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Posted on Thursday, August 29 - 2013

The tiny brains will help to find treatments for neurological disorders.
Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason

The miniature brains are the size of a pea and will be used to aid research in to neurological disorders. Known as cerebral organoids, the tiny brainswere grown using a complex process beginning with embryonic stem cells or adult skin cells.

Droplets of gel were used to provide a scaffolding for the tissue to grow when combined with a special nutrient solution.Researchers believe that the organoids, complete with many of the same regions as a fully developed brain such as the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, offer them a fairly accurate representation for the brain of a nine-week-old fetus."What our organoids are good for is to modeldevelopment of the brain and to study anything that causes a defect in development," said researcher Dr Juergen Knoblich. "Ultimately we would like to move towards more common disorders like schizophrenia or autism. They typically manifest themselves only in adults, but it has been shown that the underlying defects occur during the development of the brain."

Source: BBCNews

Views : 4582

Posted on Wednesday, August 28 - 2013

Rain clouds can be produced on demand.
Image Credit: CC 2.0 JDP90

Scientists are experimenting with laser pulses that can create clouds and influence the weather. The sophisticated weather modification technique has been continuing to gain momentum andwill be discussed in detail at a meeting of the UN World Meteorological Organization in Geneva next month.The technique uses lasers to send intense pulses of light in to the sky, inducing the formation of ice and the condensation of water which in turn results in cloud formation.

The ability to do this on demand would provide a way to trigger heavy rainfall or lightning at a more convenient time before a major event or away from an area vulnerable to flooding or damage.Weathermanipulation is not a new idea - from ritualistic rain dances to experimental cloud seeding, mankind has always held a fascination with controlling the heavens. While previous efforts have yielded some degree of success, the new laser pulse method could prove to be the first reliable mechanism that can change the weather on demand without the use of chemicals.

Source: LWC

Views : 4626

Posted on Wednesday, August 28 - 2013

The ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu.
Image Credit: Allard Schmidt

Archaeologists in Peru are using unmanned military drones to aid in their efforts to map ancient ruins. Home to the world famous Machu Picchu, Peru"s treasure trove of several thousand archaeologicalsites has made it a top tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.

In recent years however some of these sites have come under threat from opportunistic miners, prompting authorities to come up with new ways to monitor and protect the country"s ancient heritage.Typically used for military strikes and surveillance, drones have turned out to be an ideal solution to help establish boundaries and to protect these sites from squatters and miners.Their three-dimensional mapping capabilities havealso been able to provide archaeologists with new information about both existing locations and sites that have yet to be excavated."With this technology, I was able to do in a few days what had taken me years to do," said archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo. "We have always wanted to have a bird"s-eye view of where we are working."

Source: Reuters

Views : 936 | Comments : 1

Posted on Wednesday, August 28 - 2013

Water could prove invaulable for future manned missions.
Image Credit: NASA

Scientists have discovered signs of water on the moon"s surface that has come from deep underground. The discovery was made using data from NASA"s Moon Mineralogy Mapper aboard the IndianSpace Research Organization"s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

This "magmatic" water is locked inside mineral grains and is believed to originate deep down below the surface.While evidence of magmatic water was also picked up on examination of samples returned during the Apollo landings, this discovery represents the first time such water has been found from orbit."Now that we have detected water that is likely from the interior of the moon, we can start to compare this water with other characteristics ofthe lunar surface," said planetary geologist Rachel Klima.Once thought to be an utterly dry world, the moon has been offering a constant stream of surprises over the last few years. Back in 2009 water was also discovered at the moon"s polar regions in the form of a thin layer of ice.

Source: NASA

Views : 573

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