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37 articles from SATURDAY 26.5.2012
- SATURDAY 26. MAY, 2012
23:07 SpaceX Capsule Has 'New Car' SmellAfter the hatches between the space station and the Dragon spacecraft were opened, astronauts ventured in for the first time.
22:31 How EU farming policies led to a collapse in Europe's bird population
20:22 Private Dragon Spacecraft Is 'Golden Spike' of Final Frontier, Astronaut Says
20:09 15 Ways to Accelerate Your PC’s Slowest Component: You!There's nothing more soul-sucking than sitting there picking your earwax while you watch Windows 7's blue ring of fire. Yet, to be fair, your poor laptop spends a lot more time waiting for you to act than you waste watching it load applications, boot up or finish processing. If your computer takes .8 seconds to load your browser, but you take 5 unnecessary seconds to type in a username and password, who's the slow poke?
19:55 The brain's emergency response call
How the brain's emergency workers respond to distress calls from dying neurons
The film clip shows shows microglial cells (labelled green) migrating towards injured neurons in the embryonic zebrafish brain. Microglia are immune cells that act as the brain's emergency workers - they constantly patrol the organ, extending and retracting their finger-like protruberances to sniff out any damage, and then migrating to an injury site to mop up dead cells and other cellular debris. New research shows that they migrate to an injury site in response to a distress call sent out by dying neurons and transmitted throughout the brain. I've written a news story about the work for Science.
Microglia are also deployed to engulf microbes that invade the brain. But they're not just active during emergencies: they also play an active role in the healthy brain, and are critical for proper development of the organ. During embryonic development, the brain generates huge numbers of neurons which then go on to form synapses, or connections, with one another. Many of these synapses aren't actually needed, and exuberant ones are later 'pruned' back.
Last year, researchers in Germany showed microglia prune unwanted synapses in the developing mouse hippocampus, engulfing them as if they were microbes. Earlier this week, American researchers reported that they also prune the synapses formed by cells that project from the back of the eye into the brain, so it seems likely that they perform this process throughout the brain.
We know that the adult brain is continuously making and breaking synapses, too. These processes are one form of what is often referred to as neuroplasticity, and are now widely believed that these processes play an important role in learning and memory. It's tempting to speculate that microglia eliminate unwanted synapses in the adult brain, but more research will be needed to confirm that this is the case.guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
19:26 Astronauts enter world's 1st private supply ship
Astronauts have entered the Dragon, the world's first commercial supply ship, docked at the International Space Station.
18:46 VIDEO: Astronauts praise Dragon craftThe California SpaceX company has seen its unmanned Dragon cargo ship attach successfully to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time.
18:39 Everest Climb Successful, Despite Crowds, Unrelenting Winds
Despite a tough crowd, howling winds, and even food poisoning, a National Geographic team touched the top of the world Friday.
17:52 Scientist: Evolution debate will soon be historyRichard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.
16:34 SpaceX mission: watch live as astronauts discuss historic docking
Astronauts give live news conference following the first docking of a privately-funded vessel at the International Space Station
Astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) are due to give a live news conference from 11.25am ET to discuss the Dragon mission.
Yesterday the SpaceX capsule successfully docked at the ISS, making it the first privately-funded capsule to do so.
Watch the briefing as it takes place:guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
15:51 SpaceX Dragon: astronauts attach capsule to International Space Station - video
15:14 SpaceX capsule: Nasa astronauts enter the Dragon after historic docking
14:46 Bigfoot: Beyond Footprints and DNABigfoot samples have long been subjected to scientific testing...and yet science has yet to confirm the sightings.
14:24 Astronauts enter world's 1st private supply ship(AP) -- Space station astronauts floated into the Dragon on Saturday, a day after its heralded arrival as the world's first commercial supply ship.
14:24 Astronomers seize last chance in lifetime for Venus TransitAstronomers are gearing for one the rarest events in the Solar System: an alignment of Earth, Venus and the Sun that will not be seen for another 105 years.
14:24 Australia hails surprise super-telescope decisionAustralia has hailed a surprise decision giving it a role in a radio telescope project aimed at revolutionising astronomy, vowing to draw on its decades of experience in space science.
14:24 SpaceX capsule has 'new car' smell, astronauts saySpaceX's Dragon cargo vessel smells like a new car, said astronauts at the International Space Station after opening the hatches Saturday following the spacecraft's landmark mission to the orbiting lab.
14:24 SpotterRF debuts Radar Backpack Kit (w/ Video)(Phys.org) -- SpotterRF has announced a special radar backpack kit designed to enhance situational awareness for soldiers on the ground. The company says its special radar is designed for warfighters as part of small expeditionary groups in austere and remote locations across the world. The company provides small and easy to use surveillance radar, the Spotter M600, for use by these soldiers. The military backpack kit announced this month is called Spotter Radar Backpack Kit (RBK).
14:24 Thousands of shellfish found dead in PeruThousands of crustaceans were found dead off the coast of Lima following the mystery mass death of dolphins and pelicans, the Peruvian Navy said Friday.
13:26 Astronauts enter world's 1st private supply ship
12:59 Enter the Dragon: Astronauts Open 1st Private Capsule at Space Station
12:24 Mystery Mars Formation May Be Ancient Volcanic Ash
10:00 CatHead Theatre | video | @GrrlScientist
This week's Caturday morning video smile provides a furry new look at Shakespeare's Hamlet
This morning's Caturday video is an oldie but a goodie. It wonderfully fulfills the criteria for a caturday morning video smile by featuring cats and by giving you a smile, but it also includes an added bonus; it asks that pressing cultural question; What happens when a modern day meme meets a cultural icon? In short, what would "Hamlet" look like if it were performed by cats?
This video shows that such a fusion can look pretty damn good, in fact. In this video, Mr. John Over provides an excellent voice for the lead character, a Charlton Heston impression that is the envy of all. John Hoffhines provided valuable assistance as cat wrangler and composer, and the rest was up to the cats, who acted with the best thespians the stage has ever seen.
One thing I learned about the cats in this video is they are reversing the traditional Shakespearean trend: all the cats are female, playing male roles.
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NOTE: the silly cat/pet/animal videos shared here on Saturday (Caturday) mornings are intended to amuse. This feature is designed to help hard-working and stressed-out people shed their professional façade so they can be better friends, companions, parents, family members and drinking pals to those in their personal lives. Any relationship between these videos and science or any scientific principle is sweet when I manage to present a solid connection to you, but is random, usually coincidental and (mostly) unintended.
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
09:09 Am I a geek? | Jon Butterworth | Life & Physics
06:00 Proteomic analysis of immunocamouflaged surfacesThe immunocamouflage of cell surfaces by grafted polymers holds great potential in clinical medicine. In the current issue of Science China Life Sciences, researchers with the Canadian Blood Services have used proteomic analysis to investigate the effects of grafted polymers on blood plasma-surface interactions. These studies demonstrate a significant decrease in the adsorption of the plasma proteins necessary for immunological recognition.