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Shutting Off Blood To An Extremity Protects Hearts During Cardiac Surgery

In a new study, researchers have shown that shutting off the blood supply to an arm or leg before...

Climate Change Caused By The Ocean

Focus on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to a lot of confusion among the public: bad...

Erupting Bardarbunga Volcano In Iceland Sits On A Massive Magma Hot Spot

 Massive amounts of erupting lava have connected with the fall of civilizations, the destruction...

Ebola's Evolutionary Roots Are Ancient

Though Ebola tends to occur in waves, the filoviruses family to which Ebola and its lethal relative...

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Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have for the first time engineered 3-D materials that can reverse the natural direction of visible and near-infrared light, a development that could help form the basis for higher resolution optical imaging, nanocircuits for high-powered computers, and, to the delight of science-fiction and fantasy buffs, cloaking devices that could render objects invisible to the human eye.

Two breakthroughs in the development of metamaterials - composite materials with extraordinary capabilities to bend electromagnetic waves - are reported separately this week in the Aug. 13 advanced online issue of Nature, and in the Aug. 15 issue of Science.


In a study on fetal alcohol syndrome, researchers were able to prevent the damage that alcohol causes to cells in a key area of the fetal brain by blocking acid sensitive potassium channels and preventing the acidic environment that alcohol produces. The cerebellum, the portion of the brain that is responsible for balance and muscle coordination, is particularly vulnerable to injury from alcohol during development.

The researchers also found that although alcohol lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood of the mother, it is not the lack of oxygen that damages the fetal cerebellum, but the drop in pH.

A study of 228 women has revealed genetic variants responsible for body shape, according to research published in BMC Genetics.

Based on work in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the study identifies natural variation in the human LAMA5 gene as a key determinant of weight.

As the prevalence of obesity and related health problems continues to increase worldwide, there is considerable effort being devoted to identify genetic mechanisms that control fat storage. Maria De Luca led a team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, who identified candidate genes using different strains of Drosophila.

Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria in the mouth. The finding could help scientists to understand tooth decay and gum disease and may lead to better treatments, according to research published in the August issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

"The healthy human mouth is home to a tremendous variety of microbes including viruses, fungi, protozoa and bacteria," said Professor William Wade from King's College London Dental Institute. "The bacteria are the most numerous: there are 100 million in every millilitre of saliva and more than 600 different species in the mouth. Around half of these have yet to be named and we are trying to describe and name the new species."

Sustainable development thinking got environmental issues onto the agenda but it may now be stopping us from taking serious action on climate change and other crucial planetary issues, argues John Foster, a freelance writer and teacher and honorary Research Fellow in Philosophy at Lancaster University, UK in his new book "The Sustainability Mirage: Illusion and Reality in the Coming War on Climate Change."

Sustainable development's attempted deal between present and future will always collapse under the pressure of 'now' because the needs of the present always win out, he says. Inevitably, this means movable targets and action that will always fall short of what we need. Ultimately, sustainable development is the pursuit of a mirage, the politics of never getting there.

Unlike many astronomical phenomena, meteors are best seen with the unaided eye rather than through a telescope or binoculars and are perfectly safe to watch, so be prepared to sleep outside on August 12th, the annual maximum of the Perseid meteor shower.

In doing so, you will be joining your ancestors, who have viewed what are also called "The Tears of St. Lawrence"(1) for some 2,000 years.

Meteors are the result of small particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed and in the case of the Perseid shower these come from the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which was last in the vicinity of the Earth in 1992. To the eye, the meteors appear to originate from a ‘radiant’ in the constellation of Perseus, hence the name Perseid.