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Our Top Ten List

Scientists create first electronic quantum machine --Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have provided the first clear demonstration that the theory of quantum mechanics applies to the mechanical motion of an object large enough to be seen by the naked eye. Their work satisfies a long-standing goal among physicists. read more

Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome --Scientists have developed the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome, and now hope to use this method to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer bacteria specially designed to solve environmental or energy problems. Read more

A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus --Life is mostly composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus. Although these six elements make up nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids and thus the bulk of living matter, it is theoretically possible that some other elements in the periodic table could serve the same functions. Read more

Newly discovered planet may have life -- A team of planet hunters led by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone," where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. Read more

Scientists sequence Neanderthal Genome -- After extracting ancient DNA from the 40,000-year-old bones of Neanderthals, scientists have obtained a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, yielding important new insights into the evolution of modern humans. Read more

NASA missions uncover the moon's buried treasures -- Nearly a year after announcing the discovery of water molecules on the moon, scientists now reveal new data uncovered by NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. Read more -- for Radar images finding tons of water -- read more

Why omega-3 in fish oil works against inflammation --Over the past decade, it has become widely accepted that inflammation is a driving force behind chronic diseases that will kill nearly all of us including: cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified the molecular mechanism that makes omega-3 fatty acids so effective in reducing chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Read more

Fermilab scientists find evidence for significant matter-antimatter asymmetry --When matter and anti-matter particles collide in high-energy collisions, they turn into energy and produce new particles and antiparticles. At the Fermilab proton-antiproton collider, scientists observe hundreds of millions every day. Similar processes occurring at the beginning of the universe should have left us with a universe with equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. But the world around is made of matter only and antiparticles can only be produced at colliders, in nuclear reactions or cosmic rays. “What happened to the antimatter?” is one of the central questions of 21st–century particle physics. Read more

Use of HIV medications reduces risk of HIV infection in uninfected people --a new study called iPrEx shows that individuals at high risk for HIV infection who took a single daily tablet containing two widely used HIV medications, emtricitabine and tenofovir (FTC/TDF), experienced an average of 43.8% fewer HIV infections than those who received a placebo pill. Read more

European collaboration breakthrough in developing graphene --A collaborative research project has brought the world a step closer to producing a new material on which future nanotechnology could be based. Researchers across Europe, including NPL, have demonstrated how an incredible material, graphene, could hold the key to the future of high-speed electronics, such as micro-chips and touchscreen technology. Read about graphene nobel prize -- read about breakthroughs in graphene.

More top science articles in 2010


Study Details Structure of Potential Target for HIV and Cancer Drugs-- Structural biologists funded by the National Institutes of Health have determined the three-dimensional structure of a molecule involved in HIV infection and in many forms of cancer. The high-resolution structure sheds light on how the molecule functions and could point to ways to control its activity, potentially locking out HIV and stalling cancer's spread... read more

A novel molecular mechanism in the control of cell motility is identified -- ."As many as 90% of cancer patient deaths are attributable to metastasis, which explains the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms at the basis of this harmful process," A team of scientists at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) led by Dr. Jean-François Côté, Director of the Cytoskeletal Organization and Cell Migration research unit, identified a novel molecur mechanism... read more.

Scientists Find Key to Gene That Promotes Cancer Metastasis --The molecular machinery that switches on a gene known to cause breast cancer to spread and invade other organs has been identified by an international team led by scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The four-protein complex provides new target for thwarting cancer migration, invasion... read more.

Selective cell death mediated by small conditional RNAs. --Cancer is a difficult disease to treat because it's a personal disease. Each case is unique and based on a combination of environmental and genetic factors. But what if we had cancer treatments that worked more like a computer program, which can perform actions based on conditional statements? ... read more

Gene therapy for metastatic melanoma in mice produces complete remission --A potent anti-tumor gene introduced into mice with metastatic melanoma has resulted in permanent immune reconfiguration and produced a complete remission of their cancer, according to an article published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation ... read more

Partial Reversal of Aging achieved in mice ----Harvard Medical School were able to switch on a telomerase gene in prematurely aged mice, and reverse the aging process; the mice's organs regnerated, their shrunken brains increased in size, and their fertility was restored... read more.

