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Thursday, November 6, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Tectonic plates not rigid, deform horizontally in cooling process

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 11:19 AM PST

The puzzle pieces of tectonic plates are not rigid and don't fit together as nicely as we were taught in high school. A new nstudy quantifies deformation of the Pacific plate and challenges the central approximation of the plate tectonic paradigm that plates are rigid.

Genetic markers for alcoholism recovery discovered

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 10:11 AM PST

Researchers have identified genetic markers that may help in identifying individuals who could benefit from the alcoholism treatment drug acamprosate. The findings show that patients carrying these genetic variants have longer periods of abstinence during the first three months of acamprosate treatment.

Climate, emerging diseases: Dangerous connections found

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:14 AM PST

Climate change may affect human health directly or indirectly. In addition to increased threats of storms, flooding, droughts, and heat waves, other health risks are being identified. In particular, new diseases are appearing, caused by infectious agents until now unknown, or that are changing, especially under the effect of changes in the climate. These are so-called "emerging" or "re-emerging" infectious diseases, such as leishmaniasis, West Nile fever, etc. According to the WHO, these diseases are causing one third of deaths around the world, and developing countries are on the front line.

Vaccine-resistant polio strain discovered

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:14 AM PST

The global initiative to eradicate poliomyelitis through routine vaccination has helped reduce the number of cases by more than 99% in 30 years. However, major epidemics are still occurring today. Researchers have identified the virus responsible for deadly and recent outbreaks, and have sequenced its genetic material. The genetic sequence shows two mutations, unknown until now, of the proteins that form the "shell" (capsid) of the virus. On the face of it, this evolution complicates the task for the antibodies produced by the immune system of the vaccinated patient as they can no longer recognize the viral strain.

String field theory could be the foundation of quantum mechanics: Connection could be huge boost to string theory

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 11:23 AM PST

Scientists propose a link between string field theory and quantum mechanics that could open the door to using string field theory as the basis of all physics. Their calculations "could solve the mystery of where quantum mechanics comes from," said a co-author.

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