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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Science and Nature News Redux
    Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 12:32

Geoscientists Use Numerical Model to Better Forecast Forces Behind Earthquakes

Researchers used their model to help explain the stresses that act on Earth's tectonic plates. Those stresses result in earthquakes not only at the boundaries between tectonic plates, where most earthquakes occur, but also in the plate interiors, where the forces are less understood.

Stony Brook University researchers have devised a numerical model to help explain the linkage between earthquakes and the powerful forces that cause them, according to a research paper scheduled to be published in the journal Science on Feb. 17. Their findings hold implications for long-term forecasting of earthquakes.

William E. Holt, Ph.D., a professor in the Geosciences Department at Stony Brook University, and Attreyee Ghosh, Ph.D., a post doctoral associate, used their model to help explain the stresses that act on Earth's tectonic plates. Those stresses result in earthquakes not only at the boundaries between tectonic plates, where most earthquakes occur, but also in the plate interiors, where the forces are less understood, according to their paper, "Plate Motions and Stresses from Global Dynamic Models."

"If you take into account the effects of topography and all density variations within the plates -- the Earth's crust varies in thickness depending on where you are -- if you take all that into account, together with the mantle convection system, you can do a good job explaining what is going on at the surface," said Dr. Holt.......

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101058.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 12:40

Successful Human Tests for First Wirelessly Controlled Drug-Delivery Chip

This implantable medical device, developed by professors Robert Langer and Michael Cima and colleagues, allows repeated wireless drug delivery in lieu of injections.

About 15 years ago, MIT professors Robert Langer and Michael Cima had the idea to develop a programmable, wirelessly controlled microchip that would deliver drugs after implantation in a patient's body. This week, the MIT researchers and scientists from MicroCHIPS Inc. reported that they have successfully used such a chip to administer daily doses of an osteoporosis drug normally given by injection.

The results, published in the Feb. 16 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, represent the first successful test of such a device and could help usher in a new era of telemedicine -- delivering health care over a distance, Langer says.

"You could literally have a pharmacy on a chip," says Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT. "You can do remote control delivery, you can do pulsatile drug delivery, and you can deliver multiple drugs."........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216144236.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 12:45

New Molecular Map to Guide Development of New Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and Other Diseases

Scientists at Scripps Research and Receptos have created the first high-resolution virtual image of cellular structures called S1P1 receptors, which are critical in controlling the onset and progression of multiple sclerosis and other diseases.

A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, collaborating with members of the drug discovery company Receptos, has created the first high-resolution virtual image of cellular structures called S1P1 receptors, which are critical in controlling the onset and progression of multiple sclerosis and other diseases. This new molecular map is already pointing researchers toward promising new paths for drug discovery and aiding them in better understanding how certain existing drugs work.

The molecular structure, described in the February 17, 2012 issue of the journal Science, is unique as the first-ever-to-be-determined lipid G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Molecules of this type play important roles in everything from cancer to metabolism, and this recent success should pave the way for researchers to establish the structures of other family members.

"There's something special about the S1P1 receptor," said Hugh Rosen, MD, PhD, a Scripps Research chemical biologist who co-led the work with Raymond Stevens, PhD, a structural biologist also from The Scripps Research Institute. "The biological consequences of even small changes with this receptor are profound. Understanding its structure provides clues about fundamental processes important in both health and disease."

"Being able to finally look at a lipid GPCR and the occluded cell surface binding pocket was a surprise but explains many of the issues we wondered about," said Stevens. "It is likely that other members of this subfamily will have a similar protein architecture."........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216143957.htm

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 14:54

25 million tons of tsunami debris floating toward US shores

Written By Jeremy A. Kaplan-Published February 15, 2012-FoxNews.com


Wrecked cars, portions of homes, boats, furniture and more -- all swept up by the destructive, magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan 11 months ago -- are on a slow-motion collision course with California.

But no one's tracking the debris, Jim Churnside, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, told FoxNews.com. "It would be really nice, but it’s really difficult," Churnside expained.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/15/25-million-tons-tsunami-debris-floating-toward-us-shores/#ixzz1mfdopdCS
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 14:56

Candid camera: Shark Gulps another Shark Whole

Written By Jeanna Bryner-Published February 17, 2012-LiveScience


The photo says it all: an alien-looking shark, adorned with mossy hairs and a flat face, with its mouth agape and a slender bamboo shark headfirst inside. Though not unusual for a shark to snack on another shark, it's not typical behavior — and it's certainly not common for humans to catch the action firsthand.

In fact, the researchers who came upon the shark-eat-shark scene on the fringes of Great Keppel Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef didn't realize at first what they were looking at.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/17/candid-camera-shark-gulps-another-shark-whole/#ixzz1mfeXr6uO

This creeps me out! Confused
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 15:00

Vast Solar Tornado Spied on the Sun

Published February 17, 2012-FoxNews.com


A tremendous tornado whirling across the surface of the sun was captured by a NASA satellite recently -- an amazing wonder of the solar system that may be as big as the Earth itself.

