2015년 2월 18일 수요일

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Feb 18

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Phys.org Newsletter for February 18, 2015:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Nanotechnology news

New paper-like material could boost electric vehicle batteries

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

Better measurements of single molecule circuits

It's nearly 50 years since Gordon Moore predicted that the density of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every two years. "Moore's Law" has turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy that technologists pushed to meet, but to continue into the future, engineers will have to make radical changes to the structure or composition of circuits. One potential way to achieve this is to develop devices based on single-molecule connections.

Keeping atherosclerosis in-check with novel targeted inflammation-resolving nanomedicines

Nanometer-sized "drones" that deliver a special type of healing molecule to fat deposits in arteries could become a new way to prevent heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis, according to a study in pre-clinical models by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Columbia University Medical Center. These findings are published in the February 18th online issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Golden vehicle for drug delivery has hidden costs

One of the biggest ideas in treating disease involves material so small it isn't even visible. Miniscule gold particles – the size of several atoms – are being touted as vehicles to send drugs exactly where they are needed in the body, minimizing side effects and the dosage needed.

Novel approach for high performance field emission electron sources

Enhancing the electron emission of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) is key for applications ranging from cold cathodes used in high-resolution electron microscopes to portable X-ray imaging systems. In a paper recently published in Nanotechnology, a team led by Professor My Ali El Khakani, from the Energie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre of INRS (INRS-EMT), has reported an original approach for the development of novel graphenated-MWCNTs with enhanced field electron emission (FEE) properties.

Monitoring the real-time deformation of carbon nanocoils under axial loading

Carbon nanocoils (CNCs) composed of helical shaped carbon nanofibers have potential applications including mechanical springs and nano-solenoids. There are some reports which measure the spring constant of CNCs.

Physics news

Searching for Susy: Collider to push physics frontier

Excitement is mounting at the world's largest proton smasher, where scientists are close to launching a superpowered hunt for particles that may change our understanding of the Universe.

Researchers develop algorithm to make simulation of ultrafast processes possible

When electronic states in materials are excited during dynamic processes, interesting phenomena such as electrical charge transfer can take place on quadrillionth-of-a-second, or femtosecond, timescales. Numerical simulations in real-time provide the best way to study these processes, but such simulations can be extremely expensive. For example, it can take a supercomputer several weeks to simulate a 10 femtosecond process. One reason for the high cost is that real-time simulations of ultrafast phenomena require "small time steps" to describe the movement of an electron, which takes place on the attosecond timescale – a thousand times faster than the femtosecond timescale.

Igniting the air for atmospheric research

Scientists from Vienna and Moscow have created a high-energy mid-infrared laser powerful enough to create shining filaments in the air. Such devices could be used to detect chemical substances in the atmosphere.

Three-dimensional opto-electric integration

Three-dimensional (3D) integration of various materials on top of bulk silicon could be the best answer for cost-effectively marrying optical devices with electronics. A*STAR researchers have used this approach to create a photodetector system for optical communications on a silicon chip.

Computational technique reveals how tiny pillars affect the condensation of vapor onto a surface

A computational technique to analyze how water vapor condenses on a surface patterned with an array of tiny pillars has been co-developed by an A*STAR researcher. Calculations carried out using this technique reveal that water droplets preferentially form either on top of the pillars or in the gaps between them, depending on factors such as the height and spacing of the pillars.

Getting a grip on exotic atomic nuclei

A new model describing atomic nuclei, proposed by a physicist from the University of Warsaw Faculty of Physics, more accurately predicts the properties of various exotic isotopes that are created in supernova explosions or inside nuclear reactors.

Earth news

Mapping seascapes in the deep ocean

Researchers at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) have developed a new, automated method for classifying hundreds of kilometres of the deep sea floor, in a way that is more cost efficient, quicker and more objective than previously possible.

Study finds more evidence for link between wavy jet stream and extreme weather

Prolonged cold snaps on the East Coast, California drought and frozen mornings in the South all have something in common – the atmospheric jet stream which transports weather systems that's taken to meandering all over North America.

Climate models suggest major changes in coastal marine ecosystems

Climate change over the 21st century will significantly alter an important oceanographic process that regulates the productivity of fisheries and marine ecosystems, according to an interdisciplinary research team led by Northeastern University.

Cities can spawn more thunderstorms, study says

Here's a potential jolt to urbanites: Some big cities, particularly those located in hot and humid environments, actually birth more thunderstorms than surrounding rural areas.

Millions at risk from rapid sea rise in swampy Sundarbans

The tiny hut sculpted out of mud at the edge of the sea is barely large enough for Bokul Mondol and his family to lie down in. The water has taken everything else from them, and one day it almost certainly will take this, too.

US pays Philippines compensation for warship reef damage

The United States has paid nearly $2 million compensation to the Philippines for the damage a US warship caused to a protected reef, Manila said Wednesday.

Rare Antarctic sub-glacial eruption

Australian scientists are hoping a rare sub-glacial water eruption near Australia's Casey station, will reveal why meltwater is present, and the extent of a river and dam system flowing deep under the Law Dome ice cap.

Global warming trend unaffected by 'fiddling' with temperature data

Attacks on institutions that keep records of global temperatures, such as NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UK Met Office, and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, continue to appear in the press.

Solving carbon mysteries of the deep ocean

Understanding how oceans absorb and cycle carbon is crucial to understanding its role in climate change. For approximately 50 years, scientists have known there exists a large pool of dissolved carbon in the deep ocean, but they didn't know much about it—such as the carbon's age (how long it's been in organic form), where it came from, how it got there, and how long it's been there, or how these factors influence its role in the carbon cycle.

Public support found in how you pose the question

Changing the way information about emission reduction costs is communicated as well as sharing information about fellow Australian's policy preferences can increase public support for higher emission cuts, according to recent research.

Warm ocean temperatures may mean major coral bleaching

NOAA scientists are warning that warm ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans could set the stage for major coral bleaching events across the globe in 2015.

Turning smartphones into personal, real-time pollution monitors

As urban residents know, air quality is a big deal. When local pollution levels go up, the associated health risks also increase, especially for children and seniors. But air pollution varies widely over the course of a day and by location, even within the same city. Now scientists, reporting in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, have used smartphone and sensing technology to better pinpoint where and when pollution is at its worst.

Study finds switchgrass removes PCBs from soils

University of Iowa researchers have found a type of grass that was once a staple of the American prairie can remove soil laden with PCBs, toxic chemicals once used for cooling and other industrial purposes.

US natural gas market buffered against local policy intervention

The depth and efficiency of the United States natural gas market would buffer it against potential local policy interventions aimed at limiting access to shale gas resources, according to a new paper by energy economists at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Farmers can better prevent nutrient runoff based on land characteristics

Farmers on a quest to keep more fertilizer on their fields—and out of Iowa's waterways—may have an easier time finding a solution, thanks to new research from the University of Iowa.

Bitter cold temperatures following the latest winter storm

For the South, the storm that dumped a foot of snow in some places was only the beginning. Temperatures in the teens will grip the region over the next few days, freezing and refreezing the snow and ice, making the roads as hazardous as they were during the height of the storm.

Washington state quake shows early warning system is slow

A magnitude-4.3 earthquake that rumbled under Washington state's Cascade Range early Wednesday was "not a great advertisement" for an early warning system undergoing tests, an official said.

Looking beyond the Kyoto Protocol

Ten years ago, on 16 February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol came into force. The aim of this international agreement was to reduce the annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Targets and expectations were high, but have the goals been met, and what should happen next? We spoke with Martin Heimann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, whose research interests include the carbon cycle and its consequences for climate change.

NASA science leads New York City Climate Change 2015 Report

The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) 2015, co-chaired by a NASA researcher, published its latest report which details significant future increases in temperature, precipitation and sea level in the New York metropolitan area.

