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ciencia, farmacología y tecnologías.
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Watch a lung incredibly expand with air like a balloon

What you're looking at is a cat lung being blown up with a straw. I know. It's ginormous. More ginormous than what you would think is inside a cat. But that's because lungs are incredibly expandable.
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Researchers Identify Molecule that Reduces Fats in Blood

Researchers led by M. Mahmood Hussain, PhD, found that a regulatory RNA molecule interferes with the production of lipoproteins and, in a mouse model, reduces hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.
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El único animal inmune al cáncer revela su secreto

El único animal inmune al cáncer revela su secreto | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
El ratopín rasurado, un roedor de África, no sufre tumores gracias a una variante del ácido hialurónico, la misma molécula que ya se usa en inyecciones antiarrugas en humanos, según un estudio
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The unfrozen continent: Scientists map the terrain beneath the ice of Antarctica

The unfrozen continent: Scientists map the terrain beneath the ice of Antarctica | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

Check out the most detailed map of a continent never truly seen by human eyes: the de-iced surface of Antarctica. By virtually peeling back the frozen ice sheet and studying the land beneath, researchers can get a better sense of how the southern pole of our planet could react to climate change.

 

Bedmap2 was created by the British Antarctic Survey, and used decades of data to produce this detailed view of the frozen continent. NASA’s contribution to the dataset includes surface measurements from its now-retired orbiting Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), and results from  several years of flyovers by specialized aircraft that collected radar and other data measuring changes in the thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets as part of Operation IceBridge.

 

The work improves on the decade-old Bedmap project, which virtually thawed the continent, but at lower resolution. Both maps combine information on ice thickness, bedrock topography, and surface elevation. Bedmap2 added millions of extra data points and also covers a wider swath of land than its predecessor. Over on NASA’s site, you can compare the two datasets by sliding between them.

 

Researchers need good information about the under-ice ground of Antarctica to better simulate its response to changing environmental conditions. Antarctica’s ice is not static but constantly flows to the sea. Knowing the shape of the bedrock and the thickness of the ice allows scientists to model these movements and predict how they could change in the future.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Researchers reveal how malaria parasite sticks to blood vessels: PfEMP1 binding to EPCR

Researchers reveal how malaria parasite sticks to blood vessels: PfEMP1 binding to EPCR | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

Discovery of how parasite sticks to blood vessels could lead to new means to combat malaria.

 

Malaria parasites grow in red blood cells and stick to the endothelial lining of blood vessels through a large family of parasite proteins called PfEMP1. This way, the parasite avoids being carried with the blood to the spleen, where it would otherwise be destroyed. One of the most aggressive forms of malaria parasite binds in brain blood vessels, causing a disease called cerebral malaria.

 

In 2012, three groups of researchers, including the teams at the University of Copenhagen and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, showed that a specific type of PfEMP1 protein was responsible for cerebral binding and other severe forms of malaria infection. However, until now, the receptor to which it binds remained unknown, and the next big question was to determine which receptors the infected red blood cells were binding to.

 

“The first big challenge was to generate a full-length PfEMP1 protein in the laboratory,” says Assistant Professor Louise Turner at the University of Copenhagen. “Next, we utilized a new technology developed by Retrogenix LTD in the United Kingdom to examine which of over 2,500 human proteins this PfEMP1 protein could bind to.” Of the 2,500 proteins screened, a receptor called endothelial protein C (EPCR) was the single solid hit.

 

“A lot of work then went into confirm this binding in the lab and not least to show that parasites from non-immune children with severe malaria symptoms in Tanzania often bound EPCR,” she continues.

 

“It was a true eureka moment,” says Assistant Professor Thomas Lavstsen. “Under normal conditions, ECPR plays a crucial role in regulating blood clotting, inflammation, cell death and the permeability of blood vessels. The discovery that parasites bind and interfere with this receptor´s normal function may help us explain why severe symptoms of malaria develop."

