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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

3-D printing with custom molecules creates low-cost mechanical sensor

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Imagine printing out molecules that can respond to their surroundings. Chemists teamed up with engineers who are using 3-D printers to create 3-D printed objects with new capabilities. Scientists created a bone-shaped plastic tab that turns purple under stretching, offering an easy way to record the force on an object.

Psychedelic drug prevents asthma development in mice

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Researchers have found that a psychedelic drug, (R)-DOI, prevents the development of allergic asthma in a mouse model. The effects are potent and effective at a concentration 50-100 times less than would influence behavior.

Serotonin-deficient brains more vulnerable to social stress

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Mice deficient in serotonin -- a crucial brain chemical implicated in clinical depression -- are more vulnerable than their normal littermates to social stressors, according to a new study. Following exposure to stress, serotonin-deficient mice did not respond to the standard antidepressant Prozac. The results point to new strategies to help alleviate treatment-resistant depression.

Nano-antioxidants prove their potential

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Injectable nanoparticles that could protect an injured person from further damage due to oxidative stress have proven to be astoundingly effective in tests to study their mechanism.

Buckyballs offer environmental benefits

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:15 PM PST

Treated carbon-60 molecules have the ability to recover valuable metals from liquids, including water and potential pollutants. In testing various metals, researchers found that charge and ionic radius influence how the metals bind to the hydroxylated buckyballs.

Floods created home of Europe's biggest waterfall

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:14 PM PST

A massive canyon that is home to Europe's most powerful waterfall was created in a matter of days by extreme flooding, new research reveals.

F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew toward happiness: Universal human bias for positive words

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:11 PM PST

Arabic movie subtitles, Korean tweets, Russian novels, Chinese websites, English lyrics, and even the war-torn pages of the New York Times -- research examining billions of words, shows that these sources -- and all human language -- skews toward the use of happy words. This Big Data study confirms the 1969 Pollyanna Hypothesis that there is a universal human tendency to "look on and talk about the bright side of life."

Coral snake venom reveals a unique route to lethality

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:11 PM PST

For more than a decade, a vial of rare snake venom refused to give up its secret formula for lethality; its toxins had no effect on the proteins that most venoms target. Finally, an international team of researchers figured out its recipe: a toxin that permanently activates a crucial type of nerve cell protein, preventing the cells from resetting and causing deadly seizures in prey.

Swimming reptiles make their mark in the Early Triassic

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 11:35 AM PST

Vertebrate tracks provide valuable information about animal behavior and environments. Swim tracks are a unique type of vertebrate track because they are produced underwater by buoyant trackmakers, and specific factors are required for their production and subsequent preservation. Early Triassic deposits contain the highest number of fossil swim track occurrences worldwide compared to other epochs, and this number becomes even greater when epoch duration and rock outcrop area are taken into account.

Brain develops abnormally over lifespan of people who stutter

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 11:34 AM PST

The largest-ever MRI imaging study of stuttering is the first to examine brain changes across the lifespan.

Molecular Gastronomy: Understanding physical and chemical processes of cooking and eating

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 11:24 AM PST

An expert in biophysics, epigenetics and food science is working to gain a deeper understanding of genome compaction within the cells in our bodies and the way it influences gene expression. "Molecular gastronomy," is dedicated to the study of the physical and chemical processes involved in cooking and eating.

Combine solar thermal energy with biomass gasification for natural gas substitute

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:07 AM PST

A new study examining the financial viability of solar-heated biomass gasification technologies that produce a natural gas substitute product concludes that combining these renewable resources can make economic sense.

New evidence of global warming: Remote lakes in Ecuador not immune to climate change

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:07 AM PST

A study of three remote lakes in Ecuador has revealed the vulnerability of tropical high mountain lakes to global climate change -- the first study of its kind to show this. The data explains how the lakes are changing due to the water warming as the result of climate change.

Electricity from biomass with carbon capture could make western US carbon-negative

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:07 AM PST

Biomass conversion to electricity combined with technologies for capturing and storing carbon, which should become viable within 35 years, could result in a carbon-negative power grid in the western US by 2050. That prediction comes from an analysis of various fuel scenarios. Bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration may be a better use of plant feedstocks than making biofuels.

Amber fossil links earliest grasses, dinosaurs and fungus used to produce LSD

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:07 AM PST

A perfectly preserved amber fossil from Myanmar has been found that provides evidence of the earliest grass specimen ever discovered -- about 100 million years old -- and even then it was topped by a fungus similar to ergot, a hallucinogen which for eons has been intertwined with animals and humans. Among other things, it gave us the psychedelic drug LSD.

Inherited gene variations tied to treatment-related hearing loss in cancer patients

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:06 AM PST

Investigators have discovered inherited genetic variations that are associated with rapid hearing loss in young cancer patients treated with the drug cisplatin.

