Sci/tech

Staying Young by Learning
March 10, 2010 07:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

An old proverb states that to stay young is to keep alert and active or: "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." University of California neurobiologists are providing the first visual evidence that learning promotes brain health — and, therefore, that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind. Using a novel visualization technique they devised to study memory, a research team found that everyday forms of learning animate neuron receptors that help keep brain cells functioning at optimum levels. These receptors are activated by a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which facilitates the growth and differentiation of the connections, or synapses, responsible for communication among neurons. BDNF is key in the formation of memories.

New Report Offers Little Hope for International Climate Agreement
March 9, 2010 06:46 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real

It's the big pink elephant in the room that few others wish to acknowledge, but a central theme in a new report by former climate negotiator Nigel Purvis: An international climate change treaty isn't likely to be signed anytime soon. Purvis served as president Clinton's chief UN climate negotiator, and in his report released today Purvis says that the United States and Europe should "accept reality" and take immediate practical steps to deal with global warming.

Impact of Ancient Indonesian Volcanic Eruption
March 8, 2010 04:05 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Toba super eruption occurred between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at Lake Toba (present day Indonesia), and it is recognized as one of Earth's largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe theory holds that this super volcanic event plunged the planet into a 6 to 10 year volcanic winter, which resulted in the world's human population being reduced to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. Some researchers argue that the Toba eruption produced not only a catastrophic volcanic winter but also an additional 1,000 year cooling episode. Newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago.

Neglected tropical diseases NEED to be studied
March 8, 2010 07:12 AM - PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases , SciDevNet

The 'innovation gap' for neglected tropical diseases is rapidly growing, say Sandeep P. Kishore and colleagues, but research universities in the United States could help close the gap. Total research funding for diabetes is more than 15 times greater than that for malaria, and more than 100 times that of other diseases such as schistosomiasis. The authors suggest three key steps to making a meaningful impact on neglected disease research.

Martian Glaciers
March 3, 2010 02:48 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Mars is a lot like Earth in many ways. The signs of water are obvious in the deep valleys. Many have speculated about once vast oceans often centered over the northern part of Mars. Where did the water go? Extensive radar mapping of the middle latitude region of northern Mars shows that thick masses of buried ice are quite common beneath protective coverings of rubble. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has charted the locations of these hidden glaciers and ice filled valleys which were first confirmed by radar two years ago.

Charles Darwin, Earthquake Predictor
March 2, 2010 06:48 AM - Richard A. Kerr, Science NOW

Charles Darwin helped forecast today's magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile, which has, at press time, killed more than 200 people, caused extensive damage, and sent a modest-size tsunami around the Pacific. Seismologists are giving the famed naturalist credit for reporting telltale signs that helped later scientists forecast that the giant temblor—one of the 10 most powerful on record—was imminent in the South American country. "This was not a big surprise, though no one could tell when it would strike," says seismologist Hiroo Kanamori of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Solar Plane Almost Ready for Record Flight
March 1, 2010 08:14 PM - Tobin Hack, good.is

In Switzerland, two pioneers are coming closer and closer to a flight around the world powered only by solar energy. It doesn't make good business sense, physics sense, or much of any kind of sense, to try to fly an airplane on solar power. Not yet. With the state of the technology, and how relatively young the solar sector still is, such an endeavor would be considered quixotic today—let alone in 2003, when Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, co-founders of Solar Impulse, announced they would design a solar-powered aircraft and fly it around the world. It would be a statement, they said, about our global dependence on fossil fuels and the untapped promise of burgeoning green technologies. The Swiss pilot-entrepreneurs were after "perpetual flight": a plane that could climb to 9,000 feet and fly on the sun's energy by day, then descend below cloud cover to lower altitudes, where it would cruise on stored battery power by night.

Saliva and the Pancreas
February 24, 2010 09:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, and somatostatin, as well as an exocrine gland, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that pass to the small intestine. There may soon be a new weapon in the battle against the so-called "worst" cancer - cancer of the pancreas. A multidisciplinary group of investigators from the UCLA School of Dentistry, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has demonstrated the usefulness of salivary diagnostics in the effort to find and fight the disease.

Other Life, Other Universes
February 23, 2010 12:39 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Whether life exists elsewhere in our universe is a long standing mystery. But for some scientists, there’s another interesting question: could there be life in a universe significantly different from our own? Science fiction has often explored other universes such as those of alternate history (where the South won the Civil War and not the North for example). Science fiction has also explored universes where the laws of physics are different. In this case scientists have explored this concept and have come up with some interesting extrapolations.

Confidence in Scientists Dropping as Result of "Climategate"
February 20, 2010 11:18 AM - John von Radowitz, Press Association, Environmental Health News

Fallout from a loss of public confidence in climate science is affecting other fields of research, a top US academic claimed. American opinion polls point to a general deterioration in people's faith in science, according to Dr Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. It came after two major public relations setbacks for the global warming gurus.

First | Previous | 351 | 352 | 353 | 354 | 355 | Next | Last