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All kinds of interesting tech and health news from around the World!

Technology and Health News > Thursday, June-19-2008

How stem cells become neurons

A newly discovered molecule, Isx-9, is able to make stem cells mature into brain cells. The study in Nature Chemical Biology

They came across this behavior, while they were stimulating stem cells to give rise to cardiac cells, when researchers from the Southwestern Medical Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, have discovered that some of the molecules tested have matured however into neural cells. Completely random, therefore, this lead to the isolation of Isx-9, the most powerful among the compounds tested, capable, at very low concentrations, to create differentiated neurons. The study, conducted by researchers led by Jay Schneider and Jenny Hsieh was published on the number of Nature Chemical Biology.

Scientists began testing 147 thousand molecules for the project in order to isolate those who could stimulate embryonic stem cells to differentiate into cardiac cells. Stunningly, American researchers have noted that five of these compounds caused the stem to rise to neurons. One of these molecules was selected because it was acting to lower concentrations of the other and was more soluble in water. This, has given life to the compound Isx-9 that has been tested on neural stem cells from the brain, particularly those of the hippo campus of laboratory animals. In the test tube, the stem, under the action of Isx-9, could form the clusters and develop the first steps towards the formation of neurons.

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Technology and Health News > Monday, June-09-2008

Measuring the electron

A new advanced thermometer, based on noise Johnson, increased by five times the accuracy of current systems

After seven years of work, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nist), the U.S. organization for the development of technologies, have managed to build a new type of thermometer, Johnson Noise Thermometer (Jnt), defined by the same scientists a goal of thermometry, which advances to five times the current state of the art. The new device will in fact take measurements of extreme precision, never obtained so far, fundamental for basic research and for the definition of units of measurement. At the head of the project is Sam Benz, the Quantum Devices Group, which officially presented it on June 9th at a conference on measures of accuracy in Broomfield, Colorado.

The new thermometer provides the temperature starting from noise Johnson (hence the name), generated by the random motion of electrons inside a resistance. This measure is directly proportional to the temperature, and the system makes it possible to reduce the error without any additional calibrations. "All measurements are electrical, and do not require volumes of gas or mechanical systems that sometimes, depending on environmental conditions, could give approximate results." says Benz, " beauty is that the measurement is also very simple to perform. "

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Technology and Health News > Thursday, June-05-2008

The cerebellum regenerates

An Italian research published on Plos One identified, in rabbits, some areas where neurons grow as from adult tissue

A new Italian study has identified in the cerebellum of rabbits some areas in which nerve cells grow from adult tissue, demonstrating that repairing damaged to the brain - in theory - is not impossible.

The discovery, fifteen years ago, that even the central nervous system of adult mammals can form new neurons has been a cornerstone of neuroscience and distorting the previous belief that neurogenesis occurs in this animal class, once and for all, during development embryonic, without the possibility of repair after birth. Unlike other vertebrates, in which this process occurs post-natal widely in the brain, in mammals seems limited to a few specific areas.

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Technology and Health News > Tuesday, May-27-2008

Live DNA repairs

For the first time a molecule of genetic material was observed in real time, that is able to correct damage in its structure

The repair of a damaged DNA molecules is a mechanism well known in genetics, but so far no one had given testimony in real time. Researchers of the Kavli Institute at the University of Delft, the Netherlands, were able to document at the level of a single molecule of DNA, the homologous recombination, one of the mechanisms of repair frequently put in place by the cells. The work was published in the journal Molecular Cell.

The rupture of the molecule of DNA can be caused, for example, from ultraviolet rays or X-ray, but it can also happen during normal cell division. The type of damage can affect a part of the structure internal molecules, but the cells are equipped with various mechanisms to repair it. If these damages were not immediately corrected, they could lead to changes in functional levels!

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Technology and Health News > Friday, May-23-2008

Laser Communications

The transfer of data will be hundred of times faster than that by radio waves. The promise is made by the first tests conducted by a German institute.

Receiving images in Google Earth or photos of the Hubble telescope in real time may soon be reality. A German institute has experienced a communication system based on lasers which will transfer data at a rate one hundred times higher than that possible with radio waves.

The technology was developed by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen on the company's Tesat GmbH & Co. under a project funded by the German Aerospace Center (Dlr).

