Rabu, 05 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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Even healthy cats act sick when their routine is disrupted (January 4, 2011) -- A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress caused by changes in its environment, new research suggests. Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine. ... > full story

Protein wields phosphate group to inhibit cancer metastasis; Tagging an enzyme with chemical also is crucial to bone cell formation (January 4, 2011) -- By sticking a chemical group to it at a specific site, a protein arrests an enzyme that may worsen and spread cancer, an international research team reports. ... > full story

Impregnating plastics with carbon dioxide (January 4, 2011) -- Everyone has heard that carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming. But the gas also has some positive characteristics. Researchers are now impregnating plastics with compressed CO2 in a process that could lead to new applications ranging from colored contact lenses to bacteria-resistant door handles. ... > full story

Kids frequently exposed to medical imaging procedures that use radiation, study finds (January 4, 2011) -- A new study shows that kids frequently receive imaging procedures during their routine clinical care, and highlights the importance of initiatives to ensure that those tests being performed are necessary and use the lowest possible doses of radiation. ... > full story

New system for analyzing information on WikiLeaks, social media (January 4, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain have created a new computer system that has multiple applications for exploring information in a variety of areas including fraud detection, biomedicine, education, social media and the Internet. For example, the technology can be used to extract information from WikiLeaks from two perspectives: one, to obtain generic indicators that provide information on whether the data network has the features of a social network and whether communities of data are created that can provide relevant information; and two, to use the documents hosted on the website to analyze how a topic evolves over time, how a person or a group relates to different topics and how the documents themselves interrelate. ... > full story

US soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder more likely to feel long-term psychological effect (January 4, 2011) -- Combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms appear to be associated with longer-term physical (headache, tinnitus), emotional (irritability) and cognitive (diminished concentration or memory) symptoms, according to a new report. Conversely, concussion/mild traumatic brain injuries do not appear to have long-term negative effects on troops. ... > full story

The ecosystem engineer: Research looks at beavers' role in river restoration (January 4, 2011) -- When engineers restore rivers, one professor hopes they'll keep a smaller engineer in mind: the North American beaver. ... > full story

Peptide delivers one-two punch to breast cancer in pre-clinical study (January 4, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered what may become a new weapon in the fight against breast cancer. For the first time, a peptide found in blood and tissue has been shown to inhibit the growth of human breast tumors in mice. ... > full story

Parallels between cancers, infection suppression: Same proteins involved, but cancer takes hold when response gets out of control (January 4, 2011) -- Tiny parasitoid wasps can play an important role in controlling the populations of other insect species by laying their eggs inside the larvae of these species. A newly hatched wasp gradually eats the host alive and takes over its body. The host insect is far from defenseless, however. In fruit flies, larvae activate humoral immunity in the fat body and mount a robust cellular response that encapsulates and chokes off the wasp egg. New research reveals parallels between how this mechanism fights the wasp infection and the way blood cancer develops. ... > full story

Clostridium bacteria infecting increasing numbers of hospitalized children (January 4, 2011) -- Hospitalized children in the United States are more frequently becoming infected with the bacteria Clostridium difficile, according to a new study. ... > full story

Researchers helping electric-wheelchair users move more easily (January 4, 2011) -- Thick gravel, mud, snow, steep ramps or hills ... They might get a pedestrian a little dirty or out of breath, but to someone in an electric wheelchair, they could mean terrain that's simply too difficult to cross alone. To address this problem, researchers are working on technology that will enable electric-powered wheelchairs to detect hazardous terrain and automatically adjust their control settings to maneuver more safely. ... > full story

Brain imaging studies examine how anti-smoking medications may curb cravings (January 4, 2011) -- The smoking cessation medications bupropion and varenicline may both be associated with changes in the way the brain reacts to smoking cues, making it easier for patients to resist cravings, according to two new reports. ... > full story

Resurrecting the so-called 'depression gene': new evidence that our genes play a role in our response to adversity (January 4, 2011) -- Researchers have found new evidence that our genes help determine our susceptibility to depression. Their findings challenge a 2009 study that called the genetic link into question and add new support to earlier research hailed as a medical breakthrough. ... > full story

PET scans provide insight into fever-induced epilepsy in children (January 4, 2011) -- Sudden, catastrophic childhood epilepsy is a parent's worst nightmare, especially in the case of fever-induced refractory epileptic encephalopathy in school-age children (FIRES). While not much is known about the condition, new research shows that positron emission tomography scans can offer an evaluation of cognitive dysfunction of FIRES, its evolution and further prognosis. ... > full story

Eating low-fat, thanks to lupin proteins (January 4, 2011) -- Food should be delicious, healthy and sustainably produced. Researchers are working on new methods to use as many parts of plants as possible for nutrition. In the future, vegetable ingredients could replace animal raw materials. Lupin seeds, for instance, can be used to produce low-fat, exquisite sausage products. ... > full story

