Friday, November 20, 2009

A random selection of science based stories from the Internet

PARIS: Slowing population growth would help battle global warming, says an unprecedented U.N. report that links demographic pressure and climate change.
"Slower population growth... would help build social resilience to climate change's impacts and would contribute to a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in the future," the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) says.

Plants may not have eyes and ears, but they can recognize their siblings, and researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered how.
The ID system lies in the roots and the chemical cues they secrete.
The finding not only sheds light on the intriguing sensing system in plants, but also may have implications for agriculture and even home gardening.
The study, which is reported in the scientific journal Communicative & Integrative Biology, was led by Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware.

Braking News: Particles from Car Brakes Harm Lung Cells

ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — Real-life particles released by car brake pads can harm lung cells in vitro. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology found that heavy braking, as in an emergency stop, caused the most damage, but normal breaking and even close proximity to a disengaged brake resulted in potentially dangerous cellular stress.

Solving the 50-Year-Old Puzzle of Thalidomide

ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — Research into the controversial drug thalidomide reveals that the mechanism through which the drug causes limb defects is the same process which causes it to damage internal organs and other tissues. The article, published in Bio-Essays, outlines the challenges surrounding thalidomide research and claims that confirmation of a 'common mechanism' could lead to new treatments for Leprosy, Crohn's Disease, AIDS and some forms of cancer.

Birth of New Species Witnessed by Scientists

On one of the Galapagos islands whose finches shaped the theories of a young Charles Darwin, biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species splits in two.

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