Jim Lillie

Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

Drug Combo Could Make New Brain Neurons

By mixing drugs that transform cells next to damaged neurons into working, new ones, a concoction could be produced that could treat Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and brain injuries.


Researchers at Penn State’s Eberly College of Sciencerecently announced that they had zeroed in on a small group of molecules that could do that.


In a press release, research team leader Gong Chen, professor of biology and Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State, explained that the major issue with repairing neurons in the brain is the fact that they don’t divide, which means that they can’t regenerate. 


Chen added, “In contrast, glial cells, which gather around damaged brain tissue, can proliferate after brain injury. I believe turning glial cells that are the neighbors of dead neurons into new neurons is the best way to restore lost neuronal functions.”

Those tectonic plates moving in slow-motion on the ocean floor miles underneath the water’s surface have been sucking in about 300 percent more water than previously believed.


So says a unique seismic study encompassing the Mariana Trench, performed by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis.


The study, which was published in late 2018 in the journal Nature, involved listening to over a year’s worth of various Earth noise, including earthquakes, the were picked up by a network of sensors laid across the famous trench in the western Pacific that plunges deep into the planet’s mantle.

Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

New Instrument Incorporates Pickup in Neck

Try playing certain string instruments without amplification and you'll soon see why the electric versions were created. Some, like the double bass, almost always require some form of artificial amplification in order to be heard in open-air or concert-hall venues, where sound takes time to travel and dissipates along the way.

Instrumental amplification is often provided by something known as a pickup, a device that collects mechanical vibrations and then transforms them into electrical signals that can be amplified to play through a speaker system. In many amplified instruments, the pickup is located internally; others, like the aforementioned double bass, can use an external pickup that attaches to the bridge of the instrument.

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