NASA to join 24-hour telescope Webcast
WASHINGTON, April 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency says it will take part in "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" -- a 24-hour Webcast that's part of the International Year of Astronomy.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the live Webcast, which begins Friday, will offer viewers a visit to some of the most advanced telescopes on and off the planet, including never-before-seen images.
NASA missions participating in the Webcast and the EDT broadcast times are: Hubble Space Telescope, 1:20 p.m. Friday; the Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer, 1:40 p.m.; the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, 2 p.m.; SOHO and TRACE spacecraft, 3:20 p.m.; STEREO spacecraft, 3:40 p.m.; the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), 4:20 p.m.; the Chandra X-ray Observatory, 4:40 p.m.; the Spitzer Space Telescope, 5:20 p.m.; and the Kepler space telescope, 3:05 a.m. Saturday.
The event is produced by the European Southern Observatory, from its headquarters in Garching, Germany.
Additional information, including the complete 24-hour schedule, is available at http://100hoursofastronomy.org/webcast.
Certain molecules may be cancer biomarkers
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 2 (UPI) -- U.S. bioengineers say excess amounts of a naturally fluorescent molecule -- NADA -- might serve as a natural biomarker for cancer.
Pennsylvania State University researchers said NADA (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme -- a non-protein molecule necessary for the functioning of an enzyme -- found mostly in the inner membrane of a cell's mitochondria. It fuels a series of biochemical reactions that involve various enzymes to produce ATP, the major energy source in cells.
But Associate Professor Ahmed Heikal said in the case of disease or metabolic disorder, the enzymes and their related reactions can become disabled, causing a buildup of unused NADH.
"Dysfunctional enzymes in the mitochondria are known to be associated with serious health problems such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases," said Heikal, who led the study. "By detecting the level of NADH and its distribution inside living cells, we should be able to monitor the mitochondrial activity and thus the integrity of any given cell, without adding potentially toxic dyes or actually destroying the cell."
The research is reported in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B.
New car hydrogen storage system created
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 2 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they've created a hydrogen storage system that allows a car's fuel tank to be filled within five minutes for a 300-mile driving range.
Purdue University researchers said their system uses metal hydride powder to absorb hydrogen gas. The researchers have created a heat exchanger that circulates coolant through tubes and uses fins to remove heat generated as the hydrogen is absorbed by the powder.
Professor Issam Mudawar, who led the project that was funded by the General Motors Corp., said the heat exchanger is critical because the system stops absorbing hydrogen if it overheats.
"The hydride produces an enormous amount of heat," Mudawar said. "It would take a minimum of 40 minutes to fill the tank without cooling, and that would be entirely impractical.
"The idea is to have a system that fills the tank and, at the same time, uses accessory connectors that supply coolant to extract the heat," said Mudawar. "This presented an engineering challenge because we had to figure out how to fill the fuel vessel with hydrogen quickly, while also removing the heat efficiently. The problem is, nobody had ever designed this type of heat exchanger before. It's a whole new animal that we designed from scratch."
The scientists have applied for three provisional patents related to the technology.
FDA OKs first generic version of Topamax
WASHINGTON, April 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of Topamax tablets (topiramate) to prevent seizures.
The federal agency said prescribing information or labeling for generic topiramate will differ from the innovator drug, Topamax, because some uses of Topamax are protected by patents and exclusivity.
The labeling for both Topamax and generic topiramate contain a safety warning about metabolic acidosis, a condition associated with excessive acid in the blood that can cause symptoms such as tiredness, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat and impaired consciousness.
The FDA said it approved topiramate tablets in several strengths to be marketed by: Roxane Laboratories Inc., Par Pharmaceuticals Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Barr Laboratories Inc., TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., CIPLA Ltd., Glenmark Generics Ltd., Cobalt Laboratories, Apotex Inc., Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Invagen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Unichem Laboratories Ltd., Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Pliva Hrvatska.
Information regarding topiramate is available at: www.fda.gov/cder/foi/label/2006/020505s029,020844s024pi.pdf.