Vitamin E can assist battle cancer (Dec. 15, 2009) — Scientists from University of Strathclyde have devised a novel means to harness natural vitamin E extract that would kill tumors within 10 days.
By means of a new delivery system, the research team could mobilize an extract from Vitamin E, known ton have anti-cancer properties, to assault cancerous cells.
In the study conducted over skin cancer, the researchers found that tumors started to get smaller within 24 hours and just about vanished in ten days.
They believe the tumors may have been entirely destroyed if the tests had sustained for longer. When the tumors regrew, they did so at a far slower rate than earlier.
“We could see that it was very promising. Of course, this is just the first experiment done but it is very exciting,” the Scotsman quoted Dr Christine Dufes, a lecturer at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, as saying.
Previous studies have found that the extract – tocotrienol, from palm oil, one of the developing world’s most widely-grown products – has tumor-fighting properties.
In the new study, team developed a formulation of tocotrienol that could be specially delivered to tumors intravenously.
They encapsulated it in a compound called transferrin, a protein that transports iron through the blood. The treatment was then tested on mice. The researchers found that the formulation led to tumors shrink in one day of treatment.
And the cancers had almost disappeared within ten days – the length of time the researchers were permitted to carry out their experiments under strict trial rules.
“We demonstrated that the intravenous administration of tocotrienol, entrapped in a tumour-targeted delivery system, leads to a fast tumour regression without visible secondary effects on healthy tissues,” said Dufès.

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Green Tea may also benefit bone health (Sept. 17, 2009) — Many scientific studies have linked tea to beneficial effects in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.
Recent studies by Hong Kong researchers report that green tea may help improve bone health. They found that the tea contains a group of chemicals that can stimulate bone formation.
The beverage has the potential to help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
The scientists exposed a group of cultured bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to three major green tea components — epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) — for several days.
They found that EGC boosted the activity of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79 percent.
EGC also boosted levels of bone mineralization in the cells, which strengthens bones.
The scientists also showed that high concentrations of ECG blocked the activity of a type of cell (osteoclast) that breaks down or weakens bones.
Their findings are in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

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E-cigarettes ‘do further damage than good’ (Jan 21, 2010) — London, January 21: Battery-powered e-cigarettes can do further injury than good, as they in fact contain injurious chemicals, experts claim.
Two most important Greek researchers have advised consumers to discontinue using the devices until ongoing protection studies are reported back.
The recognition of e-cigarettes has improved as consumers can inhale nicotine without tar, tobacco or carbon monoxide.
Nevertheless, the US Food and Drug Administration have expressed anxiety after learning different brands delivered noticeably diverse amounts of nicotine vapor with every puff.
They have detected traces of dominant cancer-causing chemicals as well.
In addition, private enterprise Health New Zealand has found cancer-causing chemicals in the product.
“The sparse facts indicate the existence of different toxic and carcinogenic compounds in e-cigarettes, although in possibly much lesser concentrations than in usual cigarettes,” the BBC News quoted the researchers as saying.
In the meantime, a Department of Health spokeswoman insisted the government was functioning to make sure e-cigarettes were labeled and sold properly.
She said: “The Department of Health is not alert of any facts about the long-term protection of e-cigarettes and, as such, would recommend that consumers implement caution.
“E-cigarettes are not promoted by, or available on, the NHS.”

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Alien hunters ‘should look for artificial intelligence’

Allen telescope array  
The Allen telescope array will comprise 350 telescopes listening for ET signals
A senior astronomer has said that the hunt for alien life should take into account alien “sentient machines”.

Seti, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has until now sought radio signals from worlds like Earth.
But Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence (AI) would be short.

Writing in Acta Astronautica, he says that the odds favour detecting such alien AI rather than “biological” life.
Many involved in Seti have long argued that nature may have solved the problem of life using different designs or chemicals, suggesting extraterrestrials would not only not look like us, but that they would not at a biological level even work like us.

However, Seti searchers have mostly still worked under the assumption – as a starting point for a search of the entire cosmos – that ETs would be “alive” in the sense that we know.

