Science grants rise with stimulus spending

The stimulus bill was conceived as a way to jumpstart the economy with ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure and construction projects. At agencies such as the NSF and the Department of Energy’s (DoE) office of science, however, much of the money will be spent on grants, and details are emerging this week of how those grants will be awarded.

>>>> Article in Nature

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Greater carotenoid intake linked with longer cancer-free survival in breast cancer patients

The February, 2009 issue of the American Association for Cancer Research journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention published the discovery of researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Arizona, and other research centers of a positive effect of high carotenoid intake on recurrence-free survival in breast cancer patients. Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, occur in most fruits and vegetables. Diets high in these plant foods have been linked with a protective effect against various cancers in a number of studies.

>>>> Article in Life Extension site

Multivitamin Use Not Associated With Women’s Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease or Death

Postmenopausal women who take multivitamins appear to have the same risk of most common cancers, cardiovascular disease or dying of any cause as women who do not take multivitamin supplements, according to a report in the February 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Continue reading “Multivitamin Use Not Associated With Women’s Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease or Death”

Artificial cells, simple model for complex structure

A simple, chemical materials model may lead to a better understanding of the structure and organization of the cell according to a Penn State researcher.

“Cells are interesting because they show organization even at the level of the cytoplasm, and while it is thought to be important for cell functions, it is not always clear how this organization is achieved,” said Christine Keating, associate professor of chemistry. “We are taking a materials chemistry approach in developing simple experimental models for cytoplasm organization,” she told attendees at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Christine Keating, Penn State
Caption: These are images of primitive artificial cell created with lipid membrane and two large molecules. Top images are when cells form. The bottom images are after fluid is removed via osmotic stress. The left images are by transmitted-light, Differential Interference Contrast microscopy. The images on the right are false colored fluorescent images. The scale bar is 10 micrometers. Credit: Christine Keating, Penn State

Continue reading “Artificial cells, simple model for complex structure”

Next gen sequencing technology pinpoint ‘on-off switches’ in genomes

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California, San Diego have developed a set of molecular tools that provide important insight into the complex genomes of multicellular organisms. The strategy promises to clarify the longstanding mystery of the role played by vast stretches of DNA sequence that do not code for the functional units—genes—that nevertheless may have a powerful regulatory influence. The research is described in the 12 February edition of the journal Nature.

Axel Visel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Caption: Activity pattern of one of nearly 5000 potential genetic switches (enhancers) identified by Visel et al. This particular switch is located on human chromosome 5 and turns on genes in developing mammalian limbs, as shown here by reporter gene staining (dark blue) in a transgenic mouse embryo. Credit: Axel Visel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Continue reading “Next gen sequencing technology pinpoint ‘on-off switches’ in genomes”

Skin Cells Reprogrammed As Heart Cells Beat in a Dish

The heart tissue is created by induced pluripotency, which genetically reprograms adult cells into a near-embryonic state, capable of becoming almost any cell type.

Video: University of Wisconsin

Scientists read minds with infrared scan

Researchers at Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital have developed a technique that uses infrared light brain imaging to decode preference – with the goal of ultimately opening the world of choice to children who can’t speak or move.

In a study published this month in The Journal of Neural Engineering, Bloorview scientists demonstrate the ability to decode a person’s preference for one of two drinks with 80 per cent accuracy by measuring the intensity of near-infrared light absorbed in brain tissue Continue reading “Scientists read minds with infrared scan”