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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Living near major roads may increase risk of sudden cardiac death in women

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 04:06 PM PDT

Living near a major road was associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Environmental exposure may increase heart disease risk as much as smoking, poor diet or obesity.

Evolution of extreme parasites explained by scientists

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 04:04 PM PDT

Extreme adaptations of species often cause such significant changes that their evolutionary history is difficult to reconstruct. Zoologists have now discovered a new parasite species that represents the missing link between fungi and an extreme group of parasites. Researchers are now able to understand, for the first time, the evolution of these parasites, causing disease in humans and animals.

NASA prepares its science fleet for Oct. 19 Mars comet encounter

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 01:07 PM PDT

NASA's extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19. Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet -- less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.

Greater rates of mitochondrial mutations discovered in children born to older mothers

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 12:28 PM PDT

The discovery of a 'maternal age effect' could be used to predict the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations in maternal egg cells -- and the transmission of these mutations to children. These mutations cause more than 200 diseases and contribute to others such as diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Crocodiles are sophisticated hunters: Work as a team to hunt their prey

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 12:26 PM PDT

Recent studies have found that crocodiles and their relatives are highly intelligent animals capable of sophisticated behavior such as advanced parental care, complex communication and use of tools for hunting. New research shows just how sophisticated their hunting techniques can be.

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 12:26 PM PDT

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts -- and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers -- may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders.

An end to needle phobia: Device could make painless injections possible

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Imagine no tears during infant vaccines and no fear of the needle for those old enough to know what's coming. Such painless injections could be possible with a device that applies pressure and vibration while the needle is inserted in the skin, according to a study.

Take note: Jazz and silence help reduce heart rate after surgery, study shows

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Researchers are one step closer to confirming what people in New Orleans have known for decades: Jazz is good for you. Patients undergoing elective hysterectomies who listened to jazz music during their recovery experienced significantly lower heart rates, suggests a study.

Moderate levels of 'free radicals' found beneficial to healing wounds

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 09:31 AM PDT

Long assumed to be destructive to tissues and cells, 'free radicals' generated by the cell's mitochondria -- the energy producing structures in the cell -- are actually beneficial to healing wounds.

New cancer drug to begin trials in multiple myeloma patients

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 09:30 AM PDT

A new cancer drug has been developed, which researchers plan to trial in multiple myeloma patients by the end of next year. The researchers report how the drug, known as DTP3, kills myeloma cells in laboratory tests in human cells and mice, without causing any toxic side effects, which is the main problem with most other cancer drugs. The new drug works by stopping a key process that allows cancer cells to multiply.

First observation of atomic diffusion inside bulk material

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 08:23 AM PDT

Researchers have obtained the first direct observations of atomic diffusion inside a bulk material. The research could be used to give unprecedented insight into the lifespan and properties of new materials.

A new land snail species named for equal marriage rights

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 07:42 AM PDT

With more than 300 land snail species, Taiwan holds a remarkable diversity of these creatures and still continues to surprise. During a recent study scientists discovered a new endemic snail species of the genus Aegista from eastern Taiwan and named it to support recent efforts for equal marriage rights -- same-sex marriage rights -- in Taiwan and around the world.

Disputed theory on Parkinson's origin strengthened

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 07:41 AM PDT

Does Parkinson's disease actually start in the gut? The so-called Braak's hypothesis proposes that the disease process begins in the digestive tract and in the brain's center of smell. The theory is supported by the fact that symptoms associated with digestion and smell occur very early on in the disease.

Magnetic superconductor: Strange bedfellows

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 07:41 AM PDT

Chemists have synthesized a ferromagnetic superconducting compound that is amenable to chemical modification, opening the route to detailed studies of this rare combination of physical properties.

Bio-inspired 'nano-cocoons' offer targeted drug delivery against cancer cells

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 07:39 AM PDT

Biomedical engineering researchers have developed a drug delivery system consisting of nanoscale "cocoons" made of DNA that target cancer cells and trick the cells into absorbing the cocoon before unleashing anticancer drugs.

Body position in breast cancer radiation treatment matters, experts say

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 07:38 AM PDT

A new treatment board which allows patients to lie on their stomach in the prone position during radiation treatment is proving more effective for breast cancer patients, experts report.

Britain on brink of freshwater species 'invasion' from south east Europe

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:06 AM PDT

New research shows multiple invasive species with the same origin facilitate each other's ability to colonize ecosystems. By studying how these species interact as well as current population locations, researchers believe that Britain is heading for an 'invasion meltdown' of freshwater species from south east Europe.

