Discovered: A promising trial for the Alzheimer's vaccine, the science of cool, gastric bypass really works, and the very first space things.
- A promising trial for an Alzheimer's vaccine. Lots of exciting things to report here. Here's the important nugget of the research release. "In this second clinical trial on humans, the vaccine was modified to affect only the harmful beta-amyloid. The researchers found that 80 per cent of the patients involved in the trials developed their own protective antibodies against beta-amyloid without suffering any side-effects over the three years of the study," explains the report. This is not the first but the second trial, meaning we've made progress. These tests use humans, not rats or mice like so many promising medical advances. And finally, it sounds like it's working. Researchers believe the treatment will be effective for those with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. [Karolinska Institutet]
- The science of cool. See that up there, in the photo above—that is cool. You want to be that, we know. Well, science—of all people—has figured out what makes something or someone cool these days. Take notes. "James Dean is no longer the epitome of cool," explains researcher Ilan Dar-Nimrod. Oh, really? "The much darker version of what coolness is [is] still there, but it is not the main focus. The main thing is: Do I like this person? Is this person nice to people, attractive, confident and successful? That’s cool today, at least among young mainstream individuals," he continues. [The University of Rochester]
- Gastric bypass surgery gets long-term results. Although it's not a realistic solution for everyone, patients who've had stomach shrinking surgery tend to keep the weight off, according to this study. "There is no question there is some weight regain, but I think the durability of the results (in terms of weight loss) is pretty well expected and confirmed by this particular paper," explains researcher Dr. Nicolas Christou. The study followed 4,200 people for at least two years after having the surgery, and some for up to 12 years. Researchers found people lost and kept off up to 65 to 75 percent of their "excess weight," the scientific term for the amount of weight one carries that one does not need. [Reuters]
- Discovered: the very first things to burn up and die in space. Space scientists think they have found what could be the remains of the very first space fire balls. "These objects would have been tremendously bright," explains researcher Alexander "Sasha" Kashlinsky. "We can't yet directly rule out mysterious sources for this light that could be coming from our nearby universe, but it is now becoming increasingly likely that we are catching a glimpse of an ancient epoch. Spitzer is laying down a roadmap for NASA's upcoming James Webb Telescope, which will tell us exactly what and where these first objects were," he adds. Doesn't that make you feel small and insignificant? [NASA]