Senin, 14 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Monday, February 14, 2011

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Pesky bacterial slime reveals its survival secrets (February 14, 2011) -- By rethinking what happens on the surface of things, engineers have discovered that Bacillus subtilis biofilm colonies exhibit an unmatched ability to repel a wide range of liquids -- and even vapors. ... > full story

Heat therapy could be new treatment for parasitic skin disease (February 14, 2011) -- Scientists are hoping that heat therapy could eventually replace a complex drug regimen as the first-line treatment of a parasitic skin infection common in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The researchers successfully treated the skin infection with heat therapy in two patients whose immune systems were deficient, which lowered their bodies' ability to respond to medication. Both patients have remained free of the parasitic disease, called cutaneous leishmaniasis, for more than a year since receiving the heat treatment. ... > full story

Sugar residues regulate growth and survival of nerve cells (February 14, 2011) -- Researchers have found out that certain sugar residues in the spinal cord regulate the growth and survival of nerve cells which control the movement of muscles. ... > full story

Naturally occurring brain signaling chemical may be useful in understanding Parkinson's (February 14, 2011) -- Targeting the neuroinflammatory causes of Parkinson's disease with a naturally present brain chemical signal could offer a better understanding of the clinical mechanisms of the disease and open a future therapeutic window with the knowledge that the brain's microglia -- small cells that regulate the chemical environment of neural cells -- play a role in the inflammatory process and disease progression. ... > full story

Airborne sensor to study 'rivers in the sky' (February 14, 2011) -- They're called atmospheric rivers -- narrow regions in Earth's atmosphere that transport enormous amounts of water vapor across the Pacific or other regions. Aptly nicknamed "rivers in the sky," they can transport enough water vapor in one day, on average, to flood an area the size of Maryland 0.3 meters (1 foot) deep, or about seven times the average daily flow of water from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. The phenomenon was the subject of a recent major emergency preparedness scenario led by the U.S. Geological Survey, "ARkStorm," which focused on the possibility of a series of strong atmospheric rivers striking California -- a scenario of flooding, wind and mudslides the USGS said could cause damages exceeding those of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. ... > full story

Enhance romance by going out with other couples (February 14, 2011) -- Romantic relationships often start out as enjoyable or even exciting, but sometimes may become routine and boring. A new study reveals that dating couples that integrate other couples into their social lives are more likely to have happy and satisfying romantic relationships. ... > full story

Gonorrhea acquires a piece of human DNA: First evidence of gene transfer from human host to bacterial pathogen (February 14, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered the first evidence of a fragment of human DNA in a bacterium -- in this case gonorrhea. Research showed the gene transfer appears to be a recent evolutionary event. The discovery offers insight into evolution as well as gonorrhea's ability to continually adapt and survive in its human hosts. Gonorrhea is one of the oldest recorded diseases and one of a few exclusive to humans. ... > full story

How adult stem cell therapy reduces inflammatory damage (February 14, 2011) -- A novel stem cell therapy has provided multiple benefits in preclinical models of ischemic stroke, a new study suggests. ... > full story

Arctic climate variation under ancient greenhouse conditions (February 14, 2011) -- Tiny organisms preserved in marine sediments hold clues about Arctic climate variation during an ancient episode of greenhouse warming. ... > full story

Study yields promising results for patients with stroke (February 14, 2011) -- One year after having a stroke, 52 percent of people who participate in either a physical therapy program that includes a walking program using a body-weight supported treadmill or a home-based program focused on progressive strength and balance exercises experience improved functional walking ability. ... > full story

3-D movies on your cell phone (February 14, 2011) -- Researchers have combined the new mobile radio standard LTE-Advanced with a video coding technique. The technology promises to put 3-D movies on your cell phone. ... > full story

Child soldier trauma in Uganda shares similarities with Northern Ireland (February 14, 2011) -- Psychology students have discovered similarities between child soldier trauma in Uganda and those children caught up in Northern Ireland's Troubles. ... > full story

Deep interior of moon resembles Earth's core (February 13, 2011) -- The moon has long been studied to help us better understand our own planet. Of particular interest is the lunar interior, which could hold clues to its ancient origins. In an attempt to extract information on the very deep interior of the moon, researchers applied new technology to old data. Apollo seismic data was reanalyzed using modern methodologies and detected what many scientists have predicted: the moon has a core. ... > full story

Chinks in the brain circuitry make some more vulnerable to anxiety (February 13, 2011) -- Why do some people fret over the most trivial matters while others remain calm in the face of calamity? Researchers have identified two different chinks in our brain circuitry that explain why some of us are more prone to anxiety. ... > full story

Mysterious Voynich manuscript dates back to early 15th century, researchers find (February 13, 2011) -- The Voynich manuscript is one of the most mysterious writings ever found -- penned by an unknown author in a language no one understands. While enthusiasts across the world pored over the strange manuscript, a research team solved one of its biggest mysteries: When was the book made? ... > full story

Embryonic stem cells help deliver 'good genes' in a model of inherited blood disorder (February 13, 2011) -- Researchers report a gene therapy strategy that improves the condition of a mouse model of an inherited blood disorder, beta-thalassemia. Some of the stem cell lines do not inherit the disease gene and can thus be used for transplantation-based treatments of the same mice. The findings could hold promise for a new treatment strategy for autosomal dominant diseases like certain forms of beta-thalassemia, tuberous sclerosis or Huntington's disease. ... > full story

'Hot-bunking' bacterium recycles iron to boost ocean metabolism (February 13, 2011) -- In the vast ocean where an essential nutrient -- iron -- is scarce, a marine bacterium that launches the ocean food web survives by using a remarkable biochemical trick: it recycles iron. ... > full story

Valentine's Day roses bought in UK could 'bleed Lake Naivasha dry,' warns ecologist (February 13, 2011) -- An ecologist who has spent over 30 years researching wetland conservation at Lake Naivasha in Kenya has warned that the country is being "bled dry" by the UK's demand for fresh flowers. He called on UK supermarkets to show more concern about the health of the natural environment that the flowers come from. ... > full story

Mystery of how fleas jump resolved after 44 years (February 12, 2011) -- New research sheds light on how fleas jump, reaching speeds as fast as 1.9 meters per second. Using high-speed recording equipment and sophisticated mathematical models, scientists were able to prove that fleas use their toes to push off and propel themselves into the air, resolving the 44-year-old mystery. ... > full story

Acute anemia linked to silent strokes in children (February 12, 2011) -- Silent strokes, which have no immediate symptoms but could cause long-term cognitive and learning deficits, occur in a significant number of severely anemic children, especially those with sickle cell disease, according to newly presented research. ... > full story

Nanoparticles may enhance circulating tumor cell detection (February 12, 2011) -- Tiny gold particles can help doctors detect tumor cells circulating in the blood of patients with head and neck cancer, researchers have found. ... > full story

Even with fetal lung maturity, babies delivered prior to 39 weeks are at risk (February 12, 2011) -- Despite fetal pulmonary maturity, babies delivered at between 36 to 38 weeks, still have a significantly increased risk of neonatal morbidities. ... > full story

3-D digital dinosaur track download: A roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources (February 12, 2011) -