November 2nd, 2007

Human Regeneration

Newt Protein


Scientists have found a key protein that helps newts regrow severed limbs and which may guide future research into human regenerative medicine.


Biologists have long been intrigued by the ability of newts and salamanders to renew damaged body parts. But how they do it has been unclear. 

Now new research by a British team published on Thursday shows that a protein called nAG, secreted by nerve and skin cells, plays a central role in producing a clump of immature cells, known as a blastema, which regrows the missing part.
The importance of nAG was demonstrated by the fact that even when a nerve was severed below the stump tip, which would normally prevent regrowth, the scientists were able to coax regeneration by artificially making cells produce the protein.


Anoop Kumar and colleagues from University College London (UCL), writing in the journal Science, said the finding "may hold promise for future efforts to promote limb regeneration in mammals."


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Funky lubricant advertisement on the billboards on the road leaves road users with wild imagination..


Life on a Tiny Moon?


The chances of finding life on other worlds have received a boost.


This ice-covered world may be one of the few places in our solar system other than Earth that has a water ocean, and liquid water is believed to be one of the key factors in the development of life. The ice cover on Europa is thought to be between 2 to 50 kilometers thick, and there is compelling evidence that the ice may be overlaying a deep ocean of water.


Seeds of Life


One intriguing possibility is that sulphur ejected from Jupiter's volcanic moon, Io, could make it across to Europa. If we're getting a sulphur source going into the lake it's an exciting possibility. It increases the opportunity for life.


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Quote of the Day

"Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. ...The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive."


Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986)


Dark Future

What To Do Before the Asteroid Strikes


The doomsday rock is out there. It’s just a matter of time... In 2004, as a massive tsunami roiled through the Indian Ocean killing hundreds of thousands of people, a dozen or so scientists quietly confronted an impending disaster potentially even more lethal.


They had inside intelligence that a chunk of rock and metal, roughly 1,300 feet wide, was hurtling toward a possible collision with the most populated swath of Earth—Europe, India, and Asia. Furiously crunching numbers on their computers, the researchers put the odds of impact in the year 2029 at those of hitting the number in a game of roulette: 1 in 37.


In 2029 the asteroid, dubbed Apophis—derived from the Egyptian god Apep, the destroyer who dwells in eternal darkness—will zoom closer to Earth than the world’s communications satellites do. And April 13, 2036, it will return—this time with a 1-in-45,000 chance of hitting somewhere on a line stretching from the Pacific Ocean near California to Central America.


Though too small to end civilization—unlike the asteroid that may have doomed the dinosaurs—Apophis could pack a punch comparable to a large nuclear weapon.


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Lasting Image

The Arecibo Message


Globular cluster M13 was selected in 1974 as target for one of the first radio messages addressed to possible extra-terrestrial intelligent races, and sent by the big radio telescope of the Arecibo Observatory. Of course, this message will take about 23,000 years to reach the cluster. It included representations of the fundamental chemicals of life, the formula for DNA, a crude diagram of our solar system, and simple pictures of a human being and the Arecibo telescope.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)