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Posts Tagged ‘Sciencedaily’

Physical Fitness Improves Spatial Memory, Increases Size Of Brain Structure

Active senior couple running in the woods. (Credit: iStockphoto/Marcel Mooij)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2009) — When it comes to the hippocampus, a brain structure vital to certain types of memory, size matters. Numerous studies have shown that bigger is usually better. Now researchers have found that elderly adults who are more physically fit tend to have bigger hippocampi and better spatial memory than those who are less fit.

The study, in the journal Hippocampus, shows that hippocampus size in physically fit adults accounts for about 40 percent of their advantage in spatial memory.


From Stem Cells To New Organs: Scientists Cross Threshold In Regenerative Medicine

Computer-rendered image of human organs. New research suggests that bioengineered replacement organs may be closer thanks to a newly developed matrix on which stem cells can form a three-dimensional organ. (Credit: iStockphoto/Sebastian Kaulitzki)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 2, 2009) — By now, most people have read stories about how to “grow your own organs” using stem cells is just a breakthrough away. Despite the hype, this breakthrough has been elusive.

A new report brings bioengineered organs a step closer, as scientists from Stanford and New York University Langone Medical Center describe how they were able to use a “scaffolding” material extracted from the groin area of mice on which stem cells from blood, fat, and bone marrow grew. This advance clears two major hurdles to bioengineered replacement organs, namely a matrix on which stem cells can form a three-dimensional organ and transplant rejection.


Lower Increases In Global Temperatures Could Lead To Greater Impacts Than Previously Thought, Study Finds

The “burning embers diagram”: Risks from climate change by reason for concern, 2001 (left) compared with 2007. (Credit: Smith et al., PNAS)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2009) — A new study by scientists updating some of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 Third Assessment Report finds that even a lower level of increase in average global temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions could cause significant problems in five key areas of global concern.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is titled “Assessing Dangerous Climate Change Through an Update of the IPCC ‘Reasons for Concern.”


HIV Is Evolving To Evade Human Immune Responses

Rendering of HIV infecting a cell. (Credit: iStockphoto/Sebastian Kaulitzki)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2009) — HIV is evolving rapidly to escape the human immune system, an international study led by Oxford University has shown. The findings, published in Nature, demonstrate the challenge involved in developing a vaccine for HIV that keeps pace with the changing nature of the virus.

‘The extent of the global HIV epidemic gives us a unique opportunity to examine in detail the evolutionary struggle being played out in front of us between an important virus and humans,’ says lead researcher Professor Philip Goulder of the Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research at Oxford University.


Carbon Dioxide Drop And Global Cooling Caused Antarctic Glacier To Form

Projection of the what the first Antarctic ice sheet might have looked like as the global climate cooled about 33.5 million years ago. Antarctica is in gray, with the ice sheet shown in meters of ice thickness. The ice sheet is continental in scale, but somewhat smaller than today. The estimate is based on prior modeling work of DeConto and Pollard and is supported by this new data study. (Credit: DeConto & Pollard / Nature)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2009) — Global climate rapidly shifted from a relatively ice-free world to one with massive ice sheets on Antarctica about 34 million years ago. What happened? What changed? A team of scientists led by Yale geologists offers a new perspective on the nature of changing climatic conditions across this greenhouse-to-icehouse transition — one that refutes earlier theories and has important implications for predicting future climate changes.

Detailed in the February 27 issue of Science, their data disproves a long-held idea that massive ice growth in the Antarctic was accompanied by little to no global temperature change.


Additional Evidence That Potato Chips Should Be Eaten Only In Moderation

Acrylamide, found in foods such as potato chips and french fries, may increase the risk of heart disease. Acrylamide has been linked previously to nervous system disorders and possibly to cancer. (Credit: iStockphoto/Alexander Zhiltsov)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2009) — A new study published in the March 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Marek Naruszewicz and colleagues from Poland suggests that acrylamide from foods may increase the risk of heart disease. Acrylamide has been linked previously to nervous system disorders and possibly to cancer.

After ingesting large amounts of potato chips providing about 157 micrograms of acrylamide daily for four weeks, the participants had adverse changes in oxidized LDL, inflammatory markers and antioxidants that help the body eliminate acrylamide—all of which may increase the risk of heart disease.


Genetic Discovery Could Lead To Advances In Dental Treatment

A normal mouse tooth on the left, where ameloblast cells that produce enamel are glowing in red. On the right is a tooth with the Ctip2 gene deleted, and little enamel has been able to form. (Credit: Image courtesy of Oregon State University)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 24, 2009) — Researchers have identified the gene that ultimately controls the production of tooth enamel, a significant advance that could some day lead to the repair of damaged enamel, a new concept in cavity prevention, and restoration or even the production of replacement teeth.

The gene, called Ctip2, is a “transcription factor” that was already known to have several functions – in immune response, and the development of skin and the nervous system. Scientists can now add tooth development to that list.

The findings were just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Most Detailed Lunar Map Suggests Little Water Inside Moon

An international team of researchers has created the most detailed map of the Moon yet, using the laser altimeter (LALT) instrument on board the Japanese Selenological and Engineering Explorer satellite. C.K. Shum, professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, is a member of the LALT science team and a co-author of a paper appearing in the February 13 issue of the journal Science. (Credit: Image copyright Science/AAAS)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2009) — The most detailed map of the Moon ever created has revealed never-before-seen craters at the lunar poles.

The map is also revealing secrets about the Moon’s interior — and hinting about Mars’s interior as well.

C.K. Shum, professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, is part of the international research team that published the map in the February 13 issue of the journal Science.

“The surface can tell us a lot about what’s happening inside the Moon, but until now mapping has been very limited,” Shum said. “For instance, with this new high-resolution map, we can confirm that there is very little water on the Moon today, even deep in the interior. And we can use that information to think about water on other planets, including Mars.”


Single-celled Algae Took The Leap To Multicellularity 200 Million Years Ago

Pleodorina starrii has an incomplete division of labor. Although the 12 small cells near the top of this colony only swim, the 20 larger cells both swim and reproduce. (Credit: Copyright 2008 Matthew Herron)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2009) — Some algae have been hanging together rather than going it alone much longer than previously thought, according to new research.

Ancestors of Volvox algae made the transition from being a single-celled organism to becoming a multicellular colony at least 200 million years ago, during the Triassic Period.

At that time, Earth was a hot-house world whose inhabitants included tree ferns, dinosaurs and early mammals. Previous estimates had suggested Volvox’s ancestors arose only 50 million years ago.

Read more..

NASA's Kepler Mission To Seek Other Earths

Artist’s concept of Kepler in space. (Credit: NASA/JPL)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2009) — NASA’s Kepler spacecraft is ready to be moved to the launch pad today and will soon begin a journey to search for worlds that could potentially host life.

Kepler is scheduled to blast into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a Delta II rocket on March 5 at 7:48 p.m. Pacific Time (10:48 p.m. Eastern Time). It is the first mission with the ability to find planets like Earth — rocky planets that orbit sun-like stars in a warm zone where liquid water could be maintained on the surface. Liquid water is believed to be essential for the formation of life.