Origins of colorectal cancer tumor cells traced

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 09:28 AM PST

For the first time, cancer researchers have traced the origins of colorectal cancer cells, finding important clues to why tumor cells become 'good' or 'bad,' with the potential of stopping them before they start.

Sunlight and vitamin D levels higher for coastal populations

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 09:28 AM PST

People living close to the coast in England have higher vitamin D levels than inland dwellers. Exposure to sunlight is a crucial factor in vitamin D production and the research has also found that English coasts tend to see a greater amount of sunlight across the year when compared with inland areas. The study is the first time that data on sunlight and vitamin D levels have been linked to detailed geographical information.

World thunderstorm 'map' key to assessing climate change

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:32 AM PST

New research will likely be crucial to measuring the impact of climate change on thunderstorms -- one of the weather occurrences most problematic for human life on the planet. The varying frequency and intensity of thunderstorms have direct repercussions for the public, agriculture, and industry.

Controlling genes with light: Light-activated genes might be precisely controlled and targeted

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:32 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated a new way to activate genes with light, allowing precisely controlled and targeted genetic studies and applications. The method might be used to activate genes in a specific location or pattern, allowing more precise study of gene function, or to create complex systems for growing tissue or new therapies.

Earth's surprise inside: Geologists unlock mysteries of the planet's inner core

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:32 AM PST

Seismic waves are helping scientists to plumb the world's deepest mystery: the planet's inner core. Thanks to a novel application of earthquake-reading technology, researchers have found that the Earth's inner core has an inner core of its own, which has surprising properties that could reveal information about our planet.

Evidence for dark matter in the inner Milky Way

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

A new study is providing evidence for the presence of dark matter in the innermost part of the Milky Way, including in our own cosmic neighborhood and the Earth's location. The study demonstrates that large amounts of dark matter exist around us, and also between us and the Galactic center. The result constitutes a fundamental step forward in the quest for the nature of dark matter.

Stellar partnership doomed to end in catastrophe

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

Astronomers have identified two surprisingly massive stars at the heart of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428. As they orbit each other the two stars are expected to slowly get closer and closer, and when they merge, about 700 million years from now, they will contain enough material to ignite a vast supernova explosion.

Pick a card, any card: How magicians sway decision-making

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

A team of Canadian researchers has combined the art of magic and the science of psychology to demonstrate how certain contextual factors can sway the decisions people make, even though they may feel that they are choosing freely.

Both Liberals, Conservatives Can Have Science Bias

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

New research suggests that liberals, as well as conservatives, can be biased against science that doesn't align with their political views.

Electrochromic polymers create broad color palette for sunglasses, windows

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:50 AM PST

Researchers have created a broad color palette of electrochromic polymers, materials that can be used for sunglasses, window tinting and other applications that rely on electrical current to produce color changes. The materials could allow sunglasses that change from clear to colored in seconds, at the push of a button.

What autism can teach us about brain cancer: Both disorders involve faults in same protein

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:50 AM PST

Applying lessons learned from autism to brain cancer, researchers have discovered why elevated levels of the protein NHE9 add to the lethality of the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma. Their discovery suggests that drugs designed to target NHE9 could help to successfully fight the deadly disease.

Energy drinks significantly increase hyperactivity in schoolchildren, study finds

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:50 AM PST

Middle-school children who consume heavily sweetened energy drinks are 66 percent more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms, a new study has found.

The Sun’s activity in the 18th century was similar to that now

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:49 AM PST

Counting sunspots over time helps in knowing the activity of our star but the two indices used by scientists disagree on dates prior to 1885. Now an international team of researchers has tried to standardize the historical results and has discovered that, contrary to what one may think, the solar activity of our times is very similar to that of other times, such as the Enlightenment. Scientists have been counting sunspots since 1610 with small telescopes. Thus it has been verified that the Sun's activity increases every eleven years, according to the interval in the growth of the number of darker and colder spots in comparison with the rest of its surface. The more spots that appear, the more luminous the surrounding areas are, and our star shines brighter.

Do clothes make the doctor? Patient perceptions of physicians based on attire

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:48 AM PST

What should doctors wear? And how does something as simple as their choice of a suit, scrubs or slacks influence how patients view them? A new analysis takes a comprehensive look – and finds that the answer isn't as simple as you might think. It also finds that doctors don't seem to be getting a lot of guidance on how to dress – despite the influence their attire can have on patients' perceptions.

3-D vaccine spontaneously assembles to pack a powerful punch against cancer, infectious diseases

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:48 AM PST

Researchers have developed a novel 3-D vaccine that could provide a more effective way to harness the immune system to fight cancer as well as infectious diseases. The vaccine spontaneously assembles into a scaffold once injected under the skin and is capable of recruiting, housing, and manipulating immune cells to generate a powerful immune response. The vaccine was recently found to be effective in delaying tumor growth in mice.