The video was recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a sun-watching satellite that has transmitted a series of stunning photos of solar flares in recent months. The new video shows darker, cooler plasma shifting back and forth above the sun's surface over the span of nearly 30 hours stretching from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8.

And the giant tornado may be as large as the Earth itself, with gusts of up to 300,000 mph, explained Terry Kucera, deputy SOHO project scientist and a solar physicist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“It’s about 15,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- relatively cool,” Kucera told FoxNews.com. After all, the sun’s corona is a whopping 2 million degrees, she explained.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/17/vast-solar-tornado-spied-on-sun/#ixzz1mffPzkQk





Edited by tjadams - 17-Feb-2012 at 15:01
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 15:39

Brain Imaging Differences Evident at 6 Months in High-Risk Infants Who Later Develop Autism

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This is an image of white matter pathways extracted from diffusion tensor imaging data for infants at-risk for autism. Warmer colors represent higher fractional anisotropy.

A new study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found significant differences in brain development starting at age 6 months in high-risk infants who later develop autism, compared to high-risk infants who did not develop autism.

"It's a promising finding," said Jason J. Wolff, PhD, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at UNC's Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). "At this point, it's a preliminary albeit great first step towards thinking about developing a biomarker for risk in advance of our current ability to diagnose autism."

The study also suggests, Wolff said, that autism does not appear suddenly in young children, but instead develops over time during infancy. This raises the possibility "that we may be able to interrupt that process with targeted intervention," he said.

Joseph Piven, MD, director of the CIDD, is senior author of the study.

The study was published online on Feb. 17 at AJP in Advance, a section of the website of theAmerican Journal of Psychiatry. Its results are the latest from the ongoing Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and headquartered at UNC. Piven received an NIH Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) program network award for the IBIS Network in 2007. ACE networks consist of researchers at many facilities in locations throughout the country, all of whom work together on a single research question.

Participants in the study were 92 infants who all have older siblings with autism and thus are considered to be at high risk for autism themselves. All had diffusion tensor imaging -- which is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- at 6 months and behavioral assessments at 24 months. Most also had additional brain imaging scans at either or both 12 and 24 months......

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101052.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2012 at 15:44

New Ability to Regrow Blood Vessels Holds Promise for Treatment of Heart Disease

Hindlimb ischemia was created in rats and treatments were delivered over seven days with an osmotic pump. The laser doppler imaging above shows the rat's hind limb prior to treatment (on the left) and with increased blood flow (image on the right) just seven days after treatment.

University of Texas at Austin researchers have demonstrated a new and more effective method for regrowing blood vessels in the heart and limbs -- a research advancement that could have major implications for how we treat heart disease, the leading cause of death in the Western world.

The treatment method developed by Cockrell School of Engineering Assistant Professor Aaron Baker could allow doctors to bypass surgery and instead repair damaged blood vessels simply by injecting a lipid-incased substance into a patient. Once inside the body, the substance stimulates cell growth and spurs the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones.

Aaron Baker is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

The method has been tested successfully on rats, and findings of the study were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Others have tried using growth factors to stimulate vessel growth in clinical trials and have not been successful," said Baker, a faculty member in the school's Department of Biomedical Engineering. "We think that a major reason for this is that previous methods assumed that the diseased tissues retained the ability to respond to a growth stimulus. Our method basically delivers extra components that can restore growth factor responsiveness to the tissue of patients with long-standing clinical disease."

The ability to regrow blood vessels could prove crucial to treating chronic myocardial ischemia disease, which affects up to 27 million patients in the U.S. and leads to a reduction of blood flow in the heart and lower limbs -- ultimately causing organ dysfunction and failure.

Central ischemia, which affects the heart, occurs when the coronary vessels that feed blood to the heart become blocked or narrow because of a buildup of fatty deposits called plaques. Such plaques are typically the result of a prolonged unhealthy diet or smoking, and factors such as age, high blood pressure and diabetes increase the risks of the disease, Baker said.

Doctors have typically treated ischemia by physically opening the closed artery with a stent or surgically rerouting blood flow to the poorly perfused tissue. Both methods have limitations, however, and are not effective long-term.

The new method introduced by Baker and his research team builds on a promising revascularization approach that, up until now, has shown limited efficacy in clinical trials for treating human disease.......

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216134326.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2012 at 09:25

Meet Plants' and Algae's Common Ancestor: Primitive Organisms Not Always So Simple, Researcher Says

A University of Arkansas biologist has created a sketch of what the first common ancestor of plants and algae may have looked like.

A University of Arkansas biologist has created a sketch of what the first common ancestor of plants and algae may have looked like. He explains that primitive organisms are not always simple.

The image appears as part of a "Perspective" article in the Feb. 17 issue of Science.

Fred Spiegel, professor of biological sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, suggests what microscopic parts would have been present in this common ancestor based on findings by Dana Price of Rutgers University and his colleagues, who examined the genome of a freshwater microscopic algae and determined that it showed that algae and plants are derived from one common ancestor. This ancestor formed from a merger between some protozoan-like host and cyanobacterium, a kind of bacteria that use photosynthesis to make energy, that "moved in" and became the chloroplast of this first alga. Price and his colleagues show that today's algae and plants have to be descended from this first alga, but they give no idea what it looked like.