That has led to a hunt for life that is bound to follow at least some rules of biochemistry, live for a finite period of time, procreate, and above all be subject to the processes of evolution.
But Dr Shostak makes the point that while evolution can take a large amount of time to develop beings capable of communicating beyond their own planet, technology would already be advancing fast enough to eclipse the species that wrought it.

“If you look at the timescales for the development of technology, at some point you invent radio and then you go on the air and then we have a chance of finding you,” he told BBC News.
“But within a few hundred years of inventing radio – at least if we’re any example – you invent thinking machines; we’re probably going to do that in this century.

“So you’ve invented your successors and only for a few hundred years are you… a ‘biological’ intelligence.”
From a probability point of view, if such thinking machines ever evolved, we would be more likely to spot signals from them than from the “biological” life that invented them.

‘Moving target’ John Elliott, a Seti research veteran based at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, says that Dr Shostak is putting on a firmer footing a feeling that is not uncommon in the Seti community.
“You have to start somewhere, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Dr Elliott told BBC News.

Milky Way galactic centre  
Alien AI may choose to linger at galactic centres, where matter and energy are plentiful

“But having now looked for signals for 50 years, Seti is going through a process of realising the way our technology is advancing is probably a good indicator of how other civilisations – if they’re out there – would’ve progressed.

“Certainly what we’re looking at out there is an evolutionary moving target.”

Both Dr Shostak and Dr Elliott concede that finding and decoding any eventual message from such alien thinking machines may prove more difficult than in the “biological” case, but the idea does provide new directions to look.

Dr Shostak says that artificially intelligent alien life would be likely to migrate to places where both matter and energy – the only things he says would be of interest to the machines – would be in plentiful supply. That means the Seti hunt may need to focus its attentions near hot, young stars or even near the centres of galaxies.
“I think we could spend at least a few percent of our time… looking in the directions that are maybe not the most attractive in terms of biological intelligence but maybe where sentient machines are hanging out.”

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Fisher Man Story..

Two men went fishing. One was an experienced fisherman the other wasn’t. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish he threw it back. The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing the man waste good fish. “Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?” he asked.

The inexperienced fisherman replied, “I only have a small frying pan.”

Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throwback the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small.

We laugh at that fisherman who didn’t figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan, yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith?

Whether it’s a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.

Innovation: Mind-reading headsets will change your brain

Innovation is our new column that highlights the latest emerging technological ideas and where they may lead.
This week, engineer Adam Wilson made global headlines by updating Twitter using his brainwaves. “USING EEG TO SEND TWEET” he explained.

Wilson’s achievement was actually pretty trivial. He used a system called BCI2000, found in hundreds of laboratories across the globe, that can do the job of a keyboard for any software program. But it was significant precisely because it was trivial: mind-reading tech is going to have a massive impact this year.

In the coming months, cheap headsets that let you control technology with the electrical signals generated by your firing neurons will go on sale to the general public. Our relationship with technology – and our brains – will never be the same again.

Making light work of LED droop

The drive to bring eco-friendly LED lighting into our homes is being stopped in its tracks by an embarrassing problem known as droop – the disappointing reduction in efficiency that happens when the light bulbs operate at the high power levels they need to shine at their brightest.

“Efficiency droop is one of the main obstacles to achieving cost-effective and high-efficiency LEDs,” says Seong-Ju Park at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in South Korea. “Droop becomes a very important issue as LEDs expand into applications like [indoor] lighting where they operate at high currents.”

For years, LED production has grown in tandem with the cellphone, providing the backlight for their displays. But manufacturers will have to tackle droop before high-power LEDs can hit the big time.

The cause of LED droop is disputed, making the solution to the problem far from clear – but now, Park and colleagues at GIST have teamed up with Samsung LED to prop up this flagging performance with an unconventional device design.

A standard LED has a surplus of electrons on one side and a dearth of electrons – or an abundance of electron “holes” – on the other. Plug the LED into a circuit, and the electrons and holes move towards each other, combine, and release energy as light.

Droop means that the proportion of the recombinations that produce light peaks at low electrical powers, with the record-holding prototype devices reaching about 250 lumens per watt. Raise the power to levels typically used for indoor lighting, though, and an increasing proportion of the electric current is lost as heat, so the efficiency drops below 100 lumens per watt.