Women with both diabetes and depression at higher risk of dying from heart disease, other causes (January 4, 2011) -- Depression and diabetes appear to be associated with a significantly increased risk of death from heart disease and risk of death from all causes over a six-year period for women, according to a new report. ... > full story

The movement of tree sap analyzed (January 4, 2011) -- Scientists have used 3D modeling to analyze the mechanisms used to by trees to transport water in their interior. The objective: to discover the keys to the movement of sap in order to apply these advances to new hydraulic systems or to suction pumps. ... > full story

Authorities often aware of previous incidents of victimization among children and adolescents, report finds (January 4, 2011) -- Almost half of US youth who experience violence, abuse or crime have had at least one of their victimizations known to school, police or medical authorities, according to a new report. ... > full story

Not so bird-brained: 3D X-rays piece together the evolution of flight from fossils (January 3, 2011) -- Three-dimensional X-ray scanning equipment is being used to help chart the evolution of flight in birds, by digitally reconstructing the size of bird brains using ancient fossils and modern bird skulls. ... > full story

CPAP therapy reduces fatigue, increases energy in patients with sleep apnea, study suggests (January 3, 2011) -- Three weeks of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy significantly reduced fatigue and increased energy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. ... > full story

Firefly protein lights pathway to improved detection of blood clots (January 3, 2011) -- The enzyme that makes fireflies glow is lighting up the scientific path toward a long-sought new medical imaging agent to better monitor treatment with heparin, the blood thinner that millions of people take to prevent or treat blood clots, scientists are reporting. ... > full story

Protein that drives survival of gastrointestinal tumors identified (January 3, 2011) -- For patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GISTs, the blockbuster cancer drug Gleevec has been a reason to hope. Since the drug's introduction, survival rates have climbed dramatically and recurrence has fallen by two-thirds. But there's a downside: over time, many patients develop resistance to the drug. Now, scientists have identified a molecule that acts as a survival factor for gastrointestinal tumors, a finding that may lead to next-generation therapies that can pick up where Gleevec leaves off. ... > full story

Global network of new-generation telescopes will track astrophysical events as they happen (January 3, 2011) -- Astronomers will, for the first time, be capable of tracking astrophysical events across the sky as they happen. ... > full story

Hair color of unknown offenders is no longer a secret (January 3, 2011) -- The hair color of an unknown perpetrator who has committed a crime will soon no longer be a secret for forensic investigators. Scientists have discovered that DNA can be used to predict people's probable hair color. ... > full story

Even molds can suffer jet lag: Simple organisms shed light on inner clock (January 3, 2011) -- Humans are not the only species ruled by a circadian rhythm. Even simple organisms like molds are governed by an inner clock. ... > full story

Biological diversity of ovarian cancer lessens value of screening (January 3, 2011) -- Cancer prevention experts have long been frustrated by the lack of a meaningful way to screen women for ovarian cancer. It is a relatively rare disease that often progresses with few symptoms until it is too late for potentially curative treatments, and elevated values of the most commonly used biomarker used in screening, CA125, are also related to other disorders. ... > full story

How cells export and embed proteins in the membrane (January 3, 2011) -- Scientists have determined the structure of a ribosome-protein complex involved in carrying nascent proteins out of the cell. Their work could increase understanding of illnesses such as cystic fibrosis and some forms of Parkinson's disease. ... > full story

Expert analysis of HER2 tests reveals issues with reliability (January 3, 2011) -- Results for testing breast tumors for HER2 proteins and genes is most often straightforward when one piece of tumor (a single tumor block) is analyzed. However, tumors can be diverse, and researchers found that HER2 results can vary in up to 10 percent of patients when several tumor blocks are analyzed. ... > full story

How does your green roof garden grow? (January 3, 2011) -- Growing plants on rooftops is an old concept that has evolved from simple sod roofing to lightweight "extensive green roofs". Researchers have evaluated the influence of substrate type and depth on establishment of five common green roof plants. A standout performer was saxifrage pink, which had an attractive appearance and persistent flowering habit, making it an excellent choice as a green roof plant. ... > full story

Humans helped vultures colonize the Canary Islands (January 3, 2011) -- The Egyptian vulture population of the Canary Islands was established following the arrival of the first human settlers who brought livestock to the islands. A genetic comparison of Iberian and Canarian birds found that the Egyptian vulture population in the Canary Islands was likely established around 2500 years ago -- around the same time as humans began to colonize the islands. ... > full story

New statement on the treatment of pulmonary fungal infections (January 3, 2011) -- The American Thoracic Society has released a new official clinical policy statement on the treatment of fungal infections in adult pulmonary and critical care patients. The statement replaces ATS guidelines published in 1988, and takes into account new medications and treatment approaches, as well as provides an overview of emerging fungi. ... > full story