 

Severe malaria symptoms such as cerebral malaria often result in minor blood clots in the brain. One of our body´s responses to malaria infection is to produce inflammatory cytokines, but too much inflammation is dangerous, describes Professor Joseph Smith, from the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

 

“ECPR and a factor in the blood called protein C act as a ‘brake’ on blood coagulation and endothelial cell inflammation and also enhance the viability and integrity of blood vessels, but when the malaria parasites use PfEMP1 to bind EPCR, they may interfere with the normal function of EPCR, and thus the binding can be the catalyst for the violent reaction,” he explains.

 

“Now that we know the pair of proteins involved, we can begin zooming further in to reveal the molecular details of how malaria parasites grab onto the sides of blood vessels. We want to know exactly which bits of the parasite protein are needed to bind to the receptor in the blood vessel wall. Then, we can aim to design vaccines or drugs to prevent this binding.” 

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Scientists discover the molecular trigger for the sensation of itch and itch response

Scientists discover the molecular trigger for the sensation of itch and itch response | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

Neuroscientists Mark Hoon and Santosh Mishra of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in Bethesda, Maryland, searched for the molecule that encodes the sensation of itch by screening genes in sensory neurons that are activated by touch, heat, pain and itch. They found that one particular protein, called natriuretic polypeptide b, or Nppb, was expressed in only a subset of these neurons.

 

Mutant mice lacking Nppb did not respond to itch-inducing compounds, but did respond normally to heat and pain. The researchers also found that when they injected Nppb in the mice's necks, it put them into a self-scratching frenzy. This occurred both in the mutants and in control mice.

“Our research reveals the primary transmitter used by itch sensory neurons and confirms that itch is detected by specialized sensory neurons,” says Hoon.

Hoon and Mishra went on to find neurons bearing receptors for Nppb in the spinal cord. Injection of a toxin made from soapwort seeds that targeted these spinal-cord neurons blocked itch responses, but not other sensory responses, suggesting that information about the itch sensation is transmitted along a distinct pathway.

 

The result “explains problems in the literature and provides a very testable hypothesis for how itch works”, says Glenn Giesler, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

 

Previous research suggested that gastrin-releasing peptide, or GRP, was the neurotransmitter released by sensory neurons to initiate itch-related signals. But Hoon and Mishra, as well as another group of researchers, failed to find GRP outside the spinal cord, indicating that GRP is not the primary trigger.

 

However, Hoon and Mishra found that GRP is still involved in the itch response. Injecting GRP into mice lacking either Nppb or its receptor produced strong scratching responses. Also, mice in which GRP receptors were inhibited did not engage in scratching behaviour, even with spinal-cord injection of Nppb. These results place GRP-releasing neurons downstream of Nppb in the transmission of the itch sensation.

“This model fits better with what everyone else is seeing,” says Sarah Ross, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

The neural pathways for itch in humans are similar, though not identical, to those in mice, and it is unknown whether they involve Nppb or something similar to it, Hoon says. He adds that he plans to follow up with human studies later on.

 

Giesler says that itch is a common problem, being associated with more than two dozen conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. “Antihistamines work for a few forms of itch, but for the vast majority they do nothing,” he says. “This research introduces a brand new target for clinical treatment.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Google's wearable Glass gadget: cool or creepy?

Google's wearable Glass gadget: cool or creepy? | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

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Why women live longer than men?

Why women live longer than men? | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

Main Point: Researchers have found that the immune system of the women declines more slowly than men and this could be one of the reasons for the longer life of women - at least in Japan.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Restoring memory with a microchip now closer to reality - Hindustan Times

Restoring memory with a microchip now closer to reality - Hindustan Times | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Restoring memory with a microchip now closer to reality Hindustan Times We're probably looking at devices in the five to 10 year range for human patients," said Rob Hampson, associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest...
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Spontaneous Mutations Play a Key Role in Congenital Heart Disease

Although genetic factors contribute to congenital heart disease, many children born with heart defects have healthy parents and siblings, suggesting that new mutations that arise spontaneously--known as de novo mutations--might contribute to the...
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New Research Finds Habitual Marijuana Consumption Not Linked To Lung Cancer

