05 July, 2012 – This Week in Science


The Higgs Found?, Outer Space Magic, Blair’s Animal Corner, Worm Tales, Diabetes Brain Drug, Antibodies Against, Collapsing Corals, Eternal Youth?, Dark Matters, And Much More…

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This Week in Science… coming up next

The Higgs
The Higgs Boson has been found! Or has it? Physicists at the LHC have discovered a particle that fits the energetic profile of a Higgs, and is definitely a Boson. Much more data is needed though before we can definitively say it is the Higgs.

Outer Space Magic Tricks?
A distant star’s dusty disk disappeared, with no explanation. Enough dust to fill a solar system disappeared in just 2 years, after remaining fairly constant for two and a half decades. The only hypotheses astronomers could come up with so far would not explain the rapid recession they have observed, which leaves the scientists somewhat stumped. Now you see it, now you don’t! But why? How?

Blair’s Animal Corner
Bees can be tricked into changing their brain chemistry and essentially reverse aging by doing the chores of younger bees. The question is, if I make grandpa do chores, will his dementia disappear?

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Worm tales
The tiny worms by the name Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, often used to control garden pests, are famous for vomiting bacteria that kill the insect and pre-digest it for them. These bacteria have two forms: one is peace-loving, the other is killer. It turns out the difference is a random switch, and both are required for them to live harmoniously with the worm.

Diabetes drug that grows brain cells:
Metformin, a popular drug used to treat type II Diabetes, appears to encourage stem cells to create new brain cells. This could lead to a treatment for Alzheimer’s, or any brain injury for that matter.

Antibody injection for type I diabetes
Scientists at the University of North Carolina have recently found that antibody injections could reverse the onset of type I diabetes.

Looming collapse of corals
Eastern Pacific coral reefs may be in trouble, according to how corals responded to climatic changes in the Holocene. However, it appears that they did eventually bounce back, though it did take two millennia…

The key to eternal youth, you say?
Researchers at UC San Diego have explored exactly how epidermal progenitor cells and stem cells control transcription in order to avoid premature aging of the skin. This could potentially lead to the secret behind smooth skin available to us, on shelves everywhere!

Dark Matters
The “stuff we can’t see,” or Dark Matter, might be less elusive than we had thought. A new researcher from Denmark has been watching neutron stars to see how they react with dark matter, and has found out a bit more about what characterizes it.

A group of different astronomers have also found out that dark matter makes up the filaments between galaxies. They could then extrapolate the mass of these filaments, teaching us quite a bit about it’s nature.

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