Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 12, 2012
Unraveling intricate interactions, 1 molecule at a time
In a key step towards the design of better organic electronic devices, a Columbia Engineering team has succeeded in performing the first quantitative characterization of van der Waals interactions at metal/organic interfaces at the single-molecule level.

Differences in the genomes of related plant pathogens
Even in closely related species, lifestyle molds the genetic makeup of pathogens and how their genes are used.

Enzymes implicated in disease processes attack one another instead of harming body proteins
Researchers for the first time have shown that members of a family of enzymes known as cathepsins -- which are implicated in many disease processes -- may attack one another instead of the bodily proteins they normally degrade.

World's most powerful X-ray laser beam refined to scalpel precision
With a thin sliver of diamond, scientists at the DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford have transformed the Linac Coherent Light Source into an even more precise tool for exploring the nanoworld.

Yale team discovers how stress and depression can shrink the brain
Major depression or chronic stress can cause the loss of brain volume, a condition that contributes to both emotional and cognitive impairment.

Modeling reveals significant climatic impacts of megapolitan expansion
In the first study to attempt to quantify the impact of rapidly expanding megapolitan areas on regional climate, a team of researchers from Arizona State University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research has established that local maximum summertime warming resulting from projected expansion of the urban Sun Corridor could approach 4 degrees Celsius.

10 new diabetes gene links offer picture of biology underlying disease
Ten more DNA regions linked to type 2 diabetes have been discovered by an international team of researchers, bringing the total to over 60.

Mutations disrupt cellular recycling and cause a childhood genetic disease
Genetics researchers have identified a key gene that, when mutated, causes the rare multisystem disorder Cornelia deLange syndrome.

Metabolic MAGIC
In a large collaborative study, researchers have used a specially designed DNA chip, the MetaboChip array, to identify 38 new genetic regions that are associated with glucose and insulin levels in the blood.

Smelling a skunk after a cold
Once our nostrils clear after a cold, we take for granted that our sniffers will dependably rebound.
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