Σάββατο, 30 Ιουνίου 2012

Science News SciGuru.com

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Cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco may be useful for treating COPD in smokers

Posted: 30 Jun 2012 05:23 AM PDT

A drug developed to treat certain strains of cystic fibrosis may be useful in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, one of the most common lung diseases, which is seen frequently in smokers and has no cure. The findings were published online Friday, June 29, 2012, in the online journal PLoS ONE by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Programmable RNA Complex Could Speed Genome Editing in the Lab

Posted: 30 Jun 2012 05:14 AM PDT

For bacteria, snipping apart DNA that bears certain signature sequences is a defense mechanism. For scientists working in the lab, the same strategy can be a powerful research tool. With a newly discovered component of an adaptive bacterial immune system, scientists have identified a targeted method of slicing DNA that they say can be easily customized for a variety of applications in the lab.

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New marker, new target in Ewing’s sarcoma

Posted: 30 Jun 2012 05:01 AM PDT

Ewing’s sarcoma is a bone cancer commonly diagnosed in about 250 U.S. teenagers per year. If early chemotherapy is effective, improvement can be durable. But for children and teens who respond poorly to a first attempt at chemotherapy or if the disease spreads, long-term survival can be less than 10 percent.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published this week in the journal Molecular Cancer Research shows an important difference that may explain why some respond and some don’t: the existence of high levels of the protein EYA3.

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Sleep deprivation effect on the immune system mirrors physical stress

Posted: 30 Jun 2012 04:57 AM PDT

Severe sleep loss jolts the immune system into action, reflecting the same type of immediate response shown during exposure to stress, a new study reports.

Researchers in the Netherlands and United Kingdom compared the white blood cell counts of 15 healthy young men under normal and severely sleep-deprived conditions. The greatest changes were seen in the white blood cells known as granulocytes, which showed a loss of day-night rhythmicity, along with increased numbers, particularly at night.

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Study Finds New Gene Mutations that Lead to Enlarged Brain Size, Cancer, Autism, Epilepsy

Posted: 29 Jun 2012 04:09 PM PDT

A research team led by Seattle Children’s Research Institute has discovered new gene mutations associated with markedly enlarged brain size, or megalencephaly.  Mutations in three genes, AKT3, PIK3R2 and PIK3CA, were also found to be associated with a constellation of disorders including cancer, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, autism, vascular anomalies and skin growth disorders.  The study, “De novo germline and postzygotic mutations in AKT3, PIK3R2 and PIK3CA cause a spectrum of related megalencephaly syndromes,” was published online June 24 in Nature Genetics.

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New fuel cell keeps going after the hydrogen runs out

Posted: 29 Jun 2012 04:03 PM PDT

Imagine a kerosene lamp that continued to shine after the fuel was spent, or an electric stove that could remain hot during a power outage.

Materials scientists at Harvard have demonstrated an equivalent feat in clean energy generation with a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that converts hydrogen into electricity but can also store electrochemical energy like a battery. This fuel cell can continue to produce power for a short time after its fuel has run out.

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Low Biopsy Rates Contribute to Celiac Disease Underdiagnosis in US

Posted: 29 Jun 2012 03:05 PM PDT

Under-performance of small bowel biopsy during endoscopy may be a major reason that celiac disease remains underdiagnosed in the United States, according to a new study published online recently in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Investigators at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found that the rate of small bowel biopsy is low in this country.

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Curvy Mountain Belts

Posted: 29 Jun 2012 02:39 PM PDT

Mountain belts on Earth are most commonly formed by collision of one or more tectonic plates. The process of collision, uplift, and subsequent erosion of long mountain belts often produces profound global effects, including changes in regional and global climates, as well as the formation of important economic resources, including oil and gas reservoirs and ore deposits. Understanding the formation of mountain belts is thus a very important element of earth science research.

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