Science News

New Competition for the Energizer Bunny

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new energy storage device that is easily mistaken for a black piece of paper. The nanoengineered battery is lightweight, thin as a sheet of paper, extremely durable, and geared toward meeting any design and energy requirements of electronic devices, medical equipment, and transportation vehicles.

Schizophrenia Genes Favoured by Natural Selection

Schizophrenia is commonly known as one of the most horrific mental illnesses, however, new research has suggested that it is also the inevitable outcome of human creativity. According to data published in Proceedings of the Royal Society earlier this month, genes which predispose to schizophrenia may have been favoured by natural selection. Lead author Bernard Crespi, professor of evolutionary biology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and his colleagues concluded that "schizophrenia represents, in part, a maladaptive by-product of adaptive changes during human evolution".

Greenhouse Gases Put the Lives of Polar Bears in Jeopardy

A yearlong review by the United States Geological Survey concluded that the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may lead to the disappearance of about two-thirds of the world's polar bear population by the year 2050. The report, released earlier this month details the startling fate of the polar bears as a result of the shrinking sea ice coverage due to increasing summer temperatures. This summer alone has seen the greatest retreat of sea ice since satellite tracking began in 1979.

New Method to Generate Nanoscaffolding To Lead to Improvements in Titanium Implants and Stents

Last month, scientists at the University of Arkansas and University of New Mexico announced the finding of a new, economical method to generate nanowire scaffolding on titanium metal. The research, published in the August issue of Chemistry of Materials, gives scientists and doctors the opportunity to make more durable, longer-lasting, and multi-functional bone implants and stents. The find comes at a time when the number of people needing bone replacements is increasing, and cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one killer in the United States.

Role-playing Gene in Schizophrenia is Involved in More Brain Processes Than Previously Thought

In a study published online by Cell, a publication of Cell Press, scientists have found that a gene known to have a significant part in the neurological disorder known as schizophrenia also has a greater role in the brain than previously thought. The newly discovered aspects of the gene, known as Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), could lead to better explanations of the development and observed prognosis of schizophrenia.

Saturn Moon Ready for its Close-Up

NASA, in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, took the next step in the Cassini-Huygens mission by commencing a flyby of Saturn's icy moon, Iapetus,100 times closer than its previous flyby three years ago. Radar images gathered from this flyby, the first by Cassini of an icy moon other than Titan, will help scientists learn to interpret surface features of an icy body with the aid of supplemental ultraviolet or visual light images.

Banishing Hunger in a Jiffy: Project Peanut Butter Fights Malnutrition in Malawi

In Malawi, a small country in Southeast Africa, thousands of children fight a daily battle against hunger. Now, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis have formulated a new high-calorie, high nutrient content food that is more effective against malnutrition,an enriched peanut butter mixture called Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food' (RUTF).

Friendship as an Antidote to Dating Violence

In an article published this past Thursday in BMC Nursing, researchers report that female teens are less likely to be victims of abuse during dating if they have strong support from friends. Dating violence is a serious issue, as it contributes greatly to teen morbidity and mortality, in forms such as substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, early sexual behavior, pregnancy, STDs, and suicide. The findings from the study will help identify female adolescents at risk for dating violence and prevent such violence.

20 Year's Reflection on Montreal

On September 16th, 1987 several nations met in Montreal to discuss the causes and solutions of the growing ozone hole over the Antarctic. Many of these nations signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to limit the production of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Since then, a total of 191 countries have signed the protocol, amendments have strengthened the limitations to CFC productions, and monitoring technologies have improved.