Monday, May 10, 2010


Tuesday, February 24th 2009
NASA all set to launch CO2 tracking satellite 
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory is set for launch early today from California and will take about eight million measurements every 16 days for the next two years. Researchers said the information would give them a picture of how the carbon cycle affects climate and how net emissions vary by region. The goal is to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) sources and so-called "sinks" that pull the gas from the atmosphere. 

Tuesday, March 03rd 2009
Cure for TB strain found
The extremely drug resistant and also the world's most dangerous tuberculosis strain, the XDR TB has finally been slain in the laboratory. American scientists have found that a combination of two FDA approved drugs Clavulanate and Meropenem can completely block the growth of 13 strains of XDR TB when isolated in the lab. These drugs are usually meant for fighting bacterial infections like ecoli. Phase II clinical trials on humans are now being planned simultaneously in South Korea and South Africa. TB infects over one third of the world's population and claims 1.5 million lives globally every year.

Monday, March 09th 2009
Breakthrough in Stem Cell study in India
The Centre for Stem Cell Research at the renowned Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore has succeeded in reprogramming cells drawn from adult mice and making them function like stem cells found in the human embryo. This new path breaking development will help stem cell therapy in the country and can also be used to study genetic disorders relating to blood, muscle, brain and diseases like diabetes. This technology will enable researchers to generate stem cells from normal and diseased human cells. India is the fifth country after Japan, US, China and Britain to achieve these results. 

Monday, March 30th 2009
Pathway to cancer found
Researchers at Bangalore's National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS) have identified a protein pathway that triggers cancer in the human body. The breakthrough discovery will now enable researchers to study the erratic behavior of cancer. The pathway has been called the Hedgehog pathway. The research team led by Satyajit Mayor and Neha Vyas have published this work in the journal Cell. Using this research results scientists can now design an anti-cancer drug that could stall the hedgehog pathway to prevent cancer from forming.

Friday, April 03rd 2009
Now heart tissue can regenerate
A research finding which hopes to help several patients who ail from serious cardiac conditions states that heart tissue is capable of regeneration. An international team of researchers which also includes a neurosurgeon of Indian origin Dr Ratan Bhardwaj gave primary inputs for the research at Stockholm's Nobel Medical Research Institute. The cells that regenerate are called cardiomyocytes which comprise 20% of the total heart tissue. The new finding is a myth breaker as it was earlier believed that the heart tissue could not regenerate if it suffered a cardiac condition.

Wednesday, April 29th 2009
Chandrayaan finds evidence on evolution of Moon
Chandrayaan 1 India's maiden moon mission seems to be taking strides in its discovery of the moon. It has revealed traces of iron deposits and formation of craters on the moon. It has also revealed very direct evidences to the evolution of the moon. The direct evidences seem to validate the 'Lunar magma ocean hypothesis' which was supported by earlier missions from America.

Friday, May 08th 2009
Canadian scientists crack the flu code
Canadian scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, genetically sequenced three samples of the virus, isolated from Mexico and the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Ontario. They have achieved a breakthrough in finding out the genetic code of the H1N1 flu virus. This information will now help scientists to find the origins of the virus and will also help reveal how it spreads or mutates. However it may not help stop or treat the disease immediately.

Friday, May 22nd 2009
Chandrayaan 1 to do a duet with US orbiter
India's maiden moon mission will soon be involved in a first-of-its-kind experiment around the Moon with a US orbiter. The 'bistatic' experiment will kick off soon after NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in June. The experiment is expected to broaden the area of Moon under examination. It will help in the study of the lunar craters and also find vital signs for possible human habitation. The experiment will be carried out using the echo principle of the radar signals.

Friday, May 29th 2009
Metal found to combat AIDS
Carbon 60 or C60 also known as Fullerene discovered in recent times has been found to have medicinal properties that can help fight the AIDS virus. Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (APMDC) has been carrying out an in depth scientific study of fullerene found in the Barytes mines in Mangampet in Cuddapah district. As per a lab report developed on the utility of fullerene, the Carbon is said to have the potential to be developed into a drug to contain AIDS virus. The other utilities of this metal is known to be in nanotechnology and also in the areas of aerospace , health and solar power.

Thursday, July 09th 2009
Sperm created in a test tube for the first time
British scientists led by Prof. Karim Nayernia of the Newcastle University and the NorthEast England Stem cell Institute (NESCI) have devised a new technique that enables the creation of human sperm in a laboratory. This is a pioneering work in the history of medical science. The human sperm has been created using embryonic stem cells. With this breakthrough researchers hope to find answers to issues concerning fertility.

Saturday, July 25th 2009
Indian Doc finds protein to help destroy cancer
Dr. Vivek Rangnekar, professor of radiation medicine at the University of Kentucky who had earlier made headlines for creating the world's first breed of super mice resistant to all forms of of cancer has now made yet another breakthrough in cancer research. Dr. Rangnekar has now discovered a protein Par-4 which is produced by the human body and helps mass killing of cancer cells. This protein spreads through circulation to distant organs. This discovery will now help scientists to find ways of naturally increasing the secretions of this protein to fight cancer. The team led by Dr. Rangnekar has also discovered that this protein can kill cancer cells when applied from outside the body.

Thursday, August 06th 2009
HIV 1 genome decoded
A team of scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been able to decode the entire genetic structure of HIV-1 which is also the main cause of Aids in humans. This discovery should hopefully pave the way to a greater understanding of how the virus operates, and potentially accelerate the development of drug treatments. This US research was published in "Nature".

Tuesday, October 06th 2009
Nobel prize in medicine to trio from US
This year's Nobel prize in medicine goes to three Americans who have given valuable contributions to the study of telomerase. They have revealed the existence and nature of this critical enzyme which helps prevent the fraying of chromosomes that is believed to underlie aging and cancer. The American trio Carol Greider, Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak will share the 2009 Nobel prize in medicine for their discovery of a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells. This discovery acts as a major boost to research in cancer.

Thursday, October 08th 2009
V. Ramakrishnan wins Chemistry Nobel
Venkataraman 'Venky' Ramakrishnan an India-born structural biologist has been awarded this year's Nobel prize in Chemistry for his work on protein producing ribosomes and its translation of DNA information into life. Dr. Ramakrishnan shared his Nobel prized with Dr.Thomas Steitz of Yale university and Dr. Ada Yonath of Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Dr. Venkatraman is currently affiliated with the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. He had his early education in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India and did his post-doctoral work in the US. He is also G N Ramachandran fellow at the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore.

Saturday, November 21st 2009
LHC starts again
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which had failed after its first path breaking experiment was restarted after a hiatus of 14 months. Two stable proton beams have been made to circulate in opposite directions around the machine which is in a 27 Km long tunnel beneath the French-Swiss border. The world's largest machine is being operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in a bid to shed more light onto the nature of the Universe. The experiment will attempt to re create the conditions prevalent a few moments after the big bang to understand the origin of the universe.

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