Science News

Naturally fluorescent molecule may act as cancer indicator

files/Ahmed-Heikal.jpgWashington, April 3: Penn State researchers say that a naturally fluorescent molecule found in all living cells may serve as an indicator of cancer.

Ahmed Heikal, associate professor of bioengineering, points out that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) fuels a series of biochemical reactions that involve various enzymes to produce ATP, the major energy source in cells.

In the event of disease or a metabolic disorder, he adds, these enzymes and their related reactions can become disabled, causing a build-up of unused NADH.

Study says; Placozoans closest living ancestor of animals

Study says; Placozoans closest living ancestor of animals According to the latest evidence, the closest living ancestors of animals are large amoeba-shaped, multi- cellular placozoans.

An entire U-turn has been taken from the old and traditional though that a course from simple to complex was followed by evolution, from sponge to chordates or animals having backbones. Now the latest research suggests that there was a parallel evolution of lower animals like placozoa, corals and jellyfish to higher animals like vertebrates.

Scientists create chameleon-like ''opal'' that can take on any colour

London, December 24 : British and Canadian chemists have developed a chameleon-like "opal" that can rapidly take any colour.

The new material can rapidly shrink or swell to change the colour of light that it scatters.

For creating it, the researchers first stacked up silica marbles on a flat electrode, each 270 nanometres across. They then added a polymer on top to encase the sphere and hold them in place, and then dissolve the spheres with acid to leave behind a regular pattern of air pockets inside the polymer.

Finally, the team fill these pockets with a liquid electrolyte, and seal the structure.

Scientists to hold launch party for “Big Bang machine”

Large Hadron ColliderRome, Oct 22 : Europe’s top scientists are holding a party to inaugurate the Large Hadron Collider despite the multi-billion dollar machine being out of order.

The giant experiment called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) took nearly 20 years to complete and cost 4.4 billion pounds to build in a tunnel complex under the Franco-Swiss border.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the president of Switzerland and the prime minister of France will lead the celebrations to officially launch the project dubbed the biggest experiment in history.

Modern radar technology to efficiently monitor rainforests

Washington, October 19a: A University of Leicester professor has called for the use of modern radar technology for monitoring the rainforests.

Professor Heiko Balzter, the Head of Geography at the University of Leicester in the UK, told 200 scientists and foresters at an international conference in Brazil that, "We need advanced radar satellites for monitoring tropical deforestation and forest biomass".

The researchers from South America, the US, Canada and Europe had come together for the 8th Seminar on Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems Applications in Forest Engineering in the city of Curitiba, Brazil.

Living computers within body may revolutionise biological healing

London, October 17 : Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a molecular computer that can run calculations inside a living cell.

Project leaders Maung Nyan Win and Christina Smolke have revealed that, so far, they have tested the living computer on a living yeast cell.

The researchers believe that future models of the computer, made from the DNA-like molecule RNA, may be helpful in running calculations inside human cells to release drugs, or prime the immune system, at the first hint of illness.

They have revealed that the RNA device processes input signals in the form of natural cell proteins and produces an output in the form of green fluorescent protein (GFP).