Referral Banners

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Titan glowing at dusk and dawn

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 02:01 PM PDT

New maps of Saturn's moon Titan reveal large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles. These regions are curiously shifted off the poles, to the east or west, so that dawn is breaking over the southern region while dusk is falling over the northern one.

Finally: Missing link between vitamin D, prostate cancer

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 01:40 PM PDT

A new study offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

Real-time tracking system developed to monitor dangerous bacteria inside body

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 01:40 PM PDT

Combining a PET scanner with a new chemical tracer that selectively tags specific types of bacteria, researchers working with mice report they have devised a way to detect and monitor in real time infections with dangerous Gram-negative bacteria. These increasingly drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for a range of diseases, including fatal pneumonias and various bloodstream or solid-organ infections acquired in and outside the hospital.

Paralyzed patients have weaker bones, higher risk of fractures than expected

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 01:39 PM PDT

People paralyzed by spinal cord injuries lose mechanical strength in their leg bones faster, and more significantly, than previously believed, putting them at greater risk for fractures from minor stresses, according to a study by researchers. The results suggest that physicians should begin therapies for such patients sooner to maintain bone mass and strength, and should think beyond standard bone density tests when assessing fracture risk in osteoporosis patients.

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 12:47 PM PDT

A nano-sized discovery helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness, researchers report.

New ultra-thin 3-D display technology promises greater energy efficiency

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 12:47 PM PDT

Researchers have devised an ultra-thin LCD screen that operates without a power source, making it a compact, energy-efficient way to display visual information. The technology may one day have applications in products such as e-book readers, flexible displays or as a security measure on credit cards.

Wild chimps use innovative strategies to raid neighboring agricultural fields undetected

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Wild chimpanzees living in a disturbed habitat may use innovative strategies, like foraging crops at night, to coexist with nearby human activities.

Rescued 'abandoned' penguin chicks survival similar to colony rates

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Abandoned penguin chicks that were hand-reared and returned to the wild showed a similar survival rate to their naturally-reared counterparts.

Thermal paper cash register receipts account for high bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humans

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using a skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.

Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

A new study provides the first known evidence of how a similar acoustic characteristic in the cry sounds of human infants and rat pups may be used to detect the harmful effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on nervous system development.

Highly effective new anti-cancer drug shows few side effects in mice

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 11:35 AM PDT

A new drug, OTS964, can eradicate aggressive human lung cancers transplanted into mice, scientists report. It inhibits the action of a protein that is overproduced by several tumor types but is rarely expressed in healthy adult tissues. Without it, cancer cells fail to complete the cell-division process and die.

Fast modeling of cancer mutations

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 10:14 AM PDT

A new genome-editing technique enables rapid analysis of genes mutated in tumors, researchers report. Sequencing the genomes of tumor cells has revealed thousands of genetic mutations linked with cancer. However, sifting through this deluge of information to figure out which of these mutations actually drive cancer growth has proven to be a tedious, time-consuming process -- until now.

As permafrost soils thaw soil microbes amplify global climate change

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 10:14 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered how an invisible menagerie of microbes in permafrost soils acts as global drivers of Earth processes such as climate via gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. These findings will help climate modelers more accurately predict Earth's future climate.

How lymph nodes expand during disease

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 10:06 AM PDT

The same specialized immune cells that patrol the body and spot infections also trigger the expansion of immune organs called lymph nodes, scientists have discovered. The immune system defends the body from infections and can also spot and destroy cancer cells. Lymph nodes are at the heart of this response, but until now it has never been explained how they expand during disease.

Two families of comets found around nearby star: Biggest census ever of exocomets around beta pictoris

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 10:06 AM PDT

The HARPS instrument at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has been used to make the most complete census of comets around another star ever created. Astronomers have studied nearly 500 individual comets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris and has discovered that they belong to two distinct families of exocomets: old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star, and younger exocomets that probably came from the recent breakup of one or more larger objects.

