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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Prenatal BPA exposure associated with diminished lung function in children

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A, a common chemical used in some plastics, appears to be inconsistently associated with diminished lung function and the development of persistent wheeze in children.

Effective treatments available for HIV patients not eligible for efavirenz regimens

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

HIV drug regimens that do not include efavirenz are effective as first-line antiretroviral therapy, a new American clinical trial found. The finding is important for patients who are not eligible for treatment with efavirenz, including women considering becoming pregnant and patients with a history of severe psychiatric disorders.

If you want an antibiotic, see your doctor later in the day

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

Doctors appeared to 'wear down' during their morning and afternoon clinic sessions, and antibiotic prescribing rates increased the later the day got. "This corresponds to about 5 percent more patients receiving antibiotics at the end of a clinic session compared to the beginning," explained a reseracher. "Remedies for this problem might include different schedules, shorter sessions, more breaks or maybe even snacks."

Vesicles influence function of nerve cells

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:42 PM PDT

Tiny vesicles containing protective substances that they transmit to nerve cells apparently play an important role in the functioning of neurons. As cell biologists have discovered, nerve cells can enlist the aid of mini-vesicles of neighboring glial cells to defend themselves against stress and other potentially detrimental factors. These vesicles, called exosomes, appear to stimulate the neurons on various levels: they influence electrical stimulus conduction, biochemical signal transfer, and gene regulation. Exosomes are thus multifunctional signal emitters that can have a significant effect in the brain.

One in three people with cancer has anxiety or other mental health challenges

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:41 PM PDT

Nearly a third of more than 2,100 patients with cancer interviewed at inpatient and outpatient care centers experienced a clinically meaningful level of mental or emotional distress that meets the strict diagnostic criteria for mental disorders including anxiety, depressive and adjustment disorders during the prior four weeks. The prevalence of these issues varied by cancer type.

New vaccines targeting adults, teens are best chance to eliminate TB by 2050

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

Targets to eliminate tuberculosis by 2050 are more likely to be met if new vaccines are developed for adults and adolescents instead of for infants, according to new research.

Why is educational achievement heritable?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

The high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behavior problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence. The study looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 . The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.

Low-carbon energy future is clean, feasible

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

A future where electricity comes mostly from low-carbon sources is not only feasible in terms of material demand, but will significantly reduce air pollution, a study says.

A quick look at electron-boson coupling: Researchers use ultrafast spectroscopy on many body effects

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

Using an ultrafast spectroscopy technique called time- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, researchers demonstrated a link between electron-boson coupling and high-temperature superconductivity in a high-Tc cuprate.

'Broad consensus' that violent media increase child aggression

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

Majorities of media researchers, parents and pediatricians agree that exposure to violent media can increase aggression in children, according to a new national study.

High-sugar diet no problem for genetic mutants

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:35 AM PDT

A genetic pathway for circumventing the weight gain that accompanies a high-sugar diet has been discovered by scientists. Building on previous work with C. elegans, researchers found that certain genetic mutants -- those with a hyperactive SKN-1 gene -- could be fed incredibly high-sugar diets without gaining any weight, while regular C. elegans ballooned on the same diet.

Natural gene selection can produce orange corn rich in provitamin A for Africa, U.S.

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:35 AM PDT

A set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels has been identified by researchers, a finding that could help combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries and macular degeneration in the elderly.

Direct fluid flow influences neuron growth, scientists demonstrate

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

A new report describes using flow from a microtube to turn axonal growth cones that connect neurons. The publication adds insight to the long accepted idea that chemical cues are primarily responsible for axonal pathfinding during human development and nervous system regeneration. Such knowledge could be essential for advances in spinal cord injuries, where fluid flow can guide regenerating axons, in addition to affecting the bio-chemicals in the injured site.

How rabies 'hijacks' neurons to attack brain

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

For the first time, scientists have discovered the exact mechanism the killer rabies virus uses to efficiently enter the central nervous system, where it erupts in a toxic explosion of symptoms. An improved understanding of how this mechanism works could lead to new treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as well.

Observing the Birkeland currents

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

When the supersonic solar wind hits the Earth's magnetic field, a powerful electrical connection occurs with Earth's field, generating millions of amperes of current that drive the dazzling auroras. These so-called Birkeland currents connect the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and channel solar wind energy to Earth's uppermost atmosphere. Solar storms release torrential blasts of solar wind that cause much stronger currents and can overload power grids and disrupt communications and navigation.

Are leaders born or made? New study shows how leadership develops

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Hardly a day passes without pundits crying for leadership in the NFL commissioner and team owners, among high-ranking government officials, and in other public figures. If experts didn't have evidence that this valuable trait can be taught, they might join the collective swoon that's engulfing much of the country.

98% forward, 125% back: China's economic boom thwarts its carbon emissions goals

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Efforts to reduce China's carbon dioxide emissions are being offset by the country's rampant economic growth, according to new research. Research reveals how carbon efficiency has improved in nearly all Chinese provinces. But the country's economic boom has simultaneously led to a growth in CO2-emitting activities such as mining, metal smelting and coal-fired electricity generation – negating any gains.

