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Thursday, January 15, 2015

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Dehydration common among patients admitted to hospital from care homes

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 05:57 PM PST

Patients admitted to hospital from care homes are commonly dehydrated on admission and consequently appear to experience significantly greater risks of in-hospital mortality, researchers report. Old and infirm people are at increased risk of dehydration, especially if they require assistance with drinking and, left to themselves, may not drink enough to avoid dehydration.

Does screening asymptomatic adults for major disease save lives? It seems not

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 05:56 PM PST

Screening for disease is a key component of modern healthcare. Yet, new surprising new research shows that few currently available screening tests for major diseases where death is a common outcome have documented reductions in disease-specific mortality. Evidence was evaluated on 16 screening tests for 9 major diseases where mortality is a common outcome. The researchers found 45 randomized controlled trials and 98 meta-analyses that evaluated disease-specific or all-cause mortality. Reductions in disease-specific mortality were uncommon and reductions in all-cause mortality were very uncommon.

Carbon nanotube finding could lead to flexible electronics with longer battery life

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 05:27 PM PST

Materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life -- and the ability to flex and stretch. The team has reported the highest-performing carbon nanotube transistors ever demonstrated. In addition to paving the way for improved consumer electronics, this technology could also have specific uses in industrial and military applications.

Sexual objectification increases women's fear of crime

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:28 PM PST

A new study offers an explanation for why women fear face-to-face crime more than men, despite being less likely to experience most crimes. The findings support the theory that women may have a greater fear of crime due to the potential of also being raped during these encounters.

HIV/AIDS patients in Deep South of U.S. have lower survival rates

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:28 PM PST

A nine-state region of the US South has the nation's lowest five-year survival rate among people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, according to new research. Fifteen percent of people diagnosed with HIV and 27 percent of those diagnosed with AIDS in 2003-2004 had died within five years of diagnosis. Researchers say poverty, education, health insurance, social stigma and racism contribute.

Helicopter parenting better for pets than for kids

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:28 PM PST

Helicopter parenting may not be the best strategy for raising independent kids. But a healthy measure of overprotectiveness could actually be advantageous when raising dogs and cats, according to a new study that compares 'dog people' to 'cat people' and correlates neuroticism with better pet care.

'Kitchen of the future' here, now

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:26 PM PST

Researchers have created innovative future of kitchen designs. The kitchen design is part of a research project exploring manufacturing strategies and the greater integration of technology with architecture or, in other words, the industrial production of smart homes.

One punch to knock out flu

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:25 PM PST

When comparing the potency of an isolated strain-specific flu antibody (the type that current vaccines generate) with an isolated broadly-neutralizing flu antibody (the type generated by universal vaccines) in a lab setting, the latter have much weaker neutralization activity than the strain-specific antibodies, researchers report.

Depression, behavioral changes may precede memory loss in Alzheimer's

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:25 PM PST

Depression and behavioral changes may occur before memory declines in people who will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. Researchers have known that many people with Alzheimer's experience depression, irritability, apathy and appetite loss but had not recognized how early these symptoms appear before now.

Platelet transfusions increase odds of death in some rare blood cell disorders

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

People hospitalized with certain rare blood cell disorders frequently receive a treatment that is associated with a two- to fivefold increase in death, according to a new study that reviewed hospital records nationwide. The authors recommend that for the rare disorders thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, doctors should administer the treatment, a platelet transfusion, only in exceptional circumstances.

Chemical dial controls attraction between water-repelling molecules

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

Researchers have provided new insights on hydrophobic interactions within complex systems. They have shown how the nearby presence of polar (water-attracted, or hydrophilic) substances can change the way the nonpolar hydrophobic groups want to stick to each other.

Endobronchial forceps effective in retrieval of tip-embedded inferior vena cava (IVC) filters

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

When retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters were approved for use in the United States in 2003 to prevent pulmonary embolism among patients unable to receive the standard blood thinner treatment, many experts anticipated most of them would be removed when no longer needed and IVC filter complications would decrease. Instead, the number of IVC filters placed has more than doubled in the last 10 years, and by some estimates, less than half of these retrievable devices are actually removed each year.

Probing strong gravity in a binary neutron star system

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

Astronomers have successfully measuring the precession of a young neutron star, just before it disappeared from visibility.

Lack of exercise responsible for twice as many early deaths as obesity

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:31 AM PST

A brisk 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce an individual's risk of early death, according to new research published today. The study of over 334,000 European men and women found that twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of deaths attributable to obesity, but that just a modest increase in physical activity could have significant health benefits.

Combat veterans' brains reveal hidden damage from IED blasts

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:06 AM PST

The brains of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived blasts from improvised explosive devices and died later of other causes show a honeycomb of broken and swollen nerve fibers in critical brain regions, including those that control executive function. The pattern is different from brain damage caused by car crashes, drug overdoses or collision sports, and may be the never-before-reported signature of 'shell shock' suffered by World War I soldiers.