"The work that Price and his group did nailed down what the relationships are" between this organism, the algae and plants, and all other eukaryotes, organisms that have a true nucleus in their cells, Spiegel said. "Once you know that, you can compare the structure of cells and characteristics you see in algae and plants with other eukaryotes and get a reasonable idea of what the original critter must have looked like.".......

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217115012.htm

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2012 at 14:00
Private Xombie rocket aces NASA landing Test

Published February 18, 2012-Space.com

A private suborbital rocket passed a landing test for NASA with flying colors this month in a succesful trial run of technology that could help future spacecraft touch down on other planets or moons.
On Feb. 2, Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket rose 164 feet (50 meters) off a launch pad in the California desert, moved sideways the same distance, and then landed softly on another pad. The entire flight lasted just 67 seconds.
The brief test flight demonstrated a new control system called the Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment (GENIE), which was developed by the nonprofit Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass. NASA's Flight Opportunities Program sponsored the recent flight, in the hopes that GENIE will enable more ambitious landing demonstrations in the future.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/18/private-xombie-rocket-aces-nasa-landing-test/




Edited by tjadams - 18-Feb-2012 at 14:01
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2012 at 14:03
Future Zoos to have Woolly mammoths, Tiger Robots
Published February 17, 2012-TechMediaNetwork

It's 2060, and you're planning to visit your grandkids in California. You know they love animals, so you're thinking of taking them to a zoo. Let's see what your search results pull up:

Welcome to the San Francisco All-Robotic Zoo!
The most advanced robotic animals in the world, straight from Silicon Valley | New tiger model just in | Totally humane—no real animals in cages

Dodo Chick Exhibit Now Open at the San Diego Zoo
Come visit our brand-new dodo chicks! Touch here to enter the naming contest.

SeaWorld: Go Head-to-Head with Dolphins
"Talk" to Slick and Kiki with our exclusive brainwave interface. Now taking reservations for February.

A group of 21 zoo professionals and researchers came up with these future zoo possibilities and more at a conference held at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., on Feb. 10-11.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/17/future-zoos-to-have-woolly-mammoths-and-tiger-robots/

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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 02:43
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 02:53
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 02:58
ESA's Fifth ATV named after Georges Lemaître:
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMMZ8ZXHYG_index_1.html



Edited by medenaywe - 19-Feb-2012 at 03:00
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 09:34
First they send one than 3 follows:Earth's magnetic field under investigations!
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMBHGZXHYG_index_1.html#subhead2
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 09:38
Their predecessor was Goce,gravity measuring device:
http://www.esa.int/esaMI/GOCE/SEM1AK6UPLG_0.html 
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 09:45
Russian cosmonauts walk in open space.Two robotic arms on docking modules are montaged:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition30/spacewalk.html



Edited by medenaywe - 20-Feb-2012 at 09:46
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 18:21

Yosemite's Alpine Chipmunks Take Genetic Hit from Climate Change

Emily Rubidge shown at a rocky slope above Tuolumne Meadows at Yosemite National Park. This is an area where alpine chipmunks were abundant in the past, but have now disappeared.

Global warming has forced alpine chipmunks in Yosemite to higher ground, prompting a startling decline in the species' genetic diversity, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

The study, appearing Feb. 19, in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Climate Change, is one of the first to show a hit to the genetic diversity of a species because of a recent climate-induced change in the animals' geographic range. What's more, the genetic erosion occurred in the relatively short span of 90 years, highlighting the rapid threat changing climate can pose to a species.

With low genetic diversity a species can be more vulnerable to the effects of inbreeding, disease and other problems that threaten species survival, the researchers said.

"Climate change is implicated as the cause of geographic shifts observed among birds, small mammals and plants, but this new work shows that, particularly for mountain species like the alpine chipmunk, such shifts can result in increasingly fragmented and genetically impoverished populations," said study lead author Emily Rubidge, who conducted the research while a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. "Under continued warming, the alpine chipmunk could be on the trajectory towards becoming threatened or even extinct.".........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120219143319.htm

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  Quote Drusin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 18:59
I wonder what kind of microbes we infected mars with, maybe they're starting to Terra-form it now, all the sanitizing we did when we built theses shuttles helped engineer radiation resistant microbes that are pretty hardy.  I think we may have seeded mars, perhaps we evolved from it's distant spores.
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2012 at 01:31

Fracking's effects on groundwater may be overblown, study shows

Written By Joel N. Shurkin-Published February 20, 2012-Inside Science News Service


A University of Texas study has found no evidence that fracking -- hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract natural gas -- is contaminating groundwater.

Problems associated with the process have been reported in water, but they appear to occur at ground level or just below the surface, according to the study released Friday. Many are common to any natural-gas extraction process, or are the result of mishandling of wastewater, the researchers said.

"The bottom line was, in the areas we investigated ... we found no direct evidence that hydraulic fracturing itself was contaminating groundwater," said Charles Groat, professor of geology at the University of Texas at Austin.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/20/frackings-effects-on-groundwater-may-be-overblown-study-shows/#ixzz1mzmIOn6n



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