Kamis, 13 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Thursday, January 13, 2011

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Antifreeze proteins: How one gene becomes two (with different functions) (January 13, 2011) -- Researchers report that they are the first to show in molecular detail how one gene evolved two competing functions that eventually split up -- via gene duplication -- to pursue their separate destinies. The study validates a decades-old hypothesis about a key mechanism of evolution. The study also confirms the ancestry of a family of "antifreeze proteins" that helps the Antarctic eelpout survive in the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean. ... > full story

Adrenaline receptor 'frozen in action' by researchers (January 13, 2011) -- Adrenaline, the hormone that prepares our body to fight or flight, acts on a hyperdynamic receptor. This molecule switches so fast between several positions, that it was impossible to image it. Until now. Scientists have "frozen the molecule in action" using Xaperones, tiny, stable antibodies. ... > full story

Natural dissolved organic matter plays dual role in cycling of mercury (January 13, 2011) -- Nature has a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with mercury, but researchers have made a discovery that ultimately could help explain the split personality. ... > full story

Two medicines taken together improve control of blood pressure (January 13, 2011) -- New research shows that starting treatment of blood pressure with two medicines rather than the one produces better and faster results and fewer side effects -- findings that could change clinical practice world-wide. ... > full story

New approach to modeling power system aims for better monitoring and control of blackouts (January 13, 2011) -- Major power outages are fairly infrequent, but when they happen they can result in billions of dollars in costs -- and even contribute to fatalities. New research has led to the development of an approach by which high-resolution power-system measurements, also referred to as synchrophasors, can be efficiently used to develop reliable models of large power systems, which would help us keep an eye on their health. ... > full story

Family, friends, social ties influence weight status in young adults (January 13, 2011) -- Does obesity tend to "cluster" among young adults? And if so, what impact does it have on both their weight and weight-related behaviors? That's what researchers set out to answer to better understand how social influences affect both weight status and weight loss intentions in this difficult-to-reach age group. ... > full story

Tinnitus treatment: Rebooting the brain helps stop the ring of tinnitus in rats (January 13, 2011) -- Targeted nerve stimulation could yield a long-term reversal of tinnitus, a debilitating hearing impairment affecting at least 10 percent of senior citizens and up to 40 percent of military veterans, according to a new article. ... > full story

Robotic surgery of 'tremendous benefit' to patients (January 13, 2011) -- Robot-assisted surgery dramatically improves outcomes in patients with uterine, endometrial, and cervical cancer. Moreover, because of fewer post-operative complications and shorter hospital stays, robotic procedures also cost less. ... > full story

How seabirds share their habitat (January 13, 2011) -- When different species of seabirds share a habitat with limited sources of food, they must differ in their feeding habits. This specialization is known by biologists as an “ecological niche”. Researchers have investigated how flexible these ecological niches really are. They discovered that the preying habits of diving seabirds are very different, both in location and timing, within species as well as between different species. ... > full story

Comparison of medications for heart failure finds difference in risk of death (January 13, 2011) -- In a comparison of the angiotensin II receptor blockers candesartan and losartan, used by patients with heart failure, candesartan was associated with a lower risk of death at 1 and 5 years, according to a new study. ... > full story

Mobile telephony without base stations (January 13, 2011) -- The new generation of mobile phone technology makes it possible to communicate directly from one telephone to another without having to rely on base stations. A Swedish researcher presents a program that runs on telephones and can deliver messages even when the infrastructure for telecommunication has been knocked out. ... > full story

People neglect who they really are when predicting their own future happiness (January 13, 2011) -- Humans are notoriously bad at predicting their future happiness. A new study suggests that part of the reason for these mispredictions lies in failing to recognize the key role played by one's own personality when determining future emotional reactions. ... > full story

Earth is twice as dusty as in 19th century, research shows (January 12, 2011) -- If the house seems dustier than it used to be, it may not be a reflection on your housekeeping skills. The amount of dust in the Earth's atmosphere has doubled over the last century, according to a new study; and the dramatic increase is influencing climate and ecology around the world. ... > full story

Delivering a potent cancer drug with nanoparticles can lessen side effects (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that they can deliver the cancer drug cisplatin much more effectively and safely in a form that has been encapsulated in a nanoparticle targeted to prostate tumor cells and is activated once it reaches its target. ... > full story

Under pressure: Stormy weather sensor for hurricane forecasting (January 12, 2011) -- It's hard to believe that, in this day and age, we don't have a way to measure sea-level air pressure during hurricanes. NASA researchers, however, are working on a system that will improve forecasting of severe ocean weather by doing just that. The device measures sea-level air pressure, a critical component of hurricane formation -- and one that has been extremely difficult to capture. ... > full story

