GIANT PANDA BLOOD MAY HOLD CURING SUPERBUG ILLNESSES

New discoveries-Giant panda blood may hold the secret to curing superbug illnesses in humans as well as other diseases, according to new research.

The teddy bear-like animals would hardly seem to be associated with industrial strength cleanser and potent antibiotics, but their link with these possible cure alls now appears to have been forged.

The primary component in giant panda blood is called cathelicidin-AM. It was found after analyzing the panda's DNA.

This compound kills bacteria in less than an hour. Other well known antibiotics take more than six hours to tackle the same job.

Xiuwen Yan, who led the research at the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, told theLondon Telegraph: "It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains."

Yan continued, "Under the pressure of increasing microorganisms with drug resistance against conventional antibiotics, there is urgent need to develop new type of antimicrobial agents. Gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides play an important role in innate immunity against noxious microorganisms. They cause much less drug resistance of microbes than conventional antibiotics."

Giant pandas are highly endangered, with only about 1,600 left in the wild. The new discovery shows how important it is to save all species -- plants, insects, birds and animals -- as they could, like the giant panda, hold keys to solving many pressing human health issues.

Thankfully, the scientists don't have to raise a bunch of pandas in order to keep up the supply of cathelicidin-AM. Yan and colleagues have figured out a way to synthesize the compound artificially in a lab. They did this by decoding giant panda genes to produce a small molecule known as a peptide.

Yan explained, "Antimicrobial peptides are important components in innate immunity -- they can provide an effective and fast acting defence against harmful microorganisms. More than 1000 antimicrobial peptides have been found from animals, plants, and microorganisms. Analysis revealed that the panda cathelicidin had the nearest evolution relationship with dog cathelicidin."

As for why giant pandas have such a powerful antibacterial agent in their blood, the researchers suspect that it boosts the big furry animal's immune system. This probably protects them from infections when they are living in the wild.

The same scientific team has found other powerful antimicrobial compounds in the mucus produced by snails and in some amphibians.

B.N

 

Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana split before the holidays, report says

 

Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana have reportedly split again.        

The Words co-stars had plans to spend Christmas together with Cooper’s family, but a report says they broke up before the holidays.

Page Six reports that they started dating last year but split in March after three months. They then rekindled their relationship in September.

"Zoe had planned to spend the holidays with Bradley and his family in Europe,” said a source. “They all were going to Paris, but things didn’t work out between them. Zoe spent New Year’s Eve with friends in Miami."

Sources told US Magazine that Saldana, 34, and Cooper, 37, were "having issues" before the holidays.

But while she was in Miami, "Zoe had her whole family close to her and was very guarded while down in Miami."

Another source told Page Six If she “was upset over the split with Bradley, she didn't show it."

The actress has been shooting Star Trek and Blood Ties and Cooper has been busy promoting Silver Linings Playbook with Jennifer Lawrence.

H.SH

China plans to grow vegetables on Mars and Moon

 

 

China is getting ready to grow four kinds of vegetables on Mars and on the Moon as part of its plans to create life maintenance conditions for cosmonauts.

According to the Beijing-based Center for Research and Cosmonaut Training, tests to this effect have been held in Beijing and scientists are now busy designing vegetable tanks with a capacity of 300 cubic meters,according to Voice of Russia.

It’s not reported what vegetables are included in the experiment.

Scientists hope that the growing of vegetables will enable cosmonauts to ensure an uninterrupted supply of air, water and food in the course of space travel.

M.W

 

America's Coolest City Parks

Flying trapeze lessons, hot-air balloon races, swing-dance parties: Get your kicks at America’s coolest city parks New York’s Central Park has a lot to offer, but when it comes to cool, the park just can’t compete with the thrill of swinging yourself off a 23-foot-high trapeze platform on Governors Island. Adding to the island’s cool factor is an expanding lineup of art installations, food-truck festivals, and rock concerts on a sandy beach—all this with skyline views.

Cities well beyond New York are investing in parks, either opening new ones or getting creative with traditional favorites like Denver’s City Park, where the Electric Prismatic Fountain puts on cutting-edge light shows. A 2010 study by the Trust for Public Land found that the most populated cities in the country spent about $5.8 billion on parks and recreation in 2008, up by a third since 2004.

Parks play a big role in making a city desirable for both locals and visitors. It’s easy to see why at San Diego’s Balboa Park. You can explore the open-air San Diego Zoo, where 4,000 animals such as giant pandas and koalas roam in natural habitats, catch a show at the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theater, or take a breather on a garden bench overlooking the Pacific. Balboa Park is the single greatest tourist attraction in San Diego, where total park-derived tourist spending came to $114.3 million, according to the Trust.

Discovery Green in downtown Houston has hosted more than 800 events, including performances by Kings of Leon and Kenny Chesney and foam parties for kids, and attracted three million visitors since its 2008 opening—impressive considering the city’s population of just under 2.1 million.

“It’s a place where people can kick back and relax,” says Guy Hagstette, the founding president of Discovery Green, who recalls seeing a group of women coming from the nearby convention center dancing—“convention badges, tote bags, and all”—at one of the earliest park concerts. The park’s appeal is so strong that it has attracted over $500 million in development to revitalize downtown, adds Hagstette.

Whether the draw is a big-name concert or a genteel garden party serving mint juleps, America’s coolest city parks are proving they’re worth a trip across town—and even across the country.

H.SH

Hugh Hefner & Crystal Harris Wedding Pictures Revealed!

"The bride wore a floor length strapless gown in soft pink, the groom wore a traditional black tuxedo. The ceremony was followed by a private reception where they toasted with champagne and cut the wedding cake,” a mansion source said in a statement to JustJared.com.

The party décor was “an Art Deco styled nightclub with crowd pleasing performances by vintage jazz and blues singer Brenna Whitaker and her band."

Guests at the wedding included Jon Lovitz, Gene Simmons and his wife, Playmate Shannon Tweed, Don Rooney of the Rascal Flatts and his wife, 2005′s Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon, and baseball superstar Evan Longoria with girlfriend Jaime Edmondson.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

H.SH