MI weekly selection #40


Reprogrammed stem cells in mice could pave way to tissue regeneration

Spanish scientists successfully forced mature cells into an embryonic-like state inside the bodies of living mice, creating so-called reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells. Transforming mature cells into stem-like cells “means turning back the clock when everything in the environment favors the opposite,” lead author Manuel Serrano said. The experiment, published in the journal Nature, opens the possibility that damaged tissue can be regenerated in patients with conditions such as diabetes and heart disorders.

The Wall Street Journal

Arctic sea ice continues to show declines

The amount of Arctic sea ice for this summer is well below average, but will not reach the all-time low set last September, as it reaches its annual minimum, say officials at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Meanwhile, scientists studying the region with the Cryosat spacecraft say the volume of sea ice did hit a new low during the March-April period, when marine floes are at their thickest. “The Arctic will be ice-free in the summer in a few decades. All we’ll have is winter ice,” said NSIDC Director Mark Serreze.


Larger brains help birds cope with stress

Birds with larger brains cope better in difficult situations, according to an analysis of 189 avian studies. Correlating the studies, evolutionary biologists determined that big-brained birds have lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, helping them anticipate and avoid problems.

Science Now

Interstellar winds change direction

Interstellar winds that blow through the solar system have changed direction by 4 to 9 degrees, according to a study by NASA researchers, who examined data collected by 11 spacecraft between 1972 and 2011. Scientists had long believed that the winds gusted in a steady direction. “Previously we thought the very local interstellar medium was very constant, but these results show just how dynamic the solar system’s interaction is,” said study co-author Dave McComas, lead investigator for NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer.

LA Times / Science Now

Researchers trace cascade of signals linked to Alzheimer’s

U.S. researchers studying mice have discovered that when amyloid beta protein binds with alpha 7 nicotine receptors in the brain, a cascade of signals is triggered, resulting in impairments linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could offer hope that a modified drug known as NitroMemantine might be effective in treating the illness, researchers reported in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Yahoo! News India

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