An enzyme that protects the body from reactive chemicals called free radicals is crucial in preventing the inflammation that causes chronic lung disease in premature infants, according to three new studies.
The findings could lead to improved treatments to alleviate such inflammation, preserving the lungs of premature infants, said Richard Auten, M.D., a neonatalogist and associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center. Auten and colleagues from the Medical College of Wisconsin reported their findings in three presentations on May 2 and 3, 2004, at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in San Francisco. The research was sponsored by the American Lung Association and the National Institutes of Health.
In studies with mice, the researchers previously found that infant animals with an extra copy of the gene for the crucial enzyme, called superoxide dismutase, were better able to defend themselves against oxygen-free radicals. Oxygen-free radicals are highly reactive forms of oxygen that can readily combine with and damage proteins and other molecules in body tissues such as the lungs. Superoxide dismutase reacts with oxygen-free radicals, converting them into harmless byproducts.
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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