MicroRNA-TP53 circuit connected to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (January 12, 2011) -- The interplay between a major tumor-suppressing gene, a truncated chromosome and two sets of microRNAs provides a molecular basis for explaining the less aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, an international team of researchers reports. ... > full story

New laboratory aims to revolutionize surgery with real-time metabolic profiling (January 12, 2011) -- Metabolic profiling of tissue samples could transform the way surgeons make decisions in the operating theater, say researchers at a new laboratory being launched in the UK. Scientists have installed a high resolution solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer to analyze intact tissue samples from patients taking part in studies, to investigate whether it can ultimately give surgeons detailed diagnostic information while their patients are under the knife. ... > full story

Middle school is when the right friends may matter most (January 12, 2011) -- As adolescents move from elementary school into their middle or junior-high years, changes in friendships may signal potential academic success or troubles down the road, say researchers. ... > full story

Musical chills: Why they give us thrills (January 12, 2011) -- Scientists have found that the pleasurable experience of listening to music releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain important for more tangible pleasures associated with rewards such as food, drugs and sex. ... > full story

Lab-on-a-chip developed for fast, inexpensive blood tests: Smartphone app next (January 12, 2011) -- While most blood tests require shipping a vial of blood to a laboratory for analysis and waiting several days for the results, a new device invented by a team of engineers and students uses just a pinprick of blood in a portable device that provides results in less than 30 minutes. The next step will turn blood testing into a smartphone application. ... > full story

NASA radar reveals features on asteroid (January 12, 2011) -- Radar imaging at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in the California desert on Dec. 11 and 12, 2010, revealed defining characteristics of recently discovered asteroid 2010 JL33. The images have been made into a short movie that shows the celestial object's rotation and shape. ... > full story

New insight into neuronal survival after brain injury (January 12, 2011) -- A new study identifies a molecule that is a critical regulator of neuron survival after ischemic brain injury. The research may lead to new therapies that reduce damage after a stroke or other injuries that involve an interruption in blood supply to the brain. ... > full story

Virus killer gets supercharged: Discovery greatly improves common disinfectant (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers report that adding silicone to titanium dioxide, a common disinfectant, dramatically increases its ability to degrade aerosol- and water-borne viruses. ... > full story

How partners perceive each other's emotion during a fight has a huge impact on their reactions (January 12, 2011) -- Some of the most intense emotions people feel occur during a conflict in a romantic relationship. Now, psychologists show that how each person perceives the other partner's emotion during a conflict greatly influences different types of thoughts, feelings and reactions in themselves. ... > full story

Most distant galaxy cluster identified (January 12, 2011) -- Astronomers have uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today. ... > full story

Critical link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease discovered (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that the genetic mechanism which destroys brain cells is responsible for early development of Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome and for development of Alzheimer's disease in general population -- providing a potential new target for drugs that could forestall dementia in people with either condition. ... > full story

'Thirdhand smoke' may be bigger health hazard than previously believed (January 12, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting that so-called "thirdhand smoke" -- the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces -- may be even more of a health hazard than previously believed. The study extends the known health risks of tobacco among people who do not smoke but encounter the smoke exhaled by smokers or released by smoldering cigarette butts. ... > full story

MicroRNAs could increase the risk of amputation in diabetics (January 12, 2011) -- New research has found one of the smallest entities in the human genome, micro-RNA, could increase the risk of limb amputation in diabetic patients who have poor blood flow. ... > full story

Polymer membranes with molecular-sized channels that assemble themselves (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a solution-based method for inducing polymer membranes with molecular-sized channels to assemble themselves. Fully compatible with commercial membrane-fabrication, this new technique is believed to be the first example of organic nanotubes fabricated into a functional membrane over macroscopic distances. ... > full story

Emotional stress can change brain function (January 12, 2011) -- New research has shown that a single exposure to acute stress affected information processing in the cerebellum -- the area of the brain responsible for motor control and movement coordination and also involved in learning and memory formation. ... > full story

Water on moon originated from comets (January 12, 2011) -- The same researcher who first discovered water on the moon, has now determined the lunar water may have originated from comets smashing into the moon soon after it formed. ... > full story

Scientists discover way to stop pancreatic cancer in early stages, study suggests (January 12, 2011) -- Cancer researchers have found a way to stop early stage pancreatic cancer in research models -- a result that has far-reaching implications in chemoprevention for high-risk patients. ... > full story

