Selasa, 08 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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Atom-thick sheets unlock future technologies (February 8, 2011) -- A new way of splitting layered materials, similar to graphite, into sheets of material just one atom thick could lead to revolutionary new electronic and energy storage technologies. ... > full story

Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging, study finds (February 8, 2011) -- Exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures after a heart attack is associated with an increased risk of cancer, a new study finds. ... > full story

Digital signal processing helps researchers get a grip on nervous system's receptors (February 8, 2011) -- A digital signal processing technique long used by statisticians to analyze data is helping scientists understand the roots of memory and learning, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and stroke. ... > full story

Therapy to prevent heart failure more effective in women than men (February 8, 2011) -- Never before has a therapy proven more beneficial for women than men in preventing heart disease -- until now. A new study found that women receive a significantly greater benefit -- a 70 percent reduction in heart failure and a 72 percent reduction in death -- from cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator than men. Reduction of heart failure in females was twice that of males -- 70 percent vs. 35 percent. ... > full story

Air-conditioned greenhouse uses alternative energy (February 8, 2011) -- Scientists have created an air-conditioned greenhouse using alternative energy. ... > full story

Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago (February 8, 2011) -- Play was a central element of people’s lives as far back as 4,000 years ago, according to new research that investigates the social significance of the phenomenon of play and games in the Bronze Age Indus Valley in present-day Pakistan. ... > full story

Researchers turn Salmonella into antiviral gene therapy agent (February 8, 2011) -- Researchers have converted Salmonella bacteria from a food-borne pathogen into a safe delivery vehicle for antiviral agents. They inserted virus-stopping ribozymes into Salmonella that had its ability to cause disease disabled, and then used the bacteria to effectively treat mice infected with cytomegalovirus. It is the first time bacteria have been successfully engineered to treat a viral infection. ... > full story

Indoor coal use associated with possible impairment of early childhood growth (February 8, 2011) -- Children raised in homes using indoor coal for cooking or heating appear to be about a half-inch shorter at age 36 months than those in households using other fuel sources, according to a new study. ... > full story

Math may help calculate way to find new drugs for HIV and other diseases (February 8, 2011) -- Using mathematical concepts, researchers have developed a method of discovering new drugs for a range of diseases by calculating which physical properties of biological molecules may predict their effectiveness as medicines. ... > full story

Use of atypical antipsychotics in treatment of dementia declined after FDA warning (February 8, 2011) -- A warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration regarding the use of atypical antipsychotics for the treatment of dementia was associated with a significant decline in the use of these medications for treating dementia symptoms in elderly patients, according to a new study. ... > full story

Laser welding in the right light (February 8, 2011) -- Laser welding is on the advance, but it also has its limits: it has been impossible to fuse two transparent plastic components together -- up until now. Researchers have now succeeded in circumventing this hurdle -- by choosing the right wavelength. The new welding process is revolutionizing bioanalytics. ... > full story

Contact with the criminal justice system may be associated with suicide risk (February 8, 2011) -- Men and women who have had contact with the criminal justice system -- even if they have never received a jail or prison sentence or a guilty verdict -- appear to have a significantly higher rate of suicide than the general population, according to a new study. ... > full story

The brain knows what the nose smells, but how? (February 7, 2011) -- Biologists have developed a new technique to trace neural pathways across the brain. They have mapped the path of odor signals as they travel to the higher centers of a mouse brain, illuminating the ways mammalian brains process smells. ... > full story

Protein may be key to new treatment in a childhood cancer (February 7, 2011) -- After analyzing hundreds of proteins produced by the DNA of tumor cells, researchers have identified one protein that may be central to a new treatment for the often-fatal childhood cancer neuroblastoma. Oncologists hope to translate the finding into pediatric clinical trials of a drug that blocks the protein's activity. ... > full story

New findings in India's Bt cotton controversy: Good for the field, bad for the farm? (February 7, 2011) -- Crop yields from India's first genetically modified crop may have been overemphasized, as modest rises in crop yields may come at the expense of sustainable farm management, says a new study. ... > full story

Unexpected new mechanism behind rheumatoid arthritis (February 7, 2011) -- A team of researchers in Sweden has identified an enzyme that protects against inflammation and joint destruction. Made when the researchers blocked production of the enzyme GGTase-I in transgenic mice, this unexpected discovery could lead to the identification of new mechanisms that control the development of inflammatory disorders, as well as new medicines. ... > full story

Emergency detection systems for senior citizens (February 7, 2011) -- Elderly people living alone have a dangerous life: after a fall, they often spend hours lying on the floor before their situation comes to anyone's attention and a doctor is contacted. A new system automatically detects predicaments like this and informs a trusted person. This makes it possible to live an independent life in one's own four walls. ... > full story

'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear (February 7, 2011) -- Are you still looking for a date for Valentine's Day? Here's some dating advice straight from the laboratory: It turns out there may be something to "playing hard to get." A new study finds that a woman is more attracted to a man when she is uncertain about how much he likes her. ... > full story

