Kamis, 03 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Thursday, February 3, 2011

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Giant virus, tiny protein crystals show X-ray laser's power and potential (February 3, 2011) -- Two new studies demonstrate how the unique capabilities of the world's first hard X-ray free-electron laser could revolutionize the study of life. In one study, researchers used the laser to demonstrate a shortcut for determining the 3-D structures of proteins. In a separate paper, the same team reported making the first single-shot images of intact viruses, paving the way for snapshots and movies of molecules, viruses and live microbes in action. ... > full story

Migraine surgery offers good long-term outcomes, study finds (February 3, 2011) -- Surgery to "deactivate" migraine headaches produces lasting good results, with nearly 90 percent of patients having at least partial relief at five years' follow-up, researchers report. In about 30 percent of patients, migraine headaches were completely eliminated after surgery, according to the new study. ... > full story

Picture-perfect pure-disc galaxy (February 3, 2011) -- The bright galaxy NGC 3621, captured in a new image using the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile, appears to be a fine example of a classical spiral. But it is in fact rather unusual: it does not have a central bulge and is therefore described as a pure-disc galaxy. ... > full story

Many rheumatoid arthritis patients not getting recommended drugs, researchers find (February 3, 2011) -- Despite medical guidelines recommending that patients receive early and aggressive treatment for rheumatoid arthritis with these medications, only 63 percent of Medicare-managed care patients diagnosed with the disease received any amount of the prescription drugs, according to a new study. ... > full story

Ice dome made using novel construction method (February 3, 2011) -- Civil engineers have built an ice dome 10 meters in diameter in Obergurgl, in the Austrian Alps, using an ingenious construction method. ... > full story

Older adults often excluded from clinical trials (February 3, 2011) -- Older adults are a large and growing patient population but more than half of clinical trials exclude them based on age or age-related conditions, according to a new study. It's a concern because doctors can't be certain clinical trial results apply to their older patients. ... > full story

Exploring an 'island of inversion,' physicists find new clues to element synthesis in supernovae (February 3, 2011) -- A new discovery, and the questions is raises, could help explain in greater detail how elements are synthesized in the explosion of stars. Although theory predicted a spherical arrangement in the nucleus of magnesium-32, experiments had only revealed a configuration shaped like an American football. Now, through experiments at CERN, physicists have confirmed the existence of a spherical magnesium-32 nucleus, formed at a much lower than predicted energy level. ... > full story

Metabolic syndrome linked to memory loss in older people (February 3, 2011) -- Older people with larger waistlines, high blood pressure and other risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome may be at a higher risk for memory loss, according to a new study. ... > full story

Genetic cause of new vascular disease identified (February 3, 2011) -- Clinical researchers have identified the genetic cause of a rare and debilitating vascular disorder not previously explained in the medical literature. The adult-onset condition is associated with progressive and painful arterial calcification affecting the lower extremities, yet spares patients' coronary arteries. ... > full story

How cancer gene MMSET functions (February 3, 2011) -- For several decades, researchers have been linking genetic mutations to diseases ranging from cancer to developmental abnormalities. What hasn't been clear, however, is how the body's genome sustains such destructive glitches in the first place. Now scientists provide an unprecedented glimpse of a little-understood gene, called MMSET, revealing how it enables disease-causing mutations to occur. ... > full story

Sea urchin embryos could be used to evaluate quality of marine environment, researcher proposes (February 3, 2011) -- Estuaries are highly appropriate systems for evaluating contamination. They are areas of accumulation of sediments and, effectively, numerous contaminants are found associated with these sedimentary particles. In order to study the effects of such contaminants in the environment, a researcher has proposed exposing sea urchin embryos to sediments suspected of being contaminated, in order to quantify any biological response from the organisms. ... > full story

Having a strong community protects adolescents from risky health behaviors (February 3, 2011) -- Children who grow up in poverty have health problems as adults. But a new study finds that poor adolescents who live in communities with more social cohesiveness and control get some measure of protection; they're less likely to smoke and be obese as adolescents. ... > full story

Human genome's breaking points: Genetic sequence of large-scale differences between human genomes (February 2, 2011) -- Scientists have identified the genetic sequence of an unprecedented 28,000 structural variants -- large portions of the human genome which differ from one person to another. The work could help find the genetic causes of some diseases and also begins to explain why certain parts of the human genome change more than others. ... > full story

MicroRNA cocktail helps turn skin cells into stem cells (February 2, 2011) -- A new technique removes several hurdles in generating induced pluripotent stem cells, smoothing the way for disease research and drug development. ... > full story

