Open Questions Chronicle

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Volume 9, Number 34
August 23, 2010


Physical sciences
Technology
Life sciences
Neuroscience, psychology, behavior
Health and medicine
Physical sciences

Global warming
Antarctic sea ice
Dimuon charge asymmetry and CP symmetry violation
Higgs boson
Amino acid chirality
Quantum chromodynamics
Magnetar supernova remnant
Cosmic rays
Pulsars
P vs. NP
Hypervelocity stars
Earthquakes
Possible black hole in Omega Centauri
Extrasolar planets
Star formation in distant galaxy clusters
Climate modeling
Star-forming regions
Dark energy
Global warming
Ocean oxygenation
Suppression of star formation due to supermassive black hole activity in M87
Water on Mars
Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
Aerosols and climate
Black hole mergers
Simulation of stellar magnetic fields
Ocean acidification

Technology

Quantum computing
DNA sequencing
Grid computing
Bose-Einstein condensates
Graphene
Photovoltaics
Ferroelectric data storage
Superconductivity
Ferromagnetic ferroelectrics
Solar sail spacecraft propulsion
Carbon nanotubes
Probability chips
Virtual reality
Nanotechnology
Nanoscale plasmonics

Life sciences

Controversy over SIRT1 activation
Origins of life
MicroRNA and messenger RNA translation
MicroRNA maturation
Epigentic changes in cell differentiation
Promoters of messenger RNA translation
MDM2 regulation of p53
Histone phosphorylation and mitosis
Adipogenesis
Induced pluripotent stem cells
Possible very early animal fossils
Mitochondrial Eve
Pathogen resistance to macrophage activity
Drr-2 modulation of Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan
Chromatin architecture and gene expression
ATP synthase
Chlorophyll
Helicobacter pylori infection
Pathological 'junk' DNA
Helicase enzymes
Nucleosome distribution around transcription start sites
Meiosis

Neuroscience, psychology, and behavior

Benefits of sleep for memory, creativity
Brain-imaging studies
Language and psychological disorders
Antidepressants
Depression
Autism
Alcohol and cognitive function
Prox1 and the dentate gyrus
Oxytocin

Health and medicine

Inflammation and cancer
Gene therapy
Cardiovascular disease
Cancer
Obesity
Cancer stem cells
Dementia
Psoriasis
Diabetes
Malaria
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus vaccine
Stem cells
Cancer biology
Alzheimer's disease
Tuberculosis
AIDS
Autoimmune disease
Cancer vaccines
Drug delivery
Antibiotic resistance



Physical sciences


Global warming

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Tropical Glaciers in Indonesia May Disappear by the End of the Decade
  2. August 17, 2010 - Aussie Academy: Warming Is Real, Dangerous
  3. August 19, 2010 - Worldwide slowdown in plant carbon uptake
  4. August 19, 2010 - Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth
  5. August 20, 2010 - Amazon, droughts driving drop in plants' ability to store carbon
  6. August 20, 2010 - Is the ice in the Arctic Ocean getting thinner and thinner?
Background


Antarctic sea ice

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Global Warming Protects Antarctic Sea Ice - But Not For Long
  2. August 16, 2010 - Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is Growing in a Warmer World
  3. August 16, 2010 - Resolving the paradox of the Antarctic sea ice - also here
  4. August 17, 2010 - Antarctic sea ice growth could reverse
Background


Dimuon charge asymmetry and CP symmetry violation

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Experiments offer tantalizing clues as to why matter prevails in the universe - also here, here
  2. August 16, 2010 - A new source of CP violation?
Background, Background


Higgs boson

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Search for the Higgs: What's next?
  2. August 19, 2010 - High speed beams, heaps of excitement and hunting the Higgs boson
Background


Amino acid chirality

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Supernova Explosions Offer Potential Spin on Life's Origins
Background


Quantum chromodynamics

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Reexamining nothing: is the vacuum of space really empty?
Background


Magnetar supernova remnant

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - The Mystery of the Absent Black Hole
  2. August 17, 2010 - How Much Mass Makes a Black Hole? Astronomers Challenge Current Theories - also here
  3. August 18, 2010 - Massive Mega-Star Challenges Black Hole Theories
  4. August 18, 2010 - Black hole mystery unveiled by magnetic star discovery
  5. August 19, 2010 - Magnetic mega-star challenges stellar theory - also here, here
  6. August 25, 2010 - Mysterious Magnetar
Background, Background, Background