NASA satellites catch birth of Tropical Cyclone Lam in Gulf of Carpentaria

After Tropical Cyclone Lam formed in the northern Gulf of Carpentaria on Feb. 17, two NASA satellites provided data on the storm. NASA's Aqua satellite and NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite captured images of the newborn storm showing cloud extent and rainfall rates. Lam has generated warnings in Australia. Meanwhile another developing tropical low east of Queensland has also generated warnings.

NASA satellite sees newborn Tropical Cyclone Marcia threatening Queensland

Part of the Queensland, Australia's eastern coast is now under warnings from Tropical Cyclone Marcia. NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Marcia that showed the storm had consolidated and organized within the last day.

US expands air quality monitoring to include some embassies

The United States plans to expand air quality monitoring at some U.S. embassies and consulates to help increase awareness on the dangers of pollution.

Fires and snow in Central Europe

The Aqua satellite captured this image on February 17, 2015 of multiple hot spots scattered throughout the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia landscape.

NASA satellites reveal Tropical Cyclone Lam strengthening

NASA's Aqua satellite saw powerful, cold, high thunderstorms circling the center of strengthening Tropical Cyclone Lam as it appeared to cover most of the northern half of Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria.

Astronomy & Space news

Laser 'ruler' holds promise for hunting exoplanets

The hunt for Earth-like planets around distant stars could soon become a lot easier thanks to a technique developed by researchers in Germany.

The strange case of the missing dwarf

The new SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to be orbiting the unusual double star V471 Tauri. SPHERE has given astronomers the best look so far at the surroundings of this intriguing object and they found—nothing. The surprising absence of this confidently predicted brown dwarf means that the conventional explanation for the odd behavior of V471 Tauri is wrong.

Classical nova explosions are major lithium factories in the universe

A team of astronomers from National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Osaka Kyoiku University, Nagoya University, and Kyoto Sangyo University observed Nova Delphini 2013 (Figure 1, 3) which occurred on August 14, 2013. Using the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope High Dispersion Spectrograph (HDS) to observe this object, they discovered that the outburst is producing a large amount of lithium. Lithium is a key element in the study of the chemical evolution of the universe because it likely was and is produced in several ways: through Big Bang nucleosynthesis, in collisions between energetic cosmic rays and the interstellar medium, inside stellar interiors, and as a result of novae and supernova explosions. This new observation provides the first direct evidence for the supply of Li from stellar objects to the galactic medium. The team hopes to deepen the understandings of galactic chemical evolution, given that nova explosions mus! t be important suppliers of Li in the current universe.

Scientists identify mineral that destroys organic compounds, with implications for Mars Curiosity mission

Scientists have discovered that the mineral jarosite breaks down organic compounds when it is flash-heated, with implications for Mars research.

Dark matter guides growth of supermassive black holes

Every massive galaxy has a black hole at its center, and the heftier the galaxy, the bigger its black hole. But why are the two related? After all, the black hole is millions of times smaller and less massive than its home galaxy.

For the first time, spacecraft catch a solar shockwave in the act

On Oct. 8, 2013, an explosion on the sun's surface sent a supersonic blast wave of solar wind out into space. This shockwave tore past Mercury and Venus, blitzing by the moon before streaming toward Earth. The shockwave struck a massive blow to the Earth's magnetic field, setting off a magnetized sound pulse around the planet.

Spacesuit woes haunt NASA ahead of crucial spacewalks

With three complicated spacewalks planned in the coming days, NASA is rushing to resolve a spacesuit problem linked to a 2013 emergency when water dangerously flooded a European astronaut's helmet.

NASA team develops new Ka-band communications system to break through the noise

The radio frequency band that many NASA missions use to communicate with spacecraft—S-band—is getting a bit crowded and noisy, and likely to get more jammed as science missions demand higher and higher data rates.

Unlocking the mystery of the first billion years of the universe

More than 100 million years has been wiped off the age of the first stars but there is still the question of what happened in the first billion years of the universe.

Learn all about Pluto, the most famous dwarf planet

As the New Horizons spacecraft gathers information about Pluto before and after its July 2015 close encounter, practically every day we're learning more about this dwarf planet.

Close pairing of Venus and Mars on February 20-21

Look west in twilight this Friday and Saturday (February 20th and 21st), and an unusual astronomical sight will await you.

Physicist whose work helped world see 1st moon walk dies

Physicist Ernest Sternglass, whose research helped make it possible for the world to see the first moon walk, has died at age 91 of heart failure.

Fireball! Meteor going 45,000 mph lights up Pennsylvania sky

A meteor moving at 45,000 mph lit up the sky over western Pennsylvania.

Image: Final goodbye to ESA automated transfer vehicle Georges Lemaître

Last Saturday, ESA's fifth and last Automated Transfer Vehicle, Georges Lemaître, undocked from the International Space Station at 13:40 GMT. Less than 30 hours later the spacecraft burnt up harmlessly in a controlled reentry over the Pacific Ocean, marking the end of the programme.

Technology news

Apple patent lets iPhone be part of VR reality display

Apple on Tuesday was awarded a patent on a headset that could let iPhones be part of augmented or virtual reality displays.

New design tool helps users create computer-generated shapes without using a mouse

A Purdue innovation that enables people to use a new class of hands-free, gesture-based 3D modeling software is being commercialized by Zero UI, a Cupertino, California-based company that specializes in 3D modeling technology.

New approach to distributing computations could make multicore chips much faster

Computer chips' clocks have stopped getting faster. To keep delivering performance improvements, chipmakers are instead giving chips more processing units, or cores, which can execute computations in parallel.

Kickstarter Project 'GreenDino'—Cognitoy that connects with IBM's Watson supercomputer

A group called Elemental Path has posted a Kickstarter project aimed at kids, or perhaps more accurately, their parents. And they want investors to offer funds to both build an idea and a finished product. They call their idea, cognitoys—toys with some degree of cognition so that kids that play with them can interact. It is a grand idea, filled with both promise and trepidation.

Did NSA plant spyware in computers around world? (Update)

Did the National Security Agency plant spyware deep in the hard drives of thousands of computers used by foreign governments, banks and other surveillance targets around the world?

Juggling too many remotes? Try this touch screen

How many remotes does it take to watch television, stream Netflix or record your favorite show on DVR?

Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

Strap on the Samsung Gear S or the Sony SmartWatch 3 if you want to take a jog on the beach or head out for a bike ride without your phone clunking along.

China's Web giants do battle over 'hong bao' ahead of New Year

The Chinese tradition of giving gifts of money in red envelopes at Lunar New Year has turned into big business for Web giants Alibaba and Tencent, which now both offer electronic "hong bao".

Sony outlines 3-year recovery plan, targets $4.2B earnings

Money-losing Sony will spin off its video-and-sound business into a separate company and shrink its headquarters as part of a three-year turnaround plan to speed up decision-making and become profitable again.

Snapchat deal would value firm at $19 billion: report

Snapchat, the vanishing-image service, is seeking to raise venture capital in a deal that would value the startup at $19 billion, The New York times reported Wednesday.

Dryers: Homes' energy guzzlers just got greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance. 

Image sensors that behave like biological retinas

Ever since the invention of the first camera obscura and the advent of photography in the 19th century, scientists have been fascinated by the use of light sensors to capture the world around us from the perspective of a man-made machine. Most recently, all eyes have been on image sensors relying on CCD or CMOS technology. These state-of-the-art camera devices can convert optical images into an electronic signal, and are used in applications for sectors including healthcare, automotive, media or security.

ESA satellite cooling system makes Paris Metro more comfortable

Thanks to space technology, some Parisian Metro riders now enjoy a very high-tech commute. A satellite spin-off is paving the way for more comfortable journeys.

Third time unlucky for 3-D television – so what went wrong this time?

Television broadcasts in 3D promised to give people an extra dimension in viewing movies, sport and other entertainment but take up of the technology has not been that great. This is not the first time the industry has tried to use television screens to bring 3D to our living rooms. So what's going wrong?

