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Scientists seek better understanding of mouse, human brains to improve research

Scientists seek better understanding of mouse, human brains to improve research

Science
Aug. 22 (UPI) -- For decades, scientists have used experimental drugs to cure mice of brain disorders like Alzheimer's disease, glioblastoma and depression. But on human brains, these treatments often don't work. Now, researchers have pinpointed specific differences in the largely similar brain structures of humans and mice, according to a study published Thursday in Nature. The discovery of these differences could open a gateway to understanding why so many treatments that work with mice do not translate to good treatments for humans. "Just as we can use our genes to build our family trees or find long-lost relatives with services like ancestry.com or 23andme, we're letting the genes tell us the story of our brains and their evolution," said Ed Lein, a researcher at the Allen Institute ...
Scientists to use near-Earth object telescope to observe cosmic mergers

Scientists to use near-Earth object telescope to observe cosmic mergers

Science
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Scientists have reprogrammed the Catalina Sky Survey's near-Earth object telescopes to look for both asteroids and cosmic mergers. "Catalina Sky Survey has all of this infrastructure for their asteroid survey," Michael Lundquist, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona, said in a news release. "So we have deployed additional software to take gravitational wave alerts from LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, and the Virgo interferometer then notify the survey to search an area of sky most likely to contain the optical counterpart." The Catalina Sky Survey telescopes will continue to look for asteroids, but it will scan parts of the sky that LIGO and Virgo observations suggest is likely to feature the optical signals of merge...
Scientists consider ‘human-made volcano’ to slow global warming

Scientists consider ‘human-made volcano’ to slow global warming

Science
Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Throughout Earth's history, volcanic eruptions have periodically cooled Earth. Though most eruptions aren't big enough to influence global climate patterns, especially large eruptions can have a global impact. When a large amount of ash is spewed into the atmosphere, the particles reflect the sun's rays back toward space, lowering the temperature on Earth. In a new paper, published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists considered the possibility of replicating the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption -- a "human-made volcano" to combat climate change. "Nobody likes the idea of intentionally tinkering with our climate system at global scale," Ken Caldeira, researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science, said in a news release. "Even if we ...
Stop abusing land, scientists warn

Stop abusing land, scientists warn

Science
Scientists are to deliver a stark condemnation of the damage being done to the land surface of the planet.Human activities have led to the degrading of soils, expanded deserts, felled forests, driven out wildlife, and drained peatlands, they will say.In the process, land has been turned from an asset that combats climate change into a major source of carbon.The scientists will say this land abuse must be stopped to avoid catastrophic climate heating.UK's 10 warmest years all occurred since 2002Climate change: Where we are in seven chartsWhat is climate change?How can the land protect us from climate change?Uncultivated land covered with vegetation protects us from overheating because the plants absorb the warming gas CO2 from the...
Scientists produce self-healing gel made out of bacteria-killing viruses

Scientists produce self-healing gel made out of bacteria-killing viruses

Science
July 25 (UPI) -- Scientists in Canada have developed a novel gel jam-packed with bacteria-killing viruses. According to researchers, the self-healing gel could be used for a variety of applications in medicine and environmental protection. Bacteria-killing viruses, called bacteriophages or phages, are the most abundant and diverse group of organisms on the planet, far outnumbering any other life form -- even bacteria. Zeinab Hosseini-Doust, a chemical engineer and researcher at McMaster University in Canada, operates a lab where she focuses on finding solutions for infectious disease. In her lab, Hosseini-Doust grew, extracted and packed bacteriophages together at such a great density that they spontaneously arranged themselves into liquid crystals. When Hosseini-Doust added a chemical b...