This week in science: One step forward, one step back

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 01-10-2011-05-2008

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Mercury

The fresh crater Debussy, about 50 miles wide. Click image for more info at Bad Astronomy. Image courtesy NASA/JPL

Research into human aging has found many potential causes. One of the most exciting is in the field of stem cells. It looks like as adult stem cell populations age and become depleted, the traditional signs of aging  accelerate. There’s a lot of promise there: learning how to manipulate all kinds of stem cells could even potentially result in the first scientific version of the fountain of youth for adult stem cells and by proxy, us adults:

Scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and Georgia Institute of Technology demonstrated how the aging process for human adult stem cells can be reversed. This breakthrough will open many new avenues for innovative therapies that could impact a wide range of disease, including anything requiring the repair of damaged tissues.

That would be one giant leap for mankind. Of course there are people intent on taking one giant step backward for womenkind. Like this simmering wingnut obsession which could cripple stem cell research and comes with other horrifying consequences.

  • For all you former radio control model builders and operators (I’m included!), TPM has posted two really cool videos of where the hobby has gone with modern electronics and old-fashioned craftsmanship.
  • NASA’s Messenger and Dawn Mission to Vesta & Beyond are competing with each other this week to return the most interesting images of Mercury’s baked wastelands and Vesta’s frozen surface.
  • Will we ever conquer — for lack of a better word — the solar system? I took a shot at reviewing one proposed method in Train tracks in space.
  • The video reportedly shows 29 year-old Sarah Churman hearing with the benefit of a newly installed implant for the very first time:


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