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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Safety concerns over lack of support for Prison Officers' mental health

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:30 PM PST

People working in prisons and in secure hospitals in the UK are at considerable risk of work-related stress, exhaustion and depression. This raises serious concerns for safety, researchers suggest.

Children's vulnerability reflected in genes: Some children more sensitive to their environments, for better and worse

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:30 PM PST

Some children are more sensitive to their environments, for better and for worse. Now researchers have identified a gene variant that may serve as a marker for these children, who are among society's most vulnerable. The study found that children from high-risk backgrounds who carried a common gene variant were very likely to develop serious problems as adults, but were also more responsive to treatment.

More than a third of people with abnormal results drop out of bowel cancer screening

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:30 PM PST

Almost 40 percent of people who have abnormal results from bowel cancer screening tests and are referred for further investigation ignore their next screening invitation two years later, a study in the UK shows.

Women in prison need and want treatment for physical, sexual abuse

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:30 PM PST

Women in prison want and need specific treatment for traumas such as physical and sexual abuse, a new research paper says. The need is especially great for aboriginal woman who are "grossly over-represented" in the prison population, said a Canadian researcher.

Corporate philanthropy increases workers' productivity

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:30 PM PST

Working to benefit a good cause increases productivity by up to 30 percent, according to the findings of a new study. When workers are given a social incentive such as a charitable donation linked to their job, performance increases by an average of 13 per cent, rising to 30 per cent amongst those who are initially the least productive, the researchers say.

Blood sugar levels in heart failure patients predict risk of early death

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:29 PM PST

People who arrive at hospital emergency departments with acute heart failure should have their blood sugar levels checked on arrival, new research suggests. This simple and inexpensive measure could identify patients at high risk of early death, further hospitalizations, or the development of more health problems, such as diabetes.

Drug overdose epidemic to recede soon, experts say

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 01:19 PM PST

The drug overdose epidemic will peak at about 50,000 annual deaths in 2017 before declining to a non-epidemic state of approximately 6,000 deaths in the year 2035 -- at roughly the same rate seen before the start of the epidemic, researchers predict.

New model identifies eastern stream sections holding wild brook trout

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 12:46 PM PST

A new model that can accurately identify stream sections that still hold suitable habitat for wild brook trout will help fisheries managers from Maine to Georgia find and protect habitat for this fish, which is an economically, socially and ecologically important species.

Circadian rhythms regulate skin stem cell metabolism and expansion, study finds

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 12:46 PM PST

Scientists studying the role of circadian rhythms in skin stem cells found that this clock plays a key role in coordinating daily metabolic cycles and cell division. Their research shows for the first time how the body's intrinsic day-night cycles protect and nurture stem cell differentiation.

Nearly one in five women who undergo hysterectomy may not need the procedure

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 11:49 AM PST

Alternatives to hysterectomy are being underused and that treatment guidelines are often not followed, experts say. They add that up to 20% of women who get hysterectomies may not actually need the procedure.

Gemini Planet Imager produces stunning observations in its first year

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 11:48 AM PST

The Gemini Planet Imager GPI is an advanced instrument designed to observe the environments close to bright stars to detect and study Jupiter-like exoplanets (planets around other stars) and see protostellar material (disk, rings) that might be lurking next to the star.

RSV infection may be associated with higher risk for bacterial pneumonia

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 11:48 AM PST

Two common and sometimes dangerous respiratory diseases, a viral one caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and a bacterial one caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae may be linked, suggests a new study. Scientists analyzed hospitalization data to investigate a possible association between RSV and pneumonia in young children, and found that infection with RSV may increase the risk of pneumonia.

Researchers uncover key cancer-promoting gene

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 11:08 AM PST

One of the mysteries in cancer biology is how one protein, TGF-beta, can both stop cancer from forming and encourage its aggressive growth. Now, researchers have uncovered a key gene that may explain this paradox and provide a potential target for treatment.

Computer model explains how animals select actions with rewarding outcomes

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 11:07 AM PST

A computer model charting what happens in the brain when an action is chosen that leads to a reward has been developed by researchers. The model could provide new insights into the mechanisms behind motor disorders such as Parkinson's Disease. It may also shed light on conditions involving abnormal learning, such as addiction.

Hot showers, lower power bills with heat pump water heaters: How water heaters are installed impacts total home energy use

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:46 AM PST

Heat pump water heaters are an energy-efficient alternative to conventional electric resistance water heaters. Now research shows heat pump water heaters can also reduce an entire home's energy use -- if they're connected to the appropriate ducting.

