Πέμπτη, 1 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


Cutting cancer to pieces: New research on bleomycin

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:27 PM PDT

Bleomycin's ability to cut through double-stranded DNA in cancerous cells, like a pair of scissors, has been described in a new article. Such DNA cleavage often leads to cell death in particular types of cancer cells. Bleomycin is part of a family of structurally related antibiotics produced by the bacterium, Streptomyces verticillus. Three potent versions of the drug, labeled A2 , A5 and B2 are the primary forms in clinical use against cancer.

Ground breaking technique offers DNA GPS direct to your ancestor's home 1,000 years ago

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:27 PM PDT

Tracing where your DNA was formed over 1,000 years ago is now possible due to a revolutionary technique. The ground breaking Geographic Population Structure tool works similarly to a satellite navigation system as it helps you to find your way home, but not the one you currently live in -- but rather your actual ancestor's home from 1,000 years ago.

European seafloor survey reveals depth of marine litter problem

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:27 PM PDT

A major new survey of the seafloor has found that even in the deepest ocean depths you can find bottles, plastic bags, fishing nets and other types of human litter. The litter was found throughout the Mediterranean, and all the way from the continental shelf of Europe to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 2,000 kilometers from land. Litter is a problem in the marine environment as it can be mistaken for food and eaten by some animals or can entangle coral and fish -- a process known as "ghost fishing."

Stem cells from teeth can make brain-like cells

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:25 PM PDT

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that stem cells taken from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells, suggesting they could one day be used in the brain as a therapy for stroke.

Engineers grow functional human cartilage in lab

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Engineers have successfully grown -- for the first time -- fully functional human cartilage in vitro from human stem cells derived from bone marrow tissue. Their study demonstrates new ways to better mimic the enormous complexity of tissue development, regeneration, and disease.

Predators predict longevity of birds, study concludes

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:31 AM PDT

Aging inevitably occurs both in humans and in other animals. However, life-span varies widely across species. Researchers have now found a possible general mechanism explaining differences in longevity. They investigated life history data of nearly 1400 bird species and found that avian life span varies considerably across the entire Earth, and that much of this variation can be explained by the species' body mass and clutch size and by the local diversity of predator species. The researchers were able to confirm a key prediction of the classical evolutionary theory of aging that had been proposed more than 50 years ago.

Stem cell therapy regenerates heart muscle damaged from heart attacks in primates

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT

Heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells successfully restored damaged heart muscles in monkeys, researchers report. Stem-cell derived heart muscle cells infiltrated into damaged heart tissue, assembled muscle fibers and began to beat in synchrony with macaque heart cells. Scientists are working to reduce the risk of heart rhythm problems and to see if pumping action improves.

Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, study finds

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT

If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it's time to think again. The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence.

Astronomers observe corkscrew nature of light from a distant black hole

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:29 AM PDT

For the first time an international team of astronomers has measured circular polarization in the bright flash of light from a dying star collapsing to a black hole, giving insight into an event that happened almost 11 billion years ago.

Length of exoplanet day measured for first time: Spin of Beta Pictoris b measured

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:28 AM PDT

Observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have, for the first time, determined the rotation rate of an exoplanet. Beta Pictoris b has been found to have a day that lasts only eight hours. This is much quicker than any planet in the planetary system — its equator is moving at almost 100,000 kilometers per hour. This new result extends the relation between mass and rotation seen in the solar system to exoplanets.

Entire star cluster thrown out of its galaxy

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 09:11 AM PDT

The galaxy known as M87 has a fastball that would be the envy of any baseball pitcher. It has thrown an entire star cluster toward us at more than two million miles per hour. The newly discovered cluster, which astronomers named HVGC-1, is now on a fast journey to nowhere. Its fate: to drift through the void between the galaxies for all time.

Ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off U.S. West Coast

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:19 AM PDT

Biologists have found the first evidence that acidity of continental shelf waters off the U.S. West Coast is dissolving the shells of tiny free-swimming marine snails, called pteropods, which provide food for pink salmon, mackerel and herring, according to a new article.

New lab-on-a-chip device overcomes miniaturization problems

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 05:31 AM PDT

Chemists have invented a new type of tiny lab-on-a-chip device that could have a diverse range of applications, including to detect toxic gases, fabricate integrated circuits and screen biological molecules. The novel technique developed by the team involves printing a pattern of miniscule droplets of a non-volatile solvent -- an ionic liquid -- onto a gold-coated or glass surface.

Next gen cell phones, computers? Harnessing magnetic vortices for making nanoscale antennas

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 05:27 AM PDT

Scientists seeking ways to synchronize the magnetic spins in nanoscale devices to build tiny yet more powerful signal-generating or receiving antennas and other electronics have published a study showing that stacked nanoscale magnetic vortices separated by an extremely thin layer of copper can be driven to operate in unison. These devices could potentially produce a powerful signal that could be put to work in a new generation of cell phones, computers, and other applications.

Babies recognize real-life objects from pictures as early as nine months, psychologists discover

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:57 PM PDT

Babies begin to learn about the connection between pictures and real objects by the time they are nine-months-old, according to a new study. The research found that babies can learn about a toy from a photograph of it well before their first birthday.

Interactions between humans and scavengers have been decisive in human evolution

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:52 AM PDT

Scientists have concluded that the interactions that human have kept for millennia with scavengers like vultures, hyenas and lions, have been crucial in the evolution and welfare of humankind. The results of the study note that the extinction of large carnivorous mammals threatens to wipe out the many services that they provide us.

Mystery of the pandemic flu virus of 1918 solved

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:58 PM PDT

The mystery of the origin of the 1918 pandemic flu virus has been solved by researchers who found compelling evidence that its severity resulted from a mismatch between its surface proteins and prior immunity in certain age groups, which could inform future vaccine design and pandemic prevention. The results of the study suggest that the types of flu viruses to which people were exposed during childhood may predict how susceptible they are to future strains, which could inform vaccination strategies and pandemic prevention and preparedness.

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