Bariatric surgery success influenced by how people view their own weight

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Negative feelings about one's own weight, known as internalized weight bias, influence the success people have after undergoing weight loss surgery, according to research. The study is considered the first and only study to examine internalized weight bias in relation to post-surgical weight loss success in adults.

Karakoram glacier anomaly resolved, a cold case of climate science

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Researchers may have hit upon an answer to a climate-change puzzle that has eluded scientists for years, namely why glaciers in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas have remained stable and even increased in mass while glaciers nearby and worldwide have been receding. Understanding the 'Karakoram anomaly' could help gauge the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people.

Shifting precipitation patterns affect tea flavor, health compounds, study shows

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Major antioxidant compounds that determine tea health properties and taste fell up to 50 percent during an extreme monsoon, a study concludes. The findings are based on samples taken from tea gardens in southwest China. The researchers collected samples from two extreme weather events -- an extreme drought and an extreme monsoon -- and performed a chemical analysis of the samples.

Lessons from 'Spanish flu,' nearly 100 years later

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Just in time for flu season, a new study of 'the mother of all pandemics' could offer insight into infection control measures for the flu and other epidemic diseases. Researchers studied the evolution of the 1918 influenza pandemic, aka the "Spanish flu." In 1918, the virus killed 50 million people worldwide, 10 to 20 million of whom were in India. In the United States alone, the Spanish flu claimed 675,000 lives in nine months.

Brain simulation raises questions

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:34 AM PDT

What does it mean to simulate the human brain? Why is it important to do so? And is it even possible to simulate the brain separately from the body it exists in? These questions are discussed in a new paper.

Drones help show how environmental changes affect the spread of infectious diseases

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, can collect detailed information in real time at relatively low cost for ecological research. In a new article, experts demonstrate that drones can be used to understand how environmental factors influence the spread of infectious diseases.

Nanoparticle-based invention moves new drugs closer to clinical testing

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:31 AM PDT

A nanoparticle has been developed to deliver a melanoma-fighting drug directly to the cancer. Delivering cancer drugs directly to tumors is difficult. Scientists are working on new approaches to overcome the natural limitations of drugs, including loading them into nanoparticles.

Quality of biopsy directly linked to survival in patients with bladder cancer

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:30 AM PDT

The quality of diagnostic staging using biopsy in patients with bladder cancer is directly linked with survival, meaning those that don't get optimal biopsies are more likely to die from their disease, researchers have shown for the first time.

Mathematical model shows how brain remains stable during learning

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:30 AM PDT

Complex biochemical signals that coordinate fast and slow changes in neuronal networks keep the brain in balance during learning, according to an international team of scientists. Neuronal networks form a learning machine that allows the brain to extract and store new information from its surroundings via the senses. Researchers have long puzzled over how the brain achieves sensitivity and stability to unexpected new experiences during learning -- two seemingly contradictory requirements.

Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:30 AM PDT

Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington's disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one cell type into another, this new process does not pass through a stem cell phase, avoiding the production of multiple cell types, report researchers.

A 'Star Wars' laser bullet -- this is what it really looks like

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Action-packed science-fiction movies often feature colourful laser bolts. But what would a real laser missile look like during flight, if we could only make it out? How would it illuminate its surroundings?

Skin patch could replace the syringe for disease diagnosis

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Drawing blood and testing it is standard practice for many medical diagnostics. As a less painful alternative, scientists are developing skin patches that could one day replace the syringe. Scientists now they have designed and successfully tested, for the first time, a small skin patch that detected malaria proteins in live mice. It could someday be adapted for use in humans to diagnose other diseases, too.

Olive oil more stable and healthful than seed oils for frying food

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Frying is one of the world's most popular ways to prepare food -- think fried chicken and french fries. Even candy bars and whole turkeys have joined the list. But before dunking your favorite food in a vat of just any old oil, consider using olive. Scientists report that olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food.

