Thu, 09/12/2010 - 10:08 by Prince damin
Evanston, Ill. -- U.S. researchers say they've reached a major milestone in ongoing efforts to wipe out some of the world's most lethal diseases.
Scientists at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and Northwestern University have experimentally determined three-dimensional protein structures from a number of bacterial and protozoan pathogens, which could potentially lead to new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics to combat deadly infectious diseases, a Northwestern release said Tuesday.
Some of the structures solved by the researchers come from well-known organisms like the H1N1 flu virus and those that cause plague, cholera and rabies, the release said.
Thu, 09/12/2010 - 08:23 by Prince damin
Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- Commercial U.S. spacecraft company SpaceX had a successful demonstration launch and recovery of its Falcon 9 rocket and Delta capsule Wednesday, NASA said.
The liftoff was at 10:43 EST from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and after a short orbital mission the capsule was recovered after a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, NASA said.
The successful launch, safe reentry and recovery is the first demonstration flight for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, which will provide cargo flights to the International Space Station, the space agency said.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, issued congratulations to SpaceX.
Thu, 09/12/2010 - 08:19 by Prince damin
Vancouver, British Columbia -- Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not done enough to protect critical killer whale habitat off the coast of British Columbia, a court has ruled.
A federal court said Tuesday the federal government failed to protect at-risk resident whales by inadequately dealing with issues of salmon availability, environmental contamination and noise pollution from marine traffic, The Vancouver Sun reported.
Environmentalists launched a lawsuit in 2008 after the DFO used provincial guidelines to outline a protection strategy, which environmentalists argued did not address key issues such as food supply or pollution.
Thu, 09/12/2010 - 08:03 by Prince damin
Pittsburgh -- Officials at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh say they're hoping a pair of African penguins will mate now that the species has been declared endangered.
The institution is a national leader in protecting the species but has never had a birth at the facility, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday.
The species, which has declined from 141,000 about 50 years ago to 25,000 today, was officially declared endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sept. 28 and by an international conservation body in June.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 12:02 by Rakhi
East Lansing, Mich. -- Backyard birdwatchers and professional ornithologists alike have a new resource in a U.S. database of bird songs, pictures and information, researchers say.
The Avian Vocalizations Center at Michigan State University, or AVoCet, offers free downloads of bird sounds from around the world, photos of the birds recorded and links to other online bird call collections, a university release said Tuesday.
AVoCet offers more than 10,200 recordings from over 3,190 species in 45 countries, "and that's growing quickly," Pamela Rasmussen, an assistant professor of zoology, said.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:43 by Prince damin
Lawrence, Kan. -- U.S. employers don't pay Asian-American men as much as they pay similarly qualified white men, a University of Kansas study found.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates to investigate earnings, a university release said Tuesday.
"The most striking result is that native-born Asian Americans -- who were born in the U.S. and speak English perfectly -- their income is 8 percent lower than whites after controlling for their college majors, their places of residence and their level of education," ChangHwan Kim, assistant professor of sociology and study leader, said.
The findings show the United States has a way to go toward the goal of becoming a colorblind society, Kim says.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:41 by Prince damin
Oxford, England -- Thousands of species of collected but unidentified plants may be sitting in museum collections around the world waiting to be discovered, U.K. researchers say.
Examining how long it takes for new species collected in the field to eventually be identified, British researchers found it often took decades, the BBC reported.
Of the approximately 70,000 flowering plant species experts believe are yet to be found, over half may already be in collections awaiting identification, scientists say.
For hundreds of years, plants have been collected by mounting them on cardboard and placing them in what is known as a herbarium for safekeeping.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:36 by Prince damin
Edinburgh, Scotland -- Scottish researchers say a discovery involving stem cells may lead to reversing nerve damage and paralysis caused by multiple sclerosis.
MS is caused when the body's immune system attacks a substance called myelin that covers and protects nerve fibers, disrupting messages as they are sent around the body.
Researchers from Edinburgh and Cambridge universities say they have identified a mechanism that helps regenerate the myelin sheaths that protect the body's nerve fibers, particularly in the brain, The Daily Express reported Monday.
Identifying a way of regenerating the sheaths could lead to new drugs and treatments, the researchers say.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:10 by Prince damin
Blackburg, Va. -- Antibiotics can pass through the body without metabolizing and enter the environment, causing concerns of heightened antibiotic resistance, a study says.
Amy Pruden, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, says the antibiotics in the environment become "potential sources of antibiotic resistance genes," ScienceDaily.com reported Monday.
"The presence of antibiotics, even at sub-inhibitory concentrations, can stimulate bacterial metabolism and thus contribute to the selection and maintenance of antibiotic resistance genes," Pruden says. "Once they are present in rivers, antibiotic resistance genes are capable of being transferred among bacteria, including pathogens, through horizontal gene transfer."
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:08 by Prince damin
Washington -- The fossil of a 6-foot-tall stork has been found in Indonesia where an earlier discovery of a "hobbit" human species was made, researchers say.
Fossils of the big bird were discovered on the island of Flores, a place previously famed for the discovery of Homo floresiensis, a small hominin species closely related to modern humans, the BBC reported Tuesday.
Discovered in 2004, H. floresiensis is thought to be a human-like species standing just 3 feet tall that survived until about 17,000 years ago.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:01 by Rakhi
Wyoming, Mich. -- Marijuana advocates say they want to kick the entire city council of a Michigan city out of office for banning the drug state law permits for medicinal use.
The city council of Wyoming, Mich., reaffirmed a November vote Monday giving the ban a second and final reading that makes medical marijuana illegal within city limits, the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press reported
The vote goes against a 2008 statewide vote approving medical marijuana.
Voters in 27 of Wyoming's precincts supported that marijuana proposal.
John Ter Beek, a lawyer who has sued the city, plans a campaign to recall all seven elected officials and says he is recruiting volunteers to circulate recall petitions.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:36 by Rakhi
Washington -- Two groups researching BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to serious health problems, say it's been found on dollar bills and cash register receipts.
The study -- released Wednesday by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition and the Washington Toxics Coalition -- says bisphenol A, implicated in cancer, infertility and early puberty, can rub off of receipts onto bills and be absorbed by the skin, a release said.
Thermal paper commonly used in receipts contains BPA that isn't chemically bound in any way, the report says. Free BPA in a powdery film on receipts easily transfers to skin and other items that it rubs against.