Surface features such as canyons and valleys on the “Red Planet” suggest an abundance of liquid water in its geological past. Water vapors on Mars were first detected in the early 60s followed by observation of water-rich ice patches decades later, but it was not until 2011 that Lujendra Ojha, a Nepali undergraduate student, spotted signs of possible water flows on our neighboring planet.
COFFEE BREAK NEWS FOR LIFE SCIENTISTS
Brazil is in a state of emergency. Since October 2015 the number of infants born with microcephaly increased more than 10 times compared to previous years. Microcephaly is a rare condition when babies are born with an unusually small head and brain injury. Health authorities believe that the condition is associated with Zika virus which is being carried by mosquitos.
A leader in genetic sequencing is betting that it can detect cancer at its earliest stages on the basis of minuscule amounts of genetic material circulating in a person’s bloodstream. But specialists warn that there are many technical hurdles to such an application.
Advances in gene editing technology have spurred considerable progress towards a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Although the disease is rare – affecting roughly 1 in 5,000 male births – its consequences are devastating: patients are confined to wheelchairs at an early age and often succumb to heart or respiratory failure in their twenties or thirties.
Recent drug discoveries promise new treatments and cures for many diseases. However, getting a drug to work, not only in experiments with cells in the lab, but also in the human body, is difficult. One challenge? Getting past the body’s line of defense, the immune system, which fights foreign invaders that make it into the body.
As we are approaching the end of the year, it fits to wrap up Splice’s achievements in 2015.
Splice blog was launched in March 2015 with the idea to provide life scientists with some easy reading during their coffee break, hence the slogan “Coffee Break News for Life Scientists”. It exhibits high quality articles, written by life science experts specialized in various scientific fields.
Pigeons are many things to many people – navigators, couriers, rats with wings – but the word “doctors” rarely comes to mind.