Proper dental care linked to reduced risk of respiratory infections in ICU patients

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Vulnerable patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who received enhanced oral care from a dentist were at significantly less risk for developing a lower respiratory tract infection, like ventilator-associated pneumonia, during their stay, research shows.

Association between air toxics, childhood autism

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Children with autism spectrum disorder were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of certain air toxics during their mothers' pregnancies and the first two years of life compared to children without the condition, according to the preliminary findings of an investigation of American children.

Global consumption an increasingly significant driver of tropical deforestation

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:34 AM PDT

International trade with agricultural and wood products is an increasingly important driver of tropical deforestation. More than a third of recent deforestation can be tied to production of beef, soy, palm oil and timber. 'The trend is clear: the drivers of deforestation have been globalized and commercialized,' says one expert.

New devices based on metamaterials

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:33 AM PDT

Researchers have designed and manufactured new devices based on metamaterials (artificial materials with properties not found in nature). They achieved the first experimental demonstration ever with epsilon-near-zero metamaterials. "These materials have surprising characteristics, such as the fact that a wave traveling within them can do so at almost infinite speed and, thus, can be transmitted from one place to another without hardly any loss of energy, no matter how unusual or complicated the shape of the material," according to a researcher.

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:33 AM PDT

BiogàsPlus, a technology which allows increasing the production of biogas by 200% with a controlled introduction of iron oxide nanoparticles to the process of organic waste treatment, has been developed by scientists.

Silencing the speech gene FOXP2 causes breast cancer cells to metastasize

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 07:33 AM PDT

It is an intricate network of activity that enables breast cancer cells to move from the primary breast tumor and set up new growths in other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. Researchers have now discovered an unexpected link between a transcription factor known to regulate speech and language development and metastatic colonization of breast cancer.

Criminologists try to solve murder mystery: Who will become a killer?

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:30 AM PDT

In a study of 1,354 youths charged with serious crimes, the youths charged with homicide had lower IQs and more exposure to violence.

Team-based care is most effective way to control hypertension

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:30 AM PDT

Patients diagnosed with high blood pressure are given better control of their condition from a physician-pharmacist collaborative intervention than physician management alone, according to new research.

Sight neurons recorded in jumping spider brain

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:30 AM PDT

For the first time, a team of interdisciplinary researchers have made recordings of neurons associated with visual perception inside the poppy seed-sized brain of a jumping spider using a hair-sized tungsten recording electrode.

Clinical trial could change standard treatment for stroke

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:30 AM PDT

A large international clinical trial has shed new light on the effectiveness of current hospital protocols for managing blood pressure in stroke patients. The study has tried to solve two major conundrums faced by doctors when treating people who have suffered a stroke -- should blood pressure be lowered using medicated skin patches, and should existing blood pressure medication be stopped or continued after a stroke?

Cooling to almost absolute zero with magnetic molecules

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:29 AM PDT

For the first time, scientists have successfully reached temperatures below minus 272.15 degrees Celsius -- only just above absolute zero -- using magnetic molecules.

No increase in pregnancy-related death for African American women

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 06:29 AM PDT

In contrast to national trends, a study performed at a large, American hospital finds no racial difference in the risk of pregnancy-related death between African American and Caucasian women, report researchers.

New window on the early Universe

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:43 AM PDT

Scientists see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from  galaxies at the edge of the Universe. Using two world-class supercomputers, the researchers were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach by simulating the formation of a massive galaxy at the dawn of cosmic time. The ALMA radio telescope – which stands at an elevation of 5,000 meters in the Atacama Desert of Chile, one of the driest places on earth – was then used to forge observations of the galaxy, showing how their method improves upon previous efforts.

Susceptibility for relapsing major depressive disorder can be calculated

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:43 AM PDT

The question if an individual will suffer from relapsing major depressive disorder is not determined by accident. Neuroscientists have chosen a new research approach, using computer-based models to study the disease. They show that chronic depression is triggered due to an unfortunate combination of internal and external factors.