Ice cores yield rich history of climate change (February 2, 2011) -- On Friday, Jan. 28 in Antarctica, a research team investigating the last 100,000 years of Earth's climate history reached an important milestone completing the main ice core to a depth of 3,331 meters (10,928 feet) at West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide. The project will be completed over the next two years with some additional coring and borehole logging to obtain additional information and samples of the ice for the study of the climate record contained in the core. ... > full story

One donor cornea, two patients helped: New surgical approach may help meet demand for donor corneas (February 2, 2011) -- A German researcher has developed a new surgical strategy that uses a single donor cornea to help two patients with differing corneal diseases. His team restored good vision to patients with Fuchs' dystrophy or keratoconus while achieving their aim, to help solve the donor cornea supply problem. ... > full story

NASA Aqua Satellite sees powerful Cyclone Yasi make landfall in Queensland, Australia (February 2, 2011) -- NASA's Aqua satellite captured visible and infrared imagery of powerful Cyclone Yasi as it was making landfall in Queensland. The center of the monster cyclone Yasi made landfall on Australia's northeastern coast early Thursday (Australia local time) bringing heavy rainfall, severe winds and storm surge. ... > full story

When a blockbuster becomes lackluster: Not all movie-watching experiences are created equal (February 2, 2011) -- A psychology professor has conducted two studies that show we may not enjoy watching a movie for two reasons: what we're watching and who we're watching it with. Particularly, the combination of watching a steamy love scene with your parents proved to be most unpleasant. ... > full story

Road may disrupt migration, ruin Serengeti, study finds (February 2, 2011) -- A new study finds that building a proposed highway through Serengeti National Park may devastate one of the world's last large-scale herd migrations and the region's ecosystem. ... > full story

Lower back disease may be in your genes: New study indicates predisposition to lumbar disc disease could be inherited (February 2, 2011) -- Symptomatic lumbar disc disease, a condition caused by degeneration or herniation of the discs of the lower spine, may be inherited, according to a new study. ... > full story

Tuning graphene film so it sheds water (February 2, 2011) -- Windshields that shed water so effectively that they don't need wipers. Ship hulls so slippery that they glide through the water more efficiently than ordinary hulls. These are some of the potential applications for graphene, one of the hottest new materials in the field of nanotechnology. ... > full story

In tiny fruit flies, researchers identify metabolic 'switch' that links normal growth to cancer (February 2, 2011) -- Until now, researchers have known nothing about the metabolic state that occurs when cells divide during early development. Human genetics researchers show in a new study that this cell division in Drosophila depends on a metabolic state much like when cells run amok to form cancerous tumors. ... > full story

Cassini sends back postcards of Saturn's moons (February 2, 2011) -- On Jan. 31, 2011, NASA's Cassini spacecraft passed by several of Saturn's intriguing moons, snapping images along the way. Cassini passed within about 60,000 kilometers (37,282 miles) of Enceladus and 28,000 kilometers (17,398 miles) of Helene. It also caught a glimpse of Mimas in front of Saturn's rings. In one of the images, Cassini is looking at the famous jets erupting from the south polar terrain of Enceladus. ... > full story

Crowd workers are not online Shakespeares, but research shows they can write (February 2, 2011) -- Writing can be a solitary, intellectual pursuit, but researchers have shown that the task of writing an informational article also can be accomplished by dozens of people working independently online. ... > full story

Anthropologists discover earliest cemetery in Middle East (February 2, 2011) -- Anthropologists have discovered the oldest cemetery in the Middle East at a 16,500-year-old site in northern Jordan. The cemetery includes graves containing human remains buried alongside those of a red fox, suggesting that the animal was possibly kept as a pet by humans long before dogs ever were. ... > full story

Transplanted human placenta-derived stem cells show therapeutic potential in stroke models (February 2, 2011) -- Stem cells derived from human placenta proliferated and differentiated when transplanted into test tube and animal models of stroke. The cells interacted with melatonin receptor MT1, offering a potentially therapeutic response, but the same cells did not perform similarly when interacting with melatonin receptor MT2. The researchers suggest that MT1 "solicited" a growth factor and provided a 'cross talk' between MT1 and the stem cells. ... > full story

New nanoparticles make blood clots visible (February 2, 2011) -- For almost two decades, cardiologists have searched for ways to see dangerous blood clots before they cause heart attacks. Now, researchers report that they have designed nanoparticles that find clots and make them visible to a new kind of X-ray technology. ... > full story

New tumor-tracking technique for radiotherapy spares healthy tissue, could improve cancer treatment (February 2, 2011) -- Medical physicists have demonstrated a new real-time tumor-tracking technique that can help minimize the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue in a patient -- up to 50 percent less in some cases -- and maximize the dose the tumor receives. ... > full story

