Premature birth gene 'discovered'
时间: 2011 年 04 月 18 日 编辑:老马
传说我们的大一的时候的辩论就是关于 design babies 的。也许 design babies 可以避免 一些遗传上的疾病,但是我们是否已经窥探并掌握了人类的所有奥秘,保证不会目睹《生化 危机》里的一幕么……
Premature birth can be dangerous for the baby A gene linked to premature births has been discovered, scientists in the US and Finland have said. The researchers hope their study, published in PLoS Genetics, could eventually lead to a test for women at risk of a pre-term birth. In the UK, one in 10 babies is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, with potential problems for their health. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said it would help to identify a percentage of those at risk. The international team of researchers looked to human evolution in their hunt for genes linked to premature births. In comparison to other primates and mammals, humans have relatively large heads and narrow birth canals. Acceleration The researchers, at Vanderbilt University, Washington University and the University of Helsinki, believed there must have been an evolutionary pressure to "adapt and shift the time of birth" to produce a smaller baby. They looked for DNA which showed evidence of "accelerated evolution" - genes which have mutated more in humans than in other primates.
They identified 150 genes. The next step was to look for an association with premature births, so the researchers compared those 150 genes in 328 Finnish mothers, some of whom had premature births. A strong association to pre-term births was found in variants of the FSHR - or follicle stimulating hormone receptor - gene. Follicle stimulating hormone acts on receptors in the ovaries to encourage follicle (a sphere of cells containing an egg) development and production of the hormone oestrogen. 'Greatest risk' Professor Louis Muglia, from the department of paediatrics at Vanderbilt University, said: "Ideally we'd like to predict which women are at greatest risk for having pre-term birth and be able to prevent it. That would really have an impact on infant mortality and the long-term complications of being born prematurely." Professor Ronald Lamont, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: "I think it's fantastic, it's a good group of well respected people doing this research." He said the risk of premature birth was likely to be a mix of genetic and environmental factors. "In the future we will be able to identify a percentage of people at risk. It won't be the be all and end all, but it will contribute to our knowledge." In a separate study, a team at Washington State University believe they have identified why eggs are produced which result in miscarriage and birth defects. The research published in Current Biology examines the relationship between eggs and the correct number of chromosomes.
恐龙白天晚上都会出来觅食
时间: 2011 年 04 月 15 日 编辑:老马
传说恐龙也会夜间捕食,各位帅哥们去夜店的时候小心了(没错,我开玩笑的)
Scaphognathus crassirostris would have foraged day and night to support its size Some dinosaurs did their hunting at night, new research suggests. Studies of the eyes of existing birds and reptiles with different daily activity patterns were compared with similar parts in dinosaur fossils. The results suggests that small, meat-eating dinosaurs were nocturnal; large, plant-eating dinosaurs tended to forage both during the day and at night. The Science study also challenges the notion that mammals' nocturnal nature evolved to avoid day-active dinosaurs. Lars Schmitz and Ryosuke Motani of the University of California Davis have been looking at the eye parts of dinosaurs, and their modern-day descendants the lizards and birds, for a number of years. They have been trying to determine just how big and how light-sensitive dinosaurs' eyes would have been. That in turn would be an indication of whether they were active at night; until now the assumption has been that dinosaurs were diurnal, or primarily active in the daytime only. However, fossils give no indication of how large dinosaurs' pupils would have been - an indication of how much light they could gather up, and thus of whether they were nocturnal "night stalkers". A prior study in the Journal of Morphology by the pair that showed that the size of the "scleral ring" - a ring of bone that covers the iris and pupil in many animals - is a good indicator of the size of the pupil. "We measured living lizards and birds to test if you can use these bone parts to distinguish the nocturnals from diurnals," Dr Schmitz explained to BBC News.
"We picked species for which we know their activity patterns - we know if they are nocturnal, diurnal or both - and then we found we could tell them apart [on the basis of their ocular bone sizes]. "Once we had that established we applied what we learned from the living species to the dinosaurs." The pair measured the eye socket size and scleral ring size of 33 dinosaur fossils, finding that dinosaurs seemed to be busy at a variety of times of day and night. "Contrary to what was believed - that most dinosaurs were diurnal - we saw pretty much everything: we had diurnal, nocturnal and species active both day and night, that was the first surprise," Dr Schmitz said. "The activity patterns depend essentially on what they do for a living - what the ecology is. Small carnivores like velociraptor tended to be nocturnal or active day and night; we didn't have a diurnal carnivore in our analysis. "Large herbivores, they were almost exclusively day- and night-active." Dr Schmitz said this was probably because larger animals needed to forage longer to support their large sizes. The find also casts doubt on the idea that mammals - who in modern times are predominantly nocturnal - evolved their activity patterns to avoid being targeted by day-active dinosaurs. "We now know that dinosaurs were active at night as well, so the whole story is much more complicated," Dr Schmitz said. "We don't even know if early mammals were truly nocturnal; we have do a lot more research to understand how nocturnality in mammals evolved."
Air France crash Tail section found on Atlantic seabed
时间: 2011 年 04 月 13 日 编辑:老马
其实飞机是相对而言最安全的交通工具,大家不要怕哈!
