Friday, April 30, 2010

Does Anyone Care?

Does anyone care if we lose all living things in our coastal waterways of the Gulf of Mexico? Pay attention.
clipped from

Gulf Oil Spill Could Eclipse Exxon Valdez Disaster

by NPR Staff and Wires

Oil Trajectory

An oil spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster spread out of control and drifted inexorably toward the Gulf Coast as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.

 blog it

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Robotic Printer Could Build Moonbases

While these types of 3D prototype printers have been around for several decades, they are now large enough to create small buildings.
clipped from
3D printer could build moon bases

The printer can be moved along horizontal beams and four vertical columns, and the printer head is raised by only 5-10 mm for each new layer. The printer is driven by a computer running CAD software and prints at a resolution of 25 dpi (dots per inch). The completed material resembles marble, is stronger than concrete, and does not need iron reinforcing. The printing process can successfully create internal curves, partitions, ducting, and hollow columns.

3D printer could build moon bases
 blog it

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bacterial Communities Identify Us!

Each person's skin bacteria appears to have its own genetic signature which could be used to identify an objects' user. This research and necessary technology development is in the preliminary stages.
This is an intriguing concept that I believe people will find interesting, so I would suggest that teachers could use it as a current event article.
clipped from
Bacterial "Signatures" Linger on Users' Keyboards

Call it CSI: Microbe. Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that skin bacteria left behind on keyboards and computer mice can identify the objects’ users.

“We're cautiously optimistic that this technique could be widely applicable, but before anyone can stand up in a courtroom and defend it, we need to spend a lot more time and money on validation.”
Rob Knight

Knight is a coauthor of a report on the research, which was performed in collaboration with Noah Fierer, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, published the week of March 15, 2010, in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

recent research into the human microbiome –
suggests that humans serve as hosts for an astounding diversity of microorganisms. In fact, each of us supports as many as 10 times the number of microbes as there are cells in the human body.
 blog it

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Theoretically Positive, Realistically Questionable

An amazing discovery about gene manipulation to turn off the sexual reproduction of various plants. How will these experiments turn out? Will this endanger our food supply? or Will this discovery be just what is needed to cut out the monopoly on hardy seed supplies?
clipped from
Asexual Plant Reproduction May Seed New Approach for Agriculture
Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering mustard plant, normally reproduces sexually. But Jean Philippe Vielle-Calzada and his colleagues have show that silencing a protein called Argonaute 9 causes the plant to begin reproducing asexually instead. The blue shading shows the area involved in gamete formation that is disrupted when Argonaute 9 is silenced.
his problem is sidestepped by some plants—such as dandelions and poplar trees—that reproduce asexually by essentially cloning themselves. Jean-Philippe Vielle-Calzada, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar, wondered whether he could learn enough about the genetics of asexual reproduction to apply it to plants that produce sexually. In an advance online publication in Nature on March 7, 2010, Vielle-Calzada and his colleagues report that they have moved a step closer to turning sexually-reproducing plants into asexual reproducers,
 blog it

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Perceptions vs Reality Can Mean Life or Death!

Researchers have discovered that there are several variables that can have a statistical effect of patient survival, yet many "...surgeons placed less importance on sex, type of anesthesia, and ASA score [level of anemia]...."
This new information could decrease the high number of deaths, up to 22%, from hip fractures and resulting surgery.
Evidence Versus Beliefs About Predictors of
by Michael Zlowodzki, MD; Paul Tornetta III, MD; George Haidukewych, MD; Beate P. Hanson, MD, MPH; Brad Petrisor, MD, MSc; Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD; Emil H. Schemitsch, MD; Peter V. Giannoudis, MD; Mohit Bhandari, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Knowledge of predictors of outcome can and should influence
treatment decisions and can subsequently improve outcomes

Hip fractures have devastating consequences for patients
and their families, including a 22% mortality rate within 1 year
postoperatively3 and substantial impairment of independence and
quality of life.4 Hip fractures also account for more hospital days
than any other musculoskeletal injury and represent more than two-thirds of all
hospital days due to fractures.5

Figure: The responses of American surgeons vs European surgeons regarding predictors of outcome after operative treatment of femoral neck fractures
The responses of American surgeons vs European surgeons regarding predictors of outcome after operative treatment of femoral neck fractures.
greatest discrepancy

survey and current evidence

related to the type of anesthesia
 blog it