Gear technology helps lower cost of wave energy farming

A Swedish company has cracked the challenge of scaling up wave energy, with the help of technology from researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

New device to change how Florida monitors sea level rise, water quality and hurricanes

Small wireless computing devices, ranging from the size of a matchbox to the size of a dime are going to change the way Florida monitors its water quality, sea level rise, hurricanes, agriculture, aquaculture, and even its aging senior population. The types of sensing devices developed by computer scientist Jason Hallstrom, Ph.D., who recently joined Florida Atlantic University, can collect information about the surrounding environment and transmit that information to cloud-based computing systems that store, analyze and present that information to educators, researchers and decision-makers. Deployable at massive scales, the technology represents a paradigm shift in how our world is observed and managed.

Russia's Yandex files antitrust complaint against Google

Russia's search engine provider Yandex asked local antitrust authorities Wednesday to investigate Google for unfairly keeping its rivals' services off its mobile devices.

Uber's carpooling service to launch in Los Angeles

Ride-hailing app Uber plans to launch its carpooling service in Los Angeles, one of the most congested cities in the world.

Who needs a hybrid when there's a diesel Jetta?

For 2015, Volkswagen's best-selling vehicle, the Jetta compact sedan, builds on its fine road handling character and adds a nicer interior, freshened front and rear styling, new safety features and a more fuel thrifty diesel engine.

DeSoto cab company taking on name of mobile app Flywheel

A San Francisco taxi company is kicking its 82-year-old brand to the curb and renaming itself after a smartphone app in the latest sign of how mobile technology is changing the way people get a ride.

Samsung buys digital wallet star to take on Apple Pay

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday announced a deal to buy LoopPay, a young digital wallet firm challenging Apple Pay at retailer checkout terminals.

Financial apps can help keep your spending in check

Joshua Levinson was about to splurge on some exercise equipment, but a personal finance app on his smartphone gave him a friendly reminder: He'd just recently dropped $150 for Valentine's Day.

Uber picks up another $1 bn from investors

Uber said Wednesday that it expanded its latest funding round to pick another billion dollars from investors eager to put money into the controversial ride-sharing service.

New desalination technology could answer state drought woes

Could desalination be the answer to California's drought? As parts of the state become drier, scientists are looking at ways to turn seawater into drinkable water.

Clean thermal energy for clean fresh water

RMIT's Dr Abhijit Date was awarded the $AUD132,000 grant for his research into a sustainable and economical fresh water management system that could be used in coastal areas of India and salt-affected farming land in Australia.

Duck! At Toy Fair 2015, everything from drones to snowballs

With 13,000 international buyers, Toy Fair 2015 looks and sounds like the best-behaved children's party ever. Without the young ones in attendance, of course.

Iran spokeswoman says it concerned by cybersecurity report

Iran is concerned by a Russian cybersecurity firm's report suggesting a new family of malicious programs and worms is infecting computers there and elsewhere in the world, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

NBC channel is now live on PCs, devices in 10 markets

Television viewers in 10 U.S. markets are now able to watch their local NBC stations live on computers and mobile devices—as long as they are paying customers.

Cuba temporarily cuts price of Internet access

Cuba has temporarily reduced the hourly charge for using state-run Internet cafes in the country's first small but substantive public move to increase online access since the declaration of detente with the U.S.

Chemistry news

Red light goes green: Metal-free organic sensitizers portend significant advance in artificial photosynthesis

(Phys.org)—Photosynthesis – the ubiquitous yet remarkable process by which most plants, algae, and cyanobacteria convert light energy into chemical energy – provides the atmospheric oxygen and organic compounds fundamental to the evolution of life on Earth, and in so doing captures some six times more energy than humans consume while annually converting roughly 100 billion tons of carbon into biomass. In the effort to find alternatives to fossil fuels, the field of artificial photosynthesis – a chemical process that replicates natural photosynthesis – seeks to capture and store energy from visible light, including sunlight, in the chemical bonds of what is known as a solar fuel (for example, hydrogen, methane or methanol).

Scientists find strongest natural material

Limpet teeth might be the strongest natural material known to man, a new study has found.

Potential new breathalyzer for lung cancer screening

Researchers from Chongqing University in China have developed a high sensitive fluorescence-based sensor device that can rapidly identify cancer related volatile organic compounds—biomarkers found exclusively in the exhaled breath of some people with lung cancer.

New solder for semiconductors allows good electronic performance

A research team led by the University of Chicago's Dmitri Talapin has demonstrated how semiconductors can be soldered and still deliver good electronic performance.

Simple catalyst helps to construct complex biological scaffolds

Terpenes and their derivatives exert important biological and pharmaceutical functions. Starting out from a few basic building blocks nature elegantly builds up complex structures. Chemically particularly challenging are bridged ring systems such as eucalyptol. Chemists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now developed a catalyst that initiates the formation of such compounds. A special feature of the catalyst: it self-assembles from smaller units.

High-powered X-ray laser unlocks mechanics of pain relief without addiction

Using a newly developed X-ray source, scientists have revealed how a new type of pain-relievers works - bonding to the same neuroreceptors that morphine does, but without the accompanying physical dependence.

Fluorescent probe for labeling mitochondria helps scientists study fat-burning brown adipose tissue

A new cellular labeling strategy gives researchers an efficient tool for studying the development of tissue that could help prevent the onset of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists learn to monitor neural stem cells that might help repair neurological damage

A labeling compound identified at A*STAR that specifically marks neuronal stem cells is not only a useful research tool, but could also assist clinical efforts to repair neurological damage in patients.

Researchers developed a cost-effective and efficient rival for platinum

Researchers succeeded in creating an electrocatalyst that is needed for storing electric energy made of carbon and iron.

A breakthrough in nanotoxicology

Whereas resistance to antibiotics complicates certain treatments, antimicrobial silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are gaining popularity for medical use. These particles are toxic for certain bacteria, but what about for humans? Researchers at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre have taken a step toward understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that affect these particles. In an article published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Denis Girard's team established for the first time that AgNP induce stress in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which is one of the signs of nanotoxicity.

Hair dye 'CSI' could help police solve crimes

Criminals with a penchant for dyeing their hair could soon pay for their vanity. Scientists have found a way to analyze hair samples at crime scenes to rapidly determine whether it was colored and what brand of dye was used. Their report appears in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.

New insight into a fragile protein linked to cancer and autism

In recent years, scientists have found a surprising a connection between some people with autism and certain cancer patients: They have mutations in the same gene, one that codes for a protein critical for normal cellular health. Now scientists have reported in the ACS journal Biochemistry that the defects reduce the activity and stability of the protein. Their findings could someday help lead to new treatments for both sets of patients.

Innovative technology to keep mangoes in excellent condition

Addressing the needs of a company that sells mango as raw material for processing as puree, nectar or juice, researchers at the University of Guanajuato (UGTO), in the center of Mexico, designed a prototype pasteurization machine and a procedures manual to keep products in excellent condition after harvest.

A microbial metabolite of linoleic acid ameliorates intestinal inflammation

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), including Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, are hard to completely cure. Globally, IBDs affect more than 4 million people, today. However, Professor Soichi Tanabe (Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University) and his collaborators have demonstrated that 10-hydroxy-cis-12-octadecenoic acid (HYA), a gut microbial metabolite of linoleic acid, has a suppressive effect on intestinal inflammation. HYA is expected to be practically applied as a functional food.

Biology news

Who cares? Why evolution suggests parenting responsibility is seldom equally shared

Why is caring for young shared unequally between the sexes in so many animal species? Research from the University of Bristol, UK suggests that small initial differences which predispose one sex to care more are exaggerated once the ability to care evolves. As a result, one sex evolves attributes - such as mammary glands in female mammals or increased brain size in some fish - that enhance the ability to care, and so this sex does most or all of the care.

'Nature's medicine cabinet' helps bees reduce disease load (Update)

Researchers studying the interaction between plants, pollinators and parasites report that in recent experiments, bees infected with a common intestinal parasite had reduced parasite levels in their guts after seven days if the bees also consumed natural toxins present in plant nectar.

