May 7, 2012

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Embryonic Stem Cells Will Kill Themselves to Protect the Embryo

active Bax (red) located at Golgi of human embryonic stem cells

While researching embryonic stem cells, scientists at the UNC School of Medicine discovered that by housing a protein called Bax in its active form in the Golgi, embryonic stem cells are primed to kill themselves if damage to their DNA makes them a threat to the developing embryo. Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Embryonic stem […]

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May 7, 2012

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NASA to Test Jet Engine with a Helping of Cereal and Crayons

NASA's Aviation Safety Program technology for engine glitches

While foreign objects continue to present dangers for commercial and military airliner passengers, NASA’s Aviation Safety Program is working on new technology that will use improved sensors to detect engine glitches before they become a serious threat. It might not surprise you to find cereal and crayons beneath your sofa cushions, especially if you are […]

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May 7, 2012

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Hubble to Test Technique of Using the Moon as a Mirror

Moon as Mirror to See Venus Transit

In an effort to test the technique of using the moon as a mirror, scientists will use Hubble to observe the transit of Venus across the sun’s face on June 5-6. If successful, this method could be used to detect the very faint fingerprints of an Earth-like planet outside our solar system that similarly transits […]

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May 7, 2012

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Measuring Motor Neuron Communication May Shed Light on Neurodegenerative Diseases

system to measure communication between stem cell–derived motor neurons and muscle cells in a Petri dish

Neuroscientists from UCLA have developed a system to measure communication between stem cell–derived motor neurons and muscle cells in a Petri dish. They hope that they can use this method to better understand neurodegenerative diseases and to explore what happens in the early stages of motor neuron disease. In an effort to identify the underlying […]

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May 7, 2012

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Robot Outperforms Humans in Neuroscience Procedure

Robots may to be moving from the assembly line to neurosurgery before you know it. Using a robotic arm guided by a cell-detecting computer algorithm, scientists at Georgia Tech and MIT have developed a method to identify and record neurons in a living mouse brain with better accuracy and speed than a human. Gaining access […]

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May 7, 2012

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Blond Hair of Melanesians Evolved Differently Than Those of Europeans

blond-pacific-islander-girl

A new study of the people from the Solomon Islands in Melanesia, a group of islands northeast of Australia, has shown that blond hair evolved differently, genetically speaking, than in Europeans. About 5-10% of the people in Melanesia have naturally blond hair, which is the highest prevalence outside of Europe. This refutes the hypothesis that […]

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May 7, 2012

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Radio-Wave Heated Nanoparticles Trigger Insulin Production in Mice

remote-control-trigger-genes

Researchers have been able to remotely activate genes inside mice, proving the concept that one day, there will be medical procedures in which patients’ genes are triggered from afar. The team led by Jeffrey Friedman, a molecular geneticist at the Rockefeller University in New York, states that in the short term, these results will lead […]

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May 7, 2012

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Possible Death of Solar System Seen in White Dwarf Stars

white-dwarf

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have been able to probe into the chemical signatures of dusky disks encircling four distant star systems. They discovered that surprisingly the chemical composition was eerily similar to Earth. Those elements make up 93% of the Earth’s mass. White dwarf stars, several hundreds of light-years distant from Earth, could […]

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May 4, 2012

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TEM Based Data Collection Technique Maps Nanoparticle Atomic Structures

Electrons to Map Nanoparticle Atomic Structures

Viewing nanoparticles in three dimensions may soon be possible in labs all around the world. Instead of relying on traditional nanocrystallography techniques and the powerful machines needed to make them possible, a team of scientists have shown that atomic pair distribution function analysis, which requires a transmission electron microscope, can be used. Upton, New York […]

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May 4, 2012

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Bacteria May be the Key to New Biofuel Technology

Berkeley Lab-led team explores a way to create biofuels

As advancements in biofuels continue, researchers from the Berkeley Lab are looking into new ways of creating biofuels that don’t rely on photosynthesis. Focusing on a bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha, the team hopes to be able create advanced electrofuels that will serve as replacements for diesel and jet fuel. Is there a new path to […]

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May 4, 2012

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Astronomers Observed Evolved Star Being Devoured

supermassive black hole shredded and absorbed a star

A team of CfA astronomers is reporting that the object they observed using the Pan-STARRS telescope was a supermassive black hole, roughly two million solar masses in size, devouring what was probably a 5 billion year old star. Black holes can come in a wide range of masses. Some, with only about one solar mass, […]

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May 4, 2012

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Comprehensive Analysis of Cell Membrane Reveals Independent Domains

membrane of the yeast cell is divided into different domains

Biochemists at the Max Planck Institute used advanced imaging technologies to successfully perform the first comprehensive analysis of the molecular structure of a yeast cell membrane, revealing precisely how it is organized. As the interface between the cell and its environment, the cell membrane, which consists of fats and proteins, fulfills a variety of vital […]

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