Earth

SALT LAKE CITY, March 23, 2009 – In a dramatic rewrite of the recipe for life, scientists from Florida today described the design of a new type of DNA with 12 chemical letters instead of the usual four. Presented here at the ACS meeting in Salt Lake City, this artificial genetic system could help to usher in the era of personalized medicine for millions of patients with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases.

SALT LAKE CITY, March 23, 2009 — In the future, natural gas derived from chunks of ice that workers collect from beneath the ocean floor and beneath the arctic permafrost may fuel cars, heat homes, and power factories. Government researchers are reporting that these so-called "gas hydrates," a frozen form of natural gas that bursts into flames at the touch of a match, show increasing promise as an abundant, untapped source of clean, sustainable energy.

SALT LAKE CITY, March 23, 2009 — Researchers are reporting compelling new scientific evidence for the existence of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR), the process once called "cold fusion" that may promise a new source of energy. One group of scientists, for instance, describes what it terms the first clear visual evidence that LENR devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists view as tell-tale signs that nuclear reactions are occurring.

From spilling a cup of coffee to failing to notice a stop sign, everyone makes an occasional error due to lack of attention. Now a team led by a researcher at the University of California, Davis, in collaboration with the Donders Institute in the Netherlands, has found a distinct electric signature in the brain which predicts that such an error is about to be made.

In the first observation if its kind, scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science and San Diego State University were able to watch what happens when a star the size of 50 suns explodes. As they continued to track the spectacular event, they found that most of the star's mass collapsed in on itself, resulting in a large black hole.

Stroke can impair balance, heightening the risk of a debilitating fall. But a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher has found that stroke survivors can improve their balance by practicing the Chinese martial art of tai chi.

Christina Hui-Chan, professor and head of physical therapy at UIC, has studied and used tai chi as a way to improve balance and minimize falls among healthy elderly subjects. Now she and a colleague have seen similar results in a group of stroke survivors.

Using what they say is a relatively simple method, scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center have extracted stem/progenitor cells from adult testes and have converted them back into pluripotent embryonic-like stem cells. Researchers say that the naïve cells are now potentially capable of morphing into any cell type that a body needs, from brain neurons to pancreatic tissue.

African Americans have a shorter life expectancy than whites. A new study finds that for most types of cancer, the disparity in mortality is almost entirely due to the fact that African Americans are more likely to get cancer in the first place.

A new UCLA study, published in Journal of General Internal Medicine, says that for most types of cancer, their stage at presentation and survival after diagnosis play a much smaller role.

A new study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers is the first to pinpoint damage inside the brains of veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome – a finding that links the illness to chemical exposures and may lead to diagnostic tests and treatments.

In the first ever "salvo" firing of a THAAD interceptor, the Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully positioned the interceptor to destroy the incoming test ballistic missile. Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles were fired during a test on March 17 from the Pacific Missile Range off Kauai, Hawaii.