New species, the 'ruby seadragon,' discovered by researchers

While researching the two known species of seadragons as part of an effort to understand and protect the exotic and delicate fish, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego made a startling discovery: A third species of seadragon.

Study could pave the way for painkillers with fewer side effects

Researchers have long sought alternatives to morphine – a powerful and widely used painkiller – that curb its side effects, including dependency, nausea and dizziness. Now, an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has supplied the most complete atomic-scale map of such a compound docked with a cellular receptor that regulates the body's pain response and tolerance.

Size matters in the battle to adapt to diverse environments and avoid extinction

A new University of Toronto study may force scientists to rethink what is behind the mass extinction of amphibians occurring worldwide in the face of climate change, disease and habitat loss.

Tropical fire ants traveled the world on 16th century ships

Thanks to a bit of genetic sleuthing, researchers now know the invasion history of the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata), the first ant species known to travel the globe by sea.

Where ants go when nature calls

Ants may use the corners of their nest as 'toilets,' according to a study published February 18, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Tomer Czaczkes and colleagues from University of Regensburg, Germany.

Fungal waste biomass could be used to harvest microalgae for fuels

Waste biomass from fungal fermentation processes could be used to bind to and harvest microalgae being used in other biotechnology applications. A*STAR researchers have successfully demonstrated this procedure with fungal mycelium—the main vegetative part of a fungus such as the tangled mass of underground fibers beneath sprouting mushrooms.

Dolphins set up home in the Mediterranean after the last Ice Age

The bottlenose dolphin only colonised the Mediterranean after the last Ice Age - about 18,000 years ago – according to new research.

Rainbow cat collars may save birds

It might resemble a flashback to early 90s fashion but a scrunchie-like collar cover could be the key to reducing the amount of wildlife your cat kills.

Discovery of a new mechanism used by pathogenic bacteria to disable host defenses

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers report the discovery of a new mechanism used by pathogenic bacteria to disable host defenses: Addition of a sugar residue at a specific position within the translation factor EF-P boosts the production of toxic proteins.

Student uses genome annotation to help study crocodiles, alligators, gharials

For the last year and a half, University of Delaware doctoral student Colin Kern has been annotating the genome of the American alligator, the salt water crocodile and the Indian gharial to help researchers from multiple institutions determine the ancestral patterns of evolution among archosaurs, which include crocodilians, dinosaurs and birds.

In the city, rabbits build more densely

European wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) not only achieve high population densities in the city, their burrows are also built more densely and on a smaller external scale. That is something researchers in the Goethe University's Task Force on Ecology and Evolution have discovered in their study on wild rabbit populations in and around Frankfurt. As they report in the advance version of the Journal of Zoology, small burrow structures with fewer entrances and exits predominate in Frankfurt's inner city. These structures are inhabited by few animals - often only pairs or single wild rabbits. In contrast to this, the structural systems in the rural environs of Frankfurt are substantially larger and are also inhabited by larger social rabbit groups.

Sardines move north due to ocean warming

Sardines, anchovies and mackerels play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, as well as having a high commercial value. However, the warming of waters makes them vanish from their usual seas and migrate north, as confirmed by a pioneering study analysing 57,000 fish censuses from 40 years. The researchers warn that coastal towns dependent on these fishery resources must adapt their economies.

White sharks grow more slowly and mature much later than previously thought

A new study on white sharks in the western North Atlantic indicates they grow more slowly and mature much later than previously thought.

State funding boosts stem cell research in California, other states

When federal funding regulations created limitations on human embryonic stem cell research, several states created their own funding programs. A new study analyzed stem cell funding programs in four states that provided their own funding and found that in both California and Connecticut, state programs have contributed to an increase in the share of publications in the field produced in these states.

In a warmer world ticks that spread disease are arriving earlier, expanding their ranges

(Millbrook, NY) In the northeastern United States, warmer spring temperatures are leading to shifts in the emergence of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens. At the same time, milder weather is allowing ticks to spread into new geographic regions. Findings were published this week in a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B dedicated to climate change and vector-borne diseases.

Mutant bacteria that keep on growing

The typical Escherichia coli, the laboratory rat of microbiology, is a tiny 1-2 thousandths of a millimeter long. Now, by blocking cell division, two researchers at Concordia University in Montreal have grown E. coli that stretch three quarters of a millimeter. That's up to 750 times their normal length. The research has potential applications in nanoscale industry, and may lead to a better understanding of how pathogens work. The study is published ahead of print on February 17 in the Journal of Bacteriology.

When estimating fish populations, seeing is believing

Somewhere off the Atlantic coast of Florida, a fishing boat bobs in the swell, and Nate Bacheler helps swing a fish trap over the side. It's a big metal cage shaped like a giant arrowhead, and it looks like the standard design. But this is no ordinary fish trap, and Nate Bacheler is no ordinary fisherman.

Neighboring birds sing 'out of tune'

Great tits living next to each other may sing their songs at significantly different rates, more or less frequently, as compared to non-neighboring birds, according to a study published February 18, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lysanne Snijders from Wageningen University, Netherlands and colleagues.

Models predict where lemurs will go as climate warms

Anticipated climate changes in coming decades are likely to leave a lot of Madagascar's lemurs looking for new places to live.

Hydrogel baits offer novel way to manage invasive ants

Water-storing crystals known as hydrogels can effectively deliver pesticide bait to invasive Argentine ants, quickly decimating a colony, a Purdue University study finds.

Tracking the effects of global change on the future of Earth's biodiversity

Biodiversity, or the variety of life found in a particular habitat, responds to changing environmental forces such as habitat destruction or climate change, but the responses may not be noticeable until long after the forces first exerted their effects.

Study confirms the feasibility of tracking parrots with GPS telemetry

Yes, it is possible to study parrots with GPS trackers—you just have to make them beak-proof. For a new paper in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, Erin Kennedy, George Perry, and Todd Dennis of the University of Auckland and Joshua Kemp and Corey Mosen of New Zealand's Department of Conservation tested the feasibility of tracking parrots with GPS dataloggers in Arthur's Pass National Park in New Zealand. Their parrot of choice was the Kea (Nestor notabilis), a large, intelligent, mountain-dwelling bird perhaps best known for its fearless interactions with tourists and their cars.

Medicine & Health news

'Most comprehensive map' of human epigenomes is unveiled

Two dozen scientific papers published online simultaneously on Feb. 18, 2015 present the first comprehensive maps and analyses of the epigenomes of a wide array of human cell and tissue types. Epigenomes are patterns of chemical annotations to the genome that determine whether, how, and when genes are activated.

Study finds increased DNA mutations in children of teenage fathers

A genetic study of over 24,000 parents and their children has shown that the children of teenage fathers have unexpectedly high levels of DNA mutations.

Mulling the marijuana munchies: How the brain flips the hunger switch

The "munchies," or that uncontrollable urge to eat after using marijuana, appear to be driven by neurons in the brain that are normally involved in suppressing appetite, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Feb. 18 issue of the journal Nature.

New insights into 3-D genome organization and genetic variability

While genomics is the study of all of the genes in a cell or organism, epigenomics is the study of all the genomic add-ons and changes that influence gene expression but aren't encoded in the DNA sequence. A variety of new epigenomic information is now available in a collection of studies published Feb. 19 in Nature by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap Epigenomics Program. This information provides a valuable baseline for future studies of the epigenome's role in human development and disease.

Computational methods determine effectiveness of pain relievers

More than 90% of central nervous system drugs fail when they're tried in large human trials. The team at the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) hope that combining information from many brain imaging studies with their computational methods will provide a cheaper way of filtering out drugs that are not likely to work, without the need for expensive human clinical trials.

Tau-associated MAPT gene increases risk for Alzheimer's disease

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene as increasing the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). The MAPT gene encodes the tau protein, which is involved with a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and AD. These findings provide novel insight into Alzheimer's neurodegeneration, possibly opening the door for improved clinical diagnosis and treatment.

