Insects Smell differently

A new study published in Nature shows that insects' ability to smell evolved differently from that of other organisms. It has been believed that the ability to smell in all organisms, including insects, is dependent on a general pathway, or sequence of biochemical reactions within cells. Now Leslie Vosshall, head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at Rockefeller University, and Kazushige Touhara, researcher at the University of Tokyo, say that insects' olfactory senses bypass these pathways altogether.

Quasars Confound With X-rays

A recent look into the some of the farthest reaches of the universe has revealed that certain Quasi-Stellar Objects , which are more commonly known as "quasars" , emit more X-rays than researchers previously thought possible, showing that current theories about these mysterious objects still need some work. This discovery, described in a paper published March 20th by JunXian Wang and his team of researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei, may help get us one step closer in understanding the inner workings of some of the strangest objects in the universe.

Testing the Tree of Life

The comb jelly cannot sting its prey, but it has certainly shocked its researchers. Traditional evolutionary theory implies that more complicated creatures derive from simpler ones, yet recent research suggests that the organism at the first branching point in the animal evolutionary tree was the comb jelly: a more complex organism than the previously acknowledged animal ancestor, the sponge.

The DaVinci Robot: Reducing Recovery Time and Medical Costs in the Operating Room

With the rising costs of medical care, healthcare recipients as well as medical specialists are putting an increasing emphasis on treatment options that curtail the amount of necessary post-operational care. The invention of the DaVinci robot is rapidly becoming to be the surgeon's first hand companion in the operating room, from cardiac bypasses to hysterectomies to prostatectomies. With its ability to facilitate surgical procedures with minimal incisions, the DaVinci robot is pioneering a new era of medical practice. Patients now recover faster and stay in the hospital for shorter periods, effectively reducing the long term medical care expenditures.

Countering global warming or depleting ozone layer

Sometimes what is assumed to be good may prove to have unforeseen consequences. A well-known solution for countering global warming is found to be an enemy to the ozone layer, which blocks the dangerous Ultra Violet Rays (UV rays) from reaching to the earth. Simone Tilmes of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and her team has recently alarmed the world that the stratosphere injection, a very popular idea to offset the global warming, could have a severe impact on the ozone layer.

Restoring Vision Seeking the Elixir

Recently, two teams from the University of Pennsylvania and University College London applied gene therapy to treat a degenerative eye disease. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the research article investigates a form of LCA2 (Leber's congenital amaurosis). Currently untreatable, LCA is a group of inherited blindness disorders that affects about 3000 Americans, and its onset occurs at birth. Affected individuals gradually begin to lose light-sensing photoreceptors in the retina until they become completely blind at age 40.

Dinosaur Demise and Earth's Movement in the Milky Way

A recent study at the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology suggests that mass life extinctions on Earth correspond to the solar system's movement in the galaxy. Center director Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and the Cardiff team developed a computer simulation that mapped the movement of the solar system in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and found that times of greater comet bombardment , and therefore mass extinctions , are linked to our movement through the galaxy.

Power of Universities: Improving Access to Medicines

The World Health Organization predicts that 10 million people die annually from lack of vaccines and essential medicines (1). What role do universities play in such cases? By revising their policies and embracing an official resolution of improving human welfare, institutions could implement licensing provisions that facilitate access to their innovations in poor countries.

The Final Space Odyssey

'Here lies Arthur Clarke. He never grew up, but didn't stop growing' these are the words he wanted to have engraved on his tombstone. The beautiful island Sri Lanka observed silence for a minute at mid afternoon on March 22, 2008 as the man rested in his grave. The world bid farewell to the 90 year old futuristic scientific fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke who passed away on 19th of March, 2008 in his adopted home Sri Lanka due to the respiratory complication and heart failure.

Editorial: A Novel, Non-Invasive Approach to Diagnosing Urinary Tract Obstruction Using CFD

Urinary retention (ischuria), commonly known as a urinary tract obstruction, is one of the most common medical problems seen today, and is characterized primarily by the inability to urinate. There are various causes of urinary tract obstructions, ranging from kidney, ureteral, and bladder stones, to congenital defects, tissue scaring because of infection or surgery, in addition to various forms of cancers. Because a large percentage of individuals will experience obstruction during their lifetimes, much research has focused on developing efficient and cost effective ways of diagnosing this problem.

A Novel, Non-Invasive Approach to Diagnosing Urinary Tract Obstruction Using CFD

A Novel, Non-Invasive Approach to Diagnosing Urinary Tract Obstruction Using CFD

Urinary tract obstruction is a common clinical problem involving the narrowing of the ureters or urethra. Current diagnostic methods are invasive and costly, and urologists are constantly seeking new, inexpensive, non-invasive measures to diagnose obstruction. The present study investigates diagnostic applications of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to urinary tract obstruction for the first time.

Convection-Enhanced Delivery into Agarose Gel Brain Tissue Phantoms

Convection-Enhanced Delivery into Agarose Gel Brain Tissue Phantoms

Targeted delivery of large therapeutic macromolecules to desired locations inside the brain via systemic delivery is hampered by the function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is formed by tight junctions of the epithelium that lines capillaries in the brain. Recently, direct injection methods such as the so-called Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) are pursued to effectively bypass this vascular barrier and using an infusion catheter whose tip is placed close to the target site. In this technique, a cannula is inserted directly into the area of the brain to be treated, and the therapeutic agent is delivered through the cannula via bulk flow, circumventing the BBB. The efficacy of direct injection methods is assessed by achievable penetration depth and drug distribution volume defined as the region of the brain dosed above a certain therapeutic concentration threshold. In the scope of this paper, the threshold was set at 10% of the inlet drug concentration.

Cerebrospinal Fluid-Tissue Interactions in the Human Brain

Cerebrospinal Fluid-Tissue Interactions in the Human Brain

The dynamic interaction between the solid brain, cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow within the cranial vault have previously been described only qualitatively. In this study, computational analysis using the finite element method and physiological parameters was used to describe cerebrospinal fluid-tissue interactions in a quantitative manner. By describing the soft tissue deformations and fluid flow under both normal and pathological conditions, we were able to quantify human intracranial dynamics with the hope of allowing prediction of pathophysiological conditions leading to hydrocephalus or other cerebral disease states.