Using induced pluripotent stem cells to grow new hair

Using induced pluripotent stem cells to grow new hair

In a new study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair. The study represents the first step toward the development of a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss. In the United States alone, more than 40 million men and 21 million women are affected by hair loss. The research was published online in PLOS One yesterday.

The false promise of fracking and local jobs

The false promise of fracking and local jobs

A natural gas well in Bradford County, PA. New York has said "no thanks" to fracking but they would have brown-outs without Pennsylvania energy. Reuters

By Susan Christopherson, Cornell University

Things smell good for a nutritional reason

Things smell good for a nutritional reason

Antioxidants are natural food ingredients that protect cells from harmful influences. Their main task is to neutralize so-called "free radicals" which are produced in the process of oxidation and which are responsible for cell degeneration.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and the University of Lund, Sweden, now show that vinegar flies are able to detect these protective substances by using olfactory cues. Odors that are exclusively derived from antioxidants attract flies, increase feeding behavior and trigger oviposition in female flies.

Kepler-444: 'Astro-archaeological' discovery from the dawn of time

Kepler-444: 'Astro-archaeological' discovery from the dawn of time

Scientists have discovered a solar system with 5 Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy.

Thanks to the NASA Kepler mission, the scientists announced today (Tuesday 27 January 2015) in The Astrophysical Journal the observation of a Sun-like star (Kepler-444) hosting 5 planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus.

Kepler-444 was formed 11.2 billion years ago, when the Universe was less than 20% its current age. This is the oldest known system of terrestrial-sized planets in our Galaxy - 2 and a half times older than the Earth.

Inhibiting CDK6 prevents leukemia relapse

Inhibiting CDK6 prevents leukemia relapse

Despite enormous progress in cancer therapy, many patients still relapse because their treatment addresses the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause, the so-called stem cells. Work in the group of Veronika Sexl at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has given a tantalizing clue to a solution. In the current issue of Blood, the scientists report that the cell-cycle kinase CDK6 is required for activation of the stem cells responsible for causing leukemia.

Man trumps dog: EFSA and the US FDA validated on BPA decisions

Coating the mouth with BPA-containing food, like soup, does not lead to higher than expected levels of BPA in blood, a new study in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology shows. The study authors conclude that oral exposure does not create a risk for high exposures.

BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is used to make some plastics and to seal canned food containers against bacterial contamination. Food, which picks up trace amounts of BPA from packaging, is the major source of human exposure.

Early Mexicans affected by climate change in 500 AD

Scientists have reconstructed the past climate for the region around Cantona, a large fortified city in highland Mexico, and found the population drastically declined in the past, at least in part because of climate change.

Lawrence Livermore researcher Susan Zimmerman and colleagues analyzed pollen, stable isotopes and elemental concentrations, which serve as proxies of past climatic and environmental conditions from lake sediments in the region and found evidence of a regional drought between 500 and 1150 A.D., about the same time Cantona was abandoned.

Researchers find hormone that increases the sex drive of mice

Swedish studies show that mice that receive a supplement of the "appetite hormone" ghrelin increase their sexual activity. Whether the hormone has the same impact on humans is unknown - but if it does, the researchers may have found the key to future treatments for sex abuse.

Ghrelin is a gastrointestinal hormone that is released from the stomach, and is involved in the stimulation of our appetite by activating the brain's reward system.

Junkie culture: Age concern in largest ever study of heroin user deaths

In the largest study of opioids users ever undertaken, the researchers used records of 198,247 people in England who had been involved in drug treatment or the criminal justice system between 2005 and 2009. The data recorded 3,974 deaths and their causes during this period. Opioid users were six times more likely to die prematurely than people in the general population. Almost one in ten of these deaths were due to suicide, more than four times the rate in the general population.

Retreat of multiculturalism 'is a myth'

Perceptions of a decline in multiculturalism as a means of integrating ethnic minorities are unfounded, research led at the University of Strathclyde has found.

The study, comparing citizenship programs in four European nations - the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark - concluded that, while the term 'multiculturalism' was being less frequently used with a positive meaning, the actual public policies designed to help ethnic minorities to integrate and remake citizenship remained in place and were, in fact, being expanded.