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An immune system response that is critical to the first stages of fighting off viruses and harmful bacteria comes from an entirely different direction than most scientists had thought, according to a finding by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center. 

Type 1 helper (TH1) T cell immune responses are critical for the control of viruses and certain bacteria. Immunologists have generally believed that TH1 responses are induced by rare immune cells, called dendritic cells. When activated by infection or vaccination, the dendritic cells were thought to move from peripheral tissues into lymph nodes to stimulate T cell responses. 
The agglutination and accumulation of proteins in nerve cells are major hallmarks of age-related neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Cellular survival thus depends on a controlled removal of excessive protein. Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have now discovered exactly how specific control proteins regulate protein breakdown during the ageing process.
Geothermal energy is increasingly contributing to the power supply where it is affordable and efficient. Iceland is world-leader in expanding development of geothermal utilization: in recent years the annual power supply there doubled to more than 500 MW in the supply of electricity.  Even in Germany, over 100 MW of heat are currently being provided through geothermal energy.  
We hear a lot from various advocacy groups that modern lifestyle is the worst thing that can happen to us.    Indeed, some won't be happy until we get back to the sustainable, renewable period of 1300AD.   But modern lifestyle has at least one friend; our teeth. 

A review of studies published in a Supplement to Obesity Review examined evidence over the past 150 years and says that the effects of fluoride toothpaste, good oral hygiene and health education has overriden the effects of food on tooth decay.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) announced the winners of its 2008 Science Writing Awards today. The winners -- two scientists, a journalist, a children's book author, and a public television producer -- will receive four prizes of $3,000, engraved Windsor chairs, and certificates of recognition.

"These outstanding science communicators have each improved the general public's appreciation of physics, astronomy, and related sciences through their wonderfully creative endeavors," says Catherine O'Riordan, AIP Vice President, Physics Resources.

Unique fractures in lavas on ancient Mars suggest water occasionally flooded portions of the planet's surface.   The fractures, known as "columnar joints," are the first that have been observed on a planet other than Earth. 

The characteristics of the column-like fractures can help scientists understand the role of water in geologic processes on Mars, said Moses Milazzo, a geophysicist with the U. S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Team in Flagstaff and lead author on a paper on the discovery recently published in the journal Geology.

"Columnar joints form as cooling lava contracts," said Milazzo.