X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes were getting legless (February 7, 2011) -- Synchrotron X-ray investigation of a fossilized snake with legs is helping scientists better understand how in the course of evolution snakes have lost their legs, and whether they evolved from terrestrial lizards or from reptiles living in the oceans. New 3-D X-ray images reveal the internal architecture of an ancient snake's leg bones to resemble that of modern terrestrial lizard legs. ... > full story

Gene therapy: Save messengers -- modified mRNAs open up new therapeutic possibilities (February 7, 2011) -- Gene therapy holds great promise for the cure of many diseases but synthetic DNA sequences which are introduced directly into the genome bear a significant risk of cancer. Researchers have now developed a new method which makes use of modified RNA and avoids both the risk of cancer and immune reactions provoked by conventional RNAs. ... > full story

When worms stick together and swim on thin water, what happens and why does it matter? (February 7, 2011) -- Nematodes, microscopic worms, are making engineers look twice at their ability to exhibit the “Cheerios effect” when they move in a collective motion. These parasites will actually stick together like Cheerios swimming in milk in a cereal bowl after a chance encounter “due to capillary force.” This observation has made engineers speculate about the possible impacts on the study of biolocomotion. ... > full story

Can breastfeeding transmit yellow fever after maternal vaccination? (February 7, 2011) -- A five-week old infant most likely contracted a vaccine strain of yellow fever virus through breastfeeding, according to a case report from Canada. ... > full story

Aluminum to replace copper as a conductor in on-board power systems (February 7, 2011) -- Currently copper is the conductor of choice for electric power and electronics in all kinds of vehicles. But in comparison to aluminum, copper is heavy and expensive. A switch to cheaper and lighter aluminum would be an interesting option, particularly for fully electric vehicles. Scientists have now found out what tricks can make it possible to replace copper with aluminum. ... > full story

Words help people form mathematical concepts (February 7, 2011) -- Language may play an important role in learning the meanings of numbers. A study of deaf people in Nicaragua who never learned formal sign language showed that people who communicate using self-developed gestures, called homesigns, were unable to comprehend the value of numbers greater than three because they had not learned a language containing symbols for counting. By contrast, deaf people who acquire conventional sign language as children can learn the meaning of large numbers. ... > full story

Engineers grow nanolasers on silicon, pave way for on-chip photonics (February 7, 2011) -- Engineers have found a way to grow nanolasers directly onto a silicon surface, an achievement that could lead to a new class of faster, more efficient microprocessors, as well as to powerful biochemical sensors that use optoelectronic chips. ... > full story

First IVF babies born using new chromosome counting technique (February 7, 2011) -- The first babies have now been born in the UK using a new technique to select the best embryos for IVF. The advance could bring hope to many British couples struggling to have a child and going through many cycles of IVF treatment. ... > full story

Low-cost, nanometer-sized drug holds promise for treatment of chronic diabetes and burn wounds (February 7, 2011) -- A low cost, nanometer-sized drug to treat chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers or burns, has been developed by a group of scientists from Israel, the U.S. and Japan. ... > full story

Dermatologists caution that atopic dermatitis is a strong precursor to food allergies (February 7, 2011) -- Atopic dermatitis, one of the most common forms of eczema in this family of inflammatory skin diseases, is a chronic disease marked by red, cracked and itchy skin. Now, increasing evidence indicates atopic dermatitis is a precursor to allergic diseases rather than a consequence. Dermatologists are advising parents of infants and young children affected by this common skin condition to be aware of the potential for future food allergies. ... > full story

DNA engine observed in real-time traveling along base pair track (February 7, 2011) -- In a complex feat of nanoengineering, a team of scientists has succeeded in creating a programmable molecular transport system, the workings of which can be observed in real time. The results open the door to the development of advanced drug delivery methods and molecular manufacturing systems. ... > full story

Childhood chronic illness affects future income, education, career (February 7, 2011) -- Today more children than ever survive serious chronic illness. Many thrive as young adults, but a large new study finds that for some, early illness can lead to fewer years of education, more joblessness and lower pay. ... > full story

Clay-armored bubbles may have formed first protocells: Minerals could have played a key role in the origins of life (February 7, 2011) -- A team of applied physicists has demonstrated the formation of semipermeable vesicles from inorganic clay. The research shows that clay vesicles provide an ideal container for the compartmentalization of complex organic molecules. ... > full story

Allergies lower risk of low- and high-grade glioma, study finds (February 7, 2011) -- The more allergies one has, the lower the risk of developing low- and high-grade glioma, according to new research. ... > full story

Roaches inspire robotics: Researchers use common cockroach to fine-tune robots of the future (February 7, 2011) -- The study of cockroaches, locusts, and caterpillars is inspiring new frontiers in advanced robotics. New research delves deep into the neurological functioning of the cockroach, giving engineers the information they need to design more compact, versatile and efficient robots -- for both earthbound missions and those in outer space. ... > full story

