Chinese history is replete with the rise and fall of dynasties, but researchers now have identified a natural phenomenon that may have been the last straw for some of them: a weakening of the summer Asian Monsoons. Such weakening accompanied the fall of three dynasties and now could be lessening precipitation in northern China.
Results of the study, led by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Lanzhou University in China, appear in this week's issue of Science. The work rests on climate records preserved in the layers of stone in a 118-millimeter-long stalagmite found in Wanxiang Cave in Gansu Province, China.
Patients whose nose has been destroyed by a tumor or injury carry a severe psychological and social burden. Esthetic reconstruction ranges among the most challenging tasks in plastic surgery. Helmut Fischer and Wolfgang Gubisch present the different options for nasal reconstruction surgery in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.
The authors present the case of a woman who had had a tumor removed from the tip of her nose 12 years previously. The tumor recurred and destroyed the woman's nose almost completely over the following 7 years.
Beta-alanine (BA), a dietary supplement widely used by athletes and body builders, has been proven to increase the fitness levels of a group of elderly men and women. The research, published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, suggests that BA supplementation improves muscle endurance in the elderly.
The research was carried out by Jeffrey Stout, PhD from the University of Oklahoma, USA, and a team of colleagues. According to Dr. Stout, “This could have importance in the prevention of falls, and the maintenance of health and independent living in elderly men and women.”
The anti-herpes drug acyclovir can also directly slow down HIV infection by targeting the reverse transcriptase (RT) enzyme, researchers report in this week's JBC. This beneficial effect does pose a risk though, as HIV-infected cells treated with acyclovir promote the emergence of multi-drug resistant HIV variants.
HIV and herpes (HSV) are two of the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide, and individuals frequently become co-infected with both. In such cases, the two viruses interact with each other; the presence of HIV often results in more frequent HSV lesion outbreaks, while HSV can speed up the progression of HIV to AIDS.
Our DNA determines a lot about who we are and how we play with others, but recent studies of social animals (birds and bees, among others) show that the interaction between genes and behavior is more of a two-way street than many of us realize. It's not a new idea but the new studies give it more credibility, says University of Illinois entomology and neuroscience professor Gene Robinson, lead author of a review on the subject this week in Science. Stanford University biology professor Russell Fernald and Illinois cell and developmental biology and neuroscience professor David Clayton are co-authors.
Scientists say that a type of rock found at or near the surface in the Mideast nation of Oman and other areas around the world could be harnessed to soak up huge quantities of globe-warming carbon dioxide. Their studies show that the rock, known as peridotite, reacts naturally at surprisingly high rates with CO2 to form solid minerals—and that the process could be speeded a million times or more with simple drilling and injection methods.