Archive for April 2011
The search for the fountain of youth has been ongoing ever since man decided that dying wasn’t all that appealing. And now, it appears that this elusive holy grail has been found, albeit by a species that is not ours! So who is the lucky winner of the everlasting life sweepstakes? None other than the humble and dime-sized jellyfish known as Turritopsis nutricula. This creature has accomplished what no other biological being on our planet has ever been known to do: reverse it’s aging to become young again after reaching full maturity!
As early as 1992, scientists had observed this phenomenon in Turritopsis and research into its secrets was ongoing. However, a recent spike in the numbers and geographic distribution of this species has once again brought it to the attention of the greater scientific community because of the many important breakthroughs we have witnessed in stem cell research in the past decade. As regenerative medicine continues to grow into the future of medicine, it’s clear that this tiny jellyfish may hold the answers to not only addressing the many aging-related ailments we face, but also our own mortality!
Occasional water-only fasts may lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to new research presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.
The study was conducted in Salt Lake City, where two-thirds of the residents are Mormons who fast once a month for 24 hours for religious purposes.
In a previous study, the same team of researchers found that people who answered “yes” to the question “Do you abstain from food and drink for an extended time?” had a lower prevalence of coronary disease.
Now researchers were able to replicate and expand upon these findings. “People who fast have lower rates of coronary disease, and fasting was associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes,” says study leader Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.
Researchers at MIT have found a way to make significant improvements to the power-conversion efficiency of solar cells by enlisting the services of tiny viruses to perform detailed assembly work at the microscopic level.
In a solar cell, sunlight hits a light-harvesting material, causing it to release electrons that can be harnessed to produce an electric current. The new MIT research, published online this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is based on findings that carbon nanotubes — microscopic, hollow cylinders of pure carbon — can enhance the efficiency of electron collection from a solar cell’s surface. Read the rest of this entry »
Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can curb appetite, especially for those who don’t normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University. Read the rest of this entry »
Blind Mexican cavefish sleep much less than closely related species that live near the surface, according to a study that involved shaking aquariums to keep fish awake.
By breeding the fish with their sighted counterparts, scientists determined that the difference in their sleep patterns is genetic. The discovery may help identify genes and pathways involved in insomnia and other sleep disorders in humans.