Rabu, 02 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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Arctic mercury mystery: Meterological conditions in the spring and summer to blame? (February 2, 2011) -- More mercury is deposited in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet. Researchers think one explanation for this may lie in the meteorological conditions in the Arctic spring and summer. ... > full story

Natural molecule indirectly prevents stable clot formation (February 2, 2011) -- A scientist has identified a new role for a natural signaling molecule in preventing blood clot formation. The molecule could become a target for the development of novel and cost-effective treatments for blood clotting diseases such as Hemophilia A. ... > full story

Monster cyclone Yasi eyes Australia in NASA image (February 2, 2011) -- Mass evacuations are underway in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland in anticipation of what forecasters expect will be the largest cyclone ever to hit the continent. ... > full story

High levels of circulating DNA may signal faster progression of lung cancer (February 2, 2011) -- High levels of circulating DNA may indicate faster progression of lung cancer and lower overall survival, according to a new study. ... > full story

Scientists customize a magnet's performance by strategically replacing key atoms (February 2, 2011) -- Scientists have strategically replaced key atoms in a gadolinium-germanium compound, causing changes in the resulting alloy's ferromagnetism. The discovery may eventually help as materials scientists search for new, exotic substances for use in today's and future generations of high-tech products. ... > full story

Too many pitches strike out youth athletes early, new 10 year study suggests (February 2, 2011) -- For years, sports medicine professionals have talked about youth pitching injuries and the stress the motion causes on developing bones and muscles. In a new, 10-year study, researchers showed that participants who pitched more than 100 innings in a year were 3.5 times more likely to be injured. ... > full story

Do chimpanzees mourn their dead infants? (February 2, 2011) -- For the first time, researchers report in detail how a chimpanzee mother responds to the death of her infant. The chimpanzee mother shows behaviors not typically seen directed toward live infants, such as placing her fingers against the neck and laying the infant's body on the ground to watch it from a distance. The observations provide unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans' closest primate relatives, learn about death. ... > full story

Yeast used to detect proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have developed and patented a method using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to detect in human proteins the formation of oligomers, small toxic aggregations of molecules which can initiate the assembly of amyloid fibers found in neurodegenerative diseases. The test allows validating the efficacy of compounds which could dissolve or inhibit these aggregates, as well as studying at basic level the therapeutic potentiality of a large number of molecules. ... > full story

Computer-assisted diagnosis tools to aid pathologists (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers are leveraging powerful Ohio Supercomputer Center resources to develop computer-assisted diagnosis tools for diagnosing Follicular Lymphoma. Accurate grading of the pathological samples generally leads to a promising prognosis, but diagnosis depends solely upon a labor-intensive process that can be affected by fatigue, reader variation and bias. These computer-assisted procedures will provide pathologists grading cancerous Follicular Lymphoma samples with quicker, more consistently accurate diagnoses. ... > full story

African-Americans have better stroke survival rates (February 2, 2011) -- A new study shows that African Americans have a better survival rate compared to whites after being hospitalized for a stroke. This conclusion contradicts prevailing wisdom and is one piece in a growing body of evidence that points to the important role that patients -- and the decision they and their families make in terms of treatment -- may play on mortality rates. ... > full story

Exotic phases on an atom chip (February 2, 2011) -- The development of modern technologies relies on the exquisite knowledge of transport properties. Electronic devices and computers are indeed based on the possibility to generate and control currents of electrons, elementary particles which abound in materials. By exploiting their electric charge and their response to electromagnetic fields, these particles are minutely guided along circuits composed of fine conducting materials. Thus, the information transport from which we benefit daily is associated to an intrinsic property of the electron: its charge. ... > full story

Teens with HIV at high risk for pregnancy, complications, research finds (February 2, 2011) -- Teenage girls and young women infected with HIV get pregnant more often and suffer pregnancy complications more frequently than their HIV-negative peers, according to new research. ... > full story

NASA's Stardust adjusts flight path for comet meetup (February 2, 2011) -- Just over two weeks before its flyby of comet Tempel 1, NASA's Stardust spacecraft fired its thrusters to help refine its flight path toward the comet. The Stardust-NExT mission will fly past comet Tempel 1 on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2011). ... > full story

Sleep selectively stores useful memories: Brain evaluates information based on future expectations, study suggests (February 1, 2011) -- After a good night's sleep, people remember information better when they know it will be useful in the future, according to a new study. The findings suggest that the brain evaluates memories during sleep and preferentially retains the ones that are most relevant. ... > full story

New study alters long-held beliefs about shingles (February 1, 2011) -- For decades, medical wisdom about shingles has been that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The commonly-held belief is that patients are protected from a recurrence of the herpes zoster virus, which causes shingles, after one episode. But according to a new study, recurrences of shingles may be significantly more common than doctors have suspected. ... > full story

