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Stuck Fermentation In Wine Triggered By Prions

A chronic problem in wine making is when yeast that should be busily converting grape sugar into...

Way Up From 2009: 70 Percent Of Americans Now Believe The Recession Is Permanent

Though the rich get richer and the stock market is booming, which has led to claims by the administration...

Mom Was Almost Right: Junk Food Will Spoil Your Appetite, Except Permanently

A diet of junk food not only makes rats fat, but also reduces their appetite for novel foods, a...

Old Tires Lead To Better Anodes In Lithium-Ion Batteries

In the 1970s, Florida environmentalists who had invented the notion that landfills were going to...

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A breakthrough barrier technology from Singapore A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) protects sensitive devices like organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solar cells from moisture 1000 times more effectively than any other technology available in the market, opening up new opportunities for the up-and-coming plastic electronics sector.

A team of scientists from Singapore’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) has developed a new patented film that has the highest reported water vapour barrier performance to date, as tested by the UK Centre for Process Innovation.

The tests have shown that the new film is 1,000 times more impervious to moisture than existing technologies. This means a longer lifetime for plastic electronic devices such as solar cells and flexible displays that use these high-end films but whose sensitive organic materials are easily degraded by water vapour and oxygen.

Nanotubes are the big hope for the first decade of the 21st century. They offer promise to produce a new class of composite materials that are stronger than conventional composites for use in aircraft and vehicles. Now researchers at Purdue University say they can precisely measure the forces required to peel tiny nanotubes off of other materials, opening up the possibility of creating standards for nano-manufacturing and harnessing a gecko's ability to walk up walls.

So-called "peel tests" are used extensively in manufacturing. Knowing how much force is needed to pull a material off of another material is essential for manufacturing, but no tests exist for nanoscale structures, said Arvind Raman, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue.


Patients in therapy to overcome addictions have a new arena to test their coping skills — the virtual world. A new study by University of Houston Associate Professor Patrick Bordnick says that a virtual reality (VR) environment can provide the climate necessary to spark an alcohol craving so that patients can practice how to say “no” in a realistic and safe setting.

Bordnick, of the UH Graduate College of Social Work, investigates VR as a tool for assessing and treating addictions. He studied 40 alcohol-dependent people who were not receiving treatment (32 men and eight women). Wearing a VR helmet, each was guided through 18 minutes of virtual social environments that included drinking. The participant’s drink of choice was included in each scene.

Gestational age has long been the factor most commonly used to predict whether an extremely low-birth-weight infant survives and thrives, but four additional factors that can help predict a preemie’s outcome have been identified by the National Institutes of Health Neonatal Research Network.

Birth weight, gender, whether the baby is a twin and whether the mother was given antenatal steroid mediation to aid the baby’s lung development are all factors that affect survivability and risk of disability, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine by a consortium of researchers in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network. The 19-center network includes Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Maturity, in some respects, brings diminished possibilities. As a fertilized egg cell repeatedly divides to grow into a mature animal, most of the resulting cells become ever more specialized.

But a small number of cells, known as stem cells, remain uncommitted even as they spawn more specialized progeny. The most versatile stem cells, taken from days-old embryos, are able to form any cell type — but studying them in people is controversial.

Even in adults, however, other types of stem cells persist that have a more limited repertoire. Some replace specific cells as they wear out; others help to rebuild damaged tissues. Still other stem cells are suspected by some scientists of starting or maintaining cancers.

Now team of researchers led by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have for the first time identified stem cells that allow the pituitary glands of mice to grow even after birth.

Most people know that restaurants are inspected regularly, but many assume that regularity means 5-12 times per year rather than the once that is actually the case. That's one finding in an article published in the June 2008 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It found that the public is generally unaware of the frequency of restaurant inspections and the consequences of poor inspection results.

Foodborne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses in the U.S. each year with about half associated with restaurant meals. More than 70 billion meals per year are purchased in restaurants in the U.S., accounting for 47% of total food expenditure. Therefore, preventing restaurant-associated foodborne disease is an important task of public health departments.