Wandering Wombat writes: "A combination of drugs could trick the body into sending its repair mechanisms into overdrive, say scientists. The technique could be used to speed the healing of heart or bone damage. The bone marrow of treated mice released 100 times as many stem cells, which help to regenerate tissue. The mice were given firstly a "growth factor" drug — substances that already occur naturally in the bone marrow, then a new drug called Mozobil. Both endothelial and mesenchymal cells were released at a much greater rate. "It now seems increasingly likely that the bone marrow also contains cells that have the capacity to repair damaged internal organs, such as the heart and blood vessels, but that too few of them are released to be effective." Their hope is that clinical trials in humans may be possible within the next 10 years."
Wandering Wombat writes: "Apparently, nanotechnology is not meant to be the realm of mankind, according to a new European study. From the article, "Attitudes to nanotechnology may be determined by religious and cultural beliefs, suggest researchers writing in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. They say religious people tend to view nanotechnology in a negative light." More religious countries were found to hold nanotechnology in a more negative opinion, whereas less religious countries were more positive. Maybe if we made a nano-Bible..."
Wandering Wombat writes: "In what has to be a devastating shock to the cosmetics world, a research team from University College London said, in the Genes and Development journal, there was "no clear evidence they could slow ageing," despite the unproven 1956 theory that they do. Dr Gems said: "The fact is that we don't understand much about the fundamental mechanisms of ageing — the free radical theory has filled a knowledge vacuum for over 50 years now, but it doesn't stand up to the evidence. It is clear that if superoxide is involved, it plays only a small part in the story — oxidative damage is clearly not a universal, major driver of the ageing process.""
Wandering Wombat writes: "Be careful where you take your keys out of your pockets... pretty soon, people won't have to steal them to break into your house. "Scientists in California have developed a software algorithm that automatically creates a physical key based solely on a picture of one, regardless of angle or distance. The project, called Sneakey, was meant to warn people about the dangers of haphazardly placing keys in the open or posting images of them online." I'm sure the scientists involved promise to keep this software under lock and key."
Wandering Wombat writes: "A tiny chemical "brain" which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented. The molecular device — just two billionths of a metre across — was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously in a test. One day they may be able to guide the nanobots through the body and control their functions, he said. "That kind of device simply did not exist; this is the first time we have created a nano-brain," he told BBC News. The machine is made from 17 molecules of the chemical duroquinone. Each one is known as a "logic device"."
Wandering Wombat writes: "Some scientists are closer to getting plants, particularly crops, to survive droughts. FTA:
Researchers in Finland and the United States say they have discovered a gene that controls the amount of carbon dioxide a plant absorbs. It also controls the amount of water vapour it releases into the atmosphere. This information could be important for food production and in regulating climate change. In extremely dry weather, a plant can lose 95% of its water in this way.
Is anyone else worried that telling plants to suddenly stop absorbing as much C02 might just be a bad thing?"
The most colossal structures in the universe have been detected by astronomers who tuned into how the structures subtly bend galactic light. The newfound filaments and sheets of dark matter form a gigantic features stretching across more than 270 million light-years of space — three times larger than any other known structure and 2,000 times the size of our own galaxy. Because the dark matter, by definition, is invisible to telescopes, the only way to detect it on such grand scales is by surveying huge numbers of distant galaxies and working out how their images, as seen from telescopes, are being weakly tweaked and distorted by any dark matter structures in intervening space.
By figuring how to spot the GIGANTIC masses of dark matter, hopefully we can get a better understanding of it and find smaller and smaller structures."
The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving the faith tradition of their upbringing to either switch allegiances or abandon religious affiliation altogether, a new survey finds. The study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is unusual for it sheer scope, relying on interviews with more than 35,000 adults to document a diverse and dynamic U.S. religious population.
Is there truly no place in the computer-loving world for the God-fearing?"