Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, April 19, 2004

From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public release date: 19-Apr-2004
American Physiological Society
Study is another step in determining if curry can protect against Alzheimer's
Curcumin, which provides the yellow color in curry, may activate a key enzyme
Washington, DC -- A new study has found that curry, a common and popular cooking additive, could be an effective enhancer of an enzyme that protects the brain against oxidative conditions. This research is an important first step in determining whether curry could be preventive agent against acute neurodegenerative conditions, or reducing the progression of chronic and age associated neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Public Release: 19-Apr-2004
Experimental Biology 2004
Study finds certain compounds in beer, wine effective in slowing breast cancer cell growth
Numerous studies have been published showing that consuming alcohol increases the risk for breast cancer. That's what makes a new research finding from Portugal so intriguing. The study has determined that certain compounds found in wine, beer (and tea) have contributed to a significant decrease in breast cancer cell proliferation.

Public Release: 19-Apr-2004
Yet another benefit of green tea
Derived in part from green tea, a new biodegradable machining compound for computer hard drive manufacturing is three to four times more effective than toxic counterparts. In an industry where more than 161 million hard drives leave assembly lines each year, the new compound could significantly improve manufacturing efficiency and minimize environmental risks.
National Science Foundation
April 19, 2004
Microsoft Opens Up Its Own Sandbox of Search Technology

All of a sudden there are all kinds of fun search experiments out there. Microsoft is opening its own with the MSN Sandbox, available at http://sandbox.msn.com .

[As I've come to expect from Microsoft, stuff there is clunky; might be useful, but you can do better elsewhere: http://labs.google.com.]
WIPE AWAY BAD MEMORIES IT MIGHT be possible to develop drugs that allow doctors to tamper with our memories. The method could be used to treat drug addiction, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Long-term memories were once thought unalterable. But recent studies suggest that a memory trace is "reconsolidated" each time it is recalled. These controversial results suggest the trace is rewritten afresh in our memory each time we recall it, and so is open to manipulation.

Now a team of psychologists at the University of Cambridge have confirmed that reconsolidation happens. They also showed that - in rats, at least reconsolidation of a recalled memory is a different biochemical process to consolidation of a new memory (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1095760).

The findings add weight to the idea that false memories can form. But the real excitement, says researcher Jonathan Lee, is the potential to wipe "bad" memories without affecting others. He thinks that by giving patients drugs that block the reconsolidation pathway it may be possible to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and the cravings that often lead drug addicts to relapse.

James Randerson James has been a news reporter at New Scientist for three years. After his zoology degree at Cambridge University he could be found brandishing a butterfly net in the Ugandan bush. His efforts earned him a PhD from Bath University. He also plays trombone in a funk and disco covers band.

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