Kamis, 10 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Thursday, February 10, 2011

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Single-cell marine predator's unique survival mechanisms revealed (February 10, 2011) -- Researchers have uncovered the unique survival mechanisms of a marine organism that may be tiny, but in some ways has surpassed sharks in its predatory efficiency. ... > full story

'Gene desert' on chromosome 9 is hotspot for coronary artery disease risk (February 10, 2011) -- The discovery that a "gene desert" on chromosome 9 was a hotspot for coronary artery disease risk was among the highlights of findings produced recently by genome-wide association studies, which compare the genomes of many people for genetic variations and have been broadly used in the past few years to study hundreds of diseases and complex traits. Gene deserts are large genomic segments devoid of genes. Now scientists have developed a novel approach to detect long-distance chromosomal interactions and have applied this method to the chromosome 9 gene desert, revealing that the association results from an altered inflammatory signaling response in individuals with increased CAD risk. ... > full story

Understanding patterns of seafloor biomass (February 10, 2011) -- Analysis of a comprehensive database has revealed strong links between biological productivity in the surface oceans and patterns of biomass and abundance at the seafloor, helping to explain large regional differences. ... > full story

Advanced macular degeneration is associated with an increased risk of bleeding stroke, study finds (February 10, 2011) -- In the first study to examine stroke subtypes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), older people with late-stage AMD appear to be at increased risk of bleeding stroke, but not a stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain. However the findings are preliminary and earlier stage AMD was not linked with any type of stroke. ... > full story

Taurus XL ready to launch Glory spacecraft (February 10, 2011) -- The Glory spacecraft and its Taurus XL launch vehicle are coming together at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as NASA gets ready to launch its first Launch Services Program mission of 2011. Researchers are looking for more puzzle pieces to fill out the picture of Earth's climate and Glory was designed to give them the pieces relating to the role tiny particles known as aerosols play in the planet's weather. The spacecraft, about the size of a refrigerator, is also equipped with an instrument to measure the sun's impact on Earth's conditions. Glory is to lift off Feb. 23 at 5:09 a.m. EST. ... > full story

Key to better health care may be a walk in the park (February 10, 2011) -- The payoff for investing in public parks and recreation sites may be healthier, more physically fit residents and a less strained health-care system, according to researchers. ... > full story

New solar cell self-repairs like natural plant systems (February 10, 2011) -- Researchers are creating a new type of solar cell designed to self-repair like natural photosynthetic systems in plants by using carbon nanotubes and DNA, an approach aimed at increasing service life and reducing cost. ... > full story

New technology in human trials to spot cardiac disease, cancer, drug abuse: Diagnostic chip may help hearts, cut costs (February 10, 2011) -- Heart disease is a silent killer, but new microchip technology is expected to advance the art of diagnosis. ... > full story

The 'new' kilogram is approaching (February 10, 2011) -- With the aid of a single crystal of highly enriched 28Si, the Avogadro constant has now been measured as exactly as never before. Within the scope of the redefinition of the kilogram, the value permits the currently most exact realization of this unit. ... > full story

Everolimus improves progression-free survival for patients with rare pancreatic cancer, study finds (February 10, 2011) -- In an international Phase III randomized study, everolimus, an inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), has shown to dramatically improve progression-free survival for patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET), according to researchers. ... > full story

Invasive comb jellyfish pose no direct threat to Baltic cod eggs and larvae, Danish study finds (February 10, 2011) -- The direct threat from the killer warty comb jellyfish to the Baltic cod population has been shown not to be so serious after all, according to new research from Denmark. Even though the invasive killer jelly feeds constantly, cod eggs seem not to be on the menu. In fact, if they accidentally swallow an egg, they even throw it up again. ... > full story

Stroke in Mexican-Americans expected to rise 350 percent in next 40 years (February 10, 2011) -- Strokes among Mexican-Americans are expected to rise 350 percent from 2010 to 2050, according to new research. Strokes among non-Hispanic whites are expected to rise 75 percent from 2010 to 2050. ... > full story