Possible path to creating next-generation computer chips (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have made a breakthrough in the use of visible light for making tiny integrated circuits. Though their advance is probably at least a decade from commercial use, they say it could make it possible to continue the decades long tread of making ever smaller, faster and cheaper computer chips. ... > full story

NASA finds Earth-size planet candidates in habitable zone, six planet system (February 2, 2011) -- NASA's Kepler mission has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in the habitable zone, a region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Five of the potential planets are near Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of smaller, cooler stars than our sun. ... > full story

Ritalin may ease early iron deficiency damage (February 2, 2011) -- Ritalin may help improve brain function in adolescent rats that were iron deficient during infancy, according to a neuroscientists. This may have implications for iron-deficient human infants as well. ... > full story

Engineered cells could usher in programmable cell therapies (February 2, 2011) -- In work that could jumpstart the promising field of cell therapy, in which cells are transplanted into the body to treat a variety of diseases and tissue defects, researchers have engineered cells that could solve one of the key challenges associated with the procedure: control of the cells and their microenvironment following transplantation. ... > full story

Safer way to make induced pluripotent stem cells developed (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem cells -- adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells -- from a small blood sample. This new method, described last week in Cell Research, avoids creating DNA changes that could lead to tumor formation. ... > full story

Rain in Spain is on the decline, research finds (February 2, 2011) -- A new study has studied precipitation trends in Spain's 10 hydrological basins over the 1946 to 2005 period. The results show that precipitation has declined overall between the months of March and June, reducing the length of the rainy season. The rains are heavier in October in the north west of the country. ... > full story

Good cop beats bad cop, research shows; Study explores why dialogue yields better results than coercion (February 2, 2011) -- Even the most horrible criminals feel guilt, and according to new research, playing on that sentiment might be a good way to extract a confession. ... > full story

'Air laser' may sniff bombs, pollutants from a distance (February 2, 2011) -- Engineers have developed a new laser sensing technology that may allow soldiers to detect hidden bombs from a distance and scientists to better measure airborne environmental pollutants and greenhouse gasses. ... > full story

Targeted particle fools brain's guardian to reach tumors (February 2, 2011) -- A targeted delivery combination selectively crosses the tight barrier that protects the brain from the bloodstream to home in on and bind to brain tumors, a research team reports. ... > full story

NASA's NEOWISE completes scan for asteroids and comets a family portrait (February 2, 2011) -- NASA's NEOWISE mission has completed its survey of small bodies, asteroids and comets, in our solar system. The mission's discoveries of previously unknown objects include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs). The NEOs are asteroids and comets with orbits that come within 45 million kilometers (28 million miles) of Earth's path around the sun. ... > full story

Key to understanding cause of lupus (February 2, 2011) -- Potentially impacting future diagnosis and treatment of lupus, an immune illness affecting more than five million people worldwide, researchers have likely uncovered where the breakdown in the body's lymphocyte molecular regulatory machinery is occurring. ... > full story

Internet addresses: An inevitable shortage, but an uneven one (February 2, 2011) -- As Internet authorities prepare to announce that they have handed over all of the available addresses, a research group that monitors address usage has completed the latest in its series of Internet censuses, mapping and analyzing the dimensions of usage and shortage. ... > full story

Video games are good for girls, if parents play along (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old. They found that girls who played video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages. Those girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health. ... > full story

Forensic breakthrough: Recovering fingerprints on fabrics could turn clothes into silent witnesses (February 2, 2011) -- Forensic experts in Scotland are leading the way in the research of new ground-breaking forensic techniques within the field of fingerprints. The new research seeks to recover fingerprint ridge detail and impressions from fabrics -- a technique that has up until now proved difficult. It is the first time in more than 30 years that fingerprints on fabrics have been a major focus for research and the team have already had a number of successes. ... > full story

Level of tumor protein indicates chances cancer will spread (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that high levels of a particular protein in cancer cells are a reliable indicator that a cancer will spread. ... > full story

NASA satellite captures U.S. 'Big Chill' (February 2, 2011) -- The current winter storm system blasting much of the United States is depicted in a new NASA satellite image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. ... > full story

Race gap narrows for some cancers in African-Americans; continues to increase for others (February 2, 2011) -- While the overall death rate for cancer continues to drop among African-Americans, the group continues to have higher death rates and shorter survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers. ... > full story

First mission to Mercury (February 2, 2011) -- As the team of scientists behind NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft eagerly awaits the craft’s entry into Mercury’s orbit on 17 March, we could soon get answers to questions about the origin, composition, interior structure and geological history of this mysterious planet. ... > full story

Preschool beneficial, but should offer more, study finds (February 2, 2011) -- As more states consider universal preschool programs, a new study suggests that two years of pre-K is beneficial -- although more time should be spent on teaching certain skills. ... > full story

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

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