Monthly Archives: June 2011

Laboratory yeast artificially evolve into multicellular organisms

One of the biggest evolutionary hurdles for life on Earth was the jump from single-celled to multi-cellular organisms…or at least, that’s what we thought. Scientists set out to replicate this evolutionary leap in laboratory conditions. It took them two months. There almost certainly wasn’t one single leap to multicellularity, and scientists suspect there were about twenty distinct instances in which single-celled organisms evolved into multicellular creatures. But since the most recent documented case of this happened 200 million years ago, … Continue reading

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Pathophysiology of Diabetes

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Insulin is the principal hormone that regulates uptake of glucose from the blood into most cells (primarily muscle and fat cells, but not central nervous system cells). Therefore deficiency of insulin or the insensitivity of its receptors plays a central role in all forms of diabetes mellitus. Humans are capable of digesting some carbohydrates, in particular those most common in food; starch, and some disaccharides such as sucrose, are converted within a few hours to simpler forms most notably the … Continue reading

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Rosalyn Yalow

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Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (July 19, 1921 – May 30, 2011) was an American medical physicist, and a co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (together with Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally) for development of the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique. She was the second woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine after Gerty Cori. Born in Manhattan to Simon and Clara (née Zipper) Sussman, she attended Walton High School. Knowing how to type, she won a part-time position as secretary to Dr. Rudolf Schoenheimer, a leading biochemist at Columbia University’s College of Physicians … Continue reading

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Gulfstream G450 crosses the Atlantic on 50/50 biofuel-jetfuel blend

With the rising price of fuel and more stringent emissions regulations, there is a strong need for the aviation industry to begin taking steps to earn its green wings. It’s not surprising therefore that biofuel was one of the hot topics at this week’s Paris Air Show with both Boeing’s 747-8 and Gulfstream’s G450 business jet making the trip across the Atlantic on biofuel blends. The G450 flew in from Morristown, New Jersey, after a seven hour flight in which … Continue reading

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Genome editing, a next step in genetic therapy, corrects hemophilia in animals

Using an innovative gene therapy technique called genome editing that hones in on the precise location of mutated DNA, scientists have treated the blood clotting disorder hemophilia in mice. This is the first time that genome editing, which precisely targets and repairs a genetic defect, has been done in a living animal and achieved clinically meaningful results. As such, it represents an important step forward in the decades-long scientific progression of gene therapy — developing treatments by correcting a disease-causing … Continue reading

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Spectacular discoveries in New Guinea

A frog with fangs, a blind snake and a round-headed dolphin are among more than 1,000 new species recently found on the incredible Melanesian island of New Guinea, environment group WWF said. Scientists made the astounding discoveries, which also included a river shark and dozens of butterflies, on New Guinea at a rate of two a week from 1998 to 2008, WWF said in a new report on the islands natural habitat. “This report shows that New Guineas forests and … Continue reading

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Artificial pancreas being developed to ease diabetes burden

The 25.8 million Americans who have diabetes may soon be free of finger pricks and daily insulin dosing. Mayo Clinic endocrinologists Yogish Kudva, M.B.B.S., and Ananda Basu, M.B.B.S., M.D., are developing an artificial pancreas that will deliver insulin automatically and with an individualized precision never before possible. As part of this effort, Drs. Kudva and Basu will present their latest findings on how the mundane movements of everyday life affect blood sugar to the American Diabetes Association meeting this month in … Continue reading

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Saturn’s Sensational “One Ring” Discovery

Please try and  ignore the ‘Lord of the Rings’ references – Deskarati -

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Lab-grown meat would ‘cut emissions and save energy’

Meat grown using tissue engineering techniques, so-called ‘cultured meat’, would generate up to 96% lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced meat, according to a new study. The analysis, carried out by scientists from Oxford University and the University of Amsterdam, also estimates that cultured meat would require 7-45% less energy to produce than the same volume of pork, sheep or beef. It would require more energy to produce than poultry but only a fraction of the land area and … Continue reading

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Austrian company debuts revolutionary wingless aircraft

A firm from Austria, Austrian Innovative Aeronautical Technology IAT21 has unveiled a new type of aircraft that flies without wings or rotors, at the Paris Air Show. Though not actually flown at the show, spokesmen for the new aircraft, named D-Dalus no doubt after the tragic Greek figure Daedalus, who lost his son Icarus when his wings melted as he flew too close to the sun claim the aircraft is capable of both hovering and flying forward as fast as … Continue reading

