December 2008 (Archive)

Boiling point
McDonald's recalls Shrek glasses due to potential cadmium risk — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced…
Hogchoker - the new Internet star — A small flatfish living along the coast of North America is the…
Cancer deaths are projected to double by 2030 — Cancer deaths are projected to double in the next two decades.…

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Minuscule
Wasps clock faces like humans — Face recognition in golden paper wasps may be an adaptation to…
Entangled diamonds vibrate together — Objects big enough for the eye to see have been placed in a weirdly…
How animals predict earthquakes — Animals may sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur…
New Icelandic volcano eruption could have global impact — Hundreds of metres under one of Iceland's largest glaciers there…

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News | Archive (22 December 2008)

Archived news stories published on 22 December 2008 [chronologically, reverse order]
DON'T MISS —
Scientists develop nano-sized 'cargo ships' to target and destroy tumours
Scientists develop nano-sized 'cargo ships' to target and destroy tumours — Scientists have developed nanometre-sized 'cargo ships' that can sail throughout the body via the bloodstream without immediate…
Halos of planetary nebulae revealed
Halos of planetary nebulae revealed — Stars without enough mass to turn into exploding supernovae end their lives blowing away most of their mass in a non-explosive,…
VLT instrument hints at the presence of planets in young gas discs
VLT instrument hints at the presence of planets in young gas discs — Astronomers have been able to study planet-forming discs around young Sun-like stars in unsurpassed detail, clearly revealing…
Panoramic view into the microcosm
Panoramic view into the microcosm — What looks like the intricate makings of a futuristic sculptor is the product of nature itself. The spherical spores of the…

Patient-derived induced stem cells retain disease traits

— 12:08 GMT | Health

When neurones started dying in Clive Svendsen's lab dishes, he couldn't have been more pleased. The dying cells - the same type lost in patients with the devastating neurological disease spinal muscular atrophy - confirmed that the University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell biologist had recreated the hallmarks of a genetic disorder in the lab, using stem cells derived from a patient. By allowing scientists the unparalleled opportunity to watch the course of a disease unfold in a lab dish, the work marks an enormous step forward in being able to study and develop new therapies for genetic diseases…

Making coal mining safer, more efficient and greener

— 12:08 GMT | Environment

CSIRO's efforts to help the Australian coal industry improve safety and efficiency and reduce its environmental impact received a boost this week with the allocation of more than A$3 million in funding from the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)…

New 'seawater' - the way ahead for ocean science

— 12:08 GMT | Environment

A proposed new definition of 'seawater' is drawing the attention of the world's oceanographic community in a change that will advance the accuracy of climate science projections. The science case for a change in the definition of seawater was first agreed to in 2006 when the international guiding body, the Scientific Committee on Oceans Research (SCOR) established a working group, chaired by Dr Trevor McDougall, of CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship…

Snails and humans use same genes to tell right from left

— 12:08 GMT | Biology

Biologists have tracked down genes that control the handedness of snail shells, and they turn out to be similar to the genes used by humans to set up the left and right sides of the body. The finding, reported online in advance of publication in Nature by University of California, Berkeley, researchers, indicates that the same genes have been responsible for establishing the left-right asymmetry of animals for 500-650 million years, originating in the last common ancestor of all animals with bilateral body organisation, creatures that include everything from worms to humans…

Better antifreezes to preserve donor organs for transplantation

— 12:08 GMT | Health

Chemists in Canada have developed a new approach for producing more effective medical antifreeze fluids for preserving kidneys, hearts, and other organs donated for transplantation. These next-generation antifreezes can decrease damage to organs caused by ice crystals, and thus prolong the time a donated organ will remain viable prior to transplantation. This could increase the number of available organs for potential recipients. Their study is scheduled for the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a weekly publication…

SNPs of ABC transporter genes linked to lung cancer risk

— 12:08 GMT | Health

Individuals with particular variants of certain genes involved in metabolising the most potent carcinogen found in cigarette smoke have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the 1 February 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study's results may help shed light on how lung cancer develops and could have important implications for preventing smoking-related cancers…

Nothing to sneeze at: Real-time pollen forecasts

— 12:08 GMT | Health

Researchers in Germany are reporting an advance toward development of technology that could make life easier for millions of people allergic to plant pollen. It could underpin the first automated, real-time systems for identifying specific kinds of allergy-inducing plant pollen circulating in the air. Their study is in the current issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal…

Ancient African exodus mostly involved men, geneticists find

— 12:08 GMT | Geology and palaeontology

Modern humans left Africa over 60,000 years ago in a migration that many believe was responsible for nearly all of the human population that exist outside Africa today…

Study of pollen grains yields new picture of Ice Age

— 12:08 GMT | Geology and palaeontology

According to a new doctoral dissertation at Stockholm University in Sweden, based on analyses of deposits of pollen grains, it is possible that all of Sweden was virtually free of ice for long periods during the latest ice age. The findings show that the glaciation might have started some 20,000 later than was previously assumed…

Genes may influence popularity

— 12:08 GMT | Health

A groundbreaking study of popularity by a Michigan State University scientist has found that genes elicit not only specific behaviours but also the social consequences of those behaviours…

22 December 2008 — 18 stories
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— ESO's Wide Field Imager has captured the intricate swirls of the spiral galaxy Messier 83, a smaller look-alike of our own Milky Way. Shining with the light of billions…

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— A new study will reveal whether major changes to Western Australia's climate are due to human activities and if they will persist and intensify with increasing greenhouse…