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A detergent solution developed at The University of Texas at Austin that treats donor nerve grafts to circumvent an immune rejection response has been used to create acellular nerve grafts now used successfully in hospitals around the country. Research also shows early promise of the detergent solution having possible applications in spinal cord repair.

The solution – combined with an enzyme treatment conceived at the University of Florida in Gainesville – is licensed by AxoGen, an Alachua, Florida-based company, and is used to create an acellular nerve graft from human cadaver tissue, called AVANCE Nerve Graft. Nationwide, nearly 100 patients suffering nerve injuries have received AVANCE grafts, all involving peripheral nerves which transmit sensory information between the brain and muscles.

This year's presidential primaries have already exhibited a number of time-honored traditions in American democracy - attacks, anonymous leaks and partisan journalism. Unfortunately, like other recent presidential elections, those include a new ritual - questions about the accuracy of techniques used to cast and count ballots.

A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections (ACCURATE) is a team of computer scientists and academic researchers from across the country bringing the latest research, insights and innovations from the lab to the voting booth.

The project is headed by Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University. An expert in information security, Rubin was intrigued by the challenges associated with improving voting technologies. "There was a perceived need," Rubin says, "that these systems were not secure enough." Once they began examining the issue from a scientific perspective, Rubin and his colleagues discovered that a more holistic approach was needed to understand how the computers, touch screens and other technologies are interrelated in elections.

A new study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology reviewed the behavior of participants exposed to various HIV brochures. Researchers found that both men and women were likely to avoid gender-mismatched brochures. Women, however, were more likely to approach gender-matched brochures over gender-neutral brochures.

Kathleen C. McCulloch and Dolores Albarracin of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Marta R. Duranti from the University of Florida looked at the behavior of 350 volunteers consisting of both men and women who were African American, European American, or Latino, with over half having an average income under $10,000.

Participants were exposed to six HIV-prevention brochures, two of which were gender-targeted and four of which were gender-neutral. The study was conducted at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. Participants were then given the chance to watch an HIV-prevention video and participate in an HIV-prevention counseling session.

How do grains flow out of an emptying silo? And what about sugar poured out by a pastry chef?

Researchers at Centre de Physique Moléculaire Optique et Hertzienne (CPMOH) of CNRS/ Université Bordeaux 1 have just demonstrated that even without an attractive force between grains in flowing sand, they have a cohesion similar to that of liquids. These results were published in Physical Review Letters.

The surface of a liquid is similar to an elastic membrane under tension, which causes things like the pressure on the interior of soap bubbles. This “surface tension” is due to cohesion forces between molecules in the liquid.

The two-year old mud volcano called Lusi spews huge volumes of mud and has displaced more than 30,000 people and caused millions of dollars worth of damage. An international team of scientists has now concluded that it was caused by the drilling of a gas exploration well and not by an earthquake that happened two-days before the mud volcano erupted in East Java, Indonesia.

The report by British, American and Indonesian and Australian scientists outlines and analyzes a detailed record of operational incidents on the drilling of a gas exploration well, Banjar-Panji-1. (A)

Lead author Prof. Richard Davies of Durham University, UK, published research in January 2007 which argued the drilling was most likely to blame for the eruption of the Lusi mud volcano on May 29 2006.

Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a genetic variation associated with an earlier age of onset in Alzheimer's disease.

Unlike genetic mutations previously linked to rare, inherited forms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease — which can strike people as young as their 30s or 40s — these variants influence an earlier presentation of symptoms in people affected by the more common, late-onset form of the disease.

Two principal features characterize Alzheimer's disease in the brain: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The plaques contain a protein called amyloid-beta.