Pancreatic Cancers Progress to Lethal Stage Slowly, Surprise Finding Shows -- Pancreatic cancer develops and spreads much more slowly than scientists have thought, according to new research from Johns Hopkins investigators. The finding indicates that there is a potentially broad window for diagnosis and prevention of the disease...read more

Ticking of a cellular clock promotes seismic changes in the chromatin landscape associated with aging -- ”Like cats, human cells have a finite number of lives-once they divide a certain number of times (thankfully, more than nine) they change shape, slow their pace, and eventually stop dividing, a phenomenon called "cellular senescence"... read more

Protein implicated in many cancers --A protein involved in hormone signaling is also produced by blood vessel cells in tumors, a new study finds. The protein showed up in 11 kinds of tumors examined by a French-U.S. research team but was notably absent in most healthy tissues.. Read more.

Scientists reconstruct a cancer cell's beginning in the test tube-- What prompts normal cells to transform themselves into cancerous cells? Researchers from Texas institutions, including the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, have identified factors in the very first step of the process and reconstituted this first step in the test tube. ... read more

Daily Aspirin at Low Doses Reduces Cancer Deaths, Study Finds -- But Caution Urged --A daily low dose of aspirin significantly reduces the number of deaths from a whole range of common cancers, an Oxford University study has found...read more

Widely Used Arthritis Pill Protects Against Skin Cancer, Study Suggests --Celecoxib, a prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), reduced basal cell carcinomas by 68 percent and squamous cell carcinomas by 58 percent in patients at high risk for skin cancer. The decrease in the incidence of these cancers is much greater than that achieved through the use of sunscreen, which provides only moderate protection against squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas... read more

Celldex brain cancer vaccine doubles survival --Patients with the brain cancer glioblastoma treated with a vaccine lived nearly twice as long as those who received radiation and chemotherapy, an encouraging result for a cancer that often kills patients within a year, U.S. researchers said on Monday... read more

New method to generate stem cells is extremely efficient--- Scientists have invented an efficient way to produce apparently safe alternatives to human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos. The new method does not require risky genetic modification and holds great promise for making the reprogramming process more therapeutically relevant.- read more


Whisker stimulation prevents strokes in rats, UCI study finds --Team working to determine if stimulating fingers, lips and face will work in human Read more

Why Testing Improves Memory: Mediator Effectiveness Hypothesis -- A wealth of research has established that practice tests improve memory for the tested material. Although the benefits of practice tests are well documented, the mechanisms underlying testing effects are not well understood.... read more.

For the first time, monkeys recognize themselves in the mirror, indicating self-awareness... read more

Why symptoms of schizophrenia appear in early adulthood -- Brain differences caused by known schizophrenia gene may explain late development of classic symptoms. In reports of two new studies, researchers led by Johns Hopkins say they have identified the mechanisms rooted in two anatomical brain abnormalities that may explain the onset of schizophrenia and the reason symptoms don't develop until young adulthood... read more.

Placebos work even if told they are placebos --Placebos work even when you know they're fake Placebos can help patients feel better, even if they are fully aware they are taking a sugar pill, researchers reported on Wednesday on an unusual experiment aimed to better understand the "placebo effect." .. read more.

Imitating Someone's Accent Makes It Easier to Understand Them --In conversation, we often imitate each other's speech style and may even change our accent to fit that of the person we're talking to. A recent study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that imitating someone who speaks with a regional or foreign accent may actually help you understand them better... read more

Season of Birth May Have Long-Term Effects on Personality--The experiment provides the first evidence for seasonal imprinting of biological clocks in mammals, read more

How does prozac work? By acting on the microRNA --The response time to antidepressants, such as Prozac, is around three weeks. How can we explain this? The adaptation mechanisms of the neurons to antidepressants has, until now, remained enigmatic... read more.