Athletes prone to a rash of skin conditions (February 7, 2011) -- Team sports have a long history of fostering cooperation, camaraderie and a healthy competitive spirit among athletes. But the closeness that brings athletes together also can create an environment for a host of contagious skin infections. Now, dermatologists are urging teammates and coaches to be aware of the most common skin conditions caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi that occur in athletes and educating them on how to prevent a widespread outbreak. ... > full story

Normal air could halve fuel consumption (February 7, 2011) -- Every time a car brakes, energy is generated. At present this energy is not used, but new research shows that it is perfectly possible to save it for later use in the form of compressed air. It can then provide extra power to the engine when the car is started and save fuel by avoiding idle operation when the car is at a standstill. ... > full story

Pollutants in aquifers may threaten future of Mexico's fast-growing 'Riviera Maya' (February 7, 2011) -- Pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, shampoo, toothpaste, pesticides, chemical run-off from highways and many other pollutants infiltrate the giant aquifer under Mexico's "Riviera Maya," research shows. The wastes contaminate a vast labyrinth of water-filled caves under the popular tourist destination on the Yucatan Peninsula. And, with a 10-fold increase in population through 2030 expected, the problems are likely to worsen, according to new research. ... > full story

First ever STEREO images of the entire sun (February 7, 2011) -- NASA has released the first complete view of the sun's entire surface and atmosphere. Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth, and improve planning for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar system. ... > full story

Complex heart problems fixed without open-heart surgery (February 7, 2011) -- Pediatric cardiac physicians have implanted a pulmonary heart valve without open-heart surgery. The valve is placed into the beating heart through a vein in the patient's leg. After the procedure, patients spend a night in the hospital and are discharged home the following morning. ... > full story

Different evolutionary paths lead plants and animals to the same crossroads (February 7, 2011) -- In analyzing the molecular sensor for the plant growth hormone brassinolide, researchers discovered that although plants took an evolutionary path different from their animal cousins, they arrived at similar solutions to a common problem: How to reliably receive and process incoming signals. ... > full story

3-D map of fly brain is to neuroscience what genome is to genetics (February 7, 2011) -- In an advance that is being compared to the sequencing of the fly genome, researchers have created the first brain-wide wiring map of a fruit fly. The breakthrough paves the way for a comprehensive analysis of information processing within and between neurons and ultimately a deeper understanding of control and causality in fly behavior, according to researchers. ... > full story

Arctic fisheries' catches 75 times higher than previous reports (February 7, 2011) -- Researchers estimate that fisheries catches in the Arctic totaled 950,000 tonnes from 1950 to 2006, almost 75 times the amount reported to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization during this period. ... > full story

Expectations speed up conscious perception (February 7, 2011) -- The human brain works incredibly fast. However, visual impressions are so complex that their processing takes several hundred milliseconds before they enter our consciousness. Scientists have now shown that this delay may vary in length. When the brain possesses some prior information -- that is, when it already knows what it is about to see -- conscious recognition occurs faster. Until now, neuroscientists assumed that the processes leading up to conscious perception were rather rigid and that their timing did not vary. ... > full story

Genetic study uncovers new path to Polynesia (February 7, 2011) -- Surprising new evidence which overturns current theories of how humans colonized the Pacific has been discovered. ... > full story

Age-related macular degeneration: Key mechanism in geographic atrophy identified, two possible therapies (February 7, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a deficiency of the Dicer enzyme in retinal cells of patients with geographic atrophy. Further research showed that, in the absence of Dicer, toxic Alu RNA can accumulate, leading to retinal cell death characteristic of geographic atrophy. Two therapeutic modalities targeting these mechanisms have been developed and are headed toward clinical trials. ... > full story

Better turbine spacing for large wind farms (February 7, 2011) -- Large wind farms are being built around the world as a cleaner way to generate electricity, but operators are still searching for the most efficient way to arrange the massive turbines that turn moving air into power. For maximum efficiency in power generation, operators of large wind farms should space their turbines farther apart, researchers say. ... > full story

Blood-clotting agent can diagnose fatal genetic diseases, finds study (February 7, 2011) -- Scientists have shown that a protein involved in blood clotting can be used to diagnose and subsequently monitor the treatment of a group of childhood genetic diseases. ... > full story

Seeing the light: Scientists bring plasmonic nanofields into focus (February 7, 2011) -- Scientists have engineered an innovative imaging technique to visualize plasmonic fields with nanoscale resolution. This technique, which harnesses light within a bowtie-shaped structure, could be used to measure the performance of plasmonic devices. ... > full story

Watching others smoke makes smokers plan to light up (February 7, 2011) -- Seeing actors smoke in a movie activated the brain areas of smokers that are known to interpret and plan hand movements, as though they too were about to light a cigarette, according to a new study. ... > full story

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