New method to reveal pancreatic stem cells unveiled

New method to reveal pancreatic stem cells unveiledWashington, April 7: Mario Capecchi, Nobel Laureate for Medicine in 2007, has announced the invention of a technique to reveal the stem cells camouflaged in the pancreas.

The achievement made in collaboration with Eugenio Sangiorgi, a researcher from the Catholic University of Rome, is important because, to date, scientists don''t have a method to distinguish a priori between a stem cell and any other cell in the same tissue.

“We can only infer that a cell really is a stem cell by observing its behaviour," says Sangiorgi.

Frogs provide clues about alcohol’s effects during pregnancy

Alcohol During PregnancyWashington, Apr 6: Scientists have successfully used the African frog Xenopus as a tool to identify important clues about the effects of maternal consumption of alcohol in early pregnancy.

As the Xenopus embryos are large, easy to work with and very responsive to environmental cues, they make for ideal instruments to understand early vertebrate development.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) cause malformations in babies, including facial defects, short stature, and mental and behavioural abnormalities.

Study says marijuana chemical has anti-cancer properties

Study says marijuana chemical has anti-cancer properties According to a study released on Thursday, Spanish researchers from the Complutense University in Madrid, together with scientists of other universities, found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the main chemical in the infamous narcotic agent, marijuana - likely helps the annihilation of brain cancer cells.

The research, which proposes to bring to improve the prospects of anti-cancer therapies, said that THC causes cancer cells to go through a process called autophagy - the breakdown that takes place when the cells fundamentally self-digest.

Detection of cervical cancer - DNA test better than ‘pap smear’ method

Haryana farmers welcome farm loan waiver  A decade-long research conducted by the Tata Memorial Hospital, and backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has reached a noteworthy conclusion with regard to detection of cervical cancer.

According to the study, genetic testing for human papilloma virus or HPV - by collecting DNA cells from the cervix - was a better method for detecting cervical cancer in comparison to the widely popular method called 'pap smear,' in which cells are collected from the surface of the cervix.

Like humans, birds too can interpret looks and gestures

Like humans, birds too can interpret looks and gesturesWashington, Apr 3: Think birds are just some “high-flying, cute looking” species? Well, it’s time you jiggle your thinking and respect their mental abilities, for a new study has found that jackdaws can interpret looks and gestures in the same way as humans.

According to a study reported online on April 2nd in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, jackdaws—birds related to crows and ravens with eyes that appear similar to human eyes—can change their behaviour when someone is looking their way.

Baby birds can do arithmetic

Baby birds can do arithmeticLondon, Apr 2: Baby birds can count and perform basic arithmetic, say researchers.

The study, conducted by scientists from the universities of Padova and Trento, has shown chicks'' ability to add and subtract objects as they were moved behind two screens.

Lucia Regolin, the study''s author, said the animals "performed basic arithmetic" to work out which screen concealed the larger group of objects.

In the study, scientists found that the baby animals could distinguish between two and three and in tests consistently picked the higher figure.