Northwestern University have designed synthetic molecules that
promote neuron growth, a promising development that could lead
to the reversal of paralysis due to spinal cord injury. "We
have created new materials that because of their chemical structure
interact with cells of the central nervous system in ways that
may help prevent the formation of the scar that is often linked
to paralysis after spinal cord injury," said Samuel I. Stupp.
Similar to earlier experiments that promoted bone growth, the scientists
now have successfully grown nerve cells using an artificial three-dimensional
network of nanofibers, an important technique in regenerative medicine.
Britain is likely
to be plunged into an ice age within our lifetime by global warming,
new research suggests. A study, which is being taken seriously
by top government scientists, has uncovered a change "of remarkable
amplitude" in the circulation of the waters of the North Atlantic.
Similar events in pre-history are known to have caused sudden "flips" of
the climate, bringing ice ages to northern Europe within a few
embarked on a test to see whether dumping iron into the ocean can
help remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere,
possibly alleviating global warming. The controversial idea has
been tested in small-scale projects before. But it has never been
clear whether it would actually work, in part because it is difficult
to track exactly what happens to the ecosystem after iron is added
to the water. Now scientists intend to watch a large patch of ocean
for a relatively long period of time in an attempt to find out.
Carnegie Mellon University have used atomic force microscopy (AFM)
to shed light on molecular scale processes underlying the formation
of insoluble plaques associated with Alzheimer's Disease. Results
of this work suggest that AFM could lead to a better understanding
of the disease process and help guide the search for new diagnostic
and treatment approaches.
has unveiled a new vision for space exploration, calling on NASA
to "gain a new foothold on the moon and to prepare for new
journeys to the worlds beyond our own." In a speech at NASA
Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the President said that the "new
course for America's space program" would give NASA a new
focus and clear objectives for the future. "We do not know
where this journey will end," said Bush, "yet we know
this: Human beings are headed into the cosmos."
the United States think they have found a new state of matter -
a supersolid. If their findings are correct, this state is deeply
bizarre. Although it is a crystalline solid, it can 'flow' like
the most slippery liquid imaginable - in fact, like a liquid with
no viscosity. Liquids that can do this have been known about for
years. They are called superfluids, and because they have no viscosity
they behave in strange ways. Once stirred, a superfluid will keep
For many people,
arteriosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of the walls of
blood vessels, is a serious condition that, if not treated, can
lead to massive heart attacks and strokes. Presently, surgical
options, which include either vessel transplantation from the patient’s
leg to the diseased vessels or implants from synthetic, cadaverous
or animal tissue, are susceptible to weaknesses, infection and
rejection. A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia
is working to create blood vessels directly from the patient’s
The Mars rover
Spirit has passed perhaps its most important milestone after nearly
12 days on the planet - rolling off its lander craft and onto the
red soil. Its planned three month mission of scientific exploration
can now begin. Slow and methodical preparation over three days
had turned the craft by 115° to ensure it avoided a deflated
air bag. Then, at 0821 GMT on Thursday, the final commands were
sent to roll forward three metres and off the ramp.
A team of engineers
at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif, successfully
tested a new ion propulsion engine design, one of several candidate
propulsion technologies under study by NASA's Project Prometheus.
The event marked the first performance test of the Nuclear Electric
Xenon Ion System (NEXIS) engine at the high-efficiency, high-power,
and high-thrust operating conditions needed for use in large-scale
nuclear electric propulsion applications.
The people operating
NASA's Spirit have received the first color pictures from the rover
and a congratulatory call from the president. Color images in a
mosaic released today are the highest-resolution pictures ever
sent from Mars, more than three times as detailed as images from
Mars Pathfinder in 1997. Spirit's panoramic camera took 12 contiguous
frames that the camera team combined into the mosaic.
Imagine a jet
engine able to cleanly burn cheap, plentiful diesel fuel, or a
car able to run on gasoline very efficiently and produce practically
no emissions. Three Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers
are imagining just these things and are embarking on a new experimental
roadway that may someday arrive at this reality.