Can't sing? Do it more often

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:36 AM PST

If you've ever been told that you're 'tone deaf' or 'can't carry a tune,' don't give up. New research suggests that singing accurately is not so much a talent as a learned skill that can decline over time if not used. The ability to sing on key may have more in common with the kind of practice that goes into playing an instrument than people realize, according to experts.

Frozen semen from lions are capable to produce embryos

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Scientists successfully produced embryos from African lions via assisted reproduction. What is genuinely new is the fact that they used immature eggs that were retrieved from African lionesses. After artificial maturation these eggs were injected with lions' sperm, previously stored in a cryobank. To the surprise of the scientists the development of the lion embryos was retarded in comparison to similar embryos from domestic cats.

An Internet of Things reality check

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Connecting different kinds of devices, not just computers and communications devices, to the Internet could lead to new ways of working with a wide range of machinery, sensors, domestic and other appliances. Researchers suggest that we are on the verge of a another technological revolution but practicalities and legal obstacles may stymie the development of the so-called Internet of Things if they are not addressed quickly.

Multiple sclerosis: pathological progression of disease documented

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Scientist have documented the pathological progress of the disease from its early to late stage and also shown that inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes have a role to play. This raises the possibility of new treatment options.  

Scientists identify a new population of regulatory T-cells

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Discovery improves understanding of the cause of allergic asthma and may serve as an early diagnostic marker / Publication in Nature Immunology

Awkward positions, distractions and fatigue may trigger low back pain

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

New research reveals the physical and psychosocial factors that significantly increase the risk of low back pain onset. In fact results show that being engaged in manual tasks involving awkward positions will increase the risk of low back pain by eight times. Those who are distracted during activities or fatigued also significantly increase their risk of acute low back pain.

Immune Biomarkers Help Predict Early Death, Complications in HIV Patients with TB

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Medical researchers have identified immune biomarkers in HIV/TB patients before they begin ART that could help distinguish who goes on to develop IRIS or die after treatment.

Forcing wounds to close

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Skin not only provides an essential protective barrier against foreign materials and pathogens, but it also helps the body retain various fluids and electrolytes. When this barrier is damaged, the consequences can be devastating. Ulcers, bleeding and bacterial infections may result and the chances of these occurring increases the longer wounds remain open. Scientists have now revealed the mechanical forces that drive epithelial wound healing in the absence of cell supporting environment.

In the quantum world, the future affects the past: Hindsight and foresight together more accurately 'predict' a quantum system’s state

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

In the quantum world, the future predicts the past. Playing a guessing game with a superconducting circuit called a qubit, a physicist has discovered a way to narrow the odds of correctly guessing the state of a two-state system. By combining information about the qubit's evolution after a target time with information about its evolution up to that time, the lab was able to narrow the odds from 50-50 to 90-10.

Preemies may have psychiatric problems as adults

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

The study found that extremely low birth weight babies whose mothers received a full course of steroids prior to giving birth are at even greater risk for psychiatric disorders.

A one-two punch against ovarian cancer

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Only 1.3 percent of cancers diagnosed between 2004 and 2010 were cancers of the ovary, but fewer than half of these women survived for five years or more. Researchers have now studied a combination therapy developed to help women with ovarian cancer.

Pregnant woman with placenta accreta saved

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 02:47 PM PST

When Patricia Perich, 41, was 24 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition called placenta accreta. This condition occurs when blood vessels from the placenta grow too deeply into the uterus and even infiltrate other organs.

Consumer preferences and the power of scarcity

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 11:52 AM PST

How does scarcity, or the appearance of scarcity, affect choice when several consumer products are presented at once? Researchers found a clear pattern: Scarcity polarizes preferences.

Critical molecule in fight against lung infection

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 11:52 AM PST

A graduate student who wants to reduce the number of people dying from lung infections has discovered a molecule that's critical for immunity.

Drug combinations a good approach for infectious fungus, research shows

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:53 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that Candida albicans -- a leading cause of potentially fatal hospital-acquired infections -- rarely develops resistance to combination drug therapy and, when it becomes resistant, it also becomes less dangerous.The team may also have found a new way to eliminate Candida albicans in humans.

Nanovectors combine cancer imaging and therapy

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:51 AM PST

Researchers have designed and developed hybrid gold-silica nanoparticles, which are turning out to be genuine therapeutic "Swiss Army knives". Tested in mice and on cultured human cells, they make it possible to combine two forms of tumor treatment and three imaging techniques. They notably have a greater drug loading and delivery capacity than carriers currently on the market, which opens interesting perspectives for cancer research.

Would federal lands takeover in Utah harm the public? Experts think so

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:51 AM PST

The transfer of 31 million acres of land managed by the federal government to Utah would hinder public land management reforms and harm the state, according to a newly released analysis.

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