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At Euro 2008, the soccer championship for European countries held every four years, this event, held jointly in two countries, means both Austria and Switzerland regard themselves as having the upper hand due to the "twelfth man" - home field advantage.

But does it really exist? Eva Heinrichs, a future diploma statistician at Technische Universität Dortmund, has scientifically tackled the issue and examined all games of the premier and second German national league as well as the Spanish, Italian and English premier leagues since 1963 - which is nice work if you can find it - and concludes it does exist, though it was a lot stronger in prior decades than it is today.

Kylie Minogue's breast cancer triggered a surge of over 30 percent in breast imaging of low risk women, says new University of Melbourne study.

Use of mammography and breast ultrasound procedures soared among women aged 25-44 in the six months following Minogue's breast cancer diagnosis, says a new study from the University of Melbourne.

There was also a sharp rise in the number of women aged 25-34 years who underwent breast biopsies – but this surge in screening activity did not lead to the detection of more cases of breast cancer.


Traditional attitudes of masculinity, such as physical toughness and personal sacrifice, are valued in Mexican culture. A University of Missouri researcher found that Mexican-American men, as a group, are more likely to endorse traditional 'macho man' attitudes than European-American or black men.

Certain factors influenced this attitude, including socioeconomic status (SES). The higher the SES, the greater the likihood that Mexican-American men held tightly to traditional masculine roles, even at the expense of emotional pressure.

According to the study, Mexican-American men who embraced traditional 'macho man' beliefs were more engaged with traditional Mexican culture and often were the primary breadwinners for the family. There were no significant findings that age affected these attitudes.

Acts of piracy at sea are on the rise but there is little evidence to support concerns from some governments and international organizations that pirates and terrorists are beginning to collude with one another, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Piracy - boarding a ship to commit theft or another crime - totaled 2,463 actual or attempted incidents between 2000 and 2006, according to the report. The overall problem is almost certainly even greater than the figures suggest as researchers suspect nearly half of all piracy attacks are not reported, usually because of fears about subsequent investigation costs and increases to insurance premiums.

The objectives of the two crimes remain different -- piracy is aimed at financial gain while the goal of terrorism is political. Although both events are increasing, piracy is growing much faster and remains far more common than seaborne terrorism, according to the report.

Synthetic molecules designed by two Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have succeeded in reducing and even eliminating the growth of human malignant tissues in mice, while having no toxic effects on normal tissue.

The molecules developed by Dr. Arie Dagan and Prof. Shimon Gatt of the Department of Biochemistry of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School affected the metabolism of various sphingolipids and consequently those of cancer cells. Sphingolipids are a family of complex lipid molecules that are involved in signaling pathways that mediate cell growth, differentiation and death.

Several of the most active molecules developed by Dagan and Gatt are derivatives of ceramide (a member of the sphingolipid family). Ceramide induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a variety of cancer cells.

Cartilage, a tissue in the human body that cannot heal itself, has long been a target of tissue engineers. Cartilage is the skeleton's shock absorber, and its stiffness, strength and other mechanical properties derive not from living cartilage cells but from the densely woven matrix of collagen and proteoglycan that surrounds them. This extracellular matrix, or ECM, is produced during cartilage development in children, but cannot be repaired following injury in adulthood.

Injured cartilage often serves as the focal point for arthritis formation, so tissue engineers have long sought a means of growing new cartilage that can be transplanted into adults to repair damaged joints before arthritis can develop. Unfortunately, cartilage is difficult to engineer, in part because there are no natural healing processes to mimic.

Bioengineers at Rice University have discovered that intense pressure -- similar to what someone would experience more than a half-mile beneath the ocean's surface -- stimulates cartilage cells to grow new tissue with nearly all of the properties of natural cartilage. The new method, which requires no stem cells, may eventually provide relief for thousands of arthritis sufferers.