May 31, 2011

UCT and Penn State commit to joint research

UCT and the Pennsylvania State University recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Shanghai, China. The setting may not be as unlikely as it first appears – universities from across the globe were represented at a meeting (and AGM) of the Worldwide University Network (WUN).

May 27, 2011

Breakthrough for people with unknown muscle disease

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have discovered a gene mutation in a rare new form of muscle wasting disease which will lead other sufferers to be more accurately diagnosed.

May 26, 2011

New cancer study finds benefit in old therapy

Cancer patients who used a 5000-year-old combination of gentle exercise and meditation experienced significantly higher wellbeing levels, improved cognitive functioning and less inflammation compared to a control group, new University of Sydney research has found.

May 25, 2011

Research revelation could shape future long-term treatment of asthma

A new study reveals that the progressive loss of lung function in asthma sufferers could be entirely independent of the effects of inflammation. The findings have significant implications for the long-term treatment of asthma.

May 23, 2011

Social networking may prove key to overcoming isolation of older adults

The University of Sydney is leading an investigation into the use of online social networking tools and other information technologies by older Australians as a means of combating social isolation and increasing community engagement of seniors.

May 22, 2011

Scientists find odd twist in slow ‘earthquakes’: tremor running backwards

Earthquake scientists trying to unravel the mysteries of an unfelt, weeks-long seismic phenomenon called episodic tremor and slip have discovered a strange twist. The tremor can suddenly reverse direction and travel back through areas of the fault that it had ruptured in preceding days.

May 22, 2011

Human brain’s most ubiquitous cell cultivated in lab dish

Long considered to be little more than putty in the brain and spinal cord, the star-shaped astrocyte has found new respect among neuroscientists who have begun to recognize its many functions in the brain, not to mention its role in a range of disorders of the central nervous system.

May 19, 2011

Liquid crystal droplets discovered to be exquisitely sensitive to an important bacterial lipid

In the computer displays of medical equipment in hospitals and clinics, liquid crystal technologies have already found a major role. But a discovery reported from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that micrometer-sized droplets of liquid crystal might find new uses in a range of biological contexts.

May 18, 2011

Expert discovers simple method of dealing with harmful radioactive iodine

A novel way to immobilise radioactive forms of iodine using a microwave, has been discovered by an expert at the University of Sheffield.

May 18, 2011

High pregnancy weight gain can lead to long-term obesity

Gaining more than the recommended weight during pregnancy can put women at increased risk of becoming obese and developing related health problems, including high blood pressure, later in life.

May 17, 2011

University of Alberta researchers take first step in understanding the immunity of bacteria

Researchers at the University of Alberta have taken an important step in understanding the immune system of bacteria, a finding that could have implications for medical care and both the pharmaceutical and dairy industries.

May 17, 2011

Life gets a little older

A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered that billions of years before life evolved in the oceans, thin layers of microbial matter in shallow water produced enough oxygen to support tiny, mobile life forms.

May 16, 2011

University of Sydney expert developing next generation biofuels

The University of Sydney’s Professor Thomas Maschmeyer is behind cutting edge research that could fuel the aviation industry from sustainable energy sources in the not too distant future.

May 16, 2011

Sporadic mutations identified in children with autism spectrum disorders

Scientists at the UW Department of Genome Sciences have identified several sporadic or “de novo” genetic mutations in children with autism spectrum disorder.

May 16, 2011

The Earth’s core is melting…and freezing

The inner core of the Earth is simultaneously melting and freezing due to circulation of heat in the overlying rocky mantle, according to new research from the University of Leeds.

May 13, 2011

Scientists design new anti-flu virus proteins using computational methods

A research article May 12 in Science demonstrates the use of computational methods to design new antiviral proteins not found in nature, but capable of targeting specific surfaces of flu virus molecules.

May 11, 2011

No safety in numbers for moths and butterflies

Scientists at the University of Leeds are to investigate how lethal viruses attack differently sized populations of moths and butterflies in research that may help develop new methods of pest control.

May 10, 2011

New ‘corn atlas’ shows which genes are active during each stage of plant growth

Just as a road atlas helps travelers find their way, a new corn atlas will help plant scientists navigate vast amounts of gene expression data from the corn plant, as described in the May 10 issue of The Plant Journal.

May 10, 2011

‘Smoke detector’ gene discovered in plants

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have discovered a gene that allows dormant seeds buried in the soil to detect germination stimulants in bushfire smoke called karrikins.

May 09, 2011

University of Alberta researchers find potential MS therapy could kill brain cells

Researchers with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that some “protective” T-cells can kill neurons. This finding is significant because a specific type of T-cell therapy is being touted in the medical community as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions.

May 06, 2011

Bristol scientists pave the way to tackling anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are severely debilitating, the commonest cause of disability in the US workplace, and a source of great anguish to individuals and their families. Although fear and anxiety are part of our natural response to stress, the causes of chronic and inappropriate levels of anxiety are complex and treatments unsatisfactory.

May 05, 2011

Reptile ‘cousins’ shed new light on end-Permian extinction

The end-Permian extinction, by far the most dramatic biological crisis to affect life on Earth, may not have been as catastrophic for some creatures as previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Bristol.

May 04, 2011

Turning coal into methane using nanotechnology

A University of Alberta researcher has received special funding to turn underground coal seams into methane gas, a less environmentally harmful source of energy.

May 04, 2011

New link in tinnitus research

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have shown changes in a part of the brain previously not known to be involved in tinnitus generation.

May 03, 2011

The sea dragons bounce back

The evolution of ichthyosaurs, important marine predators of the age of dinosaurs, was hit hard by a mass extinction event 200 million years ago, according to a new study from the University of Bristol.

May 03, 2011

Study finds Canada's Arctic glaciers and ice caps losing water at an alarming rate

The work of Faculty of Science PhD graduate Alex Gardner—published in Nature magazine in April—has revealed some alarming evidence that Canada’s Arctic glaciers and ice caps have lost nearly as much water as there is in Lake Erie.

May 01, 2011

Several baffling puzzles in protein molecular structure solved with new method

The structures of many protein molecules remain unsolved even after experts apply an extensive array of approaches. An international collaboration has led to a new, high-performance method that rapidly determined the structure of protein molecules in several cases where previous attempts had failed.