Noise Pollution Impacts Different Fish Differently

Acoustic disturbance has different effects on different species of fish, according to a new study...

Methoxychlor Pesticide Linked Linked To Ovarian Disease And Obesity 3 Generations Later

The pesticide methoxychlor has been linked to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity...

Synchronization Of North Atlantic, North Pacific Led To Global Warming That Ended The Ice Age

There's a concern that global warming may push Earth's climate system past a "tipping point," where...

Obese Preschoolers Lose Weight When Parents Do

It's no surprise when obese preschoolers have obese parents. It's actually expected. So it's not...

User picture.
News StaffRSS Feed of this column.

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

Want ethical clothing? You have to go with bamboo, people say. There hasn't been this much enthusiasm for a renewable product since ethanol in the 1990s.

If you follow the hype, bamboo fabric is soft, durable and elastic. It hangs as gracefully as silk, has an attractive, lustrous sheen and plants grow in 4 years. It is, in other words, perfect. Except it isn't.

Ironically, unless it is treated with harmful chemicals, bamboo is not that great. Raw bamboo fabric lets almost all harmful UV radiation pass through and reach the skin and because cellulose fibers allow moisture to leak in and provide more food for bacteria to eat, the resulting bacterial blooms can lead to unpleasant odors and unsanitary clothing.

In the uncharted wilderness at the fringes of the Periodic Table of the Elements is a long-sought island — the fabled 'Island of Stability' - and it is apparently home of a new genre of superheavy chemical elements sought for more than three decades.

The periodic table, a fixture on the walls of science classrooms around the world, lists all the chemical elements. These materials make up everything in the universe, from human beings, medicines, and food to stars and swirling clouds of gas a billion light-years across the universe.

The first 92 elements on the table exist naturally. The rest – which now extend to element 118 – were created by scientists in atomic nuclei collision with the aid of particle accelerators.

Scientists presented their evidence today that desert heat, a little water, and meteorite impacts may have been enough to cook up one of the first prerequisites for life three or four billion years ago: The dominance of “left-handed” amino acids, the building blocks of life on this planet.

In a report at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Ronald Breslow, Ph.D., University Professor, Columbia University, and former ACS President, described his take on how our amino acid signature came from outer space.

Numerous theories have been put forth to explain the dominance of L-amino acids. One, for instance, suggests polarized light from neutron stars traveled all the way to earth to “zap” right-handed amino acids directly. “But the evidence that these materials are being formed out there and brought to us on meteorites is overwhelming,” said Breslow.

Scientists are beginning to develop a clearer picture of what makes some people stand head and shoulders above the rest. A team of researchers who last year identified the first common version of a gene influencing height has now identified a further twenty regions of the genome which together can make a height difference of up to 6cm.

The results, published together with two independent studies online today in the journal Nature Genetics, mean that scientists now know of dozens of genes and genetic regions that influence our height. This provides scientists with a fascinating insight into how the body grows and develops normally and may shed light on diseases such as osteoarthritis and cancer.

Biochemists at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society have described how proteins in alligator blood may provide a source of powerful new antibiotics to help fight infections associated with diabetic ulcers, severe burns, and “superbugs” that are resistant to conventional medication.

Previous studies by Merchant showed that alligators have an unusually strong immune system that is very different from that of humans. Unlike people, alligators can fight microorganisms such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria without having prior exposure to them. Scientists believe that this is an evolutionary adaptation to promote quick wound healing, as alligators are often injured during fierce territorial battles.

Their study found a range of other promising uses for the gator’s antibiotic proteins, including combating Candida albicans yeast infections, which are a serious problem in AIDS patients and transplant recipients, who have weakened immune systems, the scientists say.

Taking daily recommended dosages of ibuprofen and acetaminophen caused a substantially greater increase over placebo in the amount of quadriceps muscle mass and muscle strength gained during three months of regular weight lifting, in a study by physiologists at the Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University.

Dr. Chad Carroll, a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Todd Trappe, reported study results at Experimental Biology 2008 in San Diego on April 6. His presentation was part of the scientific program of the American Physiological Society (APS).

Thirty-six men and women, between 60 and 78 years of age (average age 65), were randomly assigned to daily dosages of either ibuprofen (such as that in Advil), acetaminophen (such as that in Tylenol), or a placebo. The dosages were identical to those recommended by the manufacturers and were selected to most closely mimic what chronic users of these medicines were likely to be taking. Neither the volunteers nor the scientists knew who was receiving which treatment until the end of the study.