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February 1, 2013
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Your World of Science News

  Top Story 
  • "Longevity gene" could lead to degenerative disease treatments
    A protein associated with the aging process could also help prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, according to a study published in the journal Cell Reports. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley discovered that injecting the protein SIRT3 into blood stem cells helped revive the cells back to a more youthful state. "This opens the door to potential treatments for age-related degenerative diseases ... the question is whether we can understand the process well enough so that we can actually develop a molecular fountain of youth," said the study's lead author, Danica Chen. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Heart attacks more likely in single adults, study finds
    Single men and women are more likely to have heart attacks and die from them than their married counterparts, according to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers found that married partners tended to have healthier lifestyles and were better off financially, factors that contribute to better health. LiveScience.com (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Defective diamonds could bring MRI, NMR to the nanoscale
    Scientists may be able to use nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging on a molecular level by using defective diamonds. Two separate experiments, published in Science, were able to detect single molecules using NMR with diamonds that have structural defects. The scientists plan to develop their detection methods into imaging methods to conduct NMR and MRI measurements on a nanoscale. Nature (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Glowing protein gives a window into a fish's thoughts
    Scientists were able to track the brain activity of a zebrafish that was injected with ultra-sensitive green fluorescent proteins. The researchers observed that the fish's activities corresponded accordingly with the flashes of light that traveled across its brain. Now, scientists are hoping to study the whole brain. "We will explore neurons that work while the fish learns and thinks," said one researcher. "This will lead to an understanding of the fundamental neuronal circuits at work during human thought." New Scientist (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study examines what lets owls turn their heads
    Large holes in an owl's vertebrae play a huge role in allowing the creature to turn its head 270 degrees without killing itself, according to a study published in the journal Science. Researchers injected dye into the blood vessels of dead owls and used CT scans to record the movements. In addition to the large holes, scientists found that the owl's vertebral artery enlarges as it reaches the brain, allowing extra blood flow as the head turns. Our Amazing Planet (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Humans were responsible for extinction of Australian predator
    Humans were single-handedly responsible for causing the extinction of Australia's thylacine, also called the Tasmanian tiger, disputing the popular notion that disease played a part in the animal's demise, according to a study. The marsupial predator was found throughout Tasmania before Europeans arrived in 1803. The study, conducted by the University of Adelaide, used a simulation to replicate the bounty hunting that was rampant between 1886 and 1909, and found that the thylacine's extinction happened regardless of a disease. The Australian (tiered subscription model)/Australian Associated Press (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Aztec coup of Mexican city led to assimilation, not abandonment
    A DNA analysis of remains found in Mexico's ancient city of Xaltocan reveals fundamental differences between the people before and after the arrival of Aztec conquerors, helping to answer the mystery of whether the city's residents abandoned the city or simply assimilated with the more powerful kingdom. The study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, supports the theory that a major demographic shift occurred when the Aztecs arrived in 1435, rather than the notion that the city was abandoned en masse in 1395. LiveScience.com (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Funding Watch 
  • Researchers find significant overlap in grants
    Government agencies may have awarded about $70 million in overlapping funds over the past decade, researchers report in Nature. Critics say the funds could have been used to further other research, but recipients say they used the grants to fund different research. The NIH, National Science Foundation and Department of Defense, among others, have differing standards for applicants who submit grant requests to multiple agencies. Nature/News (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Scientific communication crisis threatens progress
    The science community has long had a reputation for having poor public communication skills, but lately scientists have failed to communicate with one another, writes David Rubenson, Stanford Cancer Institute's associate director for administration and strategic planning. Presentations have become incomprehensible because researchers lack preparation time and large conferences make audience questions difficult to field; the number of scientific publications has exploded; research institutions have expanded; specialization has increased; and funds have declined. "It is up to our scientific leaders at the national institutes, foundations, and academic centers to recognize this problem and realign priorities and goals appropriately," Rubenson writes. The Scientist online (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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