New Research Finds Habitual Marijuana Consumption Not Linked To Lung Cancer | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
A new study reported on this week at the annual meeting for the American Association of Cancer Research has found that habitual marijuana consumers have no more increased risk of lung cancer than casual consumers, or those who don’t consume at all.
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Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. According to Bill Nye, aka "the science guy," if grownups want to "deny evolutio...
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Epilepsy Cured in Mice Using Brain Cells

Epilepsy Cured in Mice Using Brain Cells | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Epilepsy that does not respond to drugs can be halted in adult mice by transplanting a specific type of cell into the brain, UC San Francisco researchers have discovered, raising hope that a similar treatment might work in severe forms of human...
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Are you addicted to the internet? - Thenationalstudent

Are you addicted to the internet? Thenationalstudent Similarly Baronness Susan Greenfield, a neuroscienist and professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, asks “How can you seriously think that people who work like this are the same as people...
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A Valve Inside a Valve: A New Heart Valve Can Be Implanted in People Suffering with Adult Congenital Heart Disease Without Open Heart Surgery

A Valve Inside a Valve: A New Heart Valve Can Be Implanted in People Suffering with Adult Congenital Heart Disease Without Open Heart Surgery | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
A new heart valve that can be implanted inside an existing valve will help adults with congenital heart disease avoid open heart surgeries.
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Nontoxic cancer therapy proves effective against metastatic cancer - Science Daily (press release)

Nontoxic cancer therapy proves effective against metastatic cancer - Science Daily (press release) | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Nontoxic cancer therapy proves effective against metastatic cancer Science Daily (press release) Led by Dominic D'Agostino, PhD, principal investigator in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the USF Health Morsani College of...
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New crystals that glow in different colors may illuminate homes and offices as effectively as natural sunlight

New crystals that glow in different colors may illuminate homes and offices as effectively as natural sunlight | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

Minuscule crystals that glow different colors may be the missing ingredient for white LED lighting that illuminates homes and offices as effectively as natural sunlight.

 

Light-emitting diodes, better known as LEDs, offer substantial energy savings over incandescent and fluorescent lights and are easily produced in single colors such as red or green commonly used in traffic lights or children's toys. Developing an LED that emits a broad spectrum of warm white light on par with sunlight has proven tricky, however. LEDs, which produce light by passing electrons through a semiconductor material, often are coupled with materials called phosphors that glow when excited by radiation from the LED.

 

"But it's hard to get one phosphor that makes the broad range of colors needed to replicate the sun," said John Budai, a scientist in ORNL's Materials Science and Technology division. "One approach to generating warm-white light is to hit a mixture of phosphors with ultraviolet radiation from an LED to stimulate many colors needed for white light."

 

Budai is working with a team of scientists from University of Georgia and Oak Ridge and Argonne national laboratories to understand a new group of crystals that might yield the right blend of colors for white LEDs as well as other uses. Zhengwei Pan's group at UGA grew the nanocrystals using europium oxide and aluminum oxide powders as the source materials because the rare-earth element europium is known to be a dopant, or additive, with good phosphorescent properties.

 

"What's amazing about these compounds is that they glow in lots of different colors—some are orange, purple, green or yellow," Budai said. "The next question became: why are they different colors? It turns out that the atomic structures are very different."

 

Budai has been studying the atomic structure of the materials using x-rays from Argonne's Advanced Photon Source. Two of the three types of crystal structures in the group of phosphors had never been seen before, which can probably be attributed to the crystals' small size, Budai said.

 

"Only the green ones were a known crystal structure," Budai said. "The other two, the yellow and blue, don't grow in big crystals; they only grow with these atomic arrangements in these tiny nanocrystals. That's why they have different photoluminescent properties."

 

X-ray diffraction analysis is helping Budai and his collaborators work out how the atoms are arranged in each of the different crystal types. The different-colored phosphors exhibit distinct diffraction patterns when they are hit with x-rays, enabling researchers to analyze the crystal structure.

