Gene variations behind bipolar disorder uncovered

Bipolar DisorderWashington, August 18: Scientists in the U. S. have found an association between bipolar disorder and variation in two genes involved in the balance of sodium and calcium in brain cells.

"A neuron's excitability – whether it will fire – hinges on this delicate equilibrium," Nature magazine quoted Dr. Pamela Sklar of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, who led the research, as saying.

Hydrogels scaffolding to promote bone cells’ growth developed

Bone CellsWashington, August 18: Carnegie Mellon University researchers say that they have developed hyaluronic hydrogels that can provide scaffolding for growth of bone cells.

The researcher trio behind this creation — Newell Washburn, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski and Jeffrey Hollinger — says that their hydrogels have already shown promising results in encouraging the growth of preosteoblast cells, cells that aid the growth and development of bone.

At least seven dead in US house fire

At least seven dead in US house fireWashington  - A fire ravaged a house in Memphis, Tennessee Saturday, killing seven people - including five children - local media reported.

Three children - boys aged 11 and 16, and a 17-year-old girl, suffered second-degree burns to their faces and hands, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

Firefighters said those who were charred to death included a 38- year-old woman, an 18-year-old male, three girls aged 9, 7 and 4, and two boys aged 5 and 1.

US stands by Georgia, Russia must now act to end crisis, Bush says

US stands by Georgia, Russia must now act to end crisis, Bush says Washington  - US President George W Bush sought to reassure Georgia of Washington's steady support Saturday, while demanding that "Russia must act to end this crisis."

In his weekly radio address, Bush said it was vital that the US and other free nations would "ensure that an embattled democracy seeking to stand with us remains sovereign, secure, and undivided."

Boys more prone to asthma, but outgrow it faster than girls

Washington, Aug 16: Boys may be more apt to have childhood asthma than girls, but they''re also more likely to grow out of it in the adolescence, say a new study.

NASA study improves ability to predict aerosols’ effect on cloud cover

Washington, August 15: Using a novel theoretical approach, researchers from NASA and other institutions have identified the common thread that determines how aerosols from human activity, like the particles from burning of vegetation and forests, influence cloud cover and ultimately affect climate.

The study improves researchers’ ability to predict whether aerosols will increase or decrease cloud cover.

“We connected the dots to draw a critical conclusion, and found evidence over the Amazon that traces the direct path of the effect of human activity on climate change by way of human-caused aerosols,” said study co-author Lorraine Remer, a physical scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.