Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease | Fertilizer from Urine | The Race to the Moon
In many countries, people are living longer, in part thanks to better medical care. At the same time, the incidence of age-related disease is increasing. Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia represent a major challenge to medical science.
The prevalent view is that abnormal protein deposits in the brain called plaques are the cause of Alzheimer's. Recent research has demonstrated that the story is more complex.
Another kind of deposit, known as tangles, evidently plays a role too, and it may be that the interplay of the two contributes to the development of the disease. This discovery opens up the prospect of a new class of drugs to treat this degenerative condition.
Psychiatrist Dr. Oliver Peters of Berlin's Charité University Hospital joins us in the studio to discuss new approaches to treating Alzheimer's.
Some phosphorus compounds are essential plant nutrients that are often spread on fields as a fertilizer. But this mineral resource is limited. At the same time, human urine contains large amounts of phosphates.
A project in Durban, South Africa, is developing methods to collect and process urine in large volumes. Urine diversion toilets have been installed in several hundred homes, with collecting tanks attached, and a large-scale test reactor is being built. A thousand liters of urine yield between two and three kilograms of phosphates.
Maria Aguirre from Quito in Ecuador wants to know if motors can be made quieter.
Google is offering millions of dollars in prize money to the first teams to send a robot to the moon, have it travel five hundred meters and send high-resolution video images back to earth. 25 teams have signed up to the competition.
One of them is based in Germany and is called the Part-Time Scientists. To be eligible for the prize the mission has to be completed by the end of 2015.