Cell Movement Mechanism May Provide Clues to Containing Metastasis

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), in conjunction with Instituto de Biología Molecular, has characterized a mechanism of cell movement that involves the regulation of cell-to-cell adhesion. The report, which was published in the August 2008 edition of Nature Cell Biology, suggests that defects in the cell adhesion mechanism might be responsible for the lethal metastatic migration of cancer cells.

MIT Group Utilizes Viruses to Construct a Microbattery

Most people who regard viruses as nothing more than disease causing pathogens would be surprised to learn of their newfound potential in electronics. A group of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently discovered that viruses can help to assemble microbatteries that have the ability to power miniature electronic devices. The group published their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of August 18th, 2008.

"To Thine Ownself Be True": A New Personalized Approach in the Combat against Cancer

While the words of Lord Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet may be more well-known amongst literary scholars, they also resonate amongst researchers due to a recent scientific advance in the combat against cancer. Scientists and clinicians at Children's National Medical Center and investigators at the University of Iowa have developed an approach in the combat against cancer that echoes this "self-principle" of looking within oneself that Lord Polonius advocates. By looking inward and utilizing the body's own immune system, these scientists and clinicians developed a new anti-tumor vaccine.

Fuel, Sweet Fuel

A couple of announcements made this month by independent teams will have us realize that green gasoline is not anymore an ambitious goal, but rather a reality. Through the conversion of plant sugars, scientists have been able to obtain a high-energy liquid, similar to petroleum, which can be likewise processed to yield all kinds of fuels and raw materials for pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

International Initiative to Wipeout Malaria

A Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) announced by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) on September 25th has many hoping for the "conquering" of malaria, a disease which kills close to 1 million people a year. At a fundraising event at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amongst others, pledged more than $3 billion of a required $6.2 billion.

2,000 year-old Astronomical Gadget Linked to Greek Games

An international team of scientists lead by Cardiff University in Wales has cracked a 2,000 year-old mystery: the purpose of the Antikythera clock found at the site of a Roman shipwreck off the Greek island Antikythera. Professor Mike Edmunds of the School of Physics and Astronomy and mathematician Dr. Tony Freeth have published their findings in the July 31 Nature issue. Using technology provided by Hewlett Packard (US) and X-Tek Systems (UK), they found evidence that the Antikythera device mapped the four-year cycle of the Olympics as well as the cycles of other Greek games.

Prion Protein May Have Links to Other Neurological Diseases in Cattle

Scientists have found that the "prion" protein, a type of protein that causes the disease commonly known as mad cow disease, may play a role in other brain diseases affecting cattle. Researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency published their findings in BMC Veterinary Research regarding the discovery of the prion protein's presence in the brains of cattle afflicted with other diseases known as idiopathic brainstem neuronal chromatolysis (IBNC).

Scientists Uncover Two Possible Roles of Adult Neurogenesis

The controversy over the exact role of adult neurogenesis has been settled claims a study published in this month's Nature Neuroscience. A team of researchers, led by Itaru Imayoshi at the Institute of Virus Research in Kyoto University, has shown the strikingly different roles that new cells play in the two brain regions where adult neurogenesis occurs. These findings could help lead the way to new treatments for patients with brain damage or neurodegenerative diseases.

Anchoring Mad Cows

A major step towards resolving the mechanism by which prions become disease agents has been achieved as a result of the teams headed by Christian F. Becker at the TU Munich and Peter H. Seeberger at the ETH Zurich. Together, they created the first synthetic form of a prion, the protein responsible of diseases such as mad cow in animals or Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in humans. This synthetic protein also happens to be the first including a GPI anchor which helps them attach to cell membranes. The findings were published on the latest issue of the German journal Angewandte Chemie.

Hubble Survey Finds Largest-Ever Sample of Ancient Galaxies

Astronomers say that looking at the stars is like looking back in time: the star-light we see has often spent millions of years traveling to Earth. The farther away an object is, the farther the light has to travel to reach Earth, and the older the image of the object. So when we say a galaxy is a million light-years away, we literally mean that the image we see is actually a million years old. This ability to look back in time is a useful tool for astronomers studying the history of the universe.

Prevalence of Public Displays of Affection on a College Campus

Using two measures of self-report, we aimed to determine the prevalence of various displays of affection in public places on the campus of the University of the South (Sewanee). A questionnaire was administered to 260 Sewanee students living in dorms on campus and an interview was conducted with a separate, but not necessarily entirely different sample of 140 students. We hypothesized that the college environment of Sewanee would produce a high prevalence of public displays of affection (PDAs) (Afifi and Johnson 1999).