Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate helps eliminate cough.

Theobromine, an ingredient in over-the-counter chocolate bars, has shown promise as an anti-coughing agent. 

Researchers have discovered that a chemical compound, theobromine, a methylxanthine commonly found in dark chocolate and other substances derived from the cocoa plant have shown great promise as an anti-cough medication.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Zeppelins are cool again

Modern airships are quite amazing, check out this video of what a commercial flight over Long Beach, California looks like.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fungi found growing in remains of the Chernobyl reactor.

Fungi have been found growing in the remains of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station and surrounding areas. Their secret: use the radiation to grow!

After nearly two weeks without writing anything of substance due to overbearing exams, I'm finally back in action! To jump directly back into science, we'll be discussing a very weird property of certain fungi that have been found living in the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. They've not only figured out how to live with radiation levels many times that of the normal background, but they've also found a way to use it as an energy source for growth!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Scientists create mice from two male parents

Reproductive researchers have created male and female mice, from parents that were both genetically male.

Considering all the controversy surrounding NASA's press release about arsenic-based lifeforms with different DNA structure, and because of my slowly approaching genetics exam, I thought I would write about an equally interesting genetic development that seems to have skipped the attention of the science tabloids. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

24 Hours of Trauma

Experience first-hand the day-to-day life of physicians in South Africa's largest hospital, and the trails and tribulations they have to cope with.

As I write this I'm extremely exhausted from studying for my ever present, ever annoying examinations. However, during one of my 56 breaks throughout the day I managed to find time to look at some interesting medical videos.

This one is actually a series of videos that cover different specialists and the days (and nights) they spend working in Bara hospital, South Africa's largest hospital. It's a real treat to see how medicine is practiced in other countries, but more importantly it's a huge wake up call to how good we have it in the west.

In this video, you get to follow the emergency department staff for a 24-hour shift.

The amount of problems they have to deal with are astonishing: power outages, no beds, no ventilators, a large portion of HIV-positive patients.

I highly recommend watching the other videos in the series. They detail the lives of many other specialties, all of which are amazing to watch.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Inner Life of the Cell

Posted by Alexandru Nicolae

To commemorate the semi-finishing of my molecular cell biology course ( exams are still in progress), I thought I would show this cool video on the inner workings of a neutrophil. You can see everything from microtubule formation to lipid rafts and the extremely funny looking dyenin complex strutting its stuff while carrying a comically sized vesicle. If any of this interests you I highly recommend you take a cell biology course, if not then simply enjoy the video.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to Breathe Water...and Not Die?

Newly designed scuba suit allows diving to great depths, all by breathing in ...water?

Posted by Alexandru Nicolae

So a good friend of mine showed me this wonderful link to a news article discussing a new type of scuba suit. This one is quite different and allows the wearer to avoid decompression sickness, more commonly called the bends, when diving to extreme depths by allowing the user to breathe....a liquid?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two Week Hiatus

Posted by Alexandru Nicolae

Just to let my valued readers know, I'm entering exam week in my program so I won't have time to update regularly. I'll be back soon with more cool science as soon as my exams are finished. 

Stay posted!