Scientific Discovery

Artificial Man-made Proteins – May Help Develop Better Prescription Drugs

Artificial Man-made Proteins – May Help Develop Better Prescription Drugs

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Researchers have made a protein out of synthetic amino acids that are not found in natural proteins. With their artificially man-made protein their structure looks much like natural protein. These artificially made proteins could help researchers develop drugs that won’t be degraded by enzymes or by the immune system. Professor Alanna Schepartz from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) along with fellow researchers publish their study in the February 14th, issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society on is available in the online edition in the January 19th edition.

The researchers were able to synthesize â-amino acid monomers to create the protein. First they built the short protein, or peptide using the â-amino acid. There is one main difference between natural proteins and the synthetic protein. There is the chemical component of a methylene group that is built into the peptide backbone of the man-made protein.

U.N. panel's Climate Change 2007 Report Released - Satellite Data shows Global Warming

U.N. panel's Climate Change 2007 Report Released - Satellite Data shows Global Warming

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The United Nations (UN) panel which consists of the most authoritative scientist on the subject of global warming released their report ‘Climate Change 2007’ in Paris, France. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which includes 2,500 scientific expert reviewers from 130 countries concludes that global warming is 90 percent likely caused from humans. The report is being made readily available for policy makers to understand how climate change is affecting Earth.

The report based its findings on a number of findings. They also studied 19 different computer models that show the potential results of global warming. Satellite data has been collected and used for the computer model simulations. Measurement of atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, and cryosphere were all incorporated in the computer model to help better understand the effects of global warming.

Seven Member Shuttle Crew Will Drop Off Member at Space Station – Mission STS-116 will Attach Solar Array Truss

Seven Member Shuttle Crew Will Drop Off Member at Space Station – Mission STS-116 will Attach Solar Array Truss

Space Station

The Space Shuttle Discovery is in its third day of mission STS-116 to deliver another solar array truss segment for the International Space Station and provide a crew member for long-duration space habitation aboard the station. This is the first time in four years that the shuttle, rather than the Russian Soyuz, has brought a crew member for a long-term stay.

The seven person crew will integrate an 11 by 15 by 14 foot high segment onto the station. It will serve as a “spacer” and be mated to the P4 truss that was attached in September during the STS-115 mission of Atlantis. Attachment of the 4,000 pound (1,800 kilogram) P5 sets the stage for the relocation to its final assembly position of the P6 truss and the pair of solar arrays that have been temporarily stored atop the station’s Unity module for six years.

Native Prairie Plant Bio-based Fuel alternative to Petroleum better than Corn based Ethanol

Native Prairie Plant Bio-based Fuel alternative to Petroleum better than Corn based Ethanol

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A study from the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences found that a mixture of native perennial grasses and other flowering plants are a better source of energy per acre compared to corn grain ethanol or soybean biodiesel. David Tilman, Regents Professor of Ecology led the study and was first reported in the December 8th issue of Science as a cover story.

"Biofuels made from high-diversity mixtures of prairie plants can reduce global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Even when grown on infertile soils, they can provide a substantial portion of global energy needs, and leave fertile land for food production," Tilman said.

Global Warming – 55 Million Years Ago gives us Clues to Potentially Hot Future

Global Warming – 55 Million Years Ago gives us Clues to Potentially Hot Future

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Scientists from private nonprofit organization, Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, found that long-term release of carbon 55 million years ago contributed to global warming during this time period. This discovery reflects that global warming in modern day is related to the CO2 emissions into the environment. The study was led by Mark Pagani and included scientist Ken Caldeira and was first published in the December 8th issue of Science magazine.

The event that happened 55 million years ago has been known as an ancient global warming event named Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). This event was caused by a massive release of carbon. The geologic record shows that the greenhouse effect increased temperatures around 9 degrees Fahrenheit on average for around 10,000 years. The higher temperatures remained for the next 170,000 years and caused a number of changes to the environment. Animal life, rainfall patterns, and the rise of modern primate ancestors have all been contributed to this time period.

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