Tonsillectomy in children: Multidisciplinary clinical practice guideline (January 3, 2011) -- A multidisciplinary clinical practice guideline provides evidence-based recommendations on the pre-, intra-, and postoperative care and management of children aged 1 to 18 years under consideration for tonsillectomy. ... > full story

Bizarre bioluminescent snail: Secrets of strange mollusk and its use of light as a possible defense mechanism revealed (January 2, 2011) -- Two scientists have provided the first details about the mysterious flashes of dazzling bioluminescent light produced by a little-known sea snail. ... > full story

Walking slows progression of Alzheimer's, study suggests (January 2, 2011) -- Walking may slow cognitive decline in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, as well as in healthy adults, according to a new study. ... > full story

Calculating tidal energy turbines' effects on sediments and fish (January 2, 2011) -- Engineers are developing computer models to study how changes in water pressure and current speed around tidal turbines affect sediment buildup and fish health. ... > full story

Type 1 diabetes computer model's predictive success validated through lab testing (January 2, 2011) -- Type 1 diabetes researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of a recently developed computer model in predicting key information about nasal insulin treatment regimens in Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. ... > full story

Enzyme cocktail could eliminate a step in biofuel process (January 2, 2011) -- Conversion of biomass to fuel requires several steps: chemical pretreatment to break up the biomass, detoxification to remove the toxic chemicals required in pretreatment, and microbial fermentation to convert the soluble sugars to fuels. Researchers have discovered an enzyme mixture that works in the presence of the toxic infused liquid biomass (hydrolysate), meaning that the detoxification step is unnecessary. ... > full story

Most women do not get recommended mammograms, study finds (January 2, 2011) -- Only half of eligible women in the United States are getting their annual mammograms, even if they have insurance to pay for the procedure, according to a new study. ... > full story

Neandertals’ extinction not caused by deficient diets, tooth analysis shows (January 1, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered evidence to debunk the theory that Neandertals' disappearance was caused in part by a deficient diet -- one that lacked variety and was overly reliant on meat. After discovering starch granules from plant food trapped in the dental calculus on 40-thousand-year-old Neandertal teeth, the scientists believe that Neandertals ate a wide variety of plants and included cooked grains as part of a more sophisticated, diverse diet similar to early modern humans. ... > full story

Alzheimer's disease: Are plaques and tangles a symptom, not the cause? (January 1, 2011) -- One researcher thinks that the national research effort to understand Alzheimer's disease has gone about as far as it can go with its current theories. And that's not far enough. He thinks plaques and tangles are a symptom, not the cause. ... > full story

Budding research links climate change and earlier flowering plants (January 1, 2011) -- New research shows that global warming may be impacting the blooming cycle of plants. ... > full story

Esophageal cancer risk lower than expected for patients with GERD (January 1, 2011) -- The risk of esophageal cancer among patients who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease is not as high as many may think, according to new research. ... > full story

Technique turns computer chip defects into an advantage (January 1, 2011) -- Physicists have discovered that tiny defects inside a computer chip can be used to tune the properties of key atoms in the chip. The technique involves rearranging the holes left by missing atoms to tune the properties of dopants -- the chemical impurities that give the semiconductors in computer chips their special properties. ... > full story

When the brain knows no fear: Fear discovery could lead to new interventions for PTSD (January 1, 2011) -- Researchers have pinpointed the part of the brain that causes people to experience fear -- a discovery that could improve treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety conditions. ... > full story

New genetic alterations associated with human height identified (January 1, 2011) -- New research identifies uncommon and previously unknown variants associated with height and might provide insight into the genetic architecture of other complex traits. ... > full story

Key protein discovered that allows nerve cells to repair themselves (January 1, 2011) -- An unexpected process that is required for regeneration after severe neuron injury has been discovered in the part of the neuron that receives information from other cells and from the outside world. The scientists hope that the discovery will provide insights for researchers who are developing drug therapies for patients with nerve disease or nerve damage. ... > full story

Scientists peer into the future of stem cell biology (January 1, 2011) -- Remarkable progress in understanding how stem cell biology works has been reported by a team of leading scientists. Stem cell biology is making waves around the world with great hope for the eventual repair of parts of the body. While many scientists see these breakthroughs as viable, there are hurdles that must be overcome, including the worrisome potential for introducing cancer when making a repair to an organ. ... > full story

Blood-thinning treatment standards changing for heart patients, new research shows (January 1, 2011) -- Researchers have found that warfarin, a known anticoagulation (blood-thinning) drug, may not be as beneficial to some patients with atrial fibrillation as previously thought. ... > full story

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