Study suggests how right hemisphere assists left when damaged in stroke

A new study conducted by a researcher at the George Washington University suggests that the right hemisphere of the brain may be able to assist a damaged left hemisphere in protecting visual attention after a stroke.

Fast-replicating HIV strains drive inflammation and disease progression

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) mutates very rapidly and circulates in many different strains. The strain of HIV someone is first infected with, and its capacity to replicate in the body, can have a lasting influence on how the virus disrupts the immune system, according to a study to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A good night's sleep keeps your stem cells young

In a study just published in the journal Nature, scientists at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum Heidelberg and at the Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine have uncovered that environmental stress is a major factor in driving DNA damage in adult hematopoietic stem cells.

Chromosome 'bumper repair' gene predicts cancer patient outcomes

Like a car's front and back bumpers, your cell's chromosomes are capped by "telomeres" that protect this genetic material against deterioration. Still, after enough replications, a chromosome's telomeres break down and once they reach a certain point of degradation, the cell dies. This is one reason that cells are mortal: telomeres only last so long. That is, unless the enzyme telomerase builds new material onto the worn telomeres to reinforce these chromosomal "bumpers". Telomere repair can be a good thing, but in some cases it's not: overactive telomerase can lengthen telomeres until a cell becomes immortal...leading to cancer.

Scientists announce anti-HIV agent so powerful it can work in a vaccine

In a remarkable new advance against the virus that causes AIDS, scientists from the Jupiter, Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have announced the creation of a novel drug candidate that is so potent and universally effective, it might work as part of an unconventional vaccine.

Researchers looking at genetically modified spider venom to treat erectile dysfunction

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers working at the Catholic University of Korea has found that a protein found naturally in spider venom that can be created in the lab and tested on rats, can be effective in treating erectile dysfunction. In their paper published in the journal Urology, the team describes how they tested PnTx2-6 in several lab rats and what they found.

Autism genes activate during fetal brain development

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development. The research, led by Lilia Iakoucheva, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is published in the February 18 issue of Neuron.

Development of personalized cellular therapy for brain cancer

Immune cells engineered to seek out and attack a type of deadly brain cancer were found to be both safe and effective at controlling tumor growth in mice that were treated with these modified cells, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine by a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. The results paved the way for a newly opened clinical trial for glioblastoma patients at Penn.

Popular soda ingredient poses cancer risk to consumers, new study suggests

Public health researchers have analyzed soda consumption data in order to characterize people's exposure to a potentially carcinogenic byproduct of some types of caramel color. Caramel color is a common ingredient in colas and other dark soft drinks. The results show that between 44 and 58 percent of people over the age of six typically have at least one can of soda per day, possibly more, potentially exposing them to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), a possible human carcinogen formed during the manufacture of some kinds of caramel color.

Napping beyond age of two linked to poorer sleep quality in young children

Napping beyond the age of 2 is linked to poorer sleep quality in young children, although the impact on behaviour and development is less clear-cut, finds an analysis of the available evidence published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Protein that repels immune cells protects transplanted pancreatic islets from rejection

An approach developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may provide a solution to the limitations that have kept pancreatic islet transplantation from meeting its promise as a cure for type 1 diabetes. In the March issue of the American Journal of Transplantation, the research team reports that encapsulating insulin-producing islets in gel capsules infused with a protein that repels key immune cells protected islets from attack by the recipient's immune system without the need for immunosuppressive drugs, restoring long-term blood sugar control in mouse models. The technique was effective both for islets from unrelated mice and for islets harvested from pigs.

Major study of trafficked men, women and children reveals abuse, complex health issues

The largest survey to date of the health of trafficking survivors has found high levels of abuse and serious harm associated with human trafficking. For the first time, the findings reveal severe mental and physical health problems experienced by men, women and children trafficked for forced labour and sexual exploitation in Southeast Asia. The study, published in The Lancet Global Health, also highlights frequent physical and psychological abuse and extremely hazardous living and working conditions.

Better informed women less likely to want a breast mammogram

Women who understand the risk of over-detection and over-diagnosis associated with mammography screening have lower intentions to have a breast screening test, according to a new Lancet study.

Lithuanian gets life-changing bionic arm

Martynas Girulis cannot stop moving. He forks a few potatoes onto his plate, pours himself a glass of water, drinks it through a straw, then gets right back up.

The science behind many antidepressants appears to be backwards, researchers say

The science behind many antidepressant medications appears to be backwards, say the authors of a paper that challenges the prevailing ideas about the nature of depression and some of the world's most commonly prescribed medications.

Crowdsourcing a valid option for gathering speech ratings

Crowdsourcing – where responses to a task are aggregated across a large number of individuals recruited online – can be an effective tool for rating sounds in speech disorders research, according to a study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Transplant patients have high rate of cancer death

Researchers at the University of Adelaide are working to better understand how patients who receive life-saving organ transplants can be spared from dying of cancer many years later.

Simulation brings facts to measles outbreak and vaccination debate

To bring facts and clarity to the public debate about immunization in light of the recent measles outbreak, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health today unveiled a computer simulation that explores the impact of measles outbreaks in cities across the U.S. Users can see how an outbreak would play out if their city had high or low vaccination rates.

Study shows potential new therapy for neuropathic pain

An international study led by scientists at McGill University reports, for the first time, that drugs that selectively target the melatonin MT2 receptor represent a novel class of analgesic drugs that could be used to treat patients with neuropathic pain.

Teen brain scans reveal a key to weight loss

It sounds cruel to put an already hungry teenager in an MRI scanner and show him pictures of burgers, fries, pizzas, syrupy waffles and ice cream cones.

Hidden cost of increasing drug co-payment poses a high risk

Apart from proposing a co-payment for visiting doctors, the last federal budget also contained a proposal to increase the level of co-payments for medications. The government seems to have given little attention to the effect this policy would have on the long-term health of the nation.

Researchers trial new HIV prevention method

Scientists at the University of York, in conjunction with the York Clinical Research Facility, will start the first phase of trials looking into a new way to prevent HIV transmission.

Breakthrough in the fight against blindness

A team of researchers at the IRCM led by Michel Cayouette, PhD, identified one of the genes responsible for producing a type of cell required for vision. The breakthrough, published in the scientific journal Neuron, could eventually help overcome obstacles associated with treatments to prevent blindness.

Can virtual reality help treat anxiety in older people?

Up to 25% of people aged 65 and over experience varying degrees of anxiety. Although cognitive behavioural therapy is a preferred treatment approach, it has limitations as people age (decreased mobility and visualization skills). Could virtual reality be an effective therapy for anxiety in older people? This novel therapeutic avenue for this clientele seems promising, according to a literature review conducted by the team of Sébastien Grenier, PhD, a researcher at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) and a research professor at Université de Montréal.

Immune system 'œfriendly fire' could be to blame for bowel cancer deaths

New research suggests that patients recovering from bowel cancer surgery may be at a higher risk of relapse if their blood shows an immune response to a particular protein, called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).

Many pregnant teens use alcohol and drugs, study finds

New research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests that many teenagers, especially younger teens, may not be getting the message about the risks of using alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy—but that having involved parents and being engaged academically can help.

Osteoarthritis patients will benefit from jumping exercise

Progressive high-impact training improved the patellar cartilage quality of the postmenopausal women who may be at risk of osteoporosis (bone loss) as well as at risk of osteoarthritis. This was found out in the study carry out in the Department of Health Sciences at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The effects of high-impact exercise were examined on knee cartilages, osteoarthritis symptoms and physical function in postmenopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis. The study was conducted in cooperation with the Central Finland Central Hospital and the Department of Medical Technology, Institute of Biomedicine in University of Oulu in Finland.

New growth factor indicates possible regenerative effects in Parkinson's disease

Researchers have long sought treatments that can slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. Current treatments have for decades been only symptomatic in nature, supplying the neurotransmitter dopamine, which the dying nerve cells can no longer produce. Results from a recent clinical study offer hope that future therapies could take advantage of the brain's own protective mechanisms to limit neuronal cell death and restore dopamine production to natural levels.