Eating vegetables gives skin a more healthy glow than the sun, study shows (January 12, 2011) -- New research suggests eating vegetables gives you a healthy tan. The study showed that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables gives you a more healthy golden glow than the sun. ... > full story

Zoster vaccine associated with lower risk of shingles in older adults (January 12, 2011) -- Vaccination for herpes zoster, a painful rash commonly known as shingles, among a large group of older adults was associated with a reduced risk of this condition, regardless of age, race or the presence of chronic diseases, according to a new study. ... > full story

Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers have created the first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than double their original length, moving us closer to incorporating stretchable electronic devices into clothing, implantable health-monitoring devices, and a host of other applications. ... > full story

Men with macho faces attractive to fertile women, researchers find (January 12, 2011) -- When their romantic partners are not quintessentially masculine, women in their fertile phase are more likely to fantasize about masculine-looking men than are women paired with George Clooney types, says a new study. ... > full story

Chemical analysis confirms discovery of oldest wine-making equipment ever found (January 12, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered and dated the oldest complete wine production facility ever found, including grape seeds, withered grape vines, remains of pressed grapes, a rudimentary wine press, a clay vat apparently used for fermentation, wine-soaked potsherds and even cups. Dating 1,000 years before the earliest comparable find, the 4100 B.C. discovery was made in the same mysterious Armenian cave complex as an ancient leather shoe announced last summer. ... > full story

DNA blood test can cut invasive testing for Down's syndrome by 98 percent, study suggests (January 12, 2011) -- Women in high risk pregnancies for Down's syndrome could have a DNA blood test to detect the disorder and avoid invasive procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, finds a large scale study. ... > full story

NASA tests new propulsion system for robotic lander prototype (January 12, 2011) -- NASA's Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project has completed a series of hot fire tests and taken delivery of a new propulsion system for integration into a more sophisticated free-flying autonomous robotic lander prototype. The project is to develop a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers to achieve scientific and exploration goals on the surface of the moon and near-Earth asteroids. ... > full story

Anti-epileptic drugs associated with increased risk of fracture in older adults (January 12, 2011) -- Most anti-epileptic drugs are associated with an increased risk of non-traumatic fracture in individuals 50 years of age and older, according to a new study. ... > full story

No left turn: 'Superstreet' traffic design improves travel time, safety (January 12, 2011) -- The so-called "superstreet" traffic design results in significantly faster travel times, and leads to a drastic reduction in automobile collisions and injuries, according to researchers who have conducted the largest-ever study of superstreets and their impacts. ... > full story

Parents give boys preferential treatment when there is a chronic food shortage (January 12, 2011) -- In situations of chronic food shortage, parents are inclined to give boys a preferential treatment, despite the fact that the health of their daughters suffers more from food insecurity, according to new research. ... > full story

Planck's new view of the cosmic theater (January 12, 2011) -- The first scientific results from the European Space Agency's Planck mission focus on the coldest objects in the universe, from within our galaxy to the distant reaches of space. ... > full story

Common painkillers linked to increased risk of heart problems (January 12, 2011) -- Commonly used painkillers for treating inflammation can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to an analysis of the evidence. ... > full story

Winter sports threaten indigenous European mountain birds, research finds (January 12, 2011) -- In the winter months, the mountain ranges of central Europe attract thousands of tourists for skiing, snowboarding and other outdoor sports, but conservationists fear this annual invasion may threaten indigenous bird species, including the Capercaillie. New research reveals how the growth of human recreation may be a key factor in the rapidly declining population of these iconic alpine birds. ... > full story

Knee protectors can form allergenic substances on the skin (January 12, 2011) -- Common rubber products can form isothiocyanates in contact with skin and cause contact allergy, according to new research. Isothiocyanates are a group of reactive substances that are potent contact allergens. ... > full story

Wake up and smell the willow: 'Pre-roasted' plant matter could be burned in coal-fired power stations (January 12, 2011) -- More plant matter could be burned in coal-fired power stations if this "green" fuel was delivered pre-roasted like coffee beans, according to researchers from UK. ... > full story

Our perceptions of masculinity and femininity swayed by our sense of touch (January 12, 2011) -- Gender stereotypes suggest that men are usually tough and women are usually tender. A new study finds these stereotypes have some real bodily truth for our brains; when people look at a gender-neutral face, they are more likely to judge it as male if they're touching something hard and as female if they're touching something soft. ... > full story

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