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Technology and Health News > Monday, May-19-2008

Gene therapy could be an option in the near future

An experimental study opens a way for gene therapy as a possible treatment for cases that do not respond to medicines in cases of Epilepsy. Research on Brain.

Almost one third of people suffering from epilepsy don't respond to prescription drugs. To date, the only possibility for many of them is to undergo an operation to remove the area affected by the disease in the brain, but an alternative to surgery could rise by gene therapy.

An experimental study of the Department of Neuroscience of Mario Negri in Milan, led by Noah, has shown that it is possible to induce the sick cells to produce a protein with anticonvulsant properties. And what this substance does is significantly reduces the recurrence of seizures.

The research, conducted in collaboration with international groups led by Gunther Sperk University of Innsbruck (Austria), Asla Pitkanen University of Kuopio (Finland), and Matthew During dell'Ohio State University (USA), was just published on Brain magazine.

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Technology and Health News > Thursday, May-15-2008

A footing against cancer

Three hours of jogging or 13 of walking per week: according to a U.S. study moderate exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer

Being fit, as we know, is not only an aesthetic issue. And now it seems that it is also useful for the prevention of breast cancer. A study of about 65,000 women by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.. Louis and from Harvard University in Boston, just published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, points out that women practicing sports have a 23 per cent lower risk of developing cancer before the menopause. In particular, it may be important to regularly exercise between the ages of 12 and 22 years.

"We have prevention strategies for breast cancer pre-menopausal, but our research shows that physical activity during adolescence and youth, between 12 and 35 years, may be important in the long term reduction of the risk of cancer", said Graham Colditz, professor of Prevention and Control and co-director at the Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "This is just one more reason to encourage young women to exercise regularly."

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Technology and Health News > Monday, May-12-2008

More fair than efficient

The sense of justice and the practical idea of efficiency are encoded in different ways and in different areas of the brain. A study in Science.

Giving a lot to very few, or just a little at everyone? According to a study published on this number of Science, most people follow the second choice, relying on fairness.

The neurophysiologists at the University of Illinois and California Institute of Technology have succeeded, through magnetic resonance imaging, to identify which brain areas are involved in taking such decisions. Scientists have concluded that two different parts of the brain, the insula (a small area of bark MEP to the perception of physiological states) and the putamen (Part nuclei that control voluntary movement), are activated when judging respectively fairness and efficiency. A third area, the caudate nucleus, is the coordination of the first two areas.

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Technology and Health News > Thursday, May-08-2008

The ideal target for chemotherapie

At the Ifom-Ieo Campus, a study began on the operation of a molecule which opens new avenues of research for less toxic treatments in chemotherapie. The study in Cell magazine.

Developing new chemotherapies able to kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones: This is the goal that's still far away but we can see the light. Thanks to an international study to which has substantially contributed a team of Campus Ifom-Ieo (Foundation Institute of Molecular Oncology - European Institute of Oncology) in Milan, in fact, it was possible to identify a molecule - called Ndc80 - which could be the ideal target of new chemotherapeutic drugs, because it's active only when the cell reproduces (mitosis). The research, led by Andrea Musacchio in collaboration with Peter De Wulf, was published in the journal Cell.

One of the problems with current chemotherapies is that, in addition to attacking the cancer cells, in part it also kills healthy cells. This is because the drugs (for example, taxolo) affect proteins that, although mostly engaged in the process of cell proliferation (typical of tumor masses), they are also involved in other processes with other cells that are not sick. A molecule found only in reproducing cells would be the ideal target.

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Technology and Health News > Tuesday, May-06-2008

Gene by gene

The entire genome of a person can now be sequenced in only four months and with less than one million dollars. To make "guinea pig" was James Watson

The moment in which we can know the gene for gene our identity is always near you: a new method developed by Jonathan Rothberg, the research firm American 454 Life Sciences, has enabled sequenziare the genome of a person in a very short time and with a significantly reduced cost compared to what is required by previous systems.

The genome sequenced in the new way is to James D. Watson, the famous discoverer, with Francis Crick, the molecular structure of DNA in 1953: This is the second human code entirely decifrato after that of Craig Venter, the scientist-entrepreneur who first, last September, made public l ' entire sequence of its genome. The new system, however, is a major step forward compared to the pioneering conquest of Venter, both in terms of timing and costs: to map the genome of Watson it took only four months and less than one million dollars (the system Venter had applied for some years and about one hundred million).

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