Monday, February 27, 2006

"Discovery of molecule that may hold key to learning and memory"
"Independent research teams from Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston have identified a master protein that sheds light on one of neurobiology's biggest mysteries--how neurons change as a result of individual experiences.
The research, which appears in two papers in Science, identifies a central protein that regulates the growth and pruning of neurons throughout life in response to environmental stimuli. This protein, and the molecular pathway it guides, could help investigators understand the process of learning and memory, as well as lead to new therapies for diseases in which synapses either fail to form or run rampant, such as autism, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric disorders."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bremerton's LiftPort Group Completes Second Round of Tests of Its Space Elevator Technology under FAA Waiver

SpaceRef - Your Space Reference
"LiftPort Group, the space elevator companies, today announced that it has successfully completed its second round of preliminary tests of its high altitude platform and robotic lifters. The tests, which were conducted under a waiver to use airspace granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), used prototypes of proprietary technology the company is developing for use in the LiftPort Space Elevator, the company's revolutionary way to ferry cargo into space."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Meet the Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope

Scientists Analyze 650-Million-Year-Old Fossils in 3D: SpaceRef - Your Space Reference
"UCLA paleobiologist J. William Schopf and colleagues have produced 3-D images of ancient fossils -- 650 million to 850 million years old --preserved in rocks, an achievement that has never been done before.
If a future space mission to Mars brings rocks back to Earth, Schopf said the techniques he has used, called confocal laser scanning microscopy and Raman spectroscopy, could enable scientists to look at microscopic fossils inside the rocks to search for signs of life, such as organic cell walls. These techniques would not destroy the rocks."

Nice photos in article.