"What that means in terms of how the electrons around the atoms interact to make light is much harder," Budai said. "We haven't completely solved that yet. That's the continuing research. We have a lot of clues, but we don't know everything."

 

The knowledge gained through their atomic-scale analysis is helping the research team improve the phosphorescent crystals. Different factors in the growth process—temperature, powder composition, and types of gas used—can change the final product. A fundamental understanding of all the parameters could help the team to perfect the recipe and improve the crystals' ability to convert energy into light.

 

Advancing the material's luminescence efficiency is key to making it useful for commercial LED products and other applications; the new nanocrystals may turn out to have other practical photonic uses beyond phosphors for LEDs. Their ability to act as miniature "light pipes" when the crystal quality is high enough could lend them to applications in fiber-optic technologies, Budai said.

 

"You can keep growing the crystals and measuring them, or you can understand why it's doing what it's doing, and figure out how to make it better. That's what we're doing—basic research. We have to figure out nature first."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Vloasis's curator insight, June 6, 2013 8:20 AM

It's rather exciting to be living in a time when new forms of light are being invented!

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Marijuana: The next diabetes drug? - CNN

Marijuana: The next diabetes drug? - CNN | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Marijuana: The next diabetes drug? CNN "The most likely explanation is that prolonged cannabis use causes the (receptors) to lose sensitivity and become inactive," says Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California,...
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Study Shows Honokiol Supports Muscles During Intense Exercise

Honokiol is a powerful polyphenol compound extracted from Magnolia officinalis bark.
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Treatment of Sleep Apnea Improves Glucose Levels in Prediabetes

Optimal treatment of sleep apnea in patients with prediabetes improves blood sugar (glucose) levels and thus can reduce cardiometabolic risk, according to a study to be presented at the ATS 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia.
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Wireless helmet detects brain bleeding

Wireless helmet detects brain bleeding | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Research news from leading universities

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Sakis Koukouvis's curator insight, May 15, 2013 5:08 PM

Researchers are testing a helmet-like device that uses wireless signals to instantly diagnose brain swelling and bleeding.

CAEXI BEST's curator insight, May 15, 2013 5:11 PM
Casque sans fil détecte une hémorragie cérébrale
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Researchers Identify Four New Genetic Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer

A new study in Nature Genetics looking at the genomes of more than 13,000 men identified four new genetic variants associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer, the most commonly diagnosed type in young men today.
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ScienceShot: Carnivorous Plant Ejects Junk DNA

ScienceShot: Carnivorous Plant Ejects Junk DNA | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Humped bladderwort's genome is only 3% non-gene, the inverse of humans
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3D-Printed Rocket Parts Will Take NASA to Mars

3D-Printed Rocket Parts Will Take NASA to Mars | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it

NASA engineers are building the largest rocket ever constructed — one that will eventually take us beyond the moon — using 3D-printed materials.

 

Creating this rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS), is a top priority at the agency because it has a big date: Obama wants to get humans to an asteroid and then on to Mars by the mid 2030s. To speed up the construction process, NASA is relying on a form of 3D printing to fabricate some of its engine parts virtually out of thin air.

 

The machine, called selective laser melting, uses a laser to build a component. Unlike traditional rocket building, which relies on welding together disparate parts, 3D printing starts with an empty table. That space fills up with a completed component, built one layer at a time, out of NASA's 3D-printing material of choice. What used to take weeks to build now only takes hours.

 

"We were looking at a way to save costs, be more efficient and reduce weight. That's how we got here," says NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

 

"The big thing about 3D printing is that there are no welds with seams, no places for stuff to leak in a component," he tells Mashable. "It starts from nothing and grows into what you want in one fell swoop."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Rich Rawdin's curator insight, May 10, 2013 2:43 PM

Now you know that we are in BIG trouble.

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Marijuana Kills Brain Cancer Cells

Marijuana Kills Brain Cancer Cells | Mis Tecnologías | Scoop.it
Marijuana supporters have long known that marijuana has amazing medicinal properties. It seems like the rest of the world is just now catching up to reality.
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