Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that afflicts 17 million people in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of death. Over 2 million patients suffer from its most severe form - childhood diabetes – also known as Type 1, juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes. We now understand that childhood diabetes is an autoimmune illness, where the bodys own white blood cells, which normally fight infection, turn and act against the body. These white blood cells target a specific group of cells in the pancreas – beta cells – that produce insulin, the hormone necessary to convert food into energy. Over time, such a large number of beta cells are destroyed that there is a lack of insulin and diabetes develops.
Scientists have long sought a means to predict the onset of diabetes through routine blood tests of destructive white blood cells so that high-risk individuals could be treated before all their beta cells are destroyed and they become diabetic. Progress has been so limited however, that it has been debated whether these cells were present in the blood at levels high enough to facilitate direct detection.
In the January 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Rusung Tan and colleagues at British Columbias Childrens Hospital, Canada, reveal a method for directly measuring the level of these self-destructive cells in the blood of mice and demonstrate that these levels reliably distinguish mice that go on to develop diabetes from those that do not.
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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