news 2009

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Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
24.12.2009
UCLA scientists find molecular switch to prevent Huntington’s disease in mice
UCLA scientists have identified a molecular switch that prevents Huntington's disease from developing in mice. Published in the Dec. 24 edition of the journal Neuron, the discovery suggests a new approach to treating the genetic disorder, which ultimately leads to death in as little as 10 years. Affecting one out of every 10,000 Americans, Huntington's progressively deprives patients of their ability to walk, speak, think clearly and swallow.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
22.12.2009
New human reproductive hormone could lead to novel contraceptives
New human reproductive hormone could lead to novel contraceptives
BERKELEY — Nearly 10 years after the discovery that birds make a hormone that suppresses reproduction, University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists have established that humans make it too, opening the door to the development of a new class of contraceptive and possible treatments for cancer or other diseases.
Life Sciences - Business/Economics
21.12.2009
Seven European Research Council Advanced Grants for UCL
Seven European Research Council Advanced Grants for UCL
Michael Browne, Head of European Research and Development at UCL said: ?These grants are designed to allow exceptional established research leaders in any field of science, engineering and scholarship to pursue risk-taking, interdisciplinary and pioneering research. The Advanced Grant scheme, in particular, is highly competitive (with an overall success rate of seven percent) and highly prestigious.? MECHANICITY (Morphology, Energy and Climate cHANge In the CITY) led by Professor Michael Batty (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis).
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
20.12.2009
UN report highlights Plymouth's climate change research
The University of Plymouth's world-leading ocean acidification research has been highlighted in a United Nations report launched at the end of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit. 'Scientific Synthesis of the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity', compiled by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the most comprehensive overview to date of all existing scientific evidence on ocean acidification - including breakthrough research led by the University of Plymouth’s Jason Hall-Spencer.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
17.12.2009
Marking of tissue-specific genes in embryonic stem cells crucial to ensure proper cell function
Tissue-specific genes, long thought to be dormant or unmarked for activation in embryonic stem cells, are indeed marked by transcription factors, and this marking may be crucial for the function of tissues derived from stem cells, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Center researchers have discovered. The findings, published in the Dec.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
17.12.2009
Gene variant connected with lung function and risk of COPD
A variant of the gene encoding the MMP12 protein is associated with increased lung function in children with asthma and in adult smokers. It is also associated with a decreased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 35 percent in adult smokers, according to an international study published in New England Journal of Medicine.
Life Sciences - Physics/Materials Science
17.12.2009
Scientists Use Light to Map Neurons’ Effects on One Another
Cambridge, Mass. December 17, 2009 - Scientists at Harvard University have used light and genetic trickery to trace out neurons' ability to excite or inhibit one another, literally shedding new light on the question of how neurons interact with one another in live animals. The work is described in the current issue of the journal Nature Methods.
Life Sciences
17.12.2009
Discovery of 4.4 million-year-old "Ardi" named Breakthrough of the Year
The discovery, reported in the journal's Oct. 2 issue by an international team co-led by Tim White, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of integrative biology, surprised scientists because Ardi doesn't look like a human or our presumed relative, the chimpanzee. Short for Ardipithecus ramidus, Ardi was a female who lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now the Afar region of Ethiopia.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
13.12.2009
New genes for lung disease discovered
New genes for lung disease discovered
PA321/09 Scientists have discovered five genetic variants that are associated with the health of the human lung. The research by an international consortium of 96 scientists from 63 centres in Europe and Australia sheds new light on the molecular basis of lung diseases. The new findings provide hope for better treatment for lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
10.12.2009
Thirsty plants send emergency calls
Thirsty plants send emergency calls
Independent whether we consider grapevines in the vineyard or tomatoes in the greenhouse: how well plants are being supplied with water can be viewed by an innovative magnetic probe that is simply clamped to the leaves.
Life Sciences - Psychology
08.12.2009
Social scientists build case for 'survival of the kindest'
BERKELEY — Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
07.12.2009
UCLA researchers demonstrate that stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV
Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and colleagues have for the first time demonstrated that human blood stem cells can be engineered into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells ? a process that potentially could be used against a range of chronic viral diseases. The study, published Dec.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
04.12.2009
Scientists discover gene module underlying atherosclerosis development
By measuring the total gene activity in organs relevant for coronary artery disease (CAD), scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have identified a module of genes that is important for the recruitment of white blood cells into the atherosclerotic plaque. The findings, which are to be published in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, suggest that targeting the migration of white blood cells in the development of atherosclerosis may help to reduce the risk for adverse clinical effects such as ischemia and myocardial infarction.
Life Sciences - Veterinary Science
03.12.2009
Researchers Demonstrate a Better Way for Computers to ’See’
Cambridge, Mass. December 3, 2009 - Taking inspiration from genetic screening techniques, researchers from Harvard and MIT have demonstrated a way to build better artificial visual systems with the help of low-cost, high-performance gaming hardware. The neural processing involved in visually recognizing even the simplest object in a natural environment is profound - and profoundly difficult to mimic.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
02.12.2009
Balancing protein intake, not cutting calories, may be key to long life
Getting the correct balance of proteins in our diet may be more important for healthy ageing than reducing calories, new research at UCL suggests. The new study may help explain why 'dietary restriction? (also known as calorie restriction) ‘ reducing food intake whilst maintaining sufficient quantities of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients ' appears to have health benefits.
Mathematics - Life Sciences
24.11.2009
The Cause Behind the Characteristic Shape of a Long Leaf Revealed
Cambridge, Mass. November 24, 2009 - Applied mathematicians dissected the morphology of the plantain lily (Hosta lancifolia), a characteristic long leaf with a saddle-like arc midsection and closely packed ripples along the edges. The simple cause of the lily's fan-like shape - elastic relaxation resulting from bending during differential growth - was revealed by using an equally simple technique, stretching foam ribbons.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
18.11.2009
UCLA study shows brain’s ability to reorganize
Visually impaired people appear to be fearless, navigating busy sidewalks and crosswalks, safely finding their way using nothing more than a cane as a guide. The reason they can do this, researchers suggest, is that in at least some circumstances, blindness can heighten other senses, helping individuals adapt.
Physics/Materials Science - Life Sciences
16.11.2009
Some of us may be born more empathetic, new study suggests
BERKELEY — Could it be that the generous Mother Teresa and the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol” were influenced by their genes? Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found compelling evidence that people who are more empathetic possess a particular variation of the oxytocin receptor gene.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
13.11.2009
Paradoxical protein might prevent cancer
Paradoxical protein might prevent cancer
One difficulty with fighting cancer cells is that they are similar in many respects to the body's stem cells. By focusing on the differences, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found a new way of tackling colon cancer. The study is presented in the prestigious journal Cell. Molecular signal pathways that stimulate the division of stem cells are generally the same as those active in tumour growth.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
11.11.2009
Combination treatment needed to fight dementia
Combination therapies to tackle multiple changes in the brain may be needed to combat the growing problem of dementia in ageing societies, according to a study by the University of Sheffield. The findings, which were published this week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, show that multiple abnormal (pathological) processes in the brain are often involved in cases of dementia, and that the drugs currently in development to treat individual brain pathologies may have a limited impact on the overall burden of dementia in the population.
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