Taking sightlessness for a spin can harm people's attitudes toward blindness

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

Using simulation to walk in the shoes of a person who is blind -- such as wearing a blindfold while performing everyday tasks -- has negative effects on people's perceptions of the visually impaired, according to a study.

Are all rattlesnakes created equal? No, maybe not

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

New research by a team of biologists has revealed that creating antivenom is a bit tricky. That's because the type of venom a snake produces can change according to where it lives.

A twist on planetary origins: Meteorites were byproducts of planetary formation, not building blocks

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

Meteors that have crashed to Earth have long been regarded as relics of the early solar system. These craggy chunks of metal and rock are studded with chondrules -- tiny, glassy, spherical grains that were once molten droplets. Scientists have thought that chondrules represent early kernels of terrestrial planets: As the solar system started to coalesce, these molten droplets collided with bits of gas and dust to form larger planetary precursors. However, researchers have now found that chondrules may have played less of a fundamental role. Based on computer simulations, the group concludes that chondrules were not building blocks, but rather byproducts of a violent and messy planetary process.

Race of the electrons: Laser pulses can be used to track the motion of electrons in metals with attosecond precision

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

Light can rip electrons out of a piece of metal. This 'photoelectric effect' is extremely fast. But now modern attosecond technology can resolve the time evolution of such processes. A new article discusses the race of electrons in a layered structure made of magnesium and tungsten.

Correcting estimates of sea level rise

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

The acceleration in global sea level from the 20th century to the last two decades has been significantly larger than scientists previously thought, according to a new study. Previous estimates of global sea-level rise from 1900-1990 had been over-estimated by as much as 30 percent, researchers suggest.

Renewable resources reach their limits

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:04 AM PST

Landscape ecologists and plant ecologists analyzed the production and extraction rates of 27 global renewable and non-renewable resources together with economists and sustainability scholars. They examined 20 renewable resources, such as maize, rice, wheat or soya, which represent around 45% of the global calorie intake according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as well as animal products, such as fish, meat, milk and egg. For 18 of these renewable resources the annual growth rate (for example the increase in meat production or in fish catch) reached its peak -- the peak-rate year -- around 2006 a few years ago.

Cancer fighting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy moves to clinical trial

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:00 AM PST

Cancer fighting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, developed in the Sentman laboratory of Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center, are taking the next step into a Phase I clinical trial beginning early in 2015.

List of top 50 game-changing technologies for defeating global poverty

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:00 AM PST

The aim of the 50 Breakthroughs study is to give philanthropies, aid agencies, businesses, and technologists a blueprint for where to invest their resources to achieve the highest impact.

Advanced 3-D facial imaging may aid in early detection of autism

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:56 AM PST

Autism is a spectrum of closely related disorders diagnosed in patients who exhibit a shared core of symptoms, including delays in learning to communicate and interact socially. Early detection of autism in children is the key for treatment. Using advanced 3-D imaging and statistical analysis techniques, researchers have identified facial measurements in children with autism that may lead to screening tools for young children and provide clues to genetic causes.

US needs harm-reduction approach to drug use, researcher says

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:56 AM PST

The United States' law-and-order approach to reducing the supply of drugs and punishing sellers and users has impeded the development of a public health model that views drug addiction as a disease that is preventable and treatable. A new policy paper advocates that a harm-reduction approach would more effectively reduce the negative individual and societal consequences of drug use.

Health outcomes improve in states where nurse practitioners independently provide care

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Many states do not allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to perform primary care duties to their full potential; however, researchers say APRNs can help relieve the shortage of healthcare workers and expand access to care for underserved populations. In a recently published study, researchers found that quality of health care is improved in states where APRNs are allowed to practice independently.

Rainfall can release aerosols, study finds

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

High-speed imaging captures raindrops releasing clouds of aerosols on impact. In learning this, researchers suspect that in natural environments, aerosols may carry aromatic elements, along with bacteria and viruses stored in soil. These aerosols may be released during light or moderate rainfall, and then spread via gusts of wind.

Atomic placement of elements counts for strong concrete

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

The forces that bind atoms and molecules can impact the strength of particulate materials like concrete. Researchers have carried out simulations to determine how the atomic placement of elements in concrete can be tuned to maximize its mechanical properties.

Laser-induced graphene 'super' for electronics: Flexible, 3-D supercapacitors tested

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Scientists show the practicality of turning laser-induced graphene into portable, flexible devices by making stacked supercapacitors.

How to predict responses to disease

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Sometimes the response to the outbreak of a disease can make things worse -- such as when people panic and flee, potentially spreading the disease to new areas. The ability to anticipate when such overreactions might occur could help public health officials take steps to limit the dangers.

