Jumat, 24 Desember 2010

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Friday, December 24, 2010

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First high-temp spin-field-effect transistor created (December 24, 2010) -- Physicists have announced a breakthrough that gives a new spin to semiconductor nanoelectronics and the world of information technology. ... > full story

You are what your father ate, too: Paternal diet affects lipid metabolizing genes in offspring, research suggests (December 24, 2010) -- We aren't just what we eat; we are what our parents ate, too. That's an emerging idea that is bolstered by a new study showing that mice sired by fathers fed on a low-protein diet show distinct and reproducible changes in the activity of key metabolic genes in their livers. Those changes occurred despite the fact that the fathers never saw their offspring. ... > full story

Mars movie: I'm dreaming of a blue sunset (December 24, 2010) -- A new Mars movie clip gives us a rover's-eye view of a bluish Martian sunset, while another clip shows the silhouette of the moon Phobos passing in front of the sun. ... > full story

Protein involved in early steps of melanoma development revealed (December 24, 2010) -- A protein required for early stages of melanoma development can also predict melanoma outcome, according to new research. ... > full story

Weird and wonderful plant and fungal discoveries of 2010 (December 24, 2010) -- Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are celebrating the diversity of the planet's plant and fungal life by highlighting some of the weird, wonderful and stunning discoveries they've made this year from the rainforests of Cameroon to the UK's North Pennines. But it's not just about the new -- in some cases species long thought to be extinct in the wild have been rediscovered. ... > full story

Learning from leftovers: A history drawn from turkey bones (December 24, 2010) -- Brooklynne Fothergill will have a very different view of Christmas dinner from most people, because the doctoral student is researching the history of turkey domestication by examining old turkey bones. ... > full story

Growing hypoxic zones reduce habitat for billfish and tuna (December 23, 2010) -- Billfish and tuna, important commercial and recreational fish species, may be more vulnerable to fishing pressure because of shrinking habitat, according to a new study. An expanding zone of low oxygen, known as a hypoxic zone, in the Atlantic Ocean is encroaching upon these species' preferred oxygen-abundant habitat, forcing them into shallower waters where they are more likely to be caught. ... > full story

Designer probiotics could reduce obesity (December 23, 2010) -- Specially designed probiotics can modulate the physiology of host fat cells say scientists. The findings could lead to specialized probiotics that have a role in the prevention or treatment of conditions such as obesity. ... > full story

How cells running on empty trigger fuel recycling (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers have discovered how AMPK, a metabolic master switch that springs into gear when cells run low on energy, revs up a cellular recycling program to free up essential molecular building blocks in times of need. ... > full story

Simple screen can help isolate virulent parts of pathogenic bacteria gene structures (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers have developed a new approach to studying potentially deadly disease-causing bacteria which could help speed up the process of finding vaccines. The scientists have pioneered a simple screen which can help isolate the virulent parts of the gene structures of pathogenic bacteria. The screen allows researchers to simultaneously run thousands of tests where genes from the pathogen are pitted against the human blood cells that normally attack them. ... > full story

Contract marks new generation for Deep Space Network (December 23, 2010) -- NASA has taken the next step toward a new generation of Deep Space Network antennas. A .7 million contract with General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies, San Jose, Calif., covers implementation of two additional 34-meter (112-foot) antennas at Canberra, Australia. This is part of Phase I of a plan to eventually retire the network's aging 70-meter-wide (230-foot-wide) antennas. ... > full story

Shouldering family demands and worries bumps up angina risk (December 23, 2010) -- Shouldering family demands and worries seems to increase the risk of angina, the precursor to coronary artery disease, reveals new research. ... > full story

'Un-growth hormone' increases longevity, researchers find (December 23, 2010) -- A compound which acts in the opposite way as growth hormone can reverse some of the signs of aging, a research team has shown. The finding may be counter-intuitive to some older adults who take growth hormone, thinking it will help revitalize them. ... > full story

Invention could improve cancer drug delivery, lessen harmful effects of chemotherapy (December 23, 2010) -- A new invention may provide a way to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer tissues in controlled doses without harming healthy body cells. ... > full story

Better control of building blocks for quantum computer (December 23, 2010) -- Scientists in the Netherlands have succeeded in controlling the building blocks of a future super-fast quantum computer. They are now able to manipulate these building blocks (qubits) with electrical rather than magnetic fields, as has been the common practice up till now. They have also been able to embed these qubits into semiconductor nanowires. ... > full story

Complementary medicines can be dangerous for children, experts say (December 23, 2010) -- Complementary medicines can be dangerous for children and can even prove fatal, if substituted for conventional medicine, indicates an audit of kids' CAM treatment. ... > full story