Lizards in the caribbean: How geography influences animal evolution

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Researchers have enlisted a Caribbean lizard to help them find out on how geography can influence the evolution of animal species.

Children understand familiar voices better than those of strangers

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

Familiar voices can improve spoken language processing among school-age children, according to a study. However, the advantage of hearing a familiar voice only helps children to process and understand words they already know well, not new words that aren't in their vocabularies.

Many adults support equal access to healthcare for undocumented immigrant children

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

Many U.S. adults who work on behalf of children think undocumented immigrant children should have access to healthcare equal to that of U.S.-born children, a new survey finds.

The skin cancer selfie: Gigapixel camera helps diagnose early

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:41 AM PDT

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer type in the US, and it's also the deadliest form of skin cancer. If caught early enough though, it is almost always curable. The gigapixel camera is essentially 34 microcameras in one and has a high enough resolution to zoom in to a tiny freckle making routine screenings available to a larger number of people at a fraction of the cost.

Through the combining glass

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:40 AM PDT

Trying on clothes when a shop is closed could become a reality thanks to new research that uses semi-transparent mirrors in interactive systems. The system could change the way people interact and collaborate in public spaces, such as museums and shop windows.

Simple lifestyle interventions during pregnancy can prevent children from becoming obese

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:39 AM PDT

In a study that followed more than 2,200 obese women during pregnancy, scientists found that some simple interventions can help prevent high birth weights in newborns. This is important because previous studies have shown that infants with a high birth weight have a greater risk of becoming obese as children or adults.

Mother's behavior has strong effect on cocaine-exposed children

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:38 AM PDT

It is not only prenatal drug exposure, but also conditions related to drug use that can influence negative behavior in children, according to a new study. Maternal harshness, such as threats of physical discipline, can be influenced by drug use. Animal studies have shown that prenatal cocaine use can affect parenting by lowering the bonding hormones mothers usually experience after birth, resulting in less emotional engagement with the child.,

Are montana's invasive fish in for a shock?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:38 AM PDT

The feasibility of electrofishing to selectively remove invasive trout species from Montana streams has been the focus of new study. Electrofishing has been recommended as an alternative to using fish toxicants known as piscicides that effect all gill-breathing organisms.

Discovery of a new way to make foams could lead to lightweight, sustainable materials

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:38 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new type of foam – called capillary foam – that solves many of the problems faced by traditional foams. The foam could be used to make lightweight, sustainable materials.

Earth's ocean abyss has not warmed, NASA study finds

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

The cold waters of Earth's deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years. But scientists say these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

Controlling Ebola in communities is critical factor in containing outbreaks

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Reducing community transmission and changing behavior in communities is key to containing Ebola outbreaks, according to new research into the first known outbreak of the virus in 1976.

Link between breast implants, cancer under investigation

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Cases of possible association between breast implants and a form of lymphoma that may develop tumors at a later stage is currently under investigation. The researchers conclude that breast implants can cause a new subtype of the rare yet malignant lymphoma known as ALCL.

Cell migration: How it works, how new discovery may inform cancer research

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

During cancer metastasis, immune response or the development of organisms, cells are moving in a controlled manner through the body. Researchers have now discovered novel mechanisms of cell migration by observing cells moving on lines of connective tissue. Their results could lead to new approaches in combating cancer metastasis and inflammation.

Tumors might grow faster at night

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

A hormone that keeps us alert also suppresses the spread of cancer, researchers have discovered. The study suggests, therefore, that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body, and that administering certain treatments in time with the body's day-night cycle could boost their efficiency.

Ocean warming in Southern Hemisphere underestimated, scientists suggest

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Using satellite observations and a large suite of climate models, scientists have found that long-term ocean warming in the upper 700 meters of Southern Hemisphere oceans has likely been underestimated. Ocean heat storage is important because it accounts for more than 90 percent of Earth's excess heat that is associated with global warming.

Type 2 diabetes clues revealed from study of identical twins

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:44 AM PDT

By studying identical twins, researchers have identified mechanisms that could be behind the development of type 2 diabetes. This may explain cases where one identical twin develops type 2 diabetes while the other remains healthy.

Gaming vs. reading: Do they benefit teenagers with cognition or school performance?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:44 AM PDT

Children have an increasing attraction towards electronic media in their play. With video games, phones and the internet in abundance, a new article examines if such leisure activity is impacting children's cognition or academic performance or whether it would be more beneficial to read.

Fungicides: Discovery on how fungi avoid immune responses of plants leads to new generation of fungicides

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Insight into the mechanism by which pathogenic fungi avoid the immune responses of the plants they attack has been the focus of recent study. The research opens up a whole new area of research into plant-host interaction which could lead to the development of fungicides that are able to act before the plant is harmed.

No need for water, enzymes are doing it for themselves

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

New research has challenged one of the key axioms in biology -- that enzymes need water to function. The breakthrough could eventually lead to the development of new industrial catalysts for processing biodiesel.