Neuroscientists Find That Men And Women Respond Differently To Stress -- Functional magnetic resonance imaging of men and women under stress showed neuroscientists how their brains differed in response to stressful situations. In men, increased blood flow to the left orbitofrontal cortex suggested activation of the "fight or flight" response. In women, stress activated the limbic system, which is associated with emotional responses... read more


Pomegranate juice may fight cancer ---Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified components in pomegranate juice that both inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone. The research could lead to new therapies for preventing cancer metastasis... read more

Vitamin D shown to be crucial in activating the immune response ---Reported recently in the journal Nature Immunology, Dr. Carsten Geisler of Copenhagen University, Denmark says that vitamin D is vital in activating human defenses and that the low levels of vitamin d suffered by almost half of the world's population may mean that their immune system killer T cells are weak and unable to fight infections... read more

Pregnant Mother's Diet Impacts Infant's Sense of Smell, Alters Brain Development --A major new study shows that a pregnant mother's diet not only sensitizes the fetus to those smells and flavors, but physically changes the brain directly impacting what the infant eats and drinks in the future. Read more

Compound Derived from Curry Spice Is Neuroprotective Against Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury --A synthetic derivative of the curry spice turmeric, made by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, dramatically improves the behavioral and molecular deficits seen in animal models of ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Two new studies suggest that the novel compound may have clinical promise for these conditions, which currently lack good therapies. Read more

Beetroot juice could help people live more active livesNew research into the health benefits of beetroot juice suggests it's not only athletes who can benefit from its performance enhancing properties – its physiological effects could help the elderly or people with heart or lung-conditions enjoy more active lives.read more


Discovery of Taste Receptors in the Lungs Could Help People With Asthma Breathe Easier -- "The detection of functioning taste receptors on smooth muscle of the bronchus in the lungs was so unexpected that we were at first quite skeptical ourselves," says the study's senior author, Stephen B. Liggett, M.D., professor of medicine and physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of its Cardiopulmonary Genomics Program...read more

Toothndecay may be thing the of the Past? Enzyme Responsible for Dental Plaque Sticking to Teeth Deciphered --The Groningen professors Bauke Dijkstra and Lubbert Dijkhuizen have deciphered the structure and functional mechanism of the glucansucrase enzyme that is responsible for dental plaque sticking to teeth. This knowledge will stimulate the identification of substances that inhibit the enzyme. Just add that substance to toothpaste, or even sweets, and caries will be a thing of the past. read more.

Newly Discovered DNA Repair Mechanism --Researchers at Vanderbilt University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh have discovered a fundamentally new way that DNA-repair enzymes detect and fix damage to the chemical bases that form the letters in the genetic code. The discovery is reported in an advanced online publication of the journal Nature on Oct. 3....read more

Rare Japanese Plant has Largest Genome Known to Science --- Scientists at Kew's Jodrell Laboratory have discovered that Paris japonica, a striking rare native of Japan(1), has the largest genome(2) of them all -- bigger than the human genome and even larger than the previous record holder -- the marbled lungfish... read more

1000 Genomes Project publishes analysis of completed pilot phase --Produces tool for research into genetic contributors to human disease --Small genetic differences between individuals help explain why some people have a higher risk than others for developing illnesses such as diabetes or cancer. Today in the journal Nature, the 1000 Genomes Project, an international public-private consortium, published the most comprehensive map of these genetic differences, called variations, estimated to contain approximately 95 percent of the genetic variation of any person on Earth. read more


Hubble sees primeval galaxies -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has broken the distance limit for galaxies and uncovered a primordial population of compact and ultra-blue galaxies that have never been seen before...read more

Most Massive Galaxy discovered -- Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of 7 billion light-years. The cluster (designated SPT-CL J0546-5345) weighs in at around 800 trillion Suns, and holds hundreds of galaxies.... read more

Number of stars in universe may be triple what previously thought ---The abundance of red dwarfs in eight nearby galaxies suggests the stellar population of the universe may be three times current estimates ... read more.


Graphene gets a new makeover -- University of Manchester scientists have created a new material which could replace or compete with Teflon in thousands of everyday applications...read more

Scientists Learn to Block Pain at Its Source--A substance similar to capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their heat, is generated at the site of pain in the human body. Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have discovered how to block these capsaicin-like molecules and created a new class of non-addictive painkillers.... read more

Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Simulating the gyrations that proteins make as they fold has been a combinatorial nightmare. Now, researchers have harnessed the power of one of the world’s most powerful computers to track the motions of atoms in a small, folding protein for a length of time 100 times longer than any previous efforts. read more.

Scientists 'Watch' Formation of Cells' Protein Factories, Ribosomes, for First Time--A team from The Scripps Research Institute has revealed the first-ever pictures of the formation of cells' "protein factories." In addition to being a major technical feat on its own, the work could open new pathways for development of antibiotics and treatments for diseases tied to errors in ribosome formation.... read more

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