what's the buzz...

what's the buzz...

Red planet turns blue in recent Mars image

A new image taken by Nasa's rover perched on the edge of a 14 mile-wide crater shows Mars in shades of blue. The solar-powered robot called ‘Opportunity’ used its panoramic camera to capture Mar’s landscape which was lit-up by the late afternoon sun.

Robot ‘Opportunity’ snapped its own shadow in the Mars image.  Scientists then colored some of the picture with an aqua blue tone to help show the differences between various areas that included dunes on the Endeavour Crater's floor, the Sky News reported. Most these pictures were taken on March 9, 2012, on the 2,888th day since Opportunity has worked on the planet.

Since arriving there in August 2011, the machine has been studying the western rim of the crater, which is about the same size as the US city of Seattle.

New protein may fight flu

Researchers have come up with a new protein that can combat deadly flu epidemics.
According to Tim Whitehead, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University, the study demonstrates the ways to use manufactured genes as antivirals, which disable key functions of the flu virus. “Our most potent design has proven effective on the vulnerable sites on many pandemic influenza viruses, including several H1N1 (Spanish flu, Swine flu) and H5N1 (Avian flu) subtypes,” said Whitehead, the paper’s co-lead author.

“These new therapeutics are urgently needed, so we were especially pleased to see that it neutralises H1N1 viruses with potency,” he said.

Over-the-counter pills can halve heart disease risk

Researchers have found that a combination of two over-the-counter drugs could help fight heart disease and reduce deaths by half, researchers say.

The study revealed that not only did the 1.10 pounds-a-day tablets reduce the risk of elderly patients dying, they were also found to help the heart to work more efficiently.
Over six million people are prescribed powerful drugs like statins to reduce artery-clogging “bad” LDL cholesterol.

This slashed their risk of stroke and heart attack, which is the leading cause of deaths from heart disease.

But a natural mineral, which has already been linked to a host of health benefits, can also be a potent new treatment.

Scientists found that the combination of selenium yeast and the vitamin-like compound coenzyme Q10 significantly reduced cardiovascular deaths in the elderly.

A study of 443 healthy men and women aged 70 to 88 was conducted by the researchers and they found that those given daily supplements of selenium and coenzyme Q10 had more than halved their risk of dying of heart disease and showed improved heart function.

Professor Urban Alehagen, of Linkoping University, Sweden, found that of those given the widely available supplements, 5.9 per cent died of heart disease after five years compared with 12.9 per cent in a placebo group.

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