Innate GMO Potato Deregulated By USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)...

Science And Technology Adviser To Condoleezza Rice: GMOs "Critical" To Feeding The World

Nina Fedoroff, molecular biologist and former Science and Technology Adviser to Condoleezza Rice ...

Saliva Test For Stress Hormone Levels May Identify Healthy Older People With Thinking Problems

Testing the saliva of healthy older people for the level of the stress hormone cortisol may help...

Spiky Filaments For Egg Fusion: Sperm Wield Tiny Harpoons

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility...

User picture.
News StaffRSS Feed of this column.

News Releases From All Over The World, Right To You... Read More »


Every week you probably see papers ( here and elsewhere) reporting the discovery of new genetic variants that affect the risk of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

It's an exciting time and the findings will undoubtedly lead to new biological insights into the mechanisms that cause heart attacks, which in turn may result in new types of treatments, but how much value is there to it individually now?   Is 'personalized medicine' for heart attacks on the way?

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a technique widely used tdoay in studying the human brain but its actual value in correlation is unclear.   No one knows exactly how fMRI signals are generated at brain cell level but it is crucially important to interpreting these imaging signals.

Scientists from the Academy of Finland's Neuroscience Research Programme (NEURO) say they have discovered that astrocytes, support cells in brain tissue, play a key role in the generation of fMRI signals.
Do you long to hear the dulcet sounds of the salpinx, barbiton, aulos or the syrinx?   Of course not, because no one has heard them in centuries.   Most people have never even heard of them.

But you will soon have the chance to experience musical instruments familiar to ancient civilizations but long since forgotten.

Ancient instruments probably got lost because they were too difficult to build or too difficult to play.    The ASTRA (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) team is tasked with bringing them back to life and already have successfully reconstructed the sound of an earlier instrument called the 'epigonion'.
People sometimes think the space between stars is 'empty' but that's not the case.   That area is filled with patches of low-density gas and when a relatively dense clump of gas gets near a star, the resulting flow produces a drag force on any orbiting dust particles. The force only affects the smallest particles -- those about one micrometer across, or about the size of particles in smoke. 

This explains the otherwise difficult to understand shapes of those dust-filled disks, according to a team led by John Debes at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Fish and some amphibians possess a unique sensory capability that allows them to 'feel' objects around them without physical contact and see in the dark.

Colloquially this is called a 'sixth sense' but scientifically it is called a lateral-line system.

A team in the physics department of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen say they are able to explore the fundamental basis for this sensory system.   The goal of that would not be to solve M. Night Shyamalan movies faster but rather, through biomimetic engineering, better equip robots to orient themselves in their environments.
A new study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry says nearly 15 percent of preschoolers have high levels of depression and anxiety.    

Their investigation also said depressed pre-schoolers were more likely to have mothers with a history of depression.   So is that actual depression or learned social behavior that seems like depression?

Being a kid is not easy, of course, despite what parents think.   But is finding pre-school depression in high numbers due to better diagnosis or, in the cases of rampant ADD prescriptions in the 1990s, a new field looking for patients?   If it's better diagnosis, finding it earlier may be a help.