Shoulder to the wheel: Parental intervention improves teen driving

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Seven 16- to 19-year-olds die every day as a result of injuries incurred from road crashes. But attempts to address the problem through legislation or technological innovation have yielded limited results. Now a new study proves that a two-pronged strategy of vigilant parental intervention along with monitoring technology improves the safety of young drivers on the road.

DNA 'smart glue' could someday be used to build tissues, organs

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

DNA molecules provide the 'source code' for life in humans, plants, animals and some microbes. But now researchers report an initial study showing that the strands can also act as a glue to hold together 3-D-printed materials that could someday be used to grow tissues and organs in the lab.

Clinical trial examines safety, effectiveness of drug to treat binge eating disorder

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

At some doses, the medication lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, a drug approved to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, was effective compared with placebo in decreasing binge-eating days in patients with binge-eating disorder, a public health problem associated symptoms of mental illness and obesity and for which there are no approved medications, according to a study.

Patients with advanced colon cancer having less surgery, better survival

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

The annual rate of primary tumor removal for advanced stage IV colorectal cancer has decreased since 1988 and the trend toward nonsurgical management of the disease noted in 2001 coincides with the availability of newer chemotherapy and biologic treatments, according to a report.

Patients across Europe to get improved access to pain medicines

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:53 AM PST

Governments in 12 European countries are to implement the recommendations of research into why more patients are not receiving essential painkillers. "People hopefully will now have more access to accessible, affordable and available opioid medicines and our report provides a template which can be used not only in Europe but in other parts of the world," one investigator notes.

Potassium salts aid bone health, limit osteoporosis risk, new research finds

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:53 AM PST

The potassium salts (bicarbonate and citrate) plentiful in fruit and vegetables, play an important part in improving bone health, researchers have found. For the first time, the results also showed that these potassium salts reduce bone resorption, the process by which bone is broken down, therefore increasing their strength.

Chemical analysis of ancient rocks reveals earliest record yet of Earth's atmosphere: Isotopic memory of atmospheric persistence

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:52 AM PST

Chemical analysis of some of the world's oldest rocks has provided the earliest record yet of Earth's atmosphere. The results show that the air 4 billion years ago was very similar to that more than a billion years later, when the atmosphere -- though it likely would have been lethal to oxygen-dependent humans -- supported a thriving microbial biosphere that ultimately gave rise to the diversity of life on Earth today.

Two-dimensional metamaterial surface manipulates light

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:52 AM PST

A single layer of metallic nanostructures has been designed, fabricated and tested by a team of Penn State electrical engineers that can provide exceptional capabilities for manipulating light.

Climate, friends influence young corals choice of real estate

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:18 AM PST

Where baby corals choose to settle is influenced by ocean temperature and the presence of their symbiotic algae in the water, researchers have found.

Levels of 'Molly,' aka ecstasy, spike in rivers near music festival

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

The illicit drug called 'Molly' or ecstasy is a serious concern for parents, law enforcement and now for environmentalists. Scientists report that a major music festival in Taiwan coincides with a spike in the drug's levels in nearby rivers. Not only does this highlight drug abuse at the concert, but the scientists say it also focuses attention on potential effects the substance could have on aquatic life.

Early protection, fungicide effectively reduce downy mildew in basil

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

Production of sweet basil has been drastically affected by downy mildew caused by the foliar disease Peronospora belbahrii. Scientists evaluated two- to seven-week-old basil plants for susceptibility to downy mildew and analyzed the effect of pre-inoculation applications of acibenzolar-S-methyl for controlling the disease. Results indicated two- to three-week-old basil plants need to be protected, and ASM should be applied before pathogen infection on five- to seven-week-old plants to reduce downy mildew.

Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without painful finger prick

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

The first ultra-thin, flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo can detect a person's glucose levels. The sensor has the potential to eliminate finger-pricking for many people with diabetes.

Native grasses identified for use in western US urban landscapes

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

Researchers assessed the phenotypic and genotypic attributes of a native fine-leaved Festuca collection in Montana by cloning 270 FEID 9025897 plants and evaluating them for genetic diversity and plant morphology for two years. The selections were evaluated for plant height, width, biomass, relative vigor, persistence, and regrowth after clipping. Nineteen plants from the collection were identified for their ornamental characteristics and potential for use in urban horticultural applications.

Jaw mechanics of a shell-crushing Jurassic fish revealed

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

The feeding habits of an unusual 200-million-year-old fish have been uncovered by an undergraduate in a groundbreaking study. The Jurassic fish, Dapedium, known from the Lower Lias rocks of the Dorset coast around Lyme Regis, was one of many new groups of fishes that came on the scene 200 million years ago. These included ancestors of the modern teleost fishes -- the group of 30,000 species of salmon, cod, seahorses, and perch -- that dominate the waters today.