Cosmic rays

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Cosmic accelerators discovered in our galaxy
Background


Pulsars

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Eclipsing pulsar promises clues to crushed matter - also here
  2. August 19, 2010 - Cosmic First: Pulsing Neutron Star Eclipsed By Stellar Companion
Background


P vs. NP

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Doubts continue on claim to have solved P vs NP mathematical question
Background


Hypervelocity stars

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - A Runaway Star with a Story To Tell
Background


Earthquakes

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Double whammy caused tsunami
  2. August 18, 2010 - Tsunami triggered by one-two punch - also here
  3. August 18, 2010 - Multiple, Nearly Simultaneous Earthquakes Triggered Deadly 2009 Tsunami
  4. August 18, 2010 - Triple whammy triggered Samoa tsunami
  5. August 18, 2010 - Deadly Tonga Earthquake Revealed as Three Big Quakes
  6. August 18, 2010 - Earthquake 'double whammy' caused 2009 Tonga tsunami
  7. August 18, 2010 - Rare double quake blamed for South Pacific tsunami - also here
  8. August 19, 2010 - Triple whammy triggered Samoa tsunami
  9. August 19, 2010 - Samoan tsunami caused by 'double-whammy'
  10. August 20, 2010 - Big quakes more frequent than thought on San Andreas fault
  11. August 20, 2010 - Surfing for earthquakes
Background


Possible black hole in Omega Centauri

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Stellar Blob
Background


Extrasolar planets

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - 'Hot Jupiter' moons unlikely to exist
  2. August 20, 2010 - New Space Observatory Could Join Hunt for Alien Planets
  3. August 23, 2010 - 'Hot Jupiter' planets unlikely to have moons
Background


Star formation in distant galaxy clusters

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Astronomers find ancient galaxy cluster still producing stars - also here, here
  2. September 3, 2010 - Some Ancient Galaxies Had Wild Youth
Background, Background


Climate modeling

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - New computer model advances climate change research - also here
  2. August 25, 2010 - Powerful new climate model unveiled
Background


Star-forming regions

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Young Stars Blamed for Space Cloud Ripples
  2. August 18, 2010 - Ghost-Like Nebula Revealed in Haunting Space Photo
  3. August 18, 2010 - Massive star blasts seen making waves in Orion Nebula
  4. August 20, 2010 - New Herbig-Haro jets in Orion
Background


Dark energy

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Astronomers take a step towards revealing the Universe's biggest mystery - also here
  2. August 19, 2010 - First Use of Cosmic Lens to Probe Dark Energy
  3. August 19, 2010 - A New Twist on Dark Energy
  4. August 19, 2010 - Focusing on Dark Energy With Cosmic Lens
  5. August 19, 2010 - Gravitational lens makes dark energy less mysterious
  6. August 19, 2010 - Astronomers use galactic magnifying lens to probe elusive dark energy
  7. August 19, 2010 - Dark Energy Mystery Illuminated By Cosmic Lens
  8. August 19, 2010 - Fate of Universe revealed by galactic lens
  9. August 19, 2010 - The universe 'will expand forever', new Nasa study on 'dark energy' concludes
Background


Global warming

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Earth's green carbon sink on the wane
Background


Ocean oxygenation

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Geologists revisit the Great Oxygenation Event
Background, Background


Suppression of star formation due to supermassive black hole activity in M87

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Galactic super-volcano in action
  2. August 20, 2010 - Galactic Supervolcano Erupts From Black Hole
  3. August 20, 2010 - Galactic 'Super-Volcano' in Action - also here
  4. September 6, 2010 - Galactic 'Supervolcano' Seen Erupting With X-Rays
Background


Water on Mars

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Mud Volcanoes on Mars
  2. August 20, 2010 - Martian Volcano Mud May Have Hosted Life
Background


Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment takes off for Kennedy Space Center
  2. August 25, 2010 - Space detector prepares to scour universe for secrets
  3. August 25, 2010 - Antimatter Detector to Catch Last Shuttle to Space - also here
  4. August 26, 2010 - Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer arrives at launch site
  5. August 26, 2010 - AMS particle detector lands at Kennedy Space Center
Background, Background


Aerosols and climate

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Researching the effects aerosol particles have on the earth's climate
Background


