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Space is extremely cold, near absolute zero, and it is a vacuum, so no oxygen, plus there is the threat of lethal radiation from stars. It is considered the most hostile of environments, where unprotected humans would last for a fraction of a second.

But research by Ingemar Jönsson and colleagues in Current Biology shows that some animals — the tardigrades, or 'water-bears' — can do away with space suits and can survive exposure to open-space vacuum, cold and radiation just fine.

The protein IKKalpha (IKKα) regulates the cell cycle of keratinocytes and plays a key role in keeping these specialized skin cells from becoming malignant, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in Cancer Cell.

Keratinocytes originate in the basal layer of the epidermis to replace skin cells at the surface that have been shed. As keratinocytes gradually move up through the skin layers, they differentiate and eventually form the top layer of the skin, which is composed of squamous cells. The cycle ends through terminal differentiation, in which cells lose their ability to reproduce by dividing in two. They eventually die.

An athlete's ability to sweat may do more than keep the body cool. It also may prevent the development of exercise-induced asthma (EIA), a common respiratory condition among trained athletes. New research appearing in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that athletes with EIA produce less sweat, tears, and saliva than those who do not have breathing problems.

Warren Lockette, MD, lead study author and advisor to the University of Michigan's NCAA Division I women's swimming team, has worked with many Olympians and future professional athletes with EIA. "It is unclear why so many elite athletes have exercise-induced asthma," he said. "It is possible that they manifest symptoms of exercise-induced asthma simply because their levels of exertion and breathing rate are so high compared with the average, competitive sportsman."

Children born prematurely are four times more likely to have emotional problems or behavioral disorders, according to new research.

A team led by the University of Warwick's Department of Psychology and Warwick Medical School examined the behaviour of 200 six-year-old children who had been born below 26 weeks gestation, known as 'extremely pre-term'.

The researchers attempted to contact the family of every child born in the UK and Ireland at 25 weeks or earlier, between March and December 1995. From a possible 308 children who survived the first 6 years, the parents of 241 responded to the study.

The lighter an aircraft is, the less fuel it consumes. Given the need to cut carbon dioxide emissions, this is a key aspect of materials research. Aircraft manufacturers are therefore pinning their hopes on particularly lightweight construction materials. These include not only lightweight metals, but also fiber composite plastics, particularly carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs). Whenever two CFRP components have to be joined together, this has so far been accomplished primarily by riveting.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research IFAM in Bremen are experts in adhesive techniques and plan to enlarge their expertise to include mechanical joining. At the Composites Europe trade fair in Essen, they show a state-of-the-art C-clamp riveting machine (Hall 10-11, Stand 150). This device enables the necessary rivet holes, complete with one- or two-part riveted bolts, to be installed accurately and automatically in compliance with aviation standards.

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.