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If your experiment doesn't go the way you expect, take a closer look; something even more interesting may have happened. That strategy has led scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory to discover a fundamental shift in an enzyme's function that could help expand the toolbox for engineering biofuels and other plant-based oil products.

The Brookhaven scientists were trying to understand the factors that affect where carbon-carbon double bonds are placed in fatty acids, the building blocks of oils and fats, when they are "desaturated" -- that is, when a desaturase enzyme removes hydrogen from the carbon chain.


The 'Mediterranean' Diet is effective in chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, hypertension or osteoporosis,say researchers at the University of Granada. It may be possible to prevent 80% of cardiovascular diseases and 40% of different types of cancer through diet, physical exercise and other healthy habits so the scientists at UGR are specifically analyzing how cells react against aggressions which cause pancreatic alterations and result in cancer.

The researchers at the Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology) of the University of Granada (UGR, Spain) have been doing research into the positive effects of Mediterranean diet’s ingredients on health.


Lynn Sanders, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, says there are plenty of reasons feminists can be happy about the Republican Party's nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to become vice president. While it's tough to dispel notions that political parties have sexist components, she says, and Sarah Palin's Republican voter registration and anti-abortion stance may at first seem antithetical to feminism, one position in the culture wars does not invalidate her value to the cause of women everywhere.

Palin's presence on the Republican ticket gives feminists at least six good reasons to celebrate, she says.

Milk may help prevent potentially dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus from being killed by antibiotics used to treat animals, scientists heard today at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin.

Bacteria sometimes form structures called biofilms that protect them against antibiotics and the body's natural defences. Now scientists have discovered that one of the most important micro-organisms that causes mastitis in cows and sheep, called Staphylococcus, can evade the animal's defences and veterinary medicines by forming these protective biofilms. Mastitis is an infection of the udder in cattle and sheep. It is often a painful condition for the cows and can even cause death.

Much has been said about the situation of the glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, but less is known about those in the high mountain areas of the Iberian Peninsula. A Spanish research study states that active glaciers in the Pyrenees, which they say have seen a steady increase in temperature (0.9°C since 1890), will disappear before 2050.

Researchers from the University of Cantabria, the Autonomous University of Madrid and Valladolid have produced a summary on the current situation of the Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and Picos de Europa. They based their work on how climate change has affected the glaciers since the 'Little Ice Age' (from 1300 to 1860) to conclude that only the Pyrenees has active glaciers left.

This work, recently published in The Holocene, compiled data from current and historic glacier studies, as well as information from Spain’s ERHIN Programme, to present the first global study on three glaciated high mountain areas in the Iberian Peninsula in historic times and the evolution of the deglaciation process to date.


An international team of scientists has come up with either a surprising or unsurprising finding about whether air pollution increases or decreases rainfall. Their conclusion: a rather frustrating both, depending on local environmental conditions.

In an era of climate change, understanding how rain is impacted by pollution has significant consequences and in an article appearing in Science, the scientific team has published the results of its research untangling the contradictions surrounding the conundrum. They do this by following the energy flow through the atmosphere and the ways it is influenced by aerosol (airborne) particles. This allows the development of more exact predictions of how air pollution affects weather, water resources and future climates.