Scientists at the Salk Institute in California have recently tested a developmental drug designed to combat the signs of old age which are directly correlated with Alzheimer’s disease. Using the memory-enhancing J147 compound, which was originally synthesised after examining age-related accumulations in the brain and shown to prevent memory loss in inherited Alzheimer’s, the scientists were able to also show positive effects in rodents that have a predisposition to age quickly. By determining its impact on their brain genes, in addition to its effect on several hundred molecules associated with the metabolic process, the scientists sought to uncover whether the developmental drug was as beneficial at combating Alzheimer’s caused by old age as it was in the inherited form, and they were not disappointed. According to a number of physiological measures, the J147-treated group of mice resembled younger rodents, doing much better in memory tests as well as demonstrating improved motor functionalities, while their brains revealed fewer pathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s than the control group. They even exhibited a ‘younger’ gene expression profile and had metabolic activity that were more akin to those of younger mice. The researchers now hope to begin human clinical trials in the coming year.
A threat that all spacefarers fear is that from speeding orbital particles breaching the hulls of their spaceships. However, scientists might be on their way to solving this problem through the use of a new self-healing material. Developed by a group from the University of Michigan in collaboration with NASA, the novel material is comprised of thiol-ene-trialkylborane resin interposed between 2 polymer panels. Provided that the resin is held in the airtight area between the panels and out of contact with the air, it remains in its fluid form. However, the moment either of the panels are punctured by a speeding projectile such as space debris, the resin oozes from the opening and polymerizes in under a second upon contact with the air. Consequently, a strong airtight plug is formed by the resin at the point of the breach. It is expected that this new innovation will be eventually applied to ‘at-risk’ areas on the hulls of space vehicles and astronaut living spaces. In addition, since both the resin and the panels happen to be both clear, it is hoped that they can also be adapted to replace the windows in spacecraft portholes to create much safer spacecraft overall. The scientific study was recently published in the journal ACS Macro Letters.
Researchers have long admired the squid’s capacity to pick up the colour of its environments, then immediately transform its very own skin pigmenting it so as to camouflage itself. Therefore, a several programs have actually tried to develop synthetic substances that are equally able to alter colour on demand. Among the most recent investigations, being led by associate lecturer Stephan Link at Rice College, could eventually lead to enhanced LCD screens.