Insulin is a vital hormone that plays a major role in the metabolism: without insulin, humans would not be able to break down carbohydrates or digest food for energy. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels, stores excess glucose as glycogen and reduces glucose production in the liver. Many people, however, have trouble using insulin effectively. Forms of insulin resistance can lead to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, as well as other serious health problems.
Science Market Update
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently began construction on a new facility that will be used for research on brain injuries, according to Vice President for Facilities Planning and Development Ray Lafrenaye and a Chapelboro.com news article. The facility will be named the Comprehensive Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center and is being constructed in the former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Border’s bookstore building on Fordham Boulevard. The center is planning on opening for operations in the next few months.
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Science researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that may help them reach a better understanding of health conditions such as arteriosclerosis, aneurysms and thrombosis. The results of the study are making the news as one of a number of compelling current science events at the University of Pennsylvania. According to science researchers, blood plasma is thicker and more elastic than water. Depending on how much pressure blood plasma is under, it flows differently under different circumstances, meaning that blood plasma influences how blood flows more concretely than scientists thought in the past.
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Missouri has a rich market of potential buyers of lab supplies and biotechnology products, according to recent NSF and NIH research funding statistics for Washington University in St. Louis. In 2012, the NSF awarded the university $14.4 million in research funding. The NSF-funded projects are located within a number of programs in the life sciences, including evolutionary processes clusters, molecular biophysics, cellular dynamics and function, neural systems clusters, behavioral systems clusters, macrosystem biology and bioinformatics. We have spotlighted the top five-funded projects below:
Algae research is a well-funded subject for science researchers, especially at Ohio State University. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State University has received $8.7 million in federal funding for algae-related projects. The U.S. Department of Energy gave $7 million to researchers interested in using waste water to grow algae biofuels, while the National Science Foundation gave $1.5 million for a project concerned with discovering the environmental impact of hazardous algae on Lake Erie. The project researchers are specifically interested in algae’s effects on climate change. Ohio State University researchers also received $150,000 from the Ohio Sea Grant Program to study the liver toxin concentrations on Lake Erie due to blue-green algae.
Biotechnology vendors and lab suppliers in Illinois will find a well-funded market of science researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, according to recent NIH and NSF funding statistics. In 2012, the NIH awarded the university $69.7 million in research funding. Of the different bio departments at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the money was distributed as follows:
We've heard about the Golden Fleece Awards (vilifying seemingly-obscure science research) and the Golden Goose Awards (lauding seemingly-obscure science research) more than a little often in this year of threatened federal science budget cuts, but that's more politics than anything else. It certainly isn't half as much fun as the infamous and much-laughed-with Ig Nobel Prizes, given out yearly in honor of improbable research so absurd-sounding we can't help but love it. At this year's awards ceremony, held last Thursday night at Harvard University, 10 unlikely science research projects received their due respect (and a few guffaws) at the hands of genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates.
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Science researchers at Emory University recently conducted a study that suggests a drug used to treat autoimmune disorders and rheumatoid arthritis may be used to help treat people with depression who haven’t had success with traditional depression medications. The study was published on September 3rd in Archives of General Psychiatry. According to researchers, inflammation is normally associated with the way the body responds to tissue damage, but persistent inflammation can affect many parts of the body, including the brain.
Science researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are offering to sequence the DNA of 99 patients with rare genetic diseases in order to find the genetic alterations that made them ill. The new effort, known as the Rare99X Clinical Exome Challenge, will allow patients’ DNA to be decoded at the university’s Genomics and Pathology Services (GPS) at no cost to the patients or advocacy groups who represent them.