Science News: Week of December 27, 2009

Our weekly compilation of science news for the week of December 27, 2009.

Arctic could face warmer and ice-free conditions: There is increased evidence that the Arctic could face seasonally ice-free conditions and much warmer temperatures in the future.

Chlorophylls effective against aflatoxin: A new study has found that chlorophyll and its derivative chlorophyllin are effective in limiting the absorption of aflatoxin in humans.

Drug-resistant urinary tract infections spreading worldwide: A sudden worldwide increase in an antibiotic-resistant bacterium is cause for concern.

Engineered tobacco plants have biofuel potential: Researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have identified a way to increase the oil in tobacco plant leaves, which may be the next step in using the plants for biofuel.

Ginkgo Flunks Test as a Brain Booster: For years, practitioners of alternative medicine have been touting the benefits of ginkgo, but a new study finds it does little to slow the cognitive decline of aging.

New Device Prints Human Tissue: Invetech has delivered what it calls the “world’s first production model 3D bio-printer” to Organovo, who will in turn supply the devices to institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.

Schizophrenia mouse model should improve understanding and treatment of the disorder: Scientists have created what appears to be a schizophrenic mouse by reducing the inhibition of brain cells involved in complex reasoning and decisions about appropriate social behavior.