The bodies of many of the 228 victims were also found on the ocean floor The tail section of an Air France plane which crashed over the Atlantic in 2009 has been found on the ocean floor, relatives of those killed have said. Investigators had told them the section was "relatively intact", they added. The discovery has raised hopes that the "black boxes", which were located at the rear of the jet, may be recovered. The voice and data recorders could yield crucial clues about the cause of the crash that killed 228 people on the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. There has been speculation that malfunctioning speed sensors were to blame, but officials say other factors must also have contributed. Wreckage retrieval Nelson Marinho of the Brazilian victims' family association said French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) officials had told them during a meeting in Paris on Monday that the "tail section had been found and that it was relatively intact so the black boxes are possibly still attached to it". "I am 99% certain the black boxes will be recovered," he said. BEA spokeswoman Martine Del Bono urged caution about the news. "We are working intensely under a very short time span to have a maximum amount of information to able to find the black boxes," she said. "But we don't know where they are right now - we have to find them at the site." Maarten Van Sluys, another member of the Brazilian victims' family association, said there was also concern about the condition of the black boxes after two years sitting in corrosive seawater under immense pressure, nearly 4km (
  2.5 miles) below the surface of the ocean.
"They made it clear that they could not guarantee that the content of the black boxes would be able to be retrieved," he told the Associated Press. Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic north-east of Brazil on 1 June 2009, after running into an intense high-altitude thunderstorm. Automatic messages sent by the Airbus 330's computers showed it was receiving false air-speed readings from its sensors. The French transport ministry has said that the ship Ile de Sein, which is equipped with a remotely-operated submarine, will leave Cape Verde on 21 April to begin retrieving parts of the wreckage. The bodies of many of the victims were also found at the site.
美国成功实验舰载激光武器
时间: 2011 年 04 月 12 日 编辑:老马
有没有啊亲!激光炮啊!亲!神马对舰超超音速导弹都是浮云啊亲!激光啊!每秒 30 万公 里啊!这是要星球大战了吗亲!
The US Navy system uses a Joint High Power Solid State Laser mounted on deck The US Navy has fired a laser gun from one of its ships for the first time. Researchers used the high-energy laser (HEL) to disable a boat by setting fire to its engines off the coast of California. Similar systems had previously been tested on land, however moist sea air presented an extra challenge as it reduces a beam's power. The navy said that ship-borne lasers could eventually be used to protect vessels from small attack boats. The US military has been experimenting with laser weapons since the 1970s.
Early systems used large, chemical-based lasers which tended to produce dangerous waste gases. More recently, scientists have developed solid state lasers that combine large numbers of compact beam generators, similar to LEDs. HELs fire Until now, much of the development of HELs has focused on shooting down missiles or hitting land-based targets. The latest round of tests showed its wider possibilities, according to Peter Morrison from the Office of Naval Research. "This test provides an important data point as we move toward putting directed energy on warships. "There is still much work to do to make sure it's done safely and efficiently," he said. While a weaponised system would likely be restricted to military vessels, merchant shipping has also expressed an interest in laser technology. A gun which uses visible laser light to temporarily blind pirates was announced by BAE Systems in 20
  10. The technology is still being tested, ahead of a commercial launch.
如何制作风筝
时间: 2011 年 04 月 11 日 编辑:老马
还记得小时候的手工课吗?第一次实现遨游蓝天的梦想, 读一下这篇趣味阅读, 一起来回味 童年时的欢乐!
YOU WILL NEED
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
13-gallon (49-liter) plastic trash bag (white bags are best for decorating) Two wooden dowels or straight sticks, one 24 inches (
  60.96 cm) long, the other 20 inches (50 cm) long. Scissors String or fishing line Ruler Clear packing tape Ribbon and permanent markers for additional decoration
HERE'S HOW
  1. Cut open the trash bag to form a flat plastic sheet.
  2. Measure six inches (
  15.24 cm) down on the long stick and make a mark. Lay the short stick at the mark and form a "t" or cross shape. Tie the sticks together and use some tape if necessary.
  3. Put the sticks down on the trash bag and use your ruler to draw a line around the frame from the top stick to the side and then down to the bottom point. Use your ruler to continue the outline on the other side of the t-shape. It should look like a diamond. Cut your diamond two inches (5 cm) wider than your diamond pattern.
  4. Lay the sticks on the plastic diamond shape and fold the edges over the stick frame and tape it down. Turn the kite over and decorate it using your markers.
  5. Cut a piece of string 20 inches (50-cm) long. Poke holes in the top and bottom of the kite and tie the string in a knot in the top and bottom holes (if necessary, use some tape to keep it secure). Then tie on the rest of your string to the middle of the string.
  6. Tape the ribbon to the bottom of the kite to create a tail for your kite.
  7. On a windy day, take your kite outside and start running, holding tightly onto the kite string. Keep your kite away from power lines and trees.
New warning on Arctic ice melt
时间: 2011 年 04 月 08 日 编辑:老马
The researchers are now working with a new computer model for Arctic ice Scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer ice will probably be gone within this decade. The original prediction, made in 2007, gained Wieslaw Maslowski's team a deal of criticism from some of their peers. Now they are working with a new computer model - compiled partly in response to those criticisms - that produces a "best guess" date of 20
  16. Their work was unveiled at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual meeting. The new model is designed to replicate real-world interactions, or "couplings", between the Arctic ocean, the atmosphere, the ice and rivers carrying freshwater into the sea. "In the past... we were just extrapolating into the future assuming that trends might persist as we've seen in recent times," said Dr Maslowski, who works at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. "Now we're trying to be more systematic, and we've developed a reg
 

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