Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Universe? if you dont like this one :)

A strong hypothesis for another Universe

Distant galaxies that are hurtling at high speeds towards the same patch of sky may be evidence that something very big lurks beyond our cosmic horizon, such another universe.

Sasha Kashlinsky, a Senior Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre at Maryland, has been studying how rebellious clusters of galaxies move against the backdrop of expanding space. He and colleagues have clocked galaxy clusters racing at up to 1000 kilometres per second - far faster than our best understanding of cosmology allows. Stranger still, every cluster seems to be rushing toward a small patch of sky between the constellations of Centaurus and Vela.

Kashlinsky and his team claim that their observation represents the first clues to what lies beyond the cosmic horizon. Finding out could tell us how the universe looked immediately after the big bang or if our universe is one of many. Others aren't so sure. One rival interpretation is that it is nothing to do with alien universes but the result of a flaw in one of the cornerstones of cosmology, the idea that the universe should look the same in all directions. That is, if the observations withstand close scrutiny.

It can't be caused by dark matter, Kashlinsky says, because all the dark matter in the universe wouldn't produce enough gravity. It can't be dark energy, either, because dark energy is spread evenly throughout space. That, leaves only one possible explanation, he concludes: something lurking beyond the cosmic horizon is to blame.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Therapy from Human Embryo Stem Cells - Finally!

Geron Corp of Menlo Park, California finally won approval from U.S Federal Regulators to start the first trial of an experimental therapy derived from Human Embryonic stem cells (hESC) in patients with acute spinal cord injury . Geron will inject the cells into the spinal cords of 10 newly injured patients. At this point Geron's treatment only has a chance of success if it is administered within a few weeks after the spinal injury.

GRNOPC1, Geron's lead hESC-based therapeutic candidate, contains hESC-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells that have demonstrated remyelinating and nerve growth stimulating properties leading to restoration of function in animal models of acute spinal cord injury.

The ultimate goal for the use of GRNOPC1 is to achieve restoration of spinal cord function by the injection of hESC-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells directly into the lesion site of the patient's injured spinal cord.

Coming days after President' Obama's inauguration let us hope that this signals the new administration's position on Science!