Fetal surgery takes a huge step forward in treating children with spina bifida (February 9, 2011) -- Performing delicate surgery in the womb, months before birth, can substantially improve outcomes for children with a common, disabling birth defect of the spine. A new landmark study shows that fetal surgery for spina bifida greatly reduces the need to divert fluid from the brain, improves mobility and improves the chances that a child will be able to walk independently. ... > full story

How omega-3 fatty acids help prevent several forms of blindness (February 9, 2011) -- New research reveals exactly how omega-3 fatty acids work in preventing several forms of blindness. ... > full story

Soil science: Healing our planet's ills from the ground up (February 9, 2011) -- Soil depletion hastened the collapse of at least one society, the Greeks, and contributed to economic hardship as recently as the last century in the Great Plains of the United States. With climate change and population growth affecting the services provided by soil, a team of scientists say more attention should be paid to protecting and rejuvenating soil. Strategies for doing so include refocusing and boosting research, and communicating its importance to the public. ... > full story

Poorer patients have more severe ischemic strokes, study indicates (February 9, 2011) -- Poorer patients have more severe ischemic strokes, or strokes resulting from blockages in blood vessels in the brain, according to new research. ... > full story

Stardust-NExT: Heading into the bonus round -- in space (February 9, 2011) -- A bonus round is something one usually associates with the likes of a TV game show, not a pioneering deep space mission. "We are definitely in the bonus round," said Stardust-NExT Project Manager Tim Larson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "This spacecraft has already flown by an asteroid and a comet, returned comet dust samples to Earth, and now has almost doubled its originally planned mission life. Now it is poised to perform one more comet flyby." ... > full story

Public sector research responsible for many new drug discoveries, researchers find (February 9, 2011) -- New research shows that public-sector research has had a more immediate effect on improving public health than was previously realized. ... > full story

Microsponges from seaweed may save lives (February 9, 2011) -- Microsponges derived from seaweed may help diagnose heart disease, cancers, HIV and other diseases quickly and at far lower cost than current clinical methods. ... > full story

Stockpiled avian flu vaccine could protect against potential pandemic (February 9, 2011) -- A stockpiled vaccine designed to fight a strain of avian flu that circulated in 2004 can be combined with a vaccine that matches the current strain of bird flu to protect against a potential pandemic, researchers have found. The findings suggest public health officials can get a jump on fighting a pandemic caused by avian flu virus because they won't have to wait for a vaccine that exactly matches the current strain of bird flu to be manufactured. ... > full story

Western Australia's incredible underground orchid (February 9, 2011) -- Rhizanthella gardneri is a cute, quirky and critically endangered orchid that lives all its life underground. It even blooms underground, making it virtually unique amongst plants. Last year, using radioactive tracers, scientists showed that the orchid gets all its nutrients by parasitizing fungi associated with the roots of broom bush, a woody shrub of the Western Australia outback. Now, with less than 50 individuals left in the wild, scientists have made a timely and remarkable discovery about its genome. ... > full story

Toward a fast, simple test for detecting cholera rampaging in 40 countries (February 9, 2011) -- With cholera on the rampage in Haiti and almost 40 other countries, scientists are reporting the development of a key advance that could provide a fast, simple test to detect the toxin that causes the disease. Cholera affects more than 200,000 people annually, mainly in developing countries, and causes about 5,000 deaths. Many involve infants, children, and the elderly. ... > full story

A green way to cap an old landfill (February 9, 2011) -- Researchers are researching alternative ways to cap landfills. One idea was to cap or seal the old landfill with trees and shrubs, planted in a mix of topsoil and compost, instead of the traditional clay caps. Vegetative caps are gaining acceptance from state agencies as a sustainable practice. ... > full story

