A drug from a parasitic mushroom that lives on caterpillars could become an effective new painkiller for people with osteoarthritis within the next six years.

Ophiocordyceps sinensis 2010 gh 1

Scientists at The University of Nottingham are exploring the painkilling potential of cordycepin, a compound found in cordyceps mushrooms, which are widely used in Chinese traditional medicine, thanks to funding from Arthritis Research UK.

Dr Cornelia de Moor and her team have a three-year grant of £260,000 from the medical research charity to investigate cordycepin as a new type of drug that has potential to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, a common joint condition that affects more than eight million people in the UK.

They will test the effectiveness of the compound, given as food pellets to rats and mice, to find out if cordycepin can prevent pain occurring after an injury to a joint, and also whether it relieves existing pain.

Scientists in the US have developed their very own pair of rose-tinted spectacles by adapting Google Glass to measure the chlorophyll concentration of leaves.Google glasses TOC 630m

Aydogan Ozcan and his research group at the University of California are passionate about creating new technologies through innovative, photonic methods and are well acquainted with the possibilities of wearable technology in scientific research. Chlorophyll concentration is a handy metric for monitoring plant health and the system devised by Ozcan’s team combines Google Glass with a custom made leaf holder and bespoke software to determine just that.

By placing the leaf into the handheld 3D-printed leaf holder and illuminating it with red then white LEDs, the system exploits chlorophyll’s low light absorption in the green part of the visible spectrum. Google Glass images the leaf through software that is initiated by the voice command ‘Okay Glass, image a leaf’, which is sent to a remote server to process the results. In less than 10 seconds, an estimated chlorophyll content result is then sent back to the Glass for viewing. ‘Performing the experiments on the UCLA campus was a funny experience,’ explains Ozcan, ‘wearing the Google Glass attracted everyone’s attention’.

Just what makes a solar cell?

solar cells 3390

A solar cell is, in principle, a simple semiconductor✶ device that converts light into electric energy. The conversion is accomplished by absorbing light and ionizing crystal atoms, thereby creating free, negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions. If these ions are created from the basic crystal atoms, then their ionized state can be exchanged readily to a neighbor from which it can be exchanged to another neighbor and so forth; that is, this ionized state is mobile; it behaves like an electron, and it is called a hole. It has properties similar to a free electron except that it has the opposite charge.

✶ Solar cells can be made from single crystals, crystalline and amorphous semiconductors. For simplicity this article begins with a description of crystalline material.

Molecule stays in the bloodstream and is turned on when blood sugar levels are too high.

For patients with diabetes, insulin is critical to maintaining good health and normal blood-sugar levels. However, it’s not an ideal solution because it can be difficult for patients to determine exactly how much insulin they need to prevent their blood sugar from swinging too high or too low.

 MIT engineers hope to improve treatment for diabetes patients with a new type of engineered insulin. In tests in mice, the researchers showed that their modified insulin can circulate in the bloodstream for at least 10 hours, and that it responds rapidly to changes in blood-sugar levels. This could eliminate the need for patients to repeatedly monitor their blood sugar levels and inject insulin throughout the day.

moonrock.jpgANN ARBOR—Traces of water have been detected within the crystalline structure of mineral samples from the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions, according to a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues.

The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust, crystallized from a magma ocean on a mostly molten early moon. The new findings indicate that the early moon was wet and that water there was not substantially lost during the moon's formation.

The results seem to contradict the predominant lunar formation theory — that the moon was formed from debris generated during a giant impact between Earth and another planetary body, approximately the size of Mars, according to U-M's Youxue Zhang and his colleagues.

"Because these are some of the oldest rocks from the moon, the water is inferred to have been in the moon when it formed," Zhang said. "That is somewhat difficult to explain with the current popular moon-formation model, in which the moon formed by collecting the hot ejecta as the result of a super-giant impact of a martian-size body with the proto-Earth.

cleancoal_sm.jpgCOLUMBUS, Ohio—A new form of clean coal technology reached an important milestone recently, with the successful operation of a research-scale combustion system at Ohio State University. The technology is now ready for testing at a larger scale.

For 203 continuous hours, the Ohio State combustion unit produced heat from coal while capturing 99 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction.

Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Ohio State’s Clean Coal Research Laboratory, pioneered the technology called Coal-Direct Chemical Looping (CDCL), which chemically harnesses coal’s energy and efficiently contains the carbon dioxide produced before it can be released into the atmosphere.

We have 64 guests and no members online

This news service is provided by Good Samaritan Institute, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

WE PUBLISH PEER_REVIEWED SCIENCE
GSI is a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of medical research by improving communication among scientists.