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Thanksgiving Science: Artificial Pancreas Improves Treatment Of Type 1 Diabetes

A clinical trial compared three alternative treatments for type 1 diabetes and confirms that...

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What is a gene?

You'll be forgiven if you have a few definitions. Even scientists define ‘a gene’ in different ways, so it may come as little surprise that the media also have various ways of 'framing' the concept of a gene.

But how journalists 'frame' what you might think are common terms has a very real impact on what readers think, and since more and more readers are becoming accustomed to making voting decisions based on science policy ones, how terms are used, and their context, has become ever more important.

Ferocious debates on genetically modified crops or stem cell research illustrate the importance that genetics and molecular biology have gained in everyday life so it's important that people understand the terms being used; and how they are sometimes misused.

A new study found that trained sexologists could infer a woman's history of vaginal orgasm by observing the way she walks. The study is published in the September 2008 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Led by Stuart Brody of the University of the West of Scotland in collaboration with colleagues in Belgium, the study involved 16 female Belgian university students. Subjects completed a questionnaire on their sexual behavior and were then videotaped from a distance while walking in a public place. The videotapes were rated by two professors of sexology and two research assistants trained in the functional-sexological approach to sexology, who were not aware of the women's orgasmic history.


The National Medal of Science is the nation's highest honor for science and engineering.

President George W. Bush has named the recipients of the 2007 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for science and engineering. Honorees will receive the medals at a White House ceremony on Sept. 29, 2008.

"The 2007 National Medal of Science laureates have contributed to American science with their superb research," said Arden L. Bement, Jr., director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). "Their legacies have impacted our lives in numerous ways, from developing new therapies for diseases such as cancer to contributing to the development of the Internet and wireless communications. Their accomplishments reflect the high significance of this award."


WASHINGTON -- A new NASA competition is challenging students in high school and college to research and describe a small, supersonic airliner that could enter commercial service in the next decade.

During the upcoming academic year, individuals and teams of high school students will prepare well-documented short papers describing what needs to be accomplished to make supersonic flight available to commercial passengers by 2020. Advanced curriculum high school students and college participants will prepare longer papers that depict a highly efficient, environmentally friendly commercial aircraft that would emit only low sonic booms and be ready for initial overland service in 2020.


A strange mix of oxygen found in a stony meteorite that exploded February 8, 1969 over Pueblito de Allende, Mexico has puzzled scientists ever since. Small flecks of minerals lodged in the stone and thought to date from the beginning of the solar system have a pattern of oxygen types, or isotopes, that differs from those found in all known planetary rocks, including those from Earth, its Moon and meteorites from Mars.

Now scientists from UC San Diego and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have eliminated one model proposed to explain the anomaly: the idea that light from the early Sun could have shifted the balance of oxygen isotopes in molecules that formed after it turned on. When they beamed light through carbon monoxide gas to form carbon dioxide, the balance of oxygen isotopes in the new molecules failed to shift in ways predicted by the model they report in the September 5 issue of Science.


Subtle genetic changes that confer an evolutionary advantage upon a species, such as the dexterity characteristic of the human hand, while difficult to detect and even harder to reproduce in a model system, have nevertheless generated keen interest amongst evolutionary biologists.

In findings published in Science, researchers have uncovered a specifically human 13-nucelotide change concealed in the vast three-billion-letter landscape of the human genome. Their experiments reveal this stretch of DNA to be a recently evolved regulator of gee expression that, when introduced into a mouse embryo system, influence the molecular machinery to yield human limb and thumb development patterns.