Identity is more than gender and sexual behavior

New Mexico is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the U.S. which is reflected at the University of New Mexico. UNM consistently strives for and receives high rankings for diversity making it what a university should be in the 21st century. While progress has been made, there is still work to be done.

Researchers describe the modular anatomical structure of the human head

A new mathematical analysis tool developed by researchers from the Theoretical Biology Group at the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Valencia has allowed a deeper understanding of the anatomy of the human head thanks to describing the skull as an extended network structured in ten modules. The results of this study led by researcher Diego Rasskin Gutman have been published in the latest issue of the Scientific Reports journal, published by Nature.

Most supplement capsules don't contain what they promise

My mum and dad are troopers. Every morning, in an effort to stave off old age and dry rot, they down a tablespoon of oily, stinky fish oil. This is done without any obvious signs of distress – clearly, they are from a more stoic generation.

Genes of carcinogenic liver fluke revealed

The tiny liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini causes damage out of all proportion to its size. Consumed as cysts within raw fish by people in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, it causes the tropical disease, Opisthorciasis, putting its victims at risk of cancer. Despite affecting millions of people in Asia, no vaccine exists and there is only one drug available for use. Now, A*STAR researchers have sequenced its genome, shedding light on how it copes with its strange life cycle, and suggesting new approaches to treatment.

Easier access to prescription drugs puts teens at risk

When you think about substance use and teens, drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy might come to mind. But recreational prescription drug use is a significant problem. Nationally, 17.8% of high school students have used prescription drugs without a prescription in their lifetime and 7% have done so at least ten times. The most common prescription drugs adolescents misuse are narcotics like Vicodin or stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin.

Here's what happens to your brain when you give up sugar for Lent

Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a huge sweet tooth. I always have. My friend and fellow graduate student Andrew is equally afflicted, and living in Hershey, Pennsylvania – the "Chocolate Capital of the World" – doesn't help either of us.

People who believe they were "born that way" more inclined to blame God for bad behavior, researchers find

People are more likely to blame God for their bad moral behavior when they believe they were born to act that way, according to an ongoing Case Western Reserve University project on spirituality and religion.

Researchers generate a reference map of the human epigenome

The sequencing of the human genome laid the foundation for the study of genetic variation and its links to a wide range of diseases. But the genome itself is only part of the story, as genes can be switched on and off by a range of chemical modifications, known as "epigenetic marks."

Research aims to utilize 'symptom' of autism to improve reading comprehension

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often show an unwavering focus on a specific interest, a phenomenon known as having a "perseverative interest."

DNA damage causes immune reaction and inflammation, linked to cancer development

For the first time scientists from Umeå University show the importance of DNA damage in fine tuning of our innate immune system and hence the ability to mount the optimal inflammatory response to infections and other biological dangers. The study is published on 17th February in the very prestigious international journal Immunity (CellPress).

Researchers manage transplantation of adrenal cells encapsulated in a bioreactor

If a person is under stress his body tips out stress regulators. These are Cortisol, Adrenalin and Noradrenalin - hormones and messenger substances - which intervene adjusting in the metabolism and help thus the organism to master the unusual load.

Nicotine metabolite amplifies action of the primary chemical messenger for learning and memory

Nicotine's primary metabolite supports learning and memory by amplifying the action of a primary chemical messenger involved in both, researchers report.

Epigenetic study highlights drug targets for allergies and asthma

Scientists have discovered over 30 new genes that predispose people to allergies and asthma, some of which could be targets for new drugs.

The growing evidence on standardised packaging of tobacco products

The scientific journal Addiction has today published a collection of peer-reviewed research papers and commentaries that bring together key parts of the evidence base for standardised packaging of tobacco products from 2008 to 2015.

Deconstructing the dynamic genome

Two international teams of researchers led by Ludwig San Diego's Bing Ren have published in the current issue of Nature two papers that analyze in unprecedented detail the variability and regulation of gene expression across the entire human genome, and their correspondence with the physical structure of chromosomes.

Predicting cancers' cell of origin

A study led by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital suggests a new way to trace cancer back to its cell type of origin. By leveraging the epigenome maps produced by the Roadmap Epigenomics Program - a resource of data collected from over 100 cell types - the research team found that the unique genetic landscape of a particular tumor could be used to predict that tumor's cell type of origin. The study, which appears this week in Nature, provides new insights into the early events that shape a cancer, and could have important implications for the many cancer patients for whom the originating site of the cancer is unknown.

Mucus retained in cystic fibrosis patients' cells leads to potentially deadly infections

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects one out of every 3,000 children in populations of Northern European descent. One of the key signs of cystic fibrosis is that mucus lining the lungs, pancreas and other organs is too sticky, which makes it difficult for the organs to work properly and, in the lungs, attracts bacteria and viruses resulting in chronic infections. Researchers at the University of Missouri recently found that cystic fibrosis mucus actually gets stuck inside some of the cells that create it, rather than simply becoming stuck on the outside linings of organs.

Researchers offer new target for treating asthma

Researchers have found a potential new target for treating asthma, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus and published in the journal Nature Communications.

Altered microbiome linked to liver disease in adolescents with cystic fibrosis

A professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus and his colleagues have found a possible cause of liver disease in adolescents with cystic fibrosis.

Scientists discover novel pain sensors in inner ear that warn of dangerously loud noise

Our hearing has a secret bodyguard, a newly discovered connection from the cochlea to the brain that warns of intense incoming noise that causes tissue damage and hearing loss, according to new research by Northwestern Medicine scientists.

Study holds hope for reversing childhood asthma associated with maternal smoking

A new study from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) holds hope for reversing asthma caused by smoking during pregnancy.

Learning from extinction: New insights on controlling cancer

The earth is in the throes of a sixth mass extinction of species. Unlike those that preceded it, the current die-off is largely driven by human activity—the destruction of diverse habitats; the pollution of air, earth, and water; the disruption of the planet's climate.

Drug stops fatty liver disease from causing inflammation, scarring

Doctors believe that up to 30 percent of the U.S. population may have fat accumulation in the liver, known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), that can lead to a range of damaging health consequences.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes should exercise after dinner

Individuals with Type 2 diabetes have heightened amounts of sugars and fats in their blood, which increases their risks for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Exercise is a popular prescription for individuals suffering from the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but little research has explored whether these individuals receive more benefits from working out before or after dinner. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risks of cardiovascular diseases more effectively by exercising after a meal.

Unlikely that topical pimecrolimus associated with increased risk of cancer

The topical medicine pimecrolimus to treat eczema (atopic dermatitis or AD) in children appears unlikely to be associated with increased of risk of cancer based on how it was used in group of children followed for 10 years, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology.

3-D engineered bone marrow makes functioning platelets

A team led by researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering and the University of Pavia has reported development of the first three-dimensional tissue system that reproduces the complex structure and physiology of human bone marrow and successfully generates functional human platelets. Using a biomaterial matrix of porous silk, the new system is capable of producing platelets for future clinical use and also provides a laboratory tissue system to advance study of blood platelet diseases.

Brace yourself: Study finds people can use different strategies to prepare for stress

A pilot study from North Carolina State University finds that people are not consistent in how they prepare mentally to deal with arguments and other stressors, with each individual displaying a variety of coping behaviors. In addition, the study found that the coping strategies people used could affect them the following day.

MAGE genes provide insight into optimizing chemotherapy

UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a new biomarker that could help identify patients who are more likely to respond to certain chemotherapies.

MS drug Tysabri shows promise in efforts to combat HIV's 'viral reservoirs'

A drug used to treat patients with Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis has helped scientists confirm how "viral reservoirs" form in patients living with HIV and also proven effective in animal trials at blocking the pathways to those reservoirs in the brain and gut, a team of researchers reported recently in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

Scientists use MRI to visualize pancreas inflammation in type 1 diabetes

A pilot study led by researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center has revealed that it is possible to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to "see" the inflammation in the pancreas that leads to type 1 diabetes. This discovery could be a boon for research on methods to slow or halt the disease at an early stage, and could also guide insights into how diabetes progresses.

