Science News

New Hope for Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries

Defying current beliefs about the spinal cord, a UCLA study has shown that the central nervous system is capable of reorganizing signaling pathways in response to spinal cord damage. The discovery, published in the January 2008 issue of Nature Medicine, could lead to new approaches in the way researchers and clinicians seek to restore mobility following spinal cord injury.

Whaling for Science ?

Japanese whaling will resume with double the number of whales killed for self-proclaimed scientific research, reports Reuters in a December 19 press report. The Australian Centre for Applied Marine Mammal Science has responded with a campaign to count the number of Antarctic minke whales by flying over 58,000 square miles of pack ice off eastern Antarctica. The Australian researchers say the count will be the first accurate one since the 1980s.

Rewiring Speed Limits

The typical home user today connects to the Internet through copper cable phone or cable lines. Through these lines, the user has gained access to an unprecedented amount of information. However, as more high-quality material become available online, these lines now pose a speed limit, at up to ten megabits per second (Mbps), for the typical user. Fiber optics, on the other hand, can potentially bring this limit into the gigabits per second (Gbps).

Cocaine Vaccine stops High

A cocaine vaccine developed by the U.K. pharmaceutical company Xenova eliminates the "high" addicts feel by activating the immune system to attack cocaine molecules. A press report released by the Associated Press on January 1, 2008 explains the study, which is lead by psychiatric professor Dr. Tom Kosten and his wife Therese, a psychologist and neuroscientist, both researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Exercise Daily,your stem cells will thank you

In research published in the January issue of Cell Metabolism, researchers found evidence that exercise could induce stem cells known as satellite cells to buff up muscles. These scientists from the Program on Differentiation and Cancer, Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain suggest that exercise could have a more profound effect on your muscles than you think.

Yogurt Drinks Might Play a Key Role in Altering Metabolism

A recent study conducted by Imperial College London details for the first time a host of biochemical effects facilitated by probiotics, or dietary supplements made with live bacteria. The findings, published in a January issue of Molecular Systems Biology, suggest that yogurt drinks such as Dannon's Activia may alter metabolic trends and help with digestion.

Hydrogen Gas Cloud to Smash into Milky Way Galaxy

In approximately 20 to 40 million years, Smith's cloud, a giant cloud composed of hydrogen gas will slam into the Milky Way galaxy, resulting in the formation of as many as a million new stars, a study from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has found. The explosion from the collision will cause a spectacular firework-like display within the local group, a group comprised of 30 galaxies, including our own galaxy the Milky Way.

Ultra-cold atom clouds have memory

The coldest form of matter ever created just got a little more interesting. In the February 2007 issue of Nature, researchers at Harvard University reported storing a light pulse in an ultra-cold cloud of atoms (known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC) and then retrieving it from another BEC some distance away. This showed that light can essentially "jump" from one place to another. According to lead author Lene Hau, professor of physics at Harvard University, "by manipulating the matter copy [of the original light pulse], we can process optical information." This finding may have potential applications in developing the next generation of computers known as quantum' computers.