Sunday, October 22, 2006

Science Sunday: Wrap-up of recent advancements in science from EurekAlert!

Despite popular belief, the world is not running out of oil, UW scientist says:

The foremost myth about resource geology is that the world is running out of oil, a University of Washington geologist says, and he wants to dispel that and other false notions about mineral resources.

First demonstration of a working invisibility cloak:

A team led by scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering has demonstrated the first working "invisibility cloak." The cloak deflects microwave beams so they flow around a "hidden" object inside with little distortion, making it appear almost as if nothing were there at all.

NIST physicists boost 'entanglement' of atom pairs:

Physicists at NIST have taken a significant step toward transforming entanglement -- an atomic-scale phenomenon described by Albert Einstein as "spooky action at a distance" -- into a practical tool. They demonstrated a method for refining entangled atom pairs, a process called purification, so they can be more useful in quantum computers and communications systems, emerging technologies that exploit the unusual rules of quantum physics for pioneering applications such as "unbreakable" data encryption.

NIAID scientists identify human protein that helps chickenpox and shingles virus spread:

A team of scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has identified a human protein that helps varicella-zoster virus, the cause of chickenpox and shingles, spread from cell to cell within the body.

Researchers map spread of pathogens in the human body:

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a new, more accurate, method of mapping how bacteria spread within the body, a breakthrough that could lead to more effective treatments and prevention of certain bacterial infections.

Researchers discover new gene responsible for brittle bone disease:

A team of researchers has identified a new genetic mutation responsible for osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a condition that makes bones much more likely to break, according to a study published today in the journal Cell. Victims may experience just a few fractures in a lifetime or several hundred beginning before birth. The number of Americans affected is unknown, but estimates range from 20,000 to 50,000.

Scientists identify switch for brain's natural anti-oxidant defense:

Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report they have found how the brain turns on a
system designed to protect its nerve cells from toxic "free radicals," a waste product of cell metabolism that has been implicated in some degenerative brain diseases, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and aging.

Grape seed extract halts cell cycle, checking growth of colorectal tumors in mice:

Chemicals found in grape seeds significantly inhibited growth of colorectal tumors in both cell cultures and in mice, according to researchers who have already demonstrated the extract's anti-cancer effects in other tumor types.

Receptor that enables clear corneas is identified:

The cornea stays clear by expressing a soluble form of a receptor that traps factors enabling growth of vision-obstructing blood vessels, researchers say.

New theory explains enhanced superconductivity in nanowires:

Superconducting wires are used in magnetic resonance imaging machines. Eventually, ultra-narrow superconducting wires might be used in power lines designed to carry electrical energy long distances with little loss. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign not only have discovered an unusual phenomenon in which ultra-narrow wires show enhanced superconductivity when exposed to strong magnetic fields, they also have developed a theory to explain it.

Listening to the sound of skin cancer:

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia can now detect the spread of skin cancer cells through the blood by literally listening to their sound. The unprecedented, minimally invasive technique causes melanoma cells to emit noise, and could let oncologists spot early signs of metastases -- as few as 10 cancer cells in a blood sample -- before they even settle in other organs.



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December 19, 2006 at 4:20 PM  

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