Study finds link between relative lengths of index and ring fingers in men and behaviour towards women

Maybe you should take a good look at your partner's fingers before putting a ring on one. Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer towards women, and this unexpected phenomenon stems from the hormones these men have been exposed to in their mother's womb, according to a new study by researchers at McGill University. The findings might help explain why these men tend to have more children. The study, showing a link between a biological event in fetal life and adult behaviour, was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

In higher doses, over longer periods, painkillers for chronic pain raise overdose risk

It's been seven years since actor Heath Ledger, only 28, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. The New York medical examiner ruled that Ledger died of "acute intoxication" from six kinds of painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs.

Study finds physicians less likely than other health professionals to be divorced

The largest investigation of divorce rates among physicians has made what may be a surprising finding - physicians are actually less likely to be or to have been divorced than those in other occupations - including lawyers, nurses, and other health care professionals. The study, which has been published online in The BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal), did find that female physicians had a greater likelihood of being divorced than did male physicians, particularly those female physicians who worked longer hours.

Cancer treatments could evolve from research showing that acetate supplements speed up cancer growth

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers seeking novel ways to combat cancer found that giving acetate, a major compound produced in the gut by host bacteria, to mice sped up the growth and metastasis of tumors.

How stress can lead to inequality

Stress is a staple of our lives today, and we know intuitively that it can influence our confidence in competing with others. But how exactly does stress do that? Scientists at EPFL have carried out the first behavioral study to show how stress actually affects our degree of confidence, implying that it can even be a cause of social inequality rather than just a consequence of it. On a biological level, the researchers have also associated the effects of stress with the release of the hormone cortisol. The study is published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Brain imaging links language delay to chromosome deletion in children with neuro disorders

Children born with a DNA abnormality on chromosome 16 already linked to neurodevelopmental problems show measurable delays in processing sound and language, says a study team of radiologists and psychologists.

Cost-effectiveness of immediate HCV Rx in early disease analyzed

(HealthDay)—For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), immediate treatment seems to be cost-effective in those with moderate and advanced fibrosis, and can be cost-effective in patients with no or minimal fibrosis, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Hepatology.

Post-electrophysiology mortality usually not related to procedure

(HealthDay)—Half of major complications within 30 days of electrophysiology (EP) procedures occur after discharge, but the majority of deaths are not directly related to the procedure, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

Manual-thrust manipulation boosts short-term benefit in LBP

(HealthDay)—For patients with low back pain (LBP), manual-thrust manipulation (MTM) is associated with greater short-term reductions in disability and pain than mechanical-assisted manipulation (MAM) or usual medical care (UMC), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

CDC: Biggest rise in recent measles cases in illinois

(HealthDay)—The number of measles cases in the United States has reached 141 patients in 17 states and the District of Columbia, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Study confirms finding of higher diabetes indicator in black children

A new study confirms the findings of two earlier LSU Health New Orleans studies that the definitive indicator of diabetes control, the HbA1c, is deceptively high in African-American children. The 2000 and 2010 studies led by Stuart A. Chalew, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Pediatrics at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, first reported the major difference in the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) response to blood glucose between African-American and Caucasian children with diabetes.

A new weapon in the fight against cancer

Where can you find the next important weapon in the fight against cancer? Just do a little navel-gazing. New research from Concordia confirms that a tool for keeping the most common forms of cancer at bay could be in your gut.

Older adults with limited mobility may lessen heart problems with activity

Older adults with limited mobility may lower their risk of heart attack and coronary death for every minute of physical activity, according to research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Help for people with muscle cramps?

A new treatment may bring hope for people who suffer from muscle cramps or spasms from neuromuscular disorders, diseases such as multiple sclerosis or simply from nighttime leg cramps that keep people from sleeping, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015.

Chicken pox virus may be linked to serious condition in the elderly

A new study links the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles to a condition that inflames blood vessels on the temples and scalp in the elderly, called giant cell arteritis. The study is published in the February 18, 2015, online issue of Neurology. The condition can cause sudden blindness or stroke and can be life-threatening.

Eylea outperforms other drugs for diabetic macular edema with moderate vision loss

In an NIH-supported clinical trial comparing three drugs for diabetic macular edema (DME), Eylea (aflibercept) provided greater visual improvement, on average, than did Avastin (bevacizumab) or Lucentis (ranibizumab) when vision was 20/50 or worse at the start of the trial. However, the three drugs resulted in similar average improvement when starting vision was 20/40 to 20/32. Investigators found no major differences in the safety of the three drugs. The trial was funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

New HPV vaccine offers greater protection against cervical cancer than current vaccine

Scientists have developed a new HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine which protects against nine types of the virus - seven of which cause most cases of cervical cancer. The new vaccine offers significantly greater protection than the current vaccine, which protects against only two cancer causing types of HPV.

Possible strategy identified to combat major parasitic tropical disease

Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has identified a potential target in the quest to develop a more effective treatment for leishmaniasis, a parasitic tropical disease that kills thousands and sickens more than 1 million people worldwide each year. The findings were published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Bacterial defense mechanism targets duchenne muscular dystrophy

Duke researchers have demonstrated a genetic therapeutic technique that has the potential to treat more than half of the patients suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Proactive labor induction can improve perinatal outcomes, study suggests

A proactive labour induction practice once women are full term can improve perinatal outcomes suggests a new Danish study, published today (18 February) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG).

Ranibizumab reverses vision loss caused by diabetes

Ranibizumab, a prescription drug commonly used to treat age-related vision loss, also reverses vision loss caused by diabetes among Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, according to a new study led by investigators from the University of Southern California (USC) Eye Institute.

Medtech meets cleantech: Malaria vaccine candidate produced from algae

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine used algae as a mini-factory to produce a malaria parasite protein. The algae-produced protein, paired with an immune-boosting cocktail suitable for use in humans, generated antibodies in mice that nearly eliminated mosquito infection by the malaria parasite. The method, published Feb. 17 by Infection and Immunity, is the newest attempt to develop a vaccine that prevents transmission of the malaria parasite from host to mosquito.

Needle-free vaccination: How scientists ask skin cells for help

Vaccination is an effective method of stimulating the human body's immune system to fight against various pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses). Worldwide vaccination needs safe, easy-to-use and inexpensive tools for vaccine administration. The skin immune system is a promising target as the skin lies directly in front of us. New research published in the January 2015 issue of Experimental Dermatology introduces a new approach to stimulate the skin immune response by applying needle-free vaccination.

Licorice extract protects the skin from UV-induced stress

The skin is constantly challenged, and very often harmed, by environmental stressors such as UV radiation and chemicals. To cope with UV radiation, various skin cells have evolved a complex protective antioxidant defense system. New research published in the January 2015 issue of Experimental Dermatology introduces a new plant-derived agent which protects skin from the harmful effects of UV irradiation.

Australia mulls tougher food screening after China hepatitis scare

Tougher food screening measures could be introduced in Australia with frozen berries from China linked to a growing number of hepatitis A infections, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said Wednesday.

Accountable care organizations improving health care in California

California has more accountable care organizations (ACOs) than any other state in the country, with particularly rapid growth over the past two years. This is a good thing, according to the Berkeley Forum for Improving California's Healthcare Delivery System, which released a report today with new evidence that ACOs improve the quality of care, increase patient satisfaction, and may reduce costs.

New device enables 3D tissue engineering with multicellular building blocks

In creating engineered tissues intended to repair or regenerate damaged or diseased human tissues, the goal is to build three-dimensional tissue constructs densely packed with living cells. The Bio-P3, an innovative instrument able to pick up, transport, and assemble multi-cellular microtissues to form larger tissue constructs is described in an article in Tissue Engineering, Part C: Methods, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers The article is available free on the Tissue Engineering website until March 20th, 2015.