Better data needed to make good immigration policy

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

As debates rage about the legal status of immigrants, researchers still lack enough data -- and enough of the right data -- to help policy makers make better, more informed decisions, according to a team of sociologists and statisticians.

New restoration focus for western dry forests

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

The most significant current threat to western dry forests is from insect outbreaks and droughts, not wildfires, research shows. Historically abundant small trees offer the greatest hope for forest survival and recovery after these events, authors say.

Anatomy of petal drop in sunflowers

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

Anatomical analysis of two sunflower cultivars revealed a differentiated region at the junction of the flowers' petal and achene. Cell division at the abscission zone of the short-lived cultivar occurred earlier than in the long-lived cultivar, indicating that the tempo of development differed; the abscission layer reached full maturity sooner in Procut Bicolor, resulting in earlier petal drop, than in Procut Yellow Lite. Vase life was also correlated to flower color.

Sweet potato leaves a good source of vitamins

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

A study designed to determine the ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 content in foliar tissues of sweet potato confirmed that mature and young sweet potato leaves can be a good source of multiple water-soluble vitamins in the human diet. Young leaves contained the highest ascorbic acid content, followed by mature leaves and buds.

A new step towards using graphene in electronic applications

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

Scientists have managed, with atomic precision, to create nanostructures combining graphene ribbons of varying widths.

Long duration weightlessness in space induces a blood shift

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

In space, the shift of blood and fluid from the lower to the upper body caused by weightlessness is much higher and the blood pressure much lower than previously thought, researchers have found.

Root hydraulic conductance linked to trees' post-transplant recovery

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

A study of two Quercus species investigated whether root hydraulic conductance is related to post-transplant recovery. Researchers compared root hydraulic conductance after transplanting using a number of variables including root pruning, caliper size, and transplant timing. Hydraulic conductance in fine roots was related to recovery of the species after transplanting. Stem diameter growth after transplanting was greater for small-caliper Quercus bicolor trees than Quercus macrocarpa.

Biomarkers linked to long-term kidney damage, death in critically ill

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

High levels of two novel urinary biomarkers early in critical illness are associated with adverse long-term outcomes in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI), according to an international, multi-center study. AKI is a condition that often affects those in intensive care and can occur hours to days after serious infections, surgery or taking certain medications.

New contaminants found in oil, gas wastewater

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

High levels of two potentially hazardous contaminants, ammonium and iodide, have been documented in wastewater being discharged into streams and rivers from oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania. Levels of contamination were just as high in wastewater coming from conventional oil and gas wells as from hydraulically fractured shale gas wells.

Trans buddy program to support LGBT patients

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:15 AM PST

Fear of being stigmatized by health care professionals is a barrier for many patients who are members of the LGBT community — it's one of the most-reported reasons transgender individuals do not go to the doctor. Two researchers want to change that. This month the pair, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, will begin serving as advocates for a pilot program called Trans Buddy.

Stone Age humans weren't necessarily more advanced than Neanderthals

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:15 AM PST

A multi-purpose bone tool dating from the Neanderthal era has been discovered by researchers, throwing into question our current understanding of the evolution of human behavior. It was found at an archaeological site in France.

Cardiac specialists recommend donor heart allocation changes

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:10 AM PST

A group of leading cardiac specialists has proposed new guidelines for the allocation of donor hearts to patients awaiting transplant. The changes are aimed at improving the organ distribution process to increase the survival rate of patients awaiting transplant and posttransplant.

Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from Canadian school program

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:10 AM PST

A new study is the first to investigate impacts of milk choice in Canadian elementary schools. Current policies in many schools have led to the removal of flavored milk because of the amount of added sugar. However, this research shows that when flavored milk is removed from the school, total milk intake drops by nearly half.

Professional development programs improve pre-K teacher-child interactions

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:09 AM PST

Two professional development programs for pre-kindergarten teachers have improved their interactions with children, according to a new report that found benefits from both approaches in increased emotional support that children received from their teachers.

People conform to the norm -- even if the norm is a computer

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:08 AM PST

Often enough, it is human nature to conform. This tendency makes us follow the lead of computers, even if the machines give us the wrong advice. This is the finding of a study that investigates how people make judgment calls after playing role-playing video games. Real-life encounters and face-to-face contact with other people are on the decline in a world that is becoming increasingly computerized. Many routine tasks are delegated to virtual characters. People spend hours role-playing through virtual-reality video games by taking on the persona of a virtual character or avatar.

Electrical stimulation 'tunes' visual attention

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:08 AM PST

Picking a needle out of a haystack might seem like the stuff of fairytales, but our brains can be electrically "tuned" to enable us to do a much better job of finding what we're looking for, even in a crowded and distracting scene, new research indicates.

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