Sunday, June 10, 2007

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

A sound way to turn heat into electricity:
University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars.

Researchers catch motion of a single electron on video:
Using pulses of high-intensity sound, two Brown University physicists have succeeded in making a movie showing the motion of a single electron. Humphrey Maris, a physics professor at Brown University, and Wei Guo, a Brown doctoral student, were able to film the electron as it moved through a container of superfluid helium.

An apple peel a day might keep cancer at bay:
Cornell researchers have identified a dozen compounds in apple peel that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. Three of the compounds have not previously been described in the literature.

Talcum powder stunts growth of lung tumors:
University of Florida researchers say talc is an exciting new therapeutic agent for a cancer largely considered incurable. Talc stimulates healthy cells to produce endostatin, a hormone considered valuable for treating metastatic lung cancer.

A step nearer to understanding superconductivity:
Transporting energy without any loss, travelling in magnetically levitated trains, carrying out medical imaging (MRI) with small-scale equipment: all these things could come true if we had superconducting materials that worked at room temperature. Today, researchers at CNRS have taken another step forward on the road leading to this ultimate goal. They have revealed the metallic nature of a class of so-called critical high-temperature superconducting materials.

Dirty snow may warm Arctic as much as greenhouse gases:
The global warming debate has focused on carbon dioxide emissions, but scientists at UC Irvine have determined that a lesser-known mechanism -- dirty snow -- can explain one-third or more of the Arctic warming primarily attributed to greenhouse gases.

Largest synthetic gene ever built offers insights into anti-malarial drug resistance:
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center say they are moving closer to understanding why the most lethal form of human malaria has become resistant to drug treatment in the past three decades.

University of Pittsburgh scientists find new contributor to aggressive cancers:
Mutations in the cell adhesion molecule known as integrin alpha 7 (integrin á7) lead to unchecked tumor cell proliferation and a significantly higher incidence in cancer spread, or metastasis, in several cancer cell lines, report researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in a study being published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. These findings suggest that integrin á7 represents an important new target for cancer therapy and prevention.

Glowing dye improves cancer removal in kidney:
A new way to provide clear images of cancerous tumors in the kidney during surgery promises to help physicians preserve as much kidney function as possible while still removing all the malignant tissue -- a significant advance as doctors discover that saving as much healthy kidney tissue as possible is crucial for the future health of cancer patients.



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