Cause of aging remains elusive, researchers assert

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:43 AM PDT

A report by Chinese researchers a few months ago was a small sensation: they appeared to have found the cause for why organisms age. Another international team of scientists has now refuted a basic assumption of the article. The reasons for aging thus remain elusive, they say.

Secret wing colors attract female fruit flies

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

Bright colors appear on a fruit fly's transparent wings against a dark background as a result of light refraction. Researchers have now demonstrated that females choose a mate based on the males' hidden wing colors.

Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. British scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

Protecting us from our cells: Research could speed trials to treat auto-immune diseases

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

Our immune system defends us from harmful bacteria and viruses, but, if left unchecked, the cells that destroy those invaders can turn on the body itself, causing auto-immune diseases like type-1 diabetes or multiple sclerosis. A molecule called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) boosts the body's natural defense against this 'friendly fire', scientists have found. The findings are especially exciting because IGF-1 is already approved for use in patients, which could speed up the move to clinical trials for treating auto-immune diseases.

Genes exhibit different behaviours in different stages of development

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

The effect that genes have on our brain depends on our age, researchers say. It has been known for a number of years that particular genetic variations are of importance for the functioning of neural circuits in the brain. Just how these effects differ in the various stages of life has until recently not been fully understood. This international study has been able to demonstrate that genetic variations at different times in our lives can actually have opposite effects on the brain, which provides an explanation for the differences that clinicians observe in the psychiatric symptoms and response to medications of adolescents and adults.

Cheaper silicon means cheaper solar cells

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:42 AM PDT

Researchers have pioneered a new approach to manufacturing solar cells that requires less silicon and can accommodate silicon with more impurities than is currently the standard. Those changes mean that solar cells can be made much more cheaply than at present.

Hidden subpopulation of melanoma cells discovered

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 05:41 AM PDT

A subpopulation of melanoma cancer cells has been discovered in the blood vessels of tumors, researchers report. These cells, which mimic non-cancerous endothelial cells that normally populate blood vessels, could provide researchers with another target for cancer therapies.

Unsteady on your feet? Little touches could make all the difference

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 06:07 PM PDT

When a toddler takes their first steps we observe an uncertain sway in their walking. Being unsteady on our feet is something we can experience throughout life -- and a new study has shown how even the lightest fingertip touch can help people to maintain their balance.

Does exercise slows the onset of type 1 diabetes in children, adults?

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 06:07 PM PDT

Rates of type 1 diabetes -- the autoimmune form of the condition that often begins in childhood and eventually results in lifelong dependency on insulin -- are increasing in almost all nations worldwide. However, while it appears possible from research in other forms of diabetes that physical exercise could slow the progression of this disease, there have been no studies to date that explore this in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Fecal blood test may save more lives than colonoscopy

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 06:06 PM PDT

State public health programs could screen nearly eight times as many individuals and prevent nearly twice as many CRC cases by using fecal immunochemical testing, or FIT, instead of colonoscopies, finds a new study.

Getting healthier before surgery gives patients a jump start on recovery

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 01:20 PM PDT

Following a conditioning, nutritional, and relaxation program before surgery is more helpful than waiting until after surgery to rehabilitate, suggests a new study. Colorectal cancer patients who participated in a "prehabilitation" program before surgery recovered more quickly than those who only did traditional rehabilitation afterward, according to research.

High percentage of recalled dietary supplements still have banned ingredients

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 01:20 PM PDT

About two-thirds of FDA recalled dietary supplements analyzed still contained banned drugs at least 6 months after being recalled, according to a study. Banned substances identified in recalled supplements included sibutramine, sibutramine analogs, sildenafil, fluoxetine, phenolphthalein, aromatase inhibitor, and various anabolic steroids.

No comments: