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Science News Archive - April 19, 2009

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Some 14 years ago, a family of biological compounds found in sponges in the South Pacific was shown to have very promising effects in fighting leukemia.

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As electricity-hungry cities across the western US look to cash in on one of the desert’s few abundant natural resources – sunlight – some say they may be endangering rare desert animals as they compete for the area’s rarest of resources: water.

In earlier studies, researchers at Louisiana State University had found that estrogen – or more precisely, having ovaries – made adult rats exposed for the first time to THC.

The number of wild Yangtze alligators could more than double during the next five to 10 years, an alligator expert in China said Sunday. Wang Chaolin, Chinese Alligators Protection Nature Reserve deputy director, said while only 120 specimens of the endangered alligator species exist, an apparent increase in their living and breeding territories could help increase their population to 300 within 10 years, China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, reported. Wang, whose wildlife reserve is located in China's Anhui Province, said the predicted increase is also based on the discovery of wild baby alligators in China. We have, for the first time, found wild baby alligators.

Speaking on April 19 at the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting in New Orleans, Dr. Kristine Krajnak, a team leader in the Engineering and Control Technologies Branch of the Health Effects Laboratory Division of NIOSH in Morgantown

By sampling clouds -- and making their own -- researchers have shown for the first time a direct relation between lead in the sky and the formation of ice crystals that foster clouds.

A collaboration between more than 70 researchers across the globe has uncovered nine new genes on the X chromosome that, when knocked-out, lead to learning disabilities.

British scientists say they have developed a stem procedure that will reverse the most common cause of blindness, age-related macular degeneration. The procedure, pioneered by the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfields eye hospital, involves replacing a layer of degenerated eye cells with new ones obtained from embryonic stem cells, The Sunday Times of London reported. The newspaper said pharmaceutical research company Pfizer this week will announce financial backing to bring the therapy to patients. This is a huge step forward for patients, Tom Bremridge, chief executive of the Macular Disease Society, told The Sunday Times.

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Rutgers University researchers will make a second attempt to send its miniature yellow submarine across the Atlantic ocean to gather data from underneath the waves.

Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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