Emotional health of men with cancer often unaddressed

Downplay it. Joke about it. Block it out and keep going. These are common reactions of Kiwi men diagnosed with cancer, says a Massey University psychology researcher.

Challenges of soldier rehabilitation and reintegration need closer attention

Veterans returning from combat often face a multitude of challenges: Debilitating physical and psychological conditions, a civil society that does not support and even actively criticizes the war from which the soldiers have returned, or personal and family circumstances that changed while they were away. These and many other factors can create a situation in which veterans are unable to reintegrate into civilian life as they had planned and hoped. In a special issue of WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, authors, many of whom are veterans themselves, present a wide-ranging view of the environment and treatment options for returning soldiers.

Never too early to consider end-of-life wishes

Most cases of disagreements over patients' wishes for end-of-life care that have made national headlines have typically involved previously healthy people who didn't think the conversation was relevant to them. Dr. Susan Levine, medical director of UConn Health's general medicine practice, says it's never too early to plan for end-of-life decisions in the event you become unable to speak for yourself.

Malaria: a new treatment to slow down resistance

The appearance of malaria parasites resistant to medicines is one of the main obstacles in combating the disease. In order to slow down this phenomenon, it is essential to avoid exposing the pathogen to the same molecules. For this reason, researchers at the IRD and their partners in OCEAC in Cameroon are testing new treatments. They have recently demonstrated the efficacy of a "bi-therapy", which combines artesunate (a derivative of artemisinin, recommended by the WHO) with Malarone (or Malanil). The latter has been administered up to now as a preventative treatment for travellers or as a treatment in the industrialised nations, because it is so expensive. The fact that its patent entered the public domain in 2013 has made it possible to envisage its use among populations living in regions where the disease is endemic.

Research shows value of additional PET/CTscans in follow-up of lung cancer patients

New research from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reveals a high value of scans which could lead to future change of reimbursement policies for follow-up positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) studies in lung cancer. The study, featured in the February 2015 issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, establishes the value of fourth and subsequent follow-up PET/CT scans in clinical assessment and management change in patients with the disease.

Actavis plans name change to Allergan

Drugmaker Actavis is planning to change its name as it draws closer to finishing another big deal, the $66 billion purchase of Botox maker Allergan that it announced last fall.

Videos help seriously ill patients outline their end-of-life wishes

Most seriously ill elderly people who view video material about the pros and cons of available resuscitation and assistive procedures decide they would rather not receive such treatment when the time comes. So says Areej El-Jawahri of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School in the US, lead author of a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Their findings outline the use of videos to inform patients about heart resuscitation (CPR) and intubation to help with breathing or the administration of drugs.

Two studies to test safety of injectable drugs to prevent HIV

The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) has launched two new phase 2 studies, HPTN 076 and HPTN 077, which are designed to evaluate new drugs to protect people from getting infected with HIV.

Partners for Kids, Nationwide Children's demonstrate cost savings, quality as pediatric ACO

A new study published in Pediatrics demonstrates the cost-saving and health care quality outcomes of the pediatric Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Partners for Kids. Results of this study indicate that Partners for Kids successfully improved the value of pediatric healthcare over time through cost containment, while maintaining quality of care.

Surge in e-cigarette use triggers new health research and calls for regulation

Sales of e-cigarettes, which emerged on the U.S. market less than 10 years ago, are booming, reaching an estimated $2.2 billion in 2014. But very little is known about their potential health risks or benefits. Scientists, health advocates, regulators and lawmakers are struggling to weigh the potential promises and threats of the popular products, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

SLeone hunts infected as Ebola crisis hits 'turning point'

Sierra Leone launched a door-to-door search Wednesday for "hidden" Ebola patients as the head of the United Nations announced the world was at "a critical turning point" in the crisis.

UN to issue first report on Ebola funds

The United Nations will this week publish a first report on funding for the Ebola response, a top official said Wednesday, after Sierra Leone lost track of more than $3 million donated to fight the epidemic.

Cancer survivors need healthful lifestyle advice

(HealthDay)—Clinical interventions should be implemented to help cancer survivors make lifestyle behavior changes, according to research published online Feb. 13 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Florida has highest number of enrollees under health law

Florida has eclipsed California to become the state with the highest number of consumers buying health coverage through new insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, according to federal statistics released Wednesday.

Stroke researchers report uniqueness of KF-NAP for assessing spatial neglect after stroke

Stroke researchers have determined that the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (KF-NAP) measures severity of spatial neglect during activities of daily living. "Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process Uniquely Measures Spatial Neglect during Activities of Daily Living" was e-published by the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

New insights into underlying cellular mechanisms of information processing in the brain

Researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and the Pasteur Institute have uncovered a key factor in regulating information transmittal during the early stages of auditory processing.

Other Sciences news

Study examines marketing deception's role in consumer thinking

Heavily marketed as a safer, healthful alternative to smoking, electronic cigarettes are under fire from California health officials who have declared "vaping" a public health threat, hoping to head off the type of deceptive manipulation that tobacco companies succeeded with for decades, according to new research from the University of California, Davis.  

Israel unveils its largest find of medieval gold coins

Israel on Wednesday unveiled the largest collection of medieval gold coins ever found in the country, accidentally discovered by amateur divers and dating back about a thousand years.

How income fraud made the housing bubble worse

Historically, Englewood and Garfield Park are two of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. Yet, between 2002 and 2005, these neighborhoods experienced remarkable growth in terms of home purchases, but it wasn't because these neighborhoods had suddenly turned a corner.

Men more unsatisfied with extra chores in more gender equal countries

In countries where men and women share housework more equally, married men are more likely to be unsatisfied with their share of household duties as they report taking on a greater share of household chores, according to a new study from researchers at Emory University and Umeå University in Sweden in the journal Social Politics.

When it comes to an opening number, sometimes the best bargaining move is to offer two

For decades, almost all negotiation scholars and teachers would have advised that making a range offer, such as asking for a "15 to 20%" discount rather than proposing a single number, would be a bad move—harmless at best, maybe even damaging. But new research from Columbia Business School suggests those scholars and teachers have gotten it at least partly wrong. A series of studies published this month shows that using certain range offers can have meaningful benefits.

Neanderthal groups based part of the their lifestyle on the sexual division of labor

Neanderthal communities divided some of their tasks according to their sex. This is one of the main conclusions reached by a study performed by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), published in the Journal of Human Evolution. This study, which analyzed 99 incisors and canine teeth of 19 individuals from three different sites (El Sidron, in Asturias - Spain, L'Hortus in France, and Spy in Belgium), reveals that the dental grooves present in the female fossils follow the same pattern, which is different to that found in male individuals.

Indo-European languages emerged roughly 6,500 years ago on Russian steppes, new research suggests

Linguists have long agreed that languages from English to Greek to Hindi, known as 'Indo-European languages', are the modern descendants of a language family which first emerged from a common ancestor spoken thousands of years ago. Now, a new study gives us more information on when and where it was most likely used. Using data from over 150 languages, linguists at the University of California, Berkeley provide evidence that this ancestor language originated 5,500 - 6,500 years ago, on the Pontic-Caspian steppe stretching from Moldova and Ukraine to Russia and western Kazakhstan.

Social media can help alert students during campus emergencies, study finds

Using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread information during campus emergencies can help keep students safer, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Fathers and microfinance empower women

Two studies published in the latest issue of the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities addressed women's empowerment through education and political engagement.

Manufacturing growth can benefit Bangladeshi women workers

The life of a Bangladeshi garment factory worker is not an easy one. But new research from the University of Washington indicates that access to such factory jobs can improve the lives of young Bangladeshi women—motivating them to stay in school and lowering their likelihood of early marriage and childbirth.

How social media can help and hurt companies during product recalls

Companies are starting to embrace social media as a viable disclosure channel for product recalls, with the goal of limiting and repairing damage to the firms' reputation.

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