Novel imaging technique improves prostate cancer detection

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:46 AM PST

In 2014, prostate cancer was the leading cause of newly diagnosed cancers in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. A team of scientists and physicians now describe a novel imaging technique that measurably improves upon current prostate imaging -- and may have significant implications for how patients with prostate cancer are ultimately treated.

Unraveling controls for plant root growth

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:46 AM PST

Green shoots are a sign of spring, but growing those shoots and roots is a complicated process. Now researchers have for the first time described part of the network of genetic controls that allows a plant to grow.

Eight new planets found in 'Goldilocks' zone: Two are most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:46 AM PST

Astronomers announced today that they have found eight new planets in the 'Goldilocks' zone of their stars, orbiting at a distance where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface. This doubles the number of small planets (less than twice the diameter of Earth) believed to be in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Among these eight, the team identified two that are the most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.

Study casts doubt on mammoth-killing cosmic impact

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:05 AM PST

Rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago, according to new research. The study, of soil from Syria, is the latest to discredit the controversial theory that a cosmic impact triggered the Younger Dryas cold period.

Study quantifies effect of depressive thoughts on memory

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:05 AM PST

For people with depressed mood, memory and concentration difficulties are often a day-to-day reality. While those with the disorder report that these cognitive problems are some of the most deeply troubling, previous studies have been unable to observe this phenomenon in a laboratory setting. In a new study, researchers are the first to substantiate these memory deficits.

Potential option for treating chronic kidney disease

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:05 AM PST

New clinical research indicates the drug tetrahydrobiopterin may be able to dial back over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system in chronic kidney disease. New clinical research indicates the drug tetrahydrobiopterin may be able to dial back this overactivation, leading to positive effects on the sympathetic nervous system and some measures of arterial stiffness.

Drug stimulates brown fat, boosts metabolism

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 10:05 AM PST

A drug FDA-approved to treat overactive bladder may boost brown fat's metabolic powers, making it a promising candidate for combatting obesity, new research indicates. Unlike energy-storing white fat, brown fat burns energy to generate heat, which can help maintain body weight and prevent obesity in rodents.

Surgery for obesity linked to longer survival

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:22 AM PST

Obese people seem likely to live longer if they have bariatric surgery (for obesity) than if they don't -- with 53 percent lower risk of dying from any cause at five to 14 years after the procedure. So concluded a study involving 2,500 obese patients and nearly 7,500 matched controls.

'Iron Sun' is not a rock band, but a key to how stars transmit energy

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:15 AM PST

Creating the conditions of the sun, researchers for the first time have been able to experimentally revise figures used by theorists to define iron's key role in passing sunlight from the sun's core to its radiative surface.

Study rules out spiders as common cause of bacterial infections in humans

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:14 AM PST

Can spiders be carriers of human pathogens? Can they provoke infection through a break in the skin? A team of scientists has data-mined the history of publications on spider envenomations to conclude that the evidence for spider-vectored infection is scanty. Although spider bite may be an attractive and tenable causative agent of a bacterial infection, the data show this is highly improbable, says the study's lead author.

Study finds low rate of complications with assisted reproductive technology procedures

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:14 AM PST

In the United States from 2000-2011, autologous -- woman uses her own egg -- and donor assisted reproductive technology procedures were associated with low complication risks, according to a study.

HPV vaccination not associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:14 AM PST

Although some reports have suggested a link between human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and development of multiple sclerosis or other demyelinating diseases -- a group of central nervous system disorders -- a follow-up of girls and women in Denmark and Sweden who received this vaccination found no increased risk for these disorders, according to a study.

Study finds substantially shorter life expectancy for patients with type 1 diabetes

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:14 AM PST

For patients with type 1 diabetes in Scotland, at age 20 years, the average man has an estimated life expectancy loss of about 11 years; for women, it is 13 years, compared with the general Scottish population without type 1 diabetes, according to a study.

Intensive treatment for type 1 diabetes associated with decreased risk of death

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 09:14 AM PST

After an average of 27 years' follow-up of patients with type 1 diabetes, six and one-half years of initial intensive diabetes therapy was associated with a modestly lower all-cause rate of death, compared with conventional therapy, according to a study.