A methane-metal marriage: Scientists insert metal atoms into methane gas molecules (December 23, 2010) -- Scientists have inserted metal atoms into methane gas molecules and obtained a detailed structure of the resulting molecule. The discovery could be a key step in making hydrocarbons available to chemical production and broadening our understanding of how nature uses metals in the molecules of living organisms. ... > full story

Does equality increase status spending? (December 23, 2010) -- People are happier when goods are more equally distributed, but equality makes people want to spend more to get ahead of their neighbors, according to a new study. ... > full story

Placebos work -- even without deception (December 23, 2010) -- Patients who were knowingly given placebos for irritable bowel syndrome experienced significant symptom relief when compared with controls who were given nothing. ... > full story

Breakthrough in melanoma research: Protein suppresses progression of melanoma (December 23, 2010) -- In a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments for patients with malignant melanoma, researchers have discovered that a particular protein suppresses the progression of melanoma through regulation of an oncogene, or gene responsible for cancer growth. ... > full story

Researchers train software to help monitor climate change (December 23, 2010) -- A computer program that automatically analyzes mounds of satellite images and other data could help climate scientists keep track of complex, constantly changing environmental conditions. ... > full story

Some cancer drugs may block cellular 'cross talk' but not kill cancer cells (December 23, 2010) -- A class of drugs thought to kill cancer cells may in fact block "cross talk" between the cancer cell and normal immune cells, resulting in reduced cancer growth and spread -- a discovery that could significantly alter the way cancer drugs are evaluated in the future. ... > full story

Cornstarch might have ended the Gulf spill agony sooner (December 23, 2010) -- The attempt to kill the Macondo well in the US Gulf by pouring heavy mud down the well bore may have been defeated by an instability that led to turbulent mixing of the oil and the mud. Physicist Jonathan Katz had suggested a simple solution to the problem: cornstarch. Experiments described in a new article suggest his solution might have worked. ... > full story

Measuring fatigue through the voice: Speech 'flattens' after 24 hours awake (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers in Australia have developed a new method to analyze the effect of fatigue on the central nervous system. They describe how sustained wakefulness slows speech and diminishes variations in pitch and tone -- findings relevant to public safety officials, military leaders, and employers concerned with fatigue among their workers. ... > full story

New fossil site in China shows long recovery of life from the largest extinction in Earth's history (December 23, 2010) -- A major new fossil site in south-west China has filled in a sizable gap in our understanding of how life on this planet recovered from the greatest mass extinction of all time, according to researchers. ... > full story

Discovery suggests a new way to prevent HIV from infecting human cells (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers have discovered how HIV binds to and destroys a specific human antiviral protein called APOBEC3F. ... > full story

Cassini marks holidays with dramatic views of Saturn's moon Rhea (December 23, 2010) -- Newly released for the holidays, images of Saturn's second largest moon Rhea obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft show dramatic views of fractures cutting through craters on the moon's surface, revealing a history of tectonic rumbling. The images are among the highest-resolution views ever obtained of Rhea. ... > full story

Eating less healthy fish may contribute to America's stroke belt (December 23, 2010) -- People living in the "stroke belt" states eat more fried fish than people living in the rest of the country, which may contribute to the high rate of death from stroke in those states, according to a new study. ... > full story

Scientist uncovers switch controlling protein production (December 23, 2010) -- Scientist have discovered a molecular switch that controls the synthesis of ribosomes. Ribosomes are the large machineries inside all living cells that produce proteins, the basic working units of any cell. These new findings offer a novel target for potential treatments for a range of diseases, including cancer. ... > full story

When will runners and swimmers reach their physical limit? (December 23, 2010) -- Running and swimming records are broken again and again at almost every international athletics event, But, can human performance continue to improve indefinitely? Will runners continue to accelerate off the starting blocks and reach the finish line in faster and faster times? Will swimmers always be able to dive into the record books with a quicker kick? ... > full story

Component in common dairy foods may cut diabetes risk, study suggests (December 23, 2010) -- Scientists have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. ... > full story

Most common adult brain cancer linked to gene deletion, doctors say (December 23, 2010) -- A new study has identified an important gene deletion in up to one of every four cases of glioblastoma, the most common adult brain cancer. This deletion contributes to tumor development, promotes resistance to therapy and considerably worsens a patient's survival prospects. ... > full story

Cassini finishes sleigh ride by Saturn's icy moons (December 23, 2010) -- On the heels of a successful close flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is returning images of Enceladus and the nearby moon Dione. ... > full story

