The Evolution Of Trichromatic Color Vision In Humans

The evolution of trichromatic color vision in humans occurred by first switching from the ability...

The Origin Of Theta Auroras Revealed

Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the sun's effect on Earth, but many aspects of these...

A Line In The Sea: NOAA Picks 'Tipping Points' For Sea Level Related Flooding

Predictions about specific effects of climate change were once common - but they turned out to...

Blame City Life, Not Fast Food, For The Surge In Diabetes

City folk may not think much of rural living - but they are healthier.A new study finds that diabetes...

User picture.
News StaffRSS Feed of this column.

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

Controlling weight may as simple as finding immature, or “baby,” fat cells that lurk in the walls of the blood vessels that nourish fatty tissue, waiting for excess calories to help them grow into the adult monsters that pack on extra pounds.

In addition, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, their mice studies may lead to using these immature cells for such clinical treatments as filling in a woman’s breast after a lumpectomy.

Researchers have believed such cells were located near blood vessels but they didn’t know exactly where. Discovering their existence, their identity and their lair may direct future research to find ways to stop these cells from creating undesired fat.

Smart fabrics and intelligent textiles – material that incorporates cunning molecules or clever electronics – is thriving and European research efforts are tackling some of the sector’s toughest challenges. 

Clothes that monitor your heart, measure the chemical composition of your body fluids or keep track of you and your local environment promise to revolutionise healthcare and emergency response, but they present tough research challenges, too.

A study in northern China indicates that genetically modified cotton, altered to express the insecticide Bt, not only reduces pest populations among those crops, but also reduces pests among other nearby crops that have not been modified with Bt. These findings could offer promising new ideas for controlling pests and maximizing crop yields in the future.

Bt is an insecticide derived from the spores and toxic crystals of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, and has been sold commercially since 1960. It is considered non-toxic to humans, animals, fish, plants, micro-organisms, and most insects. However, it is highly selective and lethal to caterpillars of moths and butterflies. Bt is currently registered and marketed for use as an insecticide in more than 50 countries worldwide. It does not contaminate groundwater because it degrades so rapidly.

Dr. Kong-Ming Wu from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing and colleagues analyzed data from 1997 to 2007 about the agriculture of Bt cotton in six provinces in northern China, covering 38 million hectares of farmland cultivated by 10 million resource-poor farmers. They compared that information with data on pest populations in the region, focusing on the cotton bollworm, a serious pest for Chinese farmers.

Netlog, a European social networking site that also allows almost instant translation into 23 languages, has opened its translation and localization capabilities to third-party developers. They also announced they will give developers access to their "credits economy", offering developers an alternative for advertising revenues.

Netlog joined the OpenSocial initiative three months ago to allow developers to use a common set of programming interfaces on a variety of social sites across the web, also including Orkut, MySpace, Yahoo!, Hi5 and Friendster. OpenSocial makes it easier for developers to build social applications and for websites to add more social features quickly.

Researchers say they have found evidence that supports the idea that the emergence of agriculture in prehistory took much longer than originally thought.

Until recently researchers say the story of the origin of agriculture was one of a relatively sudden appearance of plant cultivation in the Near East around 10,000 years ago, spreading quickly into Europe and dovetailing conveniently with ideas about how quickly language and population genes spread from the Near East to Europe. Initially, genetics appeared to support this idea but now there are questions about the evidence underpinning that model

A team led by Dr Robin Allaby from the University of Warwick's plant research arm, Warwick HRI, have developed a new mathematical model that shows how plant agriculture actually began much earlier than first thought, well before the Younger Dryas (the last "big freeze" with glacial conditions in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere). It also shows that useful gene types could have actually taken thousands of years to become stable.

Manipulating embryo-derived stem cells before transplanting them may hold the key to optimizing stem cell technologies for repairing spinal cord injuries in humans, according to research published in the Journal of Biology. They say it may lead to cell based therapies for victims of paralysis to recover the use of their bodies without the risk of transplant induced pain syndromes.

Dr. Stephen Davies, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, reported that, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Rochester, his research team has transplanted two types of the major support cells of the brain and spinal cord, cells called astrocytes. These two types of astrocytes, which are both made from the same embryo-derived stem cell-like precursor cell, have remarkably different effects on the spinal repair process.