NASA satellite tracks menacing Australian cyclone (February 1, 2011) -- Fresh on the heels of a series of crippling floods that began in December 2010, and a small tropical cyclone, Anthony, this past weekend, the northeastern Australian state of Queensland is now bracing for what could become one of the largest tropical cyclones the state has ever seen. ... > full story

Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children and insecticide-treated bednets reduce prevalence of infection by up to 85 percent (February 1, 2011) -- Two separate studies -- carried out in Burkina Faso and Mali -- have found that combining intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children with insecticide-treated bednets can substantially reduce the incidence of severe malaria. ... > full story

Technology protects cotton from caterpillar's appetite (February 1, 2011) -- To demonstrate tiny cotton-eating caterpillars' destructive power, entomologists planted two cotton varieties -- one genetically modified to provide protection and one not -- in a demonstration field. ... > full story

Opiate abuse: Protracted abstinence revisited (February 1, 2011) -- Opiate abuse is a chronic disorder and maintaining abstinence represents a major challenge for addicts. Individuals recovering from opiate dependence have long reported that while the acute withdrawal symptoms from opiates may pass relatively quickly, they do not feel quite right for several weeks or even months thereafter. Called the “protracted abstinence syndrome,” this cluster of vague depressive-like symptoms can include reduced concentration, low energy level, poor sleep quality, and anhedonia. New data in animals now implicates the serotonin system in this phenomenon. ... > full story

Bacteria in the gut may influence brain development (February 1, 2011) -- Scientists have found that gut bacteria may influence mammalian brain development and adult behavior. ... > full story

Early tests find nanoshell therapy effective against brain cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have successfully destroyed tumors of human brain cancer cells in the first animal tests of a minimally invasive treatment that zaps glioma tumors with heat. The researchers reported that four of seven mice that received the new treatment for glioma tumors had no signs of cancer more than three months after treatment. ... > full story

Giant radio telescope goes multi-national: First images from LOFAR (February 1, 2011) -- In the quest to discover more about our Universe and the birth of stars and galaxies, a new UK telescope connected for the first time to others across Europe has delivered its first 'radio pictures'. The images of the 3C196 quasar (a black hole in a distant galaxy) were taken in January 2011 by the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT). LOFAR (Low Frequency Array), which is co-ordinated by ASTRON in the Netherlands, is a network of radio telescopes designed to study the sky at the lowest radio frequencies accessible from the surface of the Earth with unprecedented resolution. ... > full story

Microbubble ultrasound and breast biopsies (February 1, 2011) -- Using "microbubbles" and ultrasound can mean more targeted breast biopsies for patients with early breast cancer, helping to determine treatment and possibly saving those patients from undergoing a second breast cancer surgery, a new study shows. ... > full story

Biologists discover 'control center' for sperm production (February 1, 2011) -- Biologists have published results of a new study into the intricacies of sex in flowering plants. They have found that a gene in plants, called DUO1, acts as a master switch to ensure twin fertile sperm cells are made in each pollen grain. ... > full story

Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers set out to examine what benefits bilingualism might have in the process of learning a third language. They found that students who know two languages have an easier time gaining command of a third language than students who are fluent in only one language. ... > full story

NASA satellites capture data on monster winter storm affecting 30 U.S. states (February 1, 2011) -- One of the largest winter storms since the 1950s is affecting 30 U.S. states with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. NASA satellites have gathering data on the storm that stretches from Texas and the Rockies to the New England states. ... > full story

Inhalable measles vaccine tested (February 1, 2011) -- Sustained high vaccination coverage is key to preventing deaths from measles. Despite the availability of a vaccine, measles remains an important killer of children worldwide, particularly in less-developed regions where vaccination coverage is limited. Researchers have developed and successfully tested a dry powder, live-attenuated measles vaccine that can be inhaled. The novel vaccine was studied in rhesus macaques. ... > full story

Seeking social genes: Researchers compare insect genomes to hone in on genes associated with complex social structure (February 1, 2011) -- In order understand the evolution of complex societies, researchers are sequencing the genomes of social insects. The most recent data come from several species of ants, including the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. ... > full story

PET scans may allow early prediction of response to targeted therapy of thyroid cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Positron emission tomography (PET) can image metabolic changes following treatment with the protein kinase inhibitor vandetanib, helping to define the therapy response or the effectiveness of the therapeutic agent, according to new research. Currently being tested in clinical trials, vandetanib inhibits the function of the RET (rearranged-during-transfection protein) proto-oncogene and other protein kinases involved in the development and progression of cancer. ... > full story

Where has all the Gulf spill oil gone? (February 1, 2011) -- Many questions remain about the fate and environmental impact of the marine oil caused by the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform. ... > full story

Gestures provide a helping hand in problem solving (February 1, 2011) -- Talking with your hands can trigger mental images that help solve complex problems relating to spatial visualization, an important skill for both students and professionals, according to new research. ... > full story