Teen hormones and cellphones: Sexting leads to increased sexual behavior, study shows

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Researchers say that sexting may be the new 'normal' part of adolescent sexual development and is not strictly limited to at-risk teens. The findings are from the first study on the relationship between teenage sexting, or sending sexually explicit images to another electronically, and future sexual activity.

Stroke outcomes can be worse when they occur in hospital

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

At the first sign of a stroke, time is of the essence. For every minute of delay in treatment, people typically lose almost two million brain cells. Yet a new study reveals that those delays -- in getting the right tests and the right drugs -- can be longer when people experience a stroke in a hospital. "Intuitively, you would imagine that having a stroke in the hospital is the best place possible, and that is just not the case," says one expert.

New way to extract bone-making cells from fat tissue

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

By sorting human fat tissue cells by their expression of a certain gene, scientists were able to retrieve a high yield of cells that showed an especially strong propensity to make bone tissue. With more refinement, the method could improve the ability of surgeons to speed bone healing, they say.

Vicious cycle in osteoarthritis: Sleep disturbance, pain, depression, disability

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Sleep disturbances are linked to pain and depression, but not disability, among patients with osteoarthritis. Study results found that poor sleep increases depression and disability, but does not worsen pain over time.

Online games and remote experiments could reduce scientific fraud, cherry-picking

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

One way to combat the rising level of errors and fraud in life sciences research is through massive online laboratories, which use videogames to engage large numbers of non-professional investigators and prevent scientists from manually testing their own hypotheses, researchers say.

New web privacy system could revolutionize the safety of Internet surfing

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Researchers have built a new system that protects Internet users' privacy whilst increasing the flexibility for web developers to build web applications that combine data from different web sites, dramatically improving the safety of surfing the web.

An innovative way to increase flower, seed and fruit production

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

A botonist has developed a method to enhance crop yield by the contact of roots, aerial parts or even the substratum of the plant fungus,'Colletotrichum tofieldiae'.

Pressing the accelerator on quantum robotics

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Quantum computing will allow for the creation of powerful computers, but also much smarter and more creative robots than conventional ones. Scientists have now confirmed that quantum tools help robots learn and respond much faster to the stimuli around them. Quantum mechanics promises to revolutionize the world of communications and computers by introducing algorithms which are much quicker and more secure in transferring information.

A glimpse into the 3-D brain: How memories form

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

People who wish to know how memory works are forced to take a glimpse into the brain. They can now do so without bloodshed: Researchers have developed a new method for creating 3-D models of memory-relevant brain structures.

Robotic solutions inspired by plants

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Researchers are demonstrating revolutionary robotic techniques inspired by plants, featuring a 3D-printed 'trunk', 'leaves' that sense the environment and 'roots' that grow and change direction.

Liquid DNA behind virus attacks

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

Viruses can convert their DNA from solid to fluid form, which explains how viruses manage to eject DNA into the cells of their victims. This has been shown in two new studies carried out by Lund University in Sweden.

Nanoparticles break the symmetry of light

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

How can a beam of light tell the difference between left and right? Tiny particles have now been coupled to a glass fiber. The particles emit light into the fiber in such a way that it does not travel in both directions, as one would expect. Instead, the light can be directed either to the left or to the right. This has become possible by employing a remarkable physical effect – the spin-orbit coupling of light. This new kind of optical switch has the potential to revolutionize nanophotonics.

Understanding the components of memory

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

Neurobiologists elucidate the spatial and temporal dynamics of specific glutamate receptors in the brain through recent study. The results illustrate that the receptors are far more diverse than previously anticipated and pave the way for research into their functions in the various regions of the brain.

Tracing our ancestors at the bottom of the sea

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

A new European Marine Board report recommends exploration of sea-submerged settlements abandoned by our ancestors. Researchers are studying the remains of prehistoric human settlements which are now submerged beneath our coastal seas. Some of these drowned sites are tens of thousands of years old.

Kids' oral language skills can predict future writing difficulties

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:46 AM PDT

Children's future writing difficulties can be identified before they even learn how to begin writing, according to a new study. The research data also contradicts the popular belief that bilingualism at an early age can be detrimental to oral and written language learning.

Preschoolers with low empathy at risk for continued problems

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:46 AM PDT

A toddler who doesn't feel guilty after misbehaving or who is less affectionate or less responsive to affection from others might not raise a red flag to parents, but these behaviors may result in later behavior problems in 1st grade, researchers say.

2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:24 AM PDT

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. The discoveries have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries -- how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?

Air pollution increases river-flows, study shows

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Air pollution has had a significant impact on the amount of water flowing through many rivers in the northern hemisphere, a new study shows. The paper shows how such pollution, known as aerosols, can have an impact on the natural environment and highlights the importance of considering these factors in assessments of future climate change.

Barcoding tool for stem cells developed

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

A seven-year-project to develop a barcoding and tracking system for tissue stem cells has revealed previously unrecognized features of normal blood production: new data suggests, surprisingly, that the billions of blood cells that we produce each day are made not by blood stem cells, but rather their less pluripotent descendants, called progenitor cells.

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