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What You Learned About Static Electricity Is Wrong

For many of us, static electricity is one of the earliest encounters we have with electromagnetism, and it’s a staple of high school physics. Typically, it’s explained as a product of electrons transferred in one direction between unlike substances, like glass and wool, or a balloon and a cotton T-shirt (depending on whether the demo is in a high school class or a kids’ party). Different substances have a tendency to pick up either positive or negative charges, we’re often … Continue reading

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UrtheCast video platform will let users view Earth from space

Canadian-based company UrtheCast has announced a project intended to let a wider audience view the earth from space. A pair of cameras will be installed on the International Space Station, recording videos and imagery of the planet. The project’s aim is to create an internet-based video streaming platform, thus allowing for online viewing of the footage being recorded in space. It’s “the world’s first and only near real time high definition video from space,” according to UrtheCast’s website. The International … Continue reading

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Floating +Pool would let New Yorkers swim in the river

It’s a hot summer day, you’re sweaty and uncomfortable, and there’s a river full of cool, clear water right beside you. Do you jump in? Not if you’re in New York City, as the rivers that flow through that city are too polluted for swimming … or at the very least, that’s the perception that most people have of them. Three young entrepreneurs, however, have proposed a way of getting New Yorkers into the Hudson, East and/or Bronx Rivers. It’s … Continue reading

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New alloy converts heat directly into electricity

The heat given off by electronics, automobile engines, factories and other sources is a potentially huge source of energy, and various technologies are being developed in order to capture that heat, and then convert it into electricity. Thanks to an alloy that was recently developed at the University of Minnesota, however, a step in that process could be saved – the new material is able to convert heat directly into electricity. The multiferroic alloy, with the catchy name Ni45Co5Mn40Sn10, was … Continue reading

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Van Gogh Self Portrait Actually His Brother

Art researchers at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum said they have “discovered” a work by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh — long thought to have been a self-portrait — was in fact a picture of his younger brother Theo. “According to current opinion, Vincent van Gogh never painted his brother Theo, on whom he was dependent,” the Van Gogh Museum said in a statement. But senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh now believed the 1887 painting of a man wearing a light-colored … Continue reading

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Flames of Betelgeuse: New image reveals vast nebula around famous supergiant star

Using the VISIR instrument on the European Southern Observatorys Very Large Telescope VLT, astronomers have imaged a complex and bright nebula around the supergiant star Betelgeuse in greater detail than ever before. This structure, which resembles flames emanating from the star, is formed as the behemoth sheds its material into space. Betelgeuse, a red supergiant in the constellation of Orion, is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It is also one of the biggest, being almost the … Continue reading

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Timekeeping on a grand scale – the 10,000 Year Clock

When we hear about things being built to last, we usually think in terms of years or decades … or maybe, centuries. But millennia? Well yes, if you’re talking about the 10,000 Year Clock. As its name implies, the 200 foot (61 meter)-tall timepiece is intended to run for 10,000 years, in a remote cave in West Texas. The clock’s “century hand” will advance one space every 100 years, although individuals who make the trek to the cave will be … Continue reading

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Flying-high in 2050: The Airbus Concept Cabin

Airbus engineers have outlined their vision of what passengers could expect from air travel circa 2050 – and it sounds like a lot more fun than today’s cattle class experience. The Airbus Concept Cabin focuses on high levels of customization tailored to suit individual needs including auto-morphing seats and personalized entertainment. Passengers’ body heat would also be harvested via the use of smart materials that integrate the electrical system and do away with the need for conventional wires. The Concept … Continue reading

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes Paris appearance

One of the most anticipated commercial airplanes in recent years made an appearance at the 49th Paris Airshow this week. The first flight-test 787 Dreamliner (ZA001) spent two days on static display on the tarmac at Le Bourget and will take a short tour through Europe before returning to the U.S. The 787 test fleet has clocked up over 4,000 hours and Boeing says that 97% of flight testing required for certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration is complete. … Continue reading

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Study finds single photons cannot exceed the speed of light

Click picture for enlarged view The rule that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, c, is one of the most fundamental laws of nature. But since this speed limit has only been experimentally demonstrated for information carried by large groups of photons, physicists have recently speculated as to whether single photons and the information carried by them may be able to exceed the speed of light. In a new study, physicists have performed the difficult task of … Continue reading

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