Black hole mergers

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Colliding Black Holes Should Unleash Detectable Energy Jets
  2. August 20, 2010 - Colliding black holes' energy jets could be detected
  3. August 24, 2010 - Supercomputers supermodel supermassive black holes
Background


Simulation of stellar magnetic fields

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Researchers make magnetic fields breakthrough
Background


Ocean acidification

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Limiting ocean acidification under global change
Background, Background



Technology


Quantum computing

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Overlooked element could be part of dream team for quantum computing
Background


DNA sequencing

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Nanoscale DNA sequencing could spur revolution in personal health care
Background


Grid computing

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Particle physics used to mitigate natural disasters
Background


Bose-Einstein condensates

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Ups and downs in a BEC
  2. August 19, 2010 - 'Quantum simulators' revealed in fresh detail
Background


Graphene

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Resurrecting graphene with a breath of oxygen
Background


Photovoltaics

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Major hurdle cleared for organic solar cells
Background


Ferroelectric data storage

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - World record data density for ferroelectric recording
Background


Superconductivity

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Roller coaster superconductivity discovered - also here
Background


Ferromagnetic ferroelectrics

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Researchers 'stretch' a lackluster material into a possible electronics revolution - also here
Background, Background


Solar sail spacecraft propulsion

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Sailing Among the Stars
Background


Carbon nanotubes

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Carbon nanotube forest covers NIST's ultra-dark detector
Background


Probability chips

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Computer chip that computes probabilities and not logic
Background


Virtual reality

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Virtual reality you can touch
Background


Nanotechnology

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Nanoscopic patterned materials with tunable dimensions
Background


Nanoscale plasmonics

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Antenna directs light at the nanoscale
Background, Background



Life sciences


Controversy over SIRT1 activation

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - GlaxoSmithKline strikes back over anti-ageing pills
Background, Background


Origins of life

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Could thermodynamic fluctuations have led to the origins of life?
Background


MicroRNA and messenger RNA translation

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - RNA snippets control protein production by disabling mRNAs
Background


MicroRNA maturation

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Newly identified RNA sequence is key in microRNA processing
Background


Epigentic changes in cell differentiation

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Scientists map epigenetic changes during blood cell differentiation
Background


Promoters of messenger RNA translation

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Researchers find function of proteins that can enhance the progression of viruses and cancer cells
Background


MDM2 regulation of p53

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Study sheds light on cancer-causing gene regulation
Background, Background


Histone phosphorylation and mitosis

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Experiments decipher key piece of the ‘histone code’ in cell division
Background, Background


Adipogenesis

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Scientists closer to finding what causes the birth of a fat cell
Background, Background, Background


Induced pluripotent stem cells

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Scientists successfully use human induced pluripotent stem cells to treat Parkinson's in rodents
Background


Possible very early animal fossils

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Strange Rocks May Preserve Some of Earth's First Animals
  2. August 17, 2010 - Perforated blobs may be early sponges - also here
  3. August 17, 2010 - Discovery of possible earliest animal life pushes back fossil record - also here
  4. August 18, 2010 - Ancient sponges found in Aussie outback
  5. August 18, 2010 - Fossils may be 'earliest animals'
Background


Mitochondrial Eve

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Mother of all humans lived 200,000 years ago
Background


Pathogen resistance to macrophage activity

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Researchers discover cause of immune system avoidance of certain pathogens
Background


Drr-2 modulation of Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Discovery may aid search for anti-aging drugs - also here
  2. August 19, 2010 - Anti-aging by blocking a gene - without restricting food intake?
Background


Chromatin architecture and gene expression

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Surprise in genome structure linked to developmental diseases
Background


ATP synthase

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Researchers discover new mechanism behind cellular energy conversion
Background


Chlorophyll

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Chlorophyll gets an 'f' - also here
  2. August 19, 2010 - A New Form of Chlorophyll?
  3. August 19, 2010 - Ancient bacteria has chlorophyll see red
  4. August 20, 2010 - Scientists discover first new chlorophyll in 60 years
Background


Helicobacter pylori infection

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Stomach bacteria need vitamin to establish infection
Background


