Science Saturday

Yes, But Could They Do a Triple Lutz? Archaeological evidence shows that bone skates (skates made of animal bones) are the oldest human-powered means of transport, dating back to 3000 BC. Why people started skating on ice and where is not as clear, since ancient remains were found in several locations spread across Central and North Europe.

In a recent paper, published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Dr. Federico Formenti and Professor Minetti show substantial evidence supporting the hypothesis that the birth of ice skating took place in Southern Finland, where the number of lakes within 100 square kilometres is the highest in the world.

“In Central and Northern Europe, five thousand years ago people struggled to survive the severe winter conditions and it seems unlikely that ice skating developed as a hobby,” says Dr Formenti. “As happened later for skis and bicycles, I am convinced that we first made ice skates in order to limit the energy required for our daily journeys.”

Source: Wiley-Blackwell (2007, December 26). Where And Why Humans Made Skates Out Of Animal Bones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 29, 2007.

In Case We Need Yet Another Reason to Legalize Pot… Cannabinoids may suppress tumor invasion in highly invasive cancers, according to a study published online December 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Cannabinoids, the active components in marijuana, are used to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment, such as pain, weight loss, and vomiting, but there is increasing evidence that they may also inhibit tumor cell growth. However, the cellular mechanisms behind this are unknown.

Robert Ramer, Ph.D., and Burkhard Hinz, Ph.D., of the University of Rostock in Germany investigated whether and by what mechanism cannabinoids inhibit tumor cell invasion.

Cannabinoids did suppress tumor cell invasion and stimulated the expression of TIMP-1, an inhibitor of a group of enzymes that are involved in tumor cell invasion.

“To our knowledge, this is the first report of TIMP-1-dependent anti-invasive effects of cannabinoids. This signaling pathway may play an important role in the antimetastatic action of cannabinoids, whose potential therapeutic benefit in the treatment of highly invasive cancers should be addressed in clinical trials,” the authors write.

Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2007, December 27). Cannabinoids May Inhibit Cancer Cell Invasion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 29, 2007.

1 Comment Science Saturday

  1. Pingback: The beginnings of ice skating… « Skulls in the Stars

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