It's Just the Coffee Talking: some good news... we all need a little, right? :)


Researchers Overcome ‘Major Hurdle’ in Reversing Deafness, Discovering Gene Responsible for Crucial Cells

"Scientists can now create new hearing cells that can overcome deafness caused by aging.

Considered a “major hurdle” to reversing hearing loss, the gene discovery allows the production of inner or outer ear hair cells.

Hearing loss due to aging, noise, and certain cancer therapy drugs and antibiotics has up until now been seen as irreversible when there is the death of such cells—which develop in the embryo and do not reproduce.

But scientists have discovered a single master gene, TBX2, that can change ear cells into either outer or inner sensory hair ones."




Handheld Device Painlessly Identifies Skin Cancer Without Biopsy Scars

"Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology are now developing a low-cost handheld device that could cut the rate of unnecessary biopsies in half and give dermatologists and other frontline physicians easy access to laboratory-grade cancer diagnostics. “We aren’t trying to get rid of biopsies,” said Negar Tavassolian, director of the Bio-Electromagnetics Laboratory at Stevens. “But we do want to give doctors additional tools and help them to make better decisions.”

The team’s device uses milimeter-wave imaging—the same technology used in airport security scanners—to scan a patient’s skin. (In earlier work, Tavassolian and her team had to work with already biopsied skin for the device to detect if it was cancerous.)

Healthy tissue reflects milimeter-wave rays differently than cancerous tissue, so it’s theoretically possible to spot cancers by monitoring contrasts in the rays reflected back from the skin. To bring that approach into clinical practice, the researchers used algorithms to fuse signals captured by multiple different antennas into a single ultrahigh-bandwidth image, reducing noise and quickly capturing high-resolution images of even the tiniest mole or blemish."




We Finally Rid An Island of 300,000 Rats – Now Everything is Blooming

“There’s a vine which we didn’t know what the fruit looked like, people are taking photos of insects and sending them to the Australian Museum who are saying we’ve only got three of those on record ever but we are seeing hundreds of them. Everything is blooming, all the plants are flowering and we are seeing a carpet of seedlings.”

Noteworthy among the returning characters on the island are four species of land snail, one of which hasn’t been seen alive for 20 years, the black-winged petrel, and crickets.

“We’ve been hearing crickets. We’d only hear crickets very rarely, now every night there’s a chime of crickets,” Bower said, this time to ABC News Australia.

To do the business, poison was placed inside 22,000 lockable traps around the island, while in inaccessible areas, pellets were distributed via helicopter. Just to be sure, rat-catching dogs scour the island every few weeks—but one hasn’t been seen since last August.