Pathological 'junk' DNA

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Scientists pinpoint earliest steps of common form of muscular dystrophy - also here, here
  2. August 19, 2010 - Discovery opens door to therapeutic development for FSH muscular dystrophy
  3. August 19, 2010 - Reanimated 'Junk' DNA Is Found to Cause Disease
  4. August 19, 2010 - Not One But Two DNA Changes Are Needed to Cause FSHD
  5. August 20, 2010 - Junk DNA can rise from the dead and haunt you
Background


Helicase enzymes

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Researchers advance understanding of enzyme that regulates DNA
Background


Nucleosome distribution around transcription start sites

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Physical model describes the distribution of nucleosomes
Background, Background


Meiosis

References:
  1. August 22, 2010 - Study of cell division sheds light on special mechanism in egg cells - also here
Background



Neuroscience, psychology, and behavior


Benefits of sleep for memory, creativity

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Dreams Make You Smarter, More Creative, Studies Suggest
Background, Background, Background


Brain-imaging studies

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - IBMT meditation found to boost brain connectivity
  2. August 18, 2010 - Brain connections break down as we age
  3. August 19, 2010 - Brain network links cognition, motivation
  4. August 20, 2010 - Meditation boosts part of brain where ADD, addictions reside
Background


Language and psychological disorders

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Language as a window into sociability
Background, Background


Antidepressants

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - SSRIs may pack more punch at the cellular level than believed
  2. August 16, 2010 - Antidepressant can help treat major depression during perimenopause, menopause, VCU study shows
  3. August 19, 2010 - Psychedelic Drugs Show Promise as Antidepressants
  4. August 19, 2010 - Researchers describe secrets of 'magic' antidepressant
  5. August 20, 2010 - Ketamine called anti-depressant magic drug
Background


Depression

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Survey reveals hidden dipolarity in many depressed respondents
Background


Autism

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Disturbances in certain genes play a role in autism
  2. August 19, 2010 - Researchers find empirical link between multisensory integration and autism
  3. August 21, 2010 - Autism Might Slow Brain's Ability to Integrate Input from Multiple Senses
Background


Alcohol and cognitive function

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Moderate drinking, especially wine, associated with better cognitive function
Background


Prox1 and the dentate gyrus

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Study shows gene's role in developing and maintaining cells key for a lifetime of memories
Background, Background


Oxytocin

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Oxytocin: It's a mom and pop thing
Background



Health and medicine


Inflammation and cancer

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Research finds new link between inflammation and cancer
Background, Background


Gene therapy

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Breakthrough gene therapy prevents retinal degeneration
Background


Cardiovascular disease

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Antagonistic people may increase heart attack, stroke risk
  2. August 16, 2010 - Better treatment of atrial fibrillation and its risks
  3. August 16, 2010 - Choosing healthier protein-rich foods instead of red and processed meats may reduce heart disease
  4. August 16, 2010 - Dark chocolate can be good for the heart, study says
  5. August 17, 2010 - Angry people at higher heart attack risk
  6. August 18, 2010 - Social ill: Lack of close ties may increase heart disease risk
  7. August 18, 2010 - Drug-eluting stents confirmed safe, effective for long-term use
  8. August 19, 2010 - Common hypertension drugs can raise blood pressure in certain patients
  9. August 19, 2010 - Binge drinking increases death risk in men with high blood pressure
  10. August 19, 2010 - Antagonism may increase risk of heart attack, stroke
Background


Cancer

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Genes associated with aggressive breast cancer
  2. August 16, 2010 - Hair color, socioeconomic status among risk factors for recurring basal cell carcinoma
  3. August 16, 2010 - Gallbladder cancer may be linked to estrogens
  4. August 16, 2010 - EZH2 boosts creation of ovarian cancer blood vessels
  5. August 16, 2010 - Researchers identify potential new target for ovarian cancer
  6. August 17, 2010 - Blood Biomarker Patterns May Aid Early Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
  7. August 17, 2010 - New mechanisms of tumor resistance to targeted therapy in lung cancer are discovered
  8. August 18, 2010 - Scientists find new twist on drug screening to treat common childhood cancer
  9. August 18, 2010 - Targeting hit-and-run cancer viruses
  10. August 19, 2010 - Drug flexes muscle against cancer
  11. August 19, 2010 - With muscle-building treatment, mice live longer even as tumors grow
  12. August 19, 2010 - Researcher Awarded Patent for Breast Cancer Drug Breakthrough
  13. August 19, 2010 - Addition of trastuzumab to chemotherapy for stomach cancer extends survival by nearly 3 months
  14. August 19, 2010 - Researchers find genetic marker for repeat lung cancer
  15. August 19, 2010 - Significant advance announced in treatment of cervical cancer
  16. August 20, 2010 - Virtual colonoscopies help identify additional cancers outside of the colon, study suggests
Background


