Earth

In 2007 and 2008 two groups of theoretical physicists (Hammer and Platter, and von Stecher, D'Incao, and Greene) predicted the existence of universal four-body states that are closely tied to Efimov trimer states. Now, a team of scientists of the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, has proven these states experimentally in an ultracold gas of cesium atoms.

Scientists have completed the first study of microbes that live within the plumbing of deep-sea mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions may resemble those in extraterrestrial environments and early Earth. The study, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), was conducted in an area where clusters of seafloor vents spew mud, oil, brine and gases that support food chains independently of the Sun.

Waterdogs, they're called, these larvae of tiger salamanders used as live bait for freshwater fishing.

With tiger salamander larvae, anglers hope to catch largemouth bass, channel catfish and other freshwater fishes.

They may be in for more than they bargained for: salamanders in bait shops in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico are infected with ranaviruses, and those in Arizona, with a chytrid fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd).

Killing just the older mosquitoes would be a more sustainable way of controlling malaria, according to entomologists who add that the approach may lead to evolution-proof insecticides that never become obsolete.

Each year malaria -- spread through mosquito bites -- kills about a million people, but many of the chemicals used to kill the insects become ineffective. Repeated exposure to an insecticide breeds a new generation of mosquitoes that are resistant to that particular insecticide.

University of British Columbia scientists have traced the fragrant scent of grapevine flowers to pollen grains stored in the anthers, contrary to common perception that petals alone produce perfume.

While studying grapes used to produce Cabernet Sauvignon from the Okanagan region of British Columbia, researchers from UBC's Wine Research Centre and Michael Smith Laboratories identified a gene that produces and regulates fragrance from the vines' tiny clusters of green blossoms.

The latest data from NASA and the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center show the continuation of a decade-long trend of shrinking sea ice extent in the Arctic, including new evidence for thinning ice as well.

The researchers, who have been tracking Arctic sea ice cover with satellites since 1979, found that the winter of 2008-09 was the fifth lowest maximum ice extent on record. The six lowest maximum events in the satellite record have all occurred in the past six years, according to CU-Boulder researcher Walt Meier of NSIDC.

Dogs and small children who share similar social environments appear to understand human gestures in comparable ways, according to Gabriella Lakatos from Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary, and her team. Looking at how dogs and young children respond to adult pointing actions, Lakatos shows that 3-year-olds rely on the direction of the index finger to locate a hidden object, whereas 2-year-olds and dogs respond instead to the protruding body part, even if the index finger is pointing in the opposite direction. These findings were just published in Animal Cognition.

Despite great hopes for stem cell therapy, major structural and cultural changes within the NHS are needed if it is to succeed in the UK. Currently the chances of getting effective treatments into routine use in the short-term are small and the industry is at serious risk of 'market failure'.

These are the findings of two major studies into the commercialisation and adoption of stem cell therapy carried out by researchers at The University of Nottingham.

SALT LAKE CITY – As the U.S. Southwest grew warmer from 18,700 to 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing packrats of their favorite food. Now, University of Utah biologists have narrowed the hunt for detoxification genes that let the rodents eat toxic creosote bushes that replaced juniper.

"It was either eat it or move out," says biology Professor Denise Dearing, senior author of the study, published online Tuesday, April 7 in the journal Molecular Ecology.

April 4, 2009 – A new study by NYU dental researchers has uncovered evidence that pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease face an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes even if they don't smoke or drink, a finding that underscores how important it is for all expectant mothers – even those without other risk factors – to maintain good oral health.

Protecting new inventions is vital, everyone agrees – but most also agree that the system that has evolved is in need of serious overhaul.

The current international patent process is complex and costly. New technologies – stem cells, software, the Internet – raise legal quandaries that the patent authorities are only gradually resolving. The current economic crisis adds new urgency.

There is a need for more IP cooperation at an international level, as initiated by the five large offices around the world (EPO, USPTO, JPO, SIPO and KPO). So what’s the best way forward?

An international team of scientists has discovered a new acarine species (Ophionyssus schreibericolus) that lives off black green lizards from the Iberian Peninsula. This involves the first recording of the Ophionyssus genus that feeds off and lives on animals endemic to the peninsula. The researchers now think that these parasites could be found in other reptiles in the region.

Is there a prospective association between obesity and periodontal disease?

This is the question asked by a team of investigators from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Puerto Rico, reporting their findings today during the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, convening at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic inflammation initiated by bacteria that affect the gums and bone supporting the teeth, and may eventually result in tissue and tooth loss. It is similar to other chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, where inflammation causes tissue damage and is responsible for the disease.

Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) provide a potentially unlimited source of oral mucosal tissues that may revolutionize the treatment of oral diseases. When fully exploited in the future, this source of cells will be able to produce functional tissues to treat a broad variety of oral diseases. However, little is known about how hESC can be developed into complex, multilayer oral tissues that line the gums, cheeks, lips, and other intra-oral sites.