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The year 2008 involved numerous significant scientific events and discoveries, some of which are listed below.
Events, discoveries and inventions
2 January - Researchers report that just four months of hormonal therapy before and with standard external beam radiation therapy can slow cancer growth by as much as eight years - especially the development of bone metastases - and increase survival rates in older men with potentially aggressive prostate cancer.
3 January - Gene therapy can reduce long-term drinking among rodents "An 'experiment of nature' is observed in some individuals of East Asian origin, who are 66 to 99 percent protected against alcoholism," explained Yedy Israel, professor of pharmacological and toxicological chemistry.
5 January - Designer Avery Holleman develops the concept of a Napkin PC, a device that uses e-paper and radio frequency (RF) technology to enable creative groups to collaborate more effectively.
Researchers identify a gene linked to cerebral venous thrombosis, a condition that causes blood clots in the veins of the brain that can lead to stroke. The condition is more common in young and middle-aged women.
New research reveals that Pleistocenecave bears, a species which became extinct 20,000 years ago, ate both plants and animals and competed for food with the other contemporary animals, instead of being vegetarian as previously assumed.
8 January - SanDisk Corporation begins to sample 12-gigabyte (GB) microSDHC flash memory cards to major phone manufacturers for testing and evaluation.
16 January - NASA begins a collaboration with charities and universities to investigate the potential of carbon nanotubes to diagnose and treat brain tumors.
17 January - Duke University scientists use the brain activity of a monkey to control the real-time walking patterns of a robot halfway around the world.
19 January - The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica's most rapidly changing ice sheet is published in the journal Nature Geosciences.
20 January - British space experts begin constructing an ion drive for a Mercury-bound spacecraft.
23 January - NASA's S-3 Viking aircraft returns to the agency's Glenn Research Center after extensive modifications to transform it from a carrier-based military aircraft to a state-of-the-art icing research aircraft.
24 January - Scientists develop a pill-sized medical camera that can be safely swallowed by patients, allowing illnesses to be diagnosed more quickly.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and Leibniz University of Hanover produce a laser beam of especially high quality.
European researchers develop a breakthrough interface that allows users to touch, stretch and pull virtual fabrics that feel like the real thing.
Researchers confirm a genetic alteration that triggers prostate cancer in both mice and humans.
^Kampf, Anthony R.; Steele, Ian M. (June 2008). "Magnesiopascoite, a new member of the pascoite group: description and crystal structure". Canadian Mineralogist. 46 (3): 679-686. doi:10.3749/canmin.46.3.679.