Tailored flexible illusion coatings hide objects from detection

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:06 AM PDT

Developing the cloak of invisibility would be wonderful, but sometimes simply making an object appear to be something else will do the trick, according to electrical engineers.

'Smart' lithium-ion battery warns of fire hazard

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:05 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a 'smart' lithium-ion battery that gives ample warning before it overheats and bursts into flames. The new technology is designed for conventional lithium-ion batteries now used in billions of cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices, as well as a growing number of cars and airplanes.

City life key to harlequin ladybug invasion in the UK

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:04 AM PDT

The harlequin ladybird (ladybug), an invasive alien species first recorded in the UK in 2004, has a preference for urban areas and sunnier habitats. By establishing rapidly in cities and urban areas, and overwintering inside buildings, the harlequin has outcompeted native ladybird species which have suffered from the combined negative impacts of habitat deterioration and competition from the invasive alien.

Aluminium: its likely contribution to Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:04 AM PDT

A world authority on the link between human exposure to aluminum in everyday life and its likely contribution to Alzheimer's disease says in a new report that it may be inevitable that aluminum plays some role in the disease.

Ultra-fast charging batteries that can be 70% recharged in just two minutes

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only 2 minutes. The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years. Expected to be the next big thing in battery technology, this breakthrough has a wide-ranging impact on many industries, especially for electric vehicles which are currently inhibited by long recharge times of over 4 hours and the limited lifespan of batteries.

Potential cause for 40 per cent of pre-term births identified by scientists

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Scientists have identified what they believe could be a cause of pre-term premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM), which accounts for 40 per cent of pre-term births, and is the main reason for infant death world-wide.

Variable glass coatings to stop condensation on windows

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Thin-film coatings impart new properties to glass in applications as diverse as window glazing, solar cells and touchscreens. With the Megatron® sputtering system, it is now possible for the first time to vary the materials in these coatings in any way and to produce entirely new coatings with improved surface quality.

Programming computers in everyday language

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Computers speak a language of their own. They can only be programmed by those, who know the code. Computer scientists are now working on software that directly translates natural language into machine-readable source texts. In this way, users may generate own computer applications in a few sentences. The challenge to be managed is that people do not always describe processes in a strictly chronological order. A new analysis tool serves to automatically order the commands in the way they are to be executed by the computer. 

Underground caves: Better water supply in karst areas

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Drinking water is scarce in the Indonesian region of Gunung Kidul. In this karst area, rainwater quickly drains away into the ground. It accumulates in an underground cave system and flows into the ocean unused. For several years now, scientists have developed simple technologies to extract and distribute this water under the "Integrated Water Resources Management" project.

Ebola's deadly toll on healthcare workers

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Since its first outbreak in Guinea in December, 2013, Ebola has hit West African healthcare providers disproportionately hard. Hundreds of healthcare workers have been infected, many of whom have died, according to the World Health Organization.

Chewing gum while fasting before surgery is safe, study finds

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 05:59 AM PDT

It is well known that patients should avoid eating and drinking before surgery to help prevent complications while under anesthesia. But is it safe to chew gum? Although chewing gum significantly increases the volume of liquids in the stomach, it is safe to administer sedatives or anesthesia to patients who have chewed gum while fasting before surgery, reports a new study.

CDC confirms healthcare worker who provided care for first patient positive for Ebola

Posted: 12 Oct 2014 07:22 PM PDT

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed test results reported late last night by the Texas Department of State Health Services' public health laboratory showing that a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital is positive for Ebola. The healthcare worker, who provided care for the Dallas index patient, was isolated soon after symptoms started and remains so now.

Tiny travelers of the animal world: Hitchhikers on marine driftwood

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 10:43 AM PDT

A new study led by a Canadian marine zoologist reviews the world list of specialist driftwood talitrids, which so far comprises a total of 7 representatives, including two newly described species. These tiny animals all live in and feed on decomposing marine driftwood. Dispersal to distant oceanic islands is made possible because they use floating driftwood to hitch a ride to their destination.

All the cell's a stage: One protein directs epigenetic players

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:08 AM PDT

One gene-regulating protein called Bre1 must be maintained in the proper amount for other epigenetic players to do their jobs properly, researchers have found. It's a key coordinator in the sort of cellular scenes that can turn a healthy cell into a cancer cell.

Obesity accelerates aging of the liver, researchers find using novel biological aging clock

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:41 AM PDT

Using a recently developed biomarker of aging known as an epigenetic clock, researchers have found, for the first time, that obesity greatly accelerates aging of the liver. "Given the obesity epidemic in the Western world, the results of this study are highly relevant for public health," the lead investigator said.

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