Obesity

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Obesity rates decline for many adolescents but disparities worsen
  2. August 18, 2010 - Overweight American children and adolescents becoming fatter
  3. August 18, 2010 - Even modest weight gain can harm blood vessels, study
  4. August 19, 2010 - Study underscores link between walking, cycling and health
Background


Cancer stem cells

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Blood stem cell, leukemia link illuminated in UCSF-led study
  2. August 17, 2010 - Lung stem cells vital to lung repair associated with poor cancer prognosis when found in tumor
Background, Background


Dementia

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Stress in middle age could contribute to late-life dementia
  2. August 17, 2010 - B vitamins and the aging brain examined
Background


Psoriasis

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Women who drink beer more likely to develop psoriasis
  2. August 16, 2010 - Women beer drinkers 'increase psoriasis risk'
Background


Diabetes

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Obesity and diabetes: Immune cells in fat tissue explain the link
  2. August 17, 2010 - Novel diabetes hope comes from Chinese herbs
  3. August 17, 2010 - Evolution may have pushed humans toward greater risk for type 1 diabetes
  4. August 19, 2010 - Green leafy vegetables reduce diabetes risk
  5. August 19, 2010 - Green leafy veg 'may cut diabetes risk'
Background


Malaria

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Scientists develop new drug treatment for malaria - also here
Background


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus vaccine

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Studies pinpoint key targets for MRSA vaccine
Background, Background


Stem cells

References:
  1. August 16, 2010 - Repairing spinal cord injury with manipulated neural stem cells
  2. August 17, 2010 - Mayo's 'smart' adult stem cells repair hearts
  3. August 17, 2010 - Scientist discovers stem cell 'partnership' that could advance regenerative medicine
  4. August 18, 2010 - Stem cell versatility could help tissue regeneration
  5. August 19, 2010 - Human neural stem cells restore motor function in mice with chronic spinal cord injury
  6. August 19, 2010 - Natural lung material is promising scaffold for engineering lung tissue using embryonic stem cells
  7. August 20, 2010 - Researchers develop a better way to grow stem cells
  8. August 23, 2010 - Scientists create a synthetic surface for growing stem cells
Background


Cancer biology

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Researchers identify breast cancer culprits
  2. August 22, 2010 - Breast cancer protein is finally purified
  3. August 22, 2010 - Protein made by breast cancer gene purified
Background


Alzheimer's disease

References:
  1. August 17, 2010 - Eli Lilly halts development of Alzheimer's drug - also here
  2. August 18, 2010 - Study explains why Alzheimer's drug is both safe and effective
  3. August 19, 2010 - Mental problems in an old person do not always mean Alzheimer's disease
  4. August 20, 2010 - Putting the squeeze on Alzheimer's
  5. August 22, 2010 - Arthritis protein 'guards against Alzheimer's disease'
Background


Tuberculosis

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - Gene profiles may predict TB prognosis
  2. August 18, 2010 - Predictive blood test for TB 'a step closer'
Background


AIDS

References:
  1. August 18, 2010 - A cure for HIV could be all in the 'mix'
  2. August 18, 2010 - Potential HIV drug keeps virus out of cells
  3. August 19, 2010 - Three Distinct Routes Detailed for How HIV Arises in Male Genital Tract
  4. August 19, 2010 - AIDS virus changes in semen make it different than in blood
  5. August 20, 2010 - Researchers identify two FDA approved drugs that may fight HIV
  6. August 20, 2010 - Researchers Zero in on Protein that Destroys HIV - also here, here
Background


Autoimmune disease

References:
  1. August 19, 2010 - Novel autoantibodies identified in patients with necrotizing myopathy
  2. August 19, 2010 - Discovery could impact the treatment of autoimmune diseases
Background


Cancer vaccines

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Research on cancer vaccine begins to pay off
Background, Background


Drug delivery

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - Popping Bubbles Hold Promise in Cellular Drug Injection
Background


Antibiotic resistance

References:
  1. August 20, 2010 - WHO calls for monitoring of new superbug
Background


Copyright © 2010 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved