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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

New technique efficiently turns antibodies into highly tuned 'nanobodies'

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:01 PM PST

A new system promises to make nanobodies -- antibodies' tiny cousins -- dramatically more accessible for all kinds of research.

Ultracold disappearing act: 'Matter waves' move through one another but never share space

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:01 PM PST

How can two clumps of matter pass through each other without sharing space? Physicists have documented a strange disappearing act by colliding Bose Einstein condensates that appear to keep their distance even as they pass through one another.

Mutant models to identify cancer mutations

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:01 PM PST

Using mathematical toolkits traditionally considered the property of statistical physics and artificial intelligence, researchers have developed a way to identify important cancer mutations. This approach can model the effects that cancer mutations have on the intricate patterns of communication between groups of proteins involved in cell signaling. The model shows how mutations can alter signaling networks and points the way to a better understanding of cancer genomes.

Step toward quantum computers: Two photons strongly coupled by glass fiber

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:01 PM PST

Usually, light waves do not interact with each other. Coupling of photons with other photons is only possible with the help of special materials and very intense light. Scientists have now created the strongest possible coupling of only two photons -- an important achievement for quantum optics.

'Wimpy' antibody protects against kidney disease in mice

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:01 PM PST

An antibody abundant in mice and previously thought to offer poor assistance in fighting against infection may actually play a key role in keeping immune responses in check and preventing more serious self-inflicted forms of kidney disease, according to research.

Getting more out of nature: Genetic toolkit finds new maximum for crop yields

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:01 PM PST

Scientists have found a new way to dramatically increase crop yields. The team has discovered a set of gene variations that boost fruit production in the tomato plant by as much as 100 percent. Plant breeders will be able to combine different gene variants to create an optimal plant architecture for particular varieties and growing conditions. The set will enable farmers to maximize yield in tomatoes and potentially other flowering plants, including crops like soybeans.

Step towards blood test for many cancer types

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:00 PM PST

Scientists have identified more than 800 markers in the blood of cancer patients that could help lead to a single blood test for early detection of many types of cancer in future, according to researchers.

'Invisible tattoos' could improve body confidence after breast cancer radiotherapy

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:00 PM PST

Invisible tattoos could replace the permanent dark ink tattoos used to ensure that breast cancer patients having radiotherapy are treated in exactly the same spot during each session, according to results from a pilot study. Research suggests that the permanent pin prick marks made on the skin of women having radiotherapy reminds them of their diagnosis for years to come, reducing body confidence and self-esteem.

New mechanism for febrile seizures in young children discovered

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:00 PM PST

Febrile seizures are among the most dreaded complications of infectious diseases in small children. An international research team has now made a breakthrough by demonstrating the existence of a previously unknown cause for this most frequent form of epileptic attacks in small children. As their study shows, mutations in the STX1B gene are responsible for the children's pathological reactions to fever. The gene mutations lead to an impaired regulation in the release of certain nerve cell messenger substances.

Possible alternative to antibiotics

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 01:00 PM PST

A novel substance for the treatment of severe bacterial infections has been developed to work without antibiotics. Scientists say that this would prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

Improving imaging of cancerous tissues by reversing time

Posted: 02 Nov 2014 12:58 PM PST

A novel time-reversal technology is being applied by researchers that allows them to better focus light in tissue, such as muscles and organs. Current high-resolution optical imaging technology allows researchers to see about 1 millimeter deep into the body. In an attempt to improve this "visibility," this study used photoacoustic imaging, which combines light with acoustic waves, or sound, to form a sharper image, even several centimeters into the skin.

Scientists replicate the tide with two buckets, aquarium tubing, and a pump

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:33 PM PDT

A design for a new, inexpensive tidal simulation unit enables researchers to investigate tidal marsh plant growth in a controlled setting. The unit costs less than US$27 to build, takes up less than two square feet of space, and does not require external plumbing; the protocol is now available. The system could be an important tool for researchers working to preserve and restore environmentally important wetlands.

Massive geographic change may have triggered explosion of animal life

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:32 PM PDT

A new analysis of geologic history may help solve the riddle of the "Cambrian explosion," the rapid diversification of animal life in the fossil record 530 million years ago that has puzzled scientists since the time of Charles Darwin. New research suggests a major tectonic event may be connected with the apparent burst of life that occurred 530 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion.

Immune cells proposed as HIV hideout don't last in primate model

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:32 PM PDT

New research sheds light on the question of which cells support viral replication and persistence, and the answers have implications for future efforts to eliminate HIV from the body in human patients.

Resveratrol could reverse benefits of being active

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:32 PM PDT

Adding resveratrol supplements to your exercise routine may not enhance the effects of physical activity, scientists say. "The easiest way to experience the benefits of physical activity is to be physically active," says Dr. Gurd, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. "The efficacy of resveratrol at improving metabolic and cardiovascular functions is not as profound as was once thought."

Cancer cell fingerprints in blood may speed up childhood cancer diagnosis

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:31 PM PDT

Newly-identified cancer cell fingerprints in the blood could one day help doctors diagnose a range of children's cancers faster and more accurately, according to research.

Are my muscular dystrophy drugs working? Measuring muscle health with low-resolution ultrasound images

Posted: 01 Nov 2014 02:31 PM PDT

People with muscular dystrophy could one day assess the effectiveness of their medication with the help of a smartphone-linked device, a new study in mice suggests. The study used a new method to process ultrasound imaging information that could lead to hand-held instruments that provide fast, convenient medical information.

Predictors of kidney failure found in teenagers

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:06 AM PDT

Kidney failure later in life can be predicted based on measurements taken in adolescence, according to a study. "It is never too early to tackle issues like unhealthy weight gain and hypertension as it may be much harder to begin a healthy lifestyle in later adulthood. How you live as a teenager has consequences for your health in middle age," researchers state.

2014 Antarctic ozone hole holds steady

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:38 PM PDT

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual peak size on Sept. 11, according to scientists. The size of this year's hole was 24.1 million square kilometers (9.3 million square miles) -- an area roughly the size of North America.

How stem cells can be activated to help immune system respond to infection

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

Scientists show that two genes not previously known to be involved with the immune system play an active role in directing stem cells to fight infection. This discovery lays the groundwork for a better understanding of the role progenitor cells can play in immune system response and could lead to the development of more effective therapies for a wide range of diseases.

Effect of chemotherapy on surgical resection of liver tumors

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

A study of pediatric patients with hepatoblastoma suggests an opportunity to reduce chemotherapy in up to 65 percent of patients, which could lead to a decrease in the incidence of adverse effects, experts say.

Four timely facts about our biological clocks

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

After you roll your clocks back by an hour, you may feel tired. That's because our bodies — more specifically, our circadian rhythms — need a little time to adjust. These daily cycles are run by a network of tiny, coordinated biological clocks. One researcher tracks circadian rhythm research being conducted in labs across the country, and he shares a few timely details about our internal clocks.

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