Girls' interest in computing science piqued by making video games (February 9, 2011) -- For high-school girls the fun is in making video games, not just playing them, according to a new study. Their study shows that if you want to get more females interested in computing science, you have to rewrite the program, so to speak. ... > full story

Primates' unique gene regulation mechanism: Little-understood DNA elements serve important purpose (February 9, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new way genes are regulated that is unique to primates. Long-known, but little-understood DNA elements serve important purpose, according to new research. The newly identified mechanism involves Alu elements, repetitive DNA elements that spread throughout the genome as primates evolved. While scientists have known about the existence of Alu elements for many years, their function, if any, was largely unknown. This unique regulatory mechanism could prove to be a valuable treatment target as researchers seek to manipulate gene expression to improve human health. ... > full story

What makes fructose fattening? Some answers found in the brain (February 9, 2011) -- New research helps explain why fructose is fattening when compared to other sweeteners. The research demonstrates that the brain -- which serves as a master control for body weight -- reacts differently to fructose compared with another common sweetener, glucose. ... > full story

Hydrogels used to make precise new sensor (February 9, 2011) -- Researchers are developing a new type of biological and chemical sensor that has few moving parts, is low-cost and yet highly sensitive, sturdy and long-lasting. The "diffraction-based" sensors are made of thin stripes of a gelatinous material called a hydrogel. ... > full story

Early detection of lung cancer: Protein biomarkers in exhaled air (February 9, 2011) -- The earlier cancers can be detected, the better the chances of a cure. Researchers are now working to develop a new diagnostics platform with which the illness can be diagnosed in its early stages, even during a visit to the general practitioner: protein biomarkers in exhaled air divulge the presence of pathological cells in the lung. ... > full story

Greener process for key ingredient for everything from paint to diapers (February 9, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting discovery of an environmentally friendly way to make a key industrial material -- used in products ranging from paints to diapers -- from a renewable raw material without touching the traditional pricey and increasingly scarce petroleum-based starting material. ... > full story

Personal well-being is linked to national satisfaction, especially when times are tough (February 9, 2011) -- The country where you live can have a big impact on your life. A new study of people from 128 countries finds that the more satisfied people are with their country, the better they feel about their lives -- especially people who have low incomes or live in relatively poor countries. ... > full story

World's first programmable nanoprocessor: Nanowire tiles can perform arithmetic and logical functions (February 9, 2011) -- Scientists have developed and demonstrated the world's first programmable nanoprocessor. The groundbreaking prototype computer system represents a significant step forward in the complexity of computer circuits that can be assembled from synthesized nanometer-scale components. ... > full story

Sweeping view of prostate cancer genome yields deep insights (February 9, 2011) -- For the first time, researchers have laid bare the full genetic blueprint of multiple prostate tumors, uncovering alterations that have never before been detected and offering a deep view of the genetic missteps that underlie the disease. The work was led by researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College and appears in the Feb. 10 issue of the journal Nature. ... > full story

Ancient teeth raise new questions about origins of modern humans (February 9, 2011) -- Eight small teeth found in a cave near Rosh Haain, central Israel, are raising big questions about the earliest existence of humans and where we may have originated, say anthropologists. ... > full story

Elevated levels of cardiac biomarkers following CABG surgery associated with increased risk of death (February 9, 2011) -- Patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery and had elevated levels of the cardiac enzymes creatine kinase or troponin in the 24 hours following surgery had an associated intermediate and long-term increased risk of death, according to a new study. ... > full story

Telomere length as an indicator of life expectancy for the southern giant petrel (February 9, 2011) -- The length of telomeres, the DNA fragments that protect the ends of chromosomes from deterioration, could be an indicator of life expectancy in the southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus), an emblematic species of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions, according to a new article. ... > full story

Parkinson’s disease undermines language processing (February 9, 2011) -- It is becoming generally known that Parkinson's disease influences more than a patient's motor functions. Patients often also suffer from depression, fear and incontinence, for example. Researchers have now found that the disease also undermines the language processing ability. ... > full story

