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Monday, October 20, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Physicists report that they've used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy, to resolve the biological debate with evidence from physics, showing that electric charges do indeed propagate along microbial nanowires just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive human-made material.

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:18 PM PDT

For the last 20 years, scientists have tried to design large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depth and complex features -- a design quest just fulfilled by scientists. The team built 32 DNA crystals with precisely-defined depth and an assortment of sophisticated three-dimensional features.

Lab-developed intestinal organoids form mature human tissue in mice

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Researchers have successfully transplanted 'organoids' of functioning human intestinal tissue grown from pluripotent stem cells in a lab dish into mice -- creating an unprecedented model for studying diseases of the intestine. Scientists said that, through additional translational research, the findings could eventually lead to bioengineering personalized human intestinal tissue to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

Improved electricity access has little impact on climate change

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:17 PM PDT

Expanding access to household electricity services accounts for only a small portion of total emission growth, shows a new study, shedding light on an ongoing debate on potential conflicts between climate and development.

Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:15 PM PDT

A major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins, scientists say. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants. 

Many older people have mutations linked to leukemia, lymphoma in their blood cells

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:15 PM PDT

At least 2 percent of people over age 40 and 5 percent of people over 70 have mutations linked to leukemia and lymphoma in their blood cells, according to new research. Mutations in the body's cells randomly accumulate as part of the aging process, and most are harmless. For some people, genetic changes in blood cells can develop in genes that play roles in initiating leukemia and lymphoma even though such people don't have the blood cancers, scientists report.

'Mega' cells control growth of blood-producing cells

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:15 PM PDT

While megakaryocytes are best known for producing platelets that heal wounds, these "mega" cells found in bone marrow also play a critical role in regulating stem cells according to new research. In fact, hematopoietic stem cells differentiate to generate megakaryocytes in bone marrow. The study is the first to show that hematopoietic stem cells (the parent cells) can be directly controlled by their own progeny (megakaryocytes).

Research reveals likelihood, onset of multiple sclerosis diagnosis among patients with inflammatory eye disease

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 12:15 PM PDT

The results of the largest retrospective study of multiple sclerosis (MS) in uveitis patients has revealed that nearly 60 percent of patients with both diseases were diagnosed with each within a five-year span. While it has long been known that there is an association between the eye condition and MS, this is the first study to provide a detailed description of the relative onset of uveitis and MS and to calculate the likelihood of an MS diagnosis among uveitis patients.

Gene duplications associated with autism evolved recently in human history

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Human geneticists have discovered that a region of the genome associated with autism contains genetic variation that evolved in the last 250,000 years, after the divergence of humans from ancient hominids, and likely plays an important role in disease.

Women more likely to develop anxiety and depression after heart attack

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Patients with depression are nearly 6 times more likely to die within 6 months after a heart attack than those without depression. The increased risk of death in patients with depression persists up to 18 months after the heart attack. But despite the fact that post-heart-attack depression is common and burdensome, the condition remains under-recognized and under-treated, scientists say.

Mutation associated with cleft palate in humans, dogs identified

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Scientists studying birth defects in humans and purebred dogs have identified an association between cleft lip and cleft palate -- conditions that occur when the lip and mouth fail to form properly during pregnancy -- and a mutation in the ADAMTS20 gene.

Children's genes affect their mothers' risk of rheumatoid arthritis

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

A child's genetic makeup may contribute to his or her mother's risk of rheumatoid arthritis, possibly explaining why women are at higher risk of developing the disease than men, experts say.

Asbestos likely more widespread than previously thought

Posted: 19 Oct 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Naturally occurring asbestos minerals may be more widespread than previously thought, with newly discovered sources now identified within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The asbestos-rich areas are in locations not previously considered to be at risk, according to a new report. "These minerals were found where one wouldn't expect or think to look," said a co-researcher of the study. The naturally occurring asbestos was found in Boulder City, Nevada, in the path of a construction zone to build a multi-million dollar highway.

Vitamin D deficiency increases poor brain function after cardiac arrest by sevenfold

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:28 AM PDT

Patients with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have a poor neurological outcome or die after sudden cardiac arrest than those who were not deficient. Nearly one-third of the patients who were deficient in vitamin D had died 6 months after their cardiac arrest, whereas all patients with sufficient vitamin D levels were still alive.

Whole exome sequencing closer to becoming 'new family history'

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:28 AM PDT

Approximately one-fourth of the 3,386 patients whose DNA was submitted for clinical whole exome testing received a diagnosis related to a known genetic disease, often ending a long search for answers for them and their parents, report researchers. A large percentage of these diagnoses made were patients who inherited a new mutation (in the egg or sperm) that was not previously seen in their parents, they add.

Smartphone approach for examining progression of diabetic eye disease offers comparable results to traditional method

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

A smartphone-based tool may be an effective alternative to traditional ophthalmic imaging equipment in evaluating and grading severity of a diabetic eye disease, according to a study. The results of the research indicate the lower-cost method could be useful for bringing the service to patients in isolated or underserved communities.

iPhones for eye health: Capturing ocular images in difficult-to-photograph patients

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

Smartphone technology is a widely available resource which may also be a portable and effective tool for imaging the inside of the eye, according to results of a study. Researchers are successfully using an iPhone® application as an inexpensive, portable and effective tool for imaging the inside of the eye, including in patients who are challenging to photograph by traditional methods.

Could reading glasses soon be a thing of the past?

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

A thin ring inserted into the eye could soon offer a reading glasses-free remedy for presbyopia, the blurriness in near vision experienced by many people over the age of 40, according to a study. A corneal inlay device currently undergoing clinical review in the United States improved near vision well enough for 80 percent of the participating patients to read a newspaper without disturbing far distance vision needed for daily activities like driving.

Smoking during pregnancy alters newborn stress hormones, DNA, study finds

Posted: 17 Oct 2014 03:37 PM PDT

The effects of smoking during pregnancy, and its impact on the stress response in newborn babies, has been the focus of recent study. The research indicates that newborns of mothers who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy show lower levels of stress hormones, lowered stress response, and alterations in DNA for a gene that regulates passage of stress hormones from mother to fetus.

Inconsistent achievement of guidelines for acute asthma care found in hospital EDs

Posted: 17 Oct 2014 03:37 PM PDT

A study comparing the care delivered to patients coming to hospital emergency departments for acute asthma attacks in recent years with data gathered more than 15 years earlier finds inconsistencies in how well hospitals are meeting nationally established treatment guidelines. While the achievement of most guidelines defining appropriate pharmacologic treatments for particular patients improved over the study period, hospitals did less well in meeting several other guidelines.

Children who have had enterovirus infection are around 50 percent more likely to have type 1 diabetes

Posted: 17 Oct 2014 03:37 PM PDT

Children who have been infected with enterovirus are 48 percent more likely to have developed type 1 diabetes, a study shows. "Type 1 diabetes is considered to be caused by complex interaction between genetic susceptibility, the immune system, and environmental factors," say the authors. "Though the cue for genetic predisposition has been elucidated, evidence also points to involvement of enterovirus (EV) infection, including viruses such as poliovirus, Coxsackievirus A, Coxsackievirus B, and echovirus."

Good diet before diagnosis is linked with lower mortality among ovarian cancer survivors

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 02:06 PM PDT

Prediagnosis diet quality was associated with mortality and may have a protective effect after ovarian cancer, according to a new study. The authors conclude that "self-reported dietary quality at least 12 months prior to diagnosis was associated with a statistically significant 27% lower risk of death after ovarian cancer."

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