Changing Elasticity of Collagen: What echinoderms can tell us about looking young

Some people will do just about anything to stay and look young. From Botox to facial creams, exercising and meditation, society is always looking for the next new anti-aging fad. Well now according to scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, sea cucumbers and sea urchins may actually hold the key to maintaining a youthful appearance. Published online in the journals PLOS One and General and Comparative Endocrinology, the study investigated the genes of various echinoderms like sea urchins and sea cucumbers. They found the genes for "messenger molecules" known as peptides, which are released by cells and tell other cells in their bodies what to do.

Healthy Vitamin D Levels Can Decrease Mortality

Vitamin D is a vitamin that is commonly lacking for many people when they get their blood tested. The vitamin is essential in our diet, but it also can be synthesized from exposure to the sun, much like plants can photosynthesize chlorophyll. A new study looked at the mortality of humans who suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Low levels of the vitamin and high levels of parathyroid hormone have been found to increase mortality for African American and Caucasian older adults. However, there is a greater impact in African Americans due to a higher prevalence of insufficient vitamin D levels.

Indigenous agroforestry ‘may improve livelihoods’

Smallholder farmers should use their indigenous knowledge of trees to boost incomes and drive social development, according to a new book by Roger Leakey, vice chairman of the International Tree Foundation and renowned tree biologist.

Inuit Face Tensions with Outside World as their environment melts away

With Arctic summer sea ice rapidly disappearing, the native Inuit of Canada are encountering not only unsettling changes in their subsistence way of life, but also a growing number of outsiders who will further transform their once-isolated homeland. Sakiasiq Qanaq has seen a lot of changes on the north coast of Baffin Island in recent years as the retreat of summer sea ice has continued unabated. But the Inuit hunter has never seen anything quite like this year, when sea ice loss in the Arctic hit a record low. First, the community's spring narwhal hunt, which usually yields roughly 60 of the tusked whales, produced only three. The sea ice was so thin that the Inuit couldn’t safely stand on it and shoot the narwhal as they migrated into Arctic Bay from Greenland through channels in the ice. Then an unprecedented number of killer whales, or orcas — rarely seen in heavy ice — showed up in the largely ice-free water, with Inuit hunters in nearby Pond Inlet observing three pods of orcas that reportedly killed some of the narwhals and scared off the others.

Tobacco Variable Toxicity

Researchers from the University of Alicante in Spain have analyzed ten brands of cigarettes and found that the concentrations of certain harmful and carcinogenic substances vary significantly from one brand to another. Until now legislation has not covered these other toxic compounds and have only established limits for nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Scientists have also developed better catalysts/filters to reduce the harmful products in tobacco.

Turning Seawater into Jet Biofuel

From using vegetable oil and animal fats to trees and grasses as new sources of energy, biofuels are continuing to gain attention due to current oil prices and concern for energy security. As energy is produced from carbon fixation in these biofuels, scientists are experimenting with other types of renewable sources as mediums. The latest research endeavor? Creating jet fuel from seawater. Last year, the U.S. Navy Military Sea Lift Command, who is in charge of supplying fuel and oil to the U.S. Navy fleet, delivered nearly 600 million gallons of fuel to vessels underway, operating 15 fleet replenishment oilers around the globe. Refueling U.S. Navy vessels at sea is not only costly, but the process requires a lot of time and coordination, which can ultimately affect national security.

The Scientific Connection of Mental Health and Physical Activity

Exercise is known for not only improving physical health, but also for improving mental health, such as alleviating depression or anxiety. A new scientific study from the Netherlands delves deep into the connection of exercise and mental health. The researchers explored if certain psychosocial factors may help explain the connection. The concept, psychosocial, refers to an individual's psychological development within, and interaction with, a social environment. The focus of the research study was on adolescents, an age group known for abundant psychosocial dysfunctions, such as negative perceptions of self-image and body weight.

Gold Catalyst

Gold is a precious metal and looks great in a ring. How about a benzene ring? Biaryls, compounds containing two directly connected benzene rings, frequently feature in pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals as well as forming the core of many functional materials (for example LEDs, liquid crystals, conducting polymers). A new way to prepare biaryls – compounds that are essential building blocks in the creation of drugs and many modern materials such as LEDs – using gold as a catalyst is described by researchers from the University of Bristol in this week's edition of Science. Gold catalysis is easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than current methods which use palladium as a catalyst.

Community Sharing: Saving Resources and Saving Money

It started with Sam going around to his neighbour to borrow some milk. Things took a further step when one of them borrowed some chairs for a barbecue. Finally, the two neighbours decided the time had come to take down the fence between their gardens, to better enjoy the shared space. This is how StreetBank - an online tool sharing website - started. On a street in West London, two neighbours started to share what they each owned, replacing the idea of possessions with the more collaborative concept of shared tools.

Martian Stream

Martian Water. The thought of Martian canals comes to mind. NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream that once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence -- images of rocks containing ancient stream bed gravels -- is the first of its kind. Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream's flow.