The first (video, below) because one of the Mars rovers is now using a newly-installed software pacakge, to "self-navigate, and self-select" destinations, across the Martian surface -- the first extra-planetary vehicle ever to do so:
[When we go "off-topic" for this blog -- we go way off -- ("nothing exceeds, like excess," eh?) -- off the planet, even.]
Next, because I eat a banana a day -- and the last because I'd like to live for 150 years -- the much longer linked article, from which these snippets were culled:
. . . .Banana Lectin an HIV Fighter?
A potent new inhibitor of HIV, derived from bananas, may open the door to new treatments to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, according to a University of Michigan Medical School study.
The interest is centered around lectins, naturally occurring chemicals in plants, because of their ability to halt the chain of reaction that leads to a variety of infections. In laboratory tests, BanLec, the lectin found in bananas, was as potent as two current anti-HIV drugs. Based on the findings published in the March 19, 2010 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, BanLec may become a less expensive new component of applied vaginal microbicides, researchers said.
The new study described the complex actions of lectins and their ability to outsmart the HIV virus. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that can identify foreign invaders, like a virus, and attach themselves to the pathogen. The U-M team discovered that Ban Lec can inhibit HIV infection by binding to the sugar-rich HIV-1 envelope protein, gp120, and block its entry to the body.
Regeneration Gene Identified
Scientists have identified a gene that may regulate regeneration in mammals. The absence of this single gene, called p21, confers a healing potential in mice long thought to have been lost through evolution and reserved for creatures like flatworms, sponges and some species of salamander.
In a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Wistar Institute demonstrated that mice lacking the p21 gene gain the ability to regenerate lost or damaged tissue. Unlike typical mammals, which heal wounds by forming a scar, those mice begin by forming a blastema, a structure associated with rapid cell growth and de-differentiation as seen in amphibians.
According to the researchers, the loss of p21 causes the cells of the mice to behave more like embryonic stem cells than adult mammalian cells, and their findings provided evidence to link tissue regeneration to the control of cell division. . . .
Carry-on, folks -- NCAA Sweet Sixteen games to handicap. . . .