Thursday, February 02, 2006

Damn Those Tasmanian Devils!


glenda
Need a break from political ranting, so it's share time.

Here are my favorite headlines from today's SciCentral, with banner exclaiming “Gateway to the Best Scientific Research News Sources.”

Potentially Harmful 'Undead Cells' Collect with Age
Study indicates that as you age, the number of useless cells grows exponentially.(Is that why I am so tired in the morning?)

Killer Whales Set Traps for Gullible Gulls
Killer whales set traps for their prey and share their hunting tricks with friends.
(Kind of like bar cruising, but with different prey...did they say gulls or girls?)

GM aid for pandemic flu vaccine
Scientists have used genetic modification in an early step towards creating a vaccine for bird flu.
(Alright, I'll drink to that.)

Island disease hits 50,000 people
A crippling mosquito-borne disease is spreading at an accelerating rate on the French island of Reunion.
(Stay away from France, but can that go into the King Kong sequel?)

And my favorite:
Bites spread fatal 'devil' cancer
Facial tumours that have killed thousands of Tasmanian devils could be spread by the animals biting each other.
(No biting, kids! What more can I say?)

But just when it seems hopeless and you are sure you’re going to die, there is hope:

Source Of Crucial Immune Cell In The Skin Discovered
Mount Sinai researchers have identified the precursors of cells in the skin that are part of the first line of defense against invading pathogens. Known as Langerhans cells, they form a tight network of cells covering the entire body. Many tumor vaccines rely on these cells to activate an immune response. According to the researchers, this discovery should contribute to ongoing efforts to engineer immune responses in vaccine design and tumor immunotherapy.
(Can I get those to go?)

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