New York Times: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a package of gun control measures, making New York the first state to change its laws in response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Cuomo signed the bill less than an hour after the State Assembly approved the legislation. The State Senate had approved the measure on Monday night.
Talk about brainwashing—a newfound plumbing system, identified in mice, likely helps the brain empty its waste, a new study says. Because mouse biology is similar to ours, the same findings should apply to people too, experts say.
Thanks to a blood-brain barrier—a natural wall that protects the brain tissue—the organ never touches blood, thus protecting it from microbes, viruses, and other pathogens.
To get nutrients to brain tissue and remove its waste, the brain makes a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid. But exactly how the fluid removes gunk generated by brain cells wasn’t certain until now.
Experiments in the 1950s and ’60s hinted that diffusion—the passive method by which, say, food coloring spreads out in a glass of water—moved cerebrospinal fluid around the brain.
Yet this process is too slow to explain the brain’s lightning-fast activity and immaculate cleanliness.
It turns out that, while studying brain tissue, the researchers in the 1950s and ’60s unwittingly turned off the plumbing that washes the tissue.
“The idea of a cleaning system based on pressure has been around for a long time, but if you open the skull anywhere, like a hydraulic pump, it stops. They thought [the cleaning system] didn’t exist,” said study leader Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
The pump system is “on the order of a thousand times faster than diffusion,” she said. “I’m surprised that no one had discovered this until now.”
Simple Process Can Make Greener Algae Fuel
A simple process would extract lipids used to make biodiesel from algae and transform them into usable fuel in one fell swoop. This could make biodiesel production from algae cheaper, faster and greener than current methods.
Caption: Algae, shown here growing in laboratory flasks, could become an economical source of biofuels thanks to new research presented at the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Conference. Image: Lindsay Soh
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Simple-Process-Can-Make-Greener-Algae-Fuel-062012.aspx
Microscope Catches Individual Cells Moving, Dividing
The transformation of a fertilized egg into a functioning animal requires thousands of cell divisions and intricate rearrangements of those cells. That process is captured with unprecedented speed and precision by a new imaging technology developed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, which lets users track each cell in an embryo as it takes shape over hours or days.
In a single movie– a compilation of a million images captured over about 20 hours– viewers can see biological structures begin to emerge as a simple cluster of cells morphs into an elongated body with tens of thousands of densely packed cells. The movie concludes when the embryo begins to twitch, driven by contractions of its newly formed muscles—moments before the hatching of a fruit fly larva just half a millimeter long.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-microscope-catches-individual-cells-moving-dividing-060812.aspx
Bilayer Graphene Creates Fast, Sensitive Photodetector
Innovation promises better biochemical weapons detection, body scanners and new instruments for studying dark energy and the structure of the universe.
Researchers at the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials of the Univ. of Maryland have developed a new type of hot electron bolometer — a sensitive detector of infrared light — that can be used in a huge range of applications from detection of chemical and biochemical weapons from a distance and use in security imaging technologies such as airport body scanners, to chemical analysis in the laboratory and studying the structure of the universe through improved telescopes.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Bilayer-Graphene-Creates-Fast-Sensitive-Photodetector-060512.aspx