Heavens

A phase III study has shown that adding an antibody-based therapy that harnesses the body's immune system resulted in a 20 percent increase in the number of children living disease-free for at least two years with neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma, a hard-to-treat cancer arising from nervous system cells, is responsible for 15 percent of cancer-related deaths in children.

The two ends of a ruptured Achilles tendon are often stitched together before the leg is put in plaster, in order to reduce the risk of the tendon rupturing again. However, Katarina Nilsson Helander, MD, PhD at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, now suggests that surgery may be unnecessary. Patients who do not undergo surgery have just as good a chance of recovery.

Alien creatures are the least of NASA's worries when it comes to moon travel. There are several potential threats to future missions - with space radiation at the top of the list. Now, a group of students at North Carolina State University has developed a "blanket" of sorts that covers lunar outposts - the astronauts' living quarters - to provide astronauts protection against radiation while also generating and storing power.

Imagine a time when the entire universe froze. According to a new model for dark energy, that is essentially what happened about 11.5 billion years ago, when the universe was a quarter of the size it is today.

The model, published online May 6 in the journal Physical Review D, was developed by Research Associate Sourish Dutta and Professor of Physics Robert Scherrer at Vanderbilt University, working with Professor of Physics Stephen Hsu and graduate student David Reeb at the University of Oregon.

Thanks to the ability of astronomers to detect the presence of extrasolar planets orbiting distant stars, scientists today are able to examine hundreds of solar systems. Now researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. have created an "astro-comb" to help astronomers detect lighter planets, more like Earth, around distant stars.

When handling an emergency, firefighters are exposed to a number of risks: noxious fumes, blocked escape paths, potential building collapse. The safety of emergency crews and the efficient locating of persons buried under the rubble are key issues, and not only in the event of a major catastrophe, such as the collapse of the Cologne Historic Archives on March 3, 2009. Emergency managers have to know exactly where their teams are, and if they might be exposed to poisonous gases. Modern localization systems provide excellent service in this situation.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Research by a theoretical physicist at Indiana University shows that the crusts of neutron stars are 10 billion times stronger than steel or any other of the earth's strongest metal alloys.

Charles Horowitz, a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics, came to the conclusion after large-scale molecular dynamics computer simulations were conducted at Indiana University and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The research will appear Friday (May 8) in Physical Review Letters.

Since its launch last June, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a new class of pulsars, probed gamma-ray bursts and watched flaring jets in galaxies billions of light-years away. Today at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver, Colo., Fermi scientists revealed new details about high-energy particles implicated in a nearby cosmic mystery.

CHICAGO (May 4, 2009) – New research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons indicates that the adoption of electronic prescribing systems may allow for greater efficiency at hospitals, which could result in long-term cost savings and improved quality of care.

What happened in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang?

Super-sensitive microwave detectors, built at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), may soon help scientists find out.

The new sensors, described today at the American Physical Society (APS) meeting in Denver, were made for a potentially ground-breaking experiment* by a collaboration involving NIST, Princeton University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Chicago.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new landmark study published today documents for the first time the process in which increased mercury emissions from human sources across the globe, and in particular from Asia, make their way into the North Pacific Ocean and as a result contaminate tuna and other seafood. Because much of the mercury that enters the North Pacific comes from the atmosphere, scientists have predicted an additional 50 percent increase in mercury in the Pacific by 2050 if mercury emission rates continue as projected.

Washington, DC − Endoscopic sinus surgery can significantly relieve symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis – inflammation of the sinus cavities – according to a research team, led by a Georgetown physician, which conducted the first large-scale analysis of surgical outcomes from the procedure.

In the May issue of Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery, researchers found that symptoms usually associated with the chronic condition, including nasal obstruction, facial pain, postnasal discharge, headaches, and impaired smell, all substantially improved after endoscopic sinus surgery.

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft served up another curveball to a University of Colorado at Boulder team after a second flyby of the hot inner planet Oct. 6 detected magnesium -- an element created inside exploding stars and which is found in many medicine cabinets on Earth -- clumped in the tenuous atmosphere of the planet.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Up until last year globes of Mercury were blank on one side. The Mariner 10 spacecraft explored the small planet in three flybys (1974-1975), but since no more than half was ever seen it remained the least understood of the four terrestrial planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.