Cluster encounters 'natural particle accelerator' above Earth's atmosphere: How northern and southern lights are generated (February 1, 2011) -- The European Space Agency's Cluster satellites have flown through a natural particle accelerator just above Earth's atmosphere. The data they collected are unlocking how most of the dramatic displays of the northern and southern lights are generated. ... > full story

Researchers unlock the potential for exploring kidney regeneration (February 1, 2011) -- It is estimated that up to 10 percent of the US population may have some form of renal disease, with 450,000 patients with end stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis. Researchers have identified a cell in zebrafish that can be transplanted from one fish to another to regenerate nephrons, providing the potential to improve kidney function. ... > full story

Scientists model tiny rotors, key to future nanomachines (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have created a molecular midway where atoms dip, dive and soar. Through molecular dynamics simulations, they have now defined the ground rules for the rotor motion of molecules attached to a gold surface. ... > full story

Brain can learn to overcome sleep apnea, study suggests (February 1, 2011) -- New research could provide some restful nights for the 18 million North Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. ... > full story

Clean streets and intact road surfaces help to keep the air clean (February 1, 2011) -- Road traffic is one of the main sources of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, above all when the weather situation favors the creation of winter smog. Vehicle tailpipe emissions are responsible for just less than half of the fine particles, however. The majority of this pollutant is produced by mechanical wear and resuspension of dust due to air turbulence from passing vehicles, as a study by atmospheric scientists has shown. ... > full story

Physical activity linked to political participation (February 1, 2011) -- How is going for a jog like voting for president? As far as our brains are concerned, physical activity and political activity are two sides of the same coin. Scientists found that people who live in more active states are also more likely to vote. And in an experiment, volunteers who were exposed to active words like "go" and "move" said they were more likely to vote than did people who saw words like "relax" and "stop." ... > full story

Newly discovered dinosaur likely father of Triceratops (February 1, 2011) -- Triceratops and Torosaurus have long been considered the kings of the horned dinosaurs. But a new discovery traces the giants' family tree further back in time, when a newly discovered species called Titanoceratops appears to have reigned long before its more well-known descendants, making it the earliest known member of its family. ... > full story

New probiotic combats inflammatory bowel disease (February 1, 2011) -- You know the probiotics in your peach yogurt are healthful, but now it appears they may also be a powerful treatment for disease. A genetically tweaked version of a common probiotic in yogurt and cheese appears to be an effective therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Researchers found the novel probiotic significantly halted disease progression in a preclinical study. It may also be useful in treating colon cancer, researchers suggest. ... > full story

Dogs can accurately sniff out early stage bowel cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Dogs can sniff out bowel cancer in breath and stool samples, with a very high degree of accuracy -- even in the early stages of the disease -- reveals new research. ... > full story

High-spending hospitals may save more lives (February 1, 2011) -- When hospitalized for a major acute medical condition -- including heart attack, stroke and pneumonia -- patients were less likely to die in high-spending hospitals, according to a new study. ... > full story

Metamaterials approach makes better satellite antennas (February 1, 2011) -- Cheaper, lighter and more energy-efficient broadband devices on communications satellites may be possible using metamaterials to modify horn antennas, according to engineers. ... > full story

Understanding the autistic mind: Evidence that autistic patients have trouble understanding other people's intentions (February 1, 2011) -- Neuroscientists have revealed that high-functioning autistic adults appear to have trouble using theory of mind to make moral judgments in certain situations. ... > full story

Argentine ant genome sheds light on a successful pest (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have unlocked the genetic code of the highly invasive Argentine ant, providing clues as to why this species has been so successful. ... > full story

Smart lasers could make cancer biopsies painless, help speed new drugs to market (February 1, 2011) -- Biopsies in the future may be painless and noninvasive, thanks to smart laser technology. To test for skin cancer, patients today must endure doctors cutting away a sliver of skin, sending the biopsy to a lab and anxiously awaiting the results. Using laser microscopes that deploy rapid, ultra-short pulses to identify molecules, doctors may soon have the tools to painlessly scan a patient's troublesome mole and review the results on the spot, new research suggests. ... > full story

Bugs might convert biodiesel waste into new fuel (February 1, 2011) -- A strain of bacteria found in soil is being studied for its ability to convert waste from a promising alternative fuel into several useful materials, including another alternative fuel. ... > full story

Altered cell metabolism has role in brain tumor development (February 1, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered that genetic mutations found in brain tumors can alter tumor metabolism. This work could help lead to new designs for anti-cancer drugs based on the unique properties of these tumors. ... > full story

New approach needed to prevent major 'systemic failures' such as power outages, subprime mortgage crisis and Gulf oil spill (February 1, 2011) -- A Purdue University researcher is proposing development of a new cross-disciplinary approach for analyzing and preventing systemic failures in complex systems that play a role in calamities ranging from huge power outages to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the subprime mortgage crisis. ... > full story

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