U of R boffins say: the Upper Scorpius looks young for its age.

Agatha Christie once said that an archeologist is the best husband, because the older a woman gets, the more interesting she is. But Mrs. Christie might have said the same about astronomers from the University of Rochester ( @UofR ), who at the moment are all kinds of excited to discover that a group of stars – considered one of the best-studied of such groupings – is actually much older than previously thought:

Some Nearby Young Stars May Be Much Older : Rochester News.

While those stars have been thought to be just five million years old, the team concludes that those stars are actually more than twice as old, at 11 million years of age. The findings are surprising given Upper Scorpius’s status as one of the best-studied samples of young stars in the sky.

The findings by graduate student Mark Pecaut and Assistant Professor Eric Mamajek of Rochester, and Assistant Professor Eric Bubar of Marymount University, were accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

The key, according to the researchers, happens to be a lot of updated information about stars in general. Science has gotten better at determining the actual distance a star is from Earth, which of course makes a big difference to determining its size. Also, new computer models helped the scientists by factoring in the fuel consumption of stars as well.

Science Technology

I Robot, MD: U of R receives patent for “living chip” health diagnostic tech

Hard not to let the mind swerve off into Big Brother territory with this news. The @UofR Medical Center ( @urmcdiscoveries ) has been granted a patent on a new technology that will allow patients to be monitored by their doctors at all times, allowing doctors to be alerted to minute physiological changes that could be the signs of worse things to come, such as a heart attack.

The chip actually contains living cells from the patient’s own body that are tied into the reporting system. So not only do you have a computer inside you, but you have a computer inside you that has you living inside it. Freaky, man:

via URMC Receives Patent for Implantable Diagnostic Technology – News Room – University of Rochester Medical Center.

Rochester Science

What cures the mind may cure the heart, too.

Holistic medicine has always held that the mind and body are one unit – that curing one will cure the other. University of Rochester Medical Center boffins are teaming up with a diverse group to find out if, in the case of one particular enzyme, this concept turns out to be quite specifically true.

The enzyme in question is called MLK3. It is a part of what is a normal bodily inflammation response to viruses. However, like all inflammation its effects can actually damage cells. In cases of dementia associated with HIV, researchers on the team have discovered that MLK3’s inflammatory process are the culprit. The result of excess inflammation is, again, damaged brain cells, enough of which causes cognitive problems.

This same process also occurs in the heart. And it turns out, based on preliminary research by the team, that the same enzyme is responsible for both conditions. Better still, that means that potentially a single drug that inhibits the over-production of the enzyme might slow the progression of both diseases.

For more on the study, read the below-linked article:

Scientists Explore Whether What Heals the Head Can Also Heal the Heart – News Room – University of Rochester Medical Center.


U of R uses Intel grant money to study “Pervasive Computing”


The @UofR has announced in a press release today that the chip manufacture giant Intel will be partnering with the University in its Science and Technology Center program. The company plans to spend as much as $500,000 over five years, which the University says it will use to help fund a Pervasive Computing program. Pervasive Computing means finding ways to bring computing power to even more aspects of our lives.

So, in other words, if your Roomba won’t let you watch porn because you have to go to work, you can likely blame it on a U of R grad. You’re welcome.

Press release below:

Kautz brings Intels Science and Technology Center to UR | University of Rochester Computer Science.