The Triumphant Return of “Science Saturday” in Pigspittle

vampireThe Case for Vampirism.  If researchers are on the right track, it may just be possible to treat Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias through the infusion of young blood.  A  new study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators found that “a blood-borne protein, or group of them, may be responsible for the cognitive improvements seen in old mice given young mouse plasma.”  According to a news release on Science Daily, “scientists simply compared older mice’s performance on standard laboratory tests of spatial memory after these mice had received infusions of plasma (the cell-free part of blood) from young versus old mice, or no plasma at all.”  The aged mice receiving young blood performed considerably better than those receiving no plasma.  “There are factors present in blood from young mice that can recharge an old mouse’s brain so that it functions more like a younger one,” said Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, the senior author of the study and a professor of neurology and neurological sciences. “We’re working intensively to find out what those factors might be and from exactly which tissues they originate.”   Results of the study were published in the May issue of Nature Medicine.  Citation: Stanford University Medical Center. “Infusion of young blood recharges brains of old mice.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. 


“I Survived the Sun Storm of 2012 and All I Got was This T-Shirt.”  NASA shared recently how Earth escaped what would have likely been called “sunmageddon” or “sunpocalypse” by a mere week.  The agency’s news site reported that “on July 23, 2012, a plasma cloud or ‘CME’ rocketed away from the sun as fast as 3000 km/s, more than four times faster than a typical eruption. The storm tore through Earth orbit, but fortunately Earth wasn’t there. Instead it hit the STEREO-A spacecraft. Researchers have been analyzing the data ever since, and they have concluded that the storm was one of the strongest in recorded history.”  The storm rivals that of the famous [well, I didn’t know about it] Carrington Event of September 1859, in which “a series of powerful CMEs… hit Earth head-on, sparking Northern Lights as far south as Tahiti. Intense geomagnetic storms caused global telegraph lines to spark, setting fire to some telegraph offices and disabling the ‘Victorian Internet.’ A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect on modern power grids and telecommunication networks.”  For more info on just what a sh*t storm could entail, see NASA’s summary of the report by the National Academy of Sciences.

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