Ultrafast quantum computer closer: Ten billion bits of entanglement achieved in silicon (February 9, 2011) -- Scientists have made a significant step towards an ultrafast quantum computer by successfully generating 10 billion bits of quantum entanglement in silicon for the first time -- entanglement is the key ingredient that promises to make quantum computers far more powerful than conventional computing devices. ... > full story

Dramatic improvement in Parkinson disease symptoms following intranasal delivery of stem cells to rat brains (February 9, 2011) -- Successful intranasal delivery of stem cells to the brains of rats with Parkinson disease yielded significant improvement in motor function and reversed the dopamine deficiency characteristic of the disease. The promising findings highlight the potential for a noninvasive approach to cell therapy delivery in Parkinson disease -- a safer and effective alternative to surgical transplantation of stem cells. ... > full story

Next large central US earthquake may not be along New Madrid fault lines (February 9, 2011) -- This December marks the bicentennial of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12, which are the biggest earthquakes known to have occurred in the central US. Now, based on the earthquake record in China, a researcher says that mid-continent earthquakes tend to move among fault systems, so the next big earthquake in the central US may actually occur someplace else other than along the New Madrid faults. ... > full story

New techniques for stapling peptides could spur development of drugs for cancer (February 9, 2011) -- Researchers have devised two new ways of "stapling" peptide helices to prevent these medically important molecules from losing their shape and degrading in the presence of enzymes. ... > full story

Recognizing gibbons from their regional accents (February 9, 2011) -- Crested gibbons live in dense Asian rainforest, specifically in China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and, because of their environment, they communicate with other gibbons by singing. New research describes how gibbon song can be used to identify not only which species of gibbon is singing but the area it is from. ... > full story

Popular students -- but not the most popular -- more likely to torment peers , study finds (February 9, 2011) -- A new study finds that popularity increases aggression among adolescents, except for those at the very top and bottom of the social hierarchy. ... > full story

Brain's 'radio stations' have much to tell scientists (February 9, 2011) -- Like listeners adjusting a high-tech radio, scientists have tuned in to precise frequencies of brain activity to unleash new insights into how the brain works. "What we've found is that the wavelength of the activity provides a third major branch of understanding brain physiology," says Eric C. Leuthardt, M.D. ... > full story

Gene protects lung from damage due to pneumonia, sepsis, trauma, transplants (February 9, 2011) -- Researchers report they have identified a gene that limits damage to the lung during acute stress from illness, trauma or transplant. ... > full story

New explanation for heart-healthy benefits of chocolate (February 9, 2011) -- In time for the chocolate-giving and chocolate-eating fest on Valentine's Day, scientists are reporting discovery of how this treat boosts the body's production of the "good" form of cholesterol that protects against heart disease. Polyphenols in chocolate rev up the activity of certain proteins, including proteins that attach to the genetic material DNA in ways that boost "good" cholesterol levels. ... > full story

Researchers predict nearly 1.3 million cancer deaths in Europe in 2011 (February 9, 2011) -- There will be nearly 1.3 million deaths from cancer in Europe in 2011, according to predictions from a new study. The estimates, which have been reached after researchers used for the first time in Europe a new mathematical model for predicting cancer mortality, show a fall in overall cancer death rates for both men and women when compared to 2007. But they also highlight some areas of concern, particularly rising rates of lung cancer in women. ... > full story

Neutron analysis reveals 'two doors down' superconductivity link (February 9, 2011) -- Neutron scattering analysis of two families of iron-based materials suggests that the magnetic interactions thought responsible for high-temperature superconductivity may lie "two doors down": the key magnetic exchange pairings occur in a next-nearest-neighbor ordering of atoms, rather than adjacent atoms. ... > full story

As many as three in four hospital tests not followed up after discharge, international study finds (February 9, 2011) -- Up to three quarters of hospital tests are not being followed up, suggests a systematic review of international evidence. ... > full story

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