Photons vs. protons for treatment of spinal cord gliomas (December 23, 2010) -- A study comparing the long-term outcomes of patients with spinal-cord tumors following radiation therapy suggests that certain subsets of patients have better long-term survival, and that photon-based radiation therapy may result in better survival than proton-beam therapy, even in patients with more favorable characteristics. ... > full story

New annotated database sifts through mountains of sequencing data to find gene promoters (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers announce the release of an online tool that will help scientists find "gene promoters" -- regions along a DNA strand that tell a cell's transcription machinery where to start reading in order to create a particular protein. The Mammalian Promoter Database (MPromDb) integrates sequencing data generated at Wistar with publicly available data on human and mouse genomics. MPromDb pinpoints known promoters and predicts where new ones are likely to be found. ... > full story

Why do risks with human characteristics make powerful consumers feel lucky? (December 23, 2010) -- People who feel powerful are more likely to believe they can beat cancer if it's described in human terms, according to new study. ... > full story

Study on effects of resveratrol and quercetin on inflammation and insulin resistance (December 23, 2010) -- A study was carried out to examine the extent to which quercetin and trans-resveratrol prevented inflammation or insulin resistance in primary cultures of human adipocytes treated with tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) -- an inflammatory cytokine elevated in the plasma and adipose tissue of obese, diabetic individuals. ... > full story

Young female chimpanzees treat sticks as dolls: Growing evidence of biological basis for gender-specific play in humans (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers have reported some of the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex, just as human children around the world do. Scientists say female chimpanzees appear to treat sticks as dolls, carrying them around until they have offspring of their own. Young males engage in such behavior much less frequently. ... > full story

Genome-wide hunt reveals links to abnormal rhythms behind sudden death, heart damage (December 22, 2010) -- A study among almost 50,000 people worldwide has identified DNA sequence variations linked with the heart's electrical rhythm in several surprising regions among 22 locations across the human genome. ... > full story

New single-pixel photo camera developed (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers have developed a new tool for the field of scientific imaging. A sensor of just one pixel can record high-quality images and distribute them securely, that is, without allowing unauthorized people access to information. ... > full story

Immunity in emerging species of a major mosquito carrer of malaria (December 22, 2010) -- A new study suggests that the mosquitoes' immune response to malaria parasites, mediated by a gene called TEP1, is one of the traits that differ between two evolving species of Anopheles gambiae. ... > full story

Muscle filaments make mechanical strain visible (December 22, 2010) -- Plastics manufacturers face a serious hurdle in their quest for new developments: Substantial influences of the microscopic material structure on mechanical material properties cannot be observed directly. Synthetic polymer molecules are too small for microscopic observation in mechanical experiments. Physicists have now developed a method that allows just these kinds of measurements. ... > full story

Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit? (December 22, 2010) -- Adventure seekers are plunking down more than ,000 to climb Mount Everest, but a new study finds that people who pay for transformative experiences often lack the communitarian spirit that usually defines such activities. ... > full story

Sex reversal gene: Male mice can be created without Y chromosome via ancient brain gene (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers in Australia are a step closer to unraveling the mysteries of human sexual development, following genetic studies that show male mice can be created without a Y chromosome -- through the activation of an ancient brain gene. ... > full story

Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (December 22, 2010) -- Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons. Spirulina appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ... > full story

A robot with finger-tip sensitivity (December 22, 2010) -- Two arms, three cameras, finger-tip sensitivity and a variety of facial expressions -- these are the distinguishing features of the pi4-workerbot. Similar in size to a human being, it can be employed at any modern workstation in an industrial manufacturing environment. Its purpose is to help keep European production competitive. ... > full story

Tumor cells in blood may signal worse prognosis in head and neck cancer patients (December 22, 2010) -- A new study suggests that the presence of tumor cells in the circulating blood of patients with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck might predict disease recurrence and reduced survival. An increased number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) also correlates with a worse outcome. The findings of the ongoing, prospective study suggest that CTCs might be a prognostic marker to help further individualize therapy. Currently, no prognostic blood test exists for this malignancy. ... > full story

New ideas enhance efficiency of wind turbines (December 22, 2010) -- One issue confronting the efficiency of wind as a promising renewable energy source is the wind itself -- specifically, its changeability. While the aerodynamic performance of a wind turbine is best under steady wind flow, the efficiency of the blades degrades when exposed to conditions such as wind gusts, turbulent flow, upstream turbine wakes and wind shear. Now, a new type of air-flow technology may soon increase the efficiency of large wind turbines under many different wind conditions. ... > full story

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