Sunday, September 02, 2007

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

Star Trek medical device uses ultrasound to seal punctured lungs:
The first experiment using ultrasound to treat lung injuries shows promising results. High-intensity ultrasound rays stopped air and blood leaks in punctured lungs.

Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance:
Funded by a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, scientists at Binghamton University, State University of New York, hope to understand how the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum evolved resistance to the once-effective medication chloroquine.

Advance in effort to fight malaria by tricking the mosquito's sense of smell:
By mapping a specialized sensory organ that the malaria mosquito uses to zero in on its human prey, an international team of researchers has taken an important step toward developing new and improved repellants and attractants that can be used to reduce the threat of malaria, generally considered the most prevalent life-threatening disease in the world.

Discovery could help stop malaria at its source -- the mosquito:
Mosquitoes swarming around nearly 40 percent of the worldÂ’s population will continue to spread a deadly parasitic disease -- malaria. Now an interdisciplinary team led by researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has found a key link that causes malarial infection in both humans and mosquitoes. If this link in the chain of infection can be broken at its source -- the mosquito -- then the spread of malaria could be stopped without any man, woman or child needing to a take a drug.

Disease resistance may be genetic:
According to a study in Evolution, resistance to certain infectious diseases may be passed genetically from parent to child.

Now it's not just spiderman that can scale the empire state building:
Professor Nicola Pugno, engineer and physicist at Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, has formulated a hierarchy of adhesive forces that will be strong enough to suspend a person's full body weight against a wall or on a ceiling, while also being easy to detach.

NASA study will help stop stowaways to Mars:
NASA clean rooms, where scientists and engineers assemble spacecraft, have joined hot springs, ice caves, and deep mines as unlikely places where scientists have discovered ultra-hardy organisms collectively known as 'extremophiles'. Some species of bacteria uncovered in a recent NASA study have never been detected anywhere else.

Switching goals:
A computer simulation shows how evolution may have speeded up.

In matters of sex and death, men are an essential part of the equation:
In a paper, to appear in the August 29 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, Stanford scientists show that the standard practice of tracking only female life histories leads to mistaken conclusions about the forces that shape human evolution. The reason is that men's and women's age patterns of fertility differ in important ways.

Cornell team creates math model for circadian rhythm:
Cornell researchers hypothesize that the accepted model of circadian rhythmicity may be missing a key link, based on a mathematical model of what happens during the sleeping/waking cycle in fruit flies.

Engineers perfecting hydrogen-generating technology:
Researchers at Purdue University have further developed a technology that could represent a pollution-free energy source for a range of potential applications, from golf carts to submarines and cars to emergency portable generators.

Yale scientists use nanotechnology to fight E. coli:
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can kill bacteria like the common pathogen E. coli by severely damaging their cell walls, according to a recent report from Yale researchers in the American Chemical Society journal Langmuir.

Nanowire coating for bone implants, stents:
University of Arkansas researchers develop nanowire scaffolds with applications in bone replacement and stents as well as hospital settings.



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