Peat fires: Legacy of carbon up in smoke

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 08:25 AM PST

It reads like a movie script -- ash falling from the sky, thick smoke shutting down airports and businesses, road closures trapping remote northern villages. But this is not from a script; rather, it is study of what could happen through peat burning.

Positive personality traits may protect police at high risk for PTSD

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 07:41 AM PST

A new study looked at police officers in the New Orleans area during and after Hurricane Katrina. The results suggested that they were shielded from PTSD by the protective qualities not only in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but years later as well.

The Berlin patient, first and only person 'cured' of HIV, speaks out

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 07:39 AM PST

Timothy Ray Brown, long known only as the "Berlin Patient" had HIV for 12 years before he became the first person in the world to be cured of the infection following a stem cell transplant in 2007. He recalls his many years of illness, a series of difficult decisions, and his long road to recovery in a new first-person account.

Pharmaceuticals, personal care products could taint swimming pools

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 07:27 AM PST

A new study suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects. Researchers detected DEET, the active ingredient in insect repellants; caffeine; and tri(2-chloroethyl)-phosphate (TCEP), a flame retardant in some swimming pools. Some chemicals are volatile, which means they can escape into the air to be inhaled. Others can be ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Seed beetle diversity in Xinjiang, China

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 07:27 AM PST

Scientists have looked into the diminutive world of seed beetles in Xinjiang, China, to reveal a diversity of 19 species for the region, four of which are new records for the area.

Marine litter education boosts children's understanding, actions

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 07:27 AM PST

Children could play an important role in solutions to reduce marine litter with some already helping to educate parents and peers about the scale of the issue, experts suggest.

Extreme obesity calls for individualized medication

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:52 AM PST

Doctors and pharmacists often do not take obesity into account when prescribing medication. For this, more insight into the influence of obesity on the distribution and elimination of drugs is of the utmost importance, experts say.

12-year study confirms overall safety of measles vaccines

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:52 AM PST

A 12-year study of two measles-containing vaccines found that seven main adverse outcomes were unlikely after either vaccine. "This level of safety monitoring for vaccines can give the public confidence that vaccine surveillance is ongoing and that if a safety problem existed, it would be detected," said the first author of the study.

Unveiling how the children's tummy bug, rotavirus, causes infection

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:51 AM PST

Researchers have significantly advanced understanding of a virus that kills up to half a million children each year. Rotaviruses are considered the most important cause of severe diarrhea in children, with all being infected by the time they reach the age of five.

Planet-hunting satellite observes supermassive black hole

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:51 AM PST

Astrophysicists combined ground observations with those from NASA's planet-hunting satellite. The study looked at a black hole more than 100 million light years away. They estimate KA 1858 to have 8 million times the mass of our sun.

Researchers map direct gut-brain connection

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:51 AM PST

Scientists have mapped a cell-to-cell connection between the gut and the nervous system that may be a more direct route to signaling satiety than the release of hormones in the blood. The new system may change researchers' understanding of how we sense being full, and how that sensation might be affected by gastric bypass surgery.

Of flies and ants: New ant decapitation behavior of Dohrniphora flies

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

While watching tiny flies in tropical forests in Brazil, Giar-Ann Kung puzzledly remarked to Brian Brown 'they are cutting the ant heads off!' This unexpected find led to the discovery of a grisly new type of behavior.

When DNA gets sent to time-out: New details revealed in the coordinated regulation of large stretches of DNA

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

For a skin cell to do its job, it must turn on a completely different set of genes than a liver cell -- and keep genes it doesn't need switched off. One way of turning off large groups of genes at once is to send them to 'time-out' at the edge of the nucleus. New research shows how DNA gets sent to the nucleus' far edge, a process critical to controlling genes and determining cell fate.

New treatment offers hope for headshaking in horses

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

A new study has found a treatment called percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation could reduce signs of the condition in horses. The same percutaneous electrical nerve therapy is used in people to manage neuropathic pain.

New technology enables ultra-fast steering and shaping of light beams

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

A team of engineers has developed a new acousto-optic device that can shape and steer beams of light at speeds never before achieved.

Has car manufacturer taken the corner too fast with boxfish design? Design based on incorrect interpretation of characteristics of the fish

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

Billions of years of evolution have provided solutions for countless technical problems, while teaching designers and engineers a thing or two along the way. But now a car manufacturer has designed a concept model based on the supposed characteristics of the boxfish. Researchers have shown that their design is actually based on an incorrect interpretation of the characteristics of this fish.

International research effort gives neuroscientists better feeling about sense of touch

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

Our sense of touch is one we often take for granted, until our leg falls asleep and we aren't able to stand, or when we experience acute pain. The sense of touch also has been taken for granted in neuroscience, where it's the sense scientists know the least about. For the first time, researchers have linked a group of neurons to a specific type of somatosensation, a finding that can open the door for a heightened understanding about our sense of touch.

Pneumonia risk far higher for HIV-positive children, study shows

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:50 AM PST

HIV-positive children in developing countries are six times more likely to die from pneumonia than children without the virus, research suggests. The first global study into pneumonia deaths in children with HIV has found that, in one year, pneumonia affected 1.4 million children and led to a further 88,000 deaths.

'Flying carpet' technique uses graphene to deliver one-two punch of anticancer drugs

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:17 AM PST

A drug delivery technique has been developed by an international team of scientists that utilizes graphene strips as "flying carpets" to deliver two anticancer drugs sequentially to cancer cells, with each drug targeting the distinct part of the cell where it will be most effective.

New drug design enhances brain signaling by a factor of 1,000

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 06:17 AM PST

Chemical-biological research sheds light on important communication processes in the brain by means of new effective molecules that improve the starting point provided by nature by more than 1,000 times. In the long term, this new knowledge may lead to psychopharmacological drugs with fewer side effects, researchers say.

Black widow spider venom unveiled: The fast evolution of a potent toxin

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:16 AM PST

New research shows rapid evolution has helped to make the venom of black widow spiders so toxic.

Blind students learn to think like scientists with revolutionary traveling toolboxes

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:16 AM PST

Hands-on, innovative educational material is being developed to help blind students learn about evolution.

Small change in blood acidity could prove detrimental to kidney disease patients

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:15 AM PST

Very small changes in the level of acidity in blood may have a detrimental impact on the health of patients with kidney disease, a scientist has discovered. The research focussed on the high level of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. This causes the body to release calcium and phosphate from the bones which can then damage their blood vessels.

Major depression in the national comorbidity survey

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:15 AM PST

A recent study underscores the important public health significance of depression among U.S. adolescents. Mental disorders are the leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide with 40.5% of this burden attributable to major depression. In adolescence, rates of depression increase substantially between 13 and 18 years of age, and the estimated cumulative incidence in this population approximates the adult lifetime prevalence rate, experts report.

New study challenges link between HLA class I hyperexpression in pancreas, type 1 diabetes

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:15 AM PST

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. Several studies using immunohistochemistry (IHC) have independently reported hyperexpression of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I on pancreatic islet cells in young patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. Investigators have therefore suggested that HLA hyperexpression may be an important first step in the development of type 1 diabetes. However, a new study challenges these findings .

Entrepreneurs design automated cutting equipment applicable to various industries

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:15 AM PST

The "OpeCNC" system, consists of software and hardware for machine control. It can be applied from ornamental ironwork, cutting spare parts, pipes to advertisements.

Men's diets are related to local offerings, unlike women's

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Canadian men's eating habits are associated with the availability of healthy food sources in their residential neighborhood but women's are not, according to researchers. Why men and not women? "This may be because women, who are in general more nutritionally knowledgeable, may engage in different food shopping strategies than men, and rely on other aspects of the food environment than the proportion of food stores locally available," suggested the study's leader.

Exercise allows you to age optimally

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Staying active allows you to age optimally, according to a study. The study of amateur older cyclists found that many had levels of physiological function that would place them at a much younger age compared to the general population; debunking the common assumption that aging automatically makes you more frail.

Despite resolutions, people buy more food after new year

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Despite resolutions to eat better, people buy the greatest amount of food after New Year. Shoppers continue buying elevated holiday-levels of junk food, and then start adding healthier items on top. As a result, people take home 9 percent more calories after New Year than they do over the heavy-eating holidays.

Bipolar disorder: New MRI imaging provides new picture, new insight

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Using a different type of MRI imaging, researchers have discovered previously unrecognized differences in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder. In particular, the study revealed differences in the white matter of patients' brains and in the cerebellum, an area of the brain not previously linked with the disorder.

Poor vitamin D status linked to longer respiratory support in ICU patients, study finds

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Vitamin D status may influence the duration of respiratory support needed for surgical intensive care patients, according to a new cohort study. The study demonstrated that plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels on admission to the surgical ICU were inversely associated with the need for mechanical ventilation in critically ill surgical patients.

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