Researchers Develop a New Self-Healing Polymer That May Reduce Electronic Waste Disposal

Did you know that each year, 4.6 million tons of electronic waste finds its way to landfills? This includes tens of thousands of televisions, computers, cell phones, PDAs, and various other consumer electronics. These products frequently end up in landfills because the plastics that are used to make them cannot be remelted or reshaped, and therefore cannot be reused.

Monkeys Can Do math: A New Clue on Evolutionary Pattern in Primates' Brain

Mathematics has long been an advance branch of knowledge, even for humans, but recent research shows that rhesus monkeys can learn and apply basic mathematical concepts, such as the Greater-Than or Less-Than rules. Results from this study, done by researchers at the Institute of Neurobiology at University of Tubingen in Germany, was published in the online January 18 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Immunological Risks of Spaceflight Could Compromise Mars Missions

Imagine being trapped in space with an enemy that grows stronger as you grow weaker. That's what astronauts on a long trip to Mars will have to face, concludes a report published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. The authors found that spaceflight weakens the immune system while strengthening harmful microbes, increasing risk of serious infection and potentially preventing long-term manned missions.

Fighting Mosquito-Borne Illnesses: Infect the Mosquitoes Themselves?

Despite many efforts toward the eradication of mosquito-borne illnesses, they still afflict tens of millions of people each year. However, recent findings suggest that the introduction of a common insect bacterium into natural mosquito populations may help prevent the spread of such diseases. In a December 2009 Cell publication, scientists reported that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the bacterium Wolbachia have significantly shorter life spans.

Tobacco Dependence and Schizophrenia: A Complex Correlation

Tobacco dependence in patients with schizophrenia is an increasing concern with few treatment options. Individuals with Schizophrenia have a cigarette smoking prevalence rate which is significantly higher than the general population. Consequently, patients also have a lower quit rate than the general population. The increased prevalence of tobacco use in this population complicates symptoms and also has adverse physiological effects on patients.