identify a role for the human MX2 gene in inhibiting HIV. Researchers say this gene could be a new target for effective, less toxic treatments where the body's own natural defence system is mobilised against the virus.

The work was funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. The study was also supported by the Wellcome Trust and European Commission.

Scientists carried out experiments on human cells in the lab, introducing the virus to two different cell lines and observing the effects. In one cell line the MX2 gene was expressed or 'switched on', and in the other it was not, or 'silenced'. They saw that in the cells where MX2 was silenced, the virus replicated and spread. In the cells where the MX2 gene was expressed, the virus was not able to replicate and new viruses were not produced.

The work was led by Dr Caroline Goujon and Professor Mike Malim at the Department of Infectious Diseases, King's College London. Professor Malim said: 'This is an extremely exciting finding which advances our understanding of how HIV virus interacts with the immune system and opens up opportunities to develop new therapies to treat the disease. Until now we knew very little about the MX2 gene, but now we recognise both its potent anti-viral function and a key point of vulnerability in the life cycle of HIV.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:09 pm

Hmnn...

Ingredient of Household Plastic Found in Space

Sep. 30, 2013 — NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn's moon Titan.

This is the first definitive detection of the plastic ingredient on any moon or planet, other than Earth.

A small amount of propylene was identified in Titan's lower atmosphere by Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS). This instrument measures the infrared light, or heat radiation, emitted from Saturn and its moons in much the same way our hands feel the warmth of a fire.

Propylene is the first molecule to be discovered on Titan using CIRS. By isolating the same signal at various altitudes within the lower atmosphere, researchers identified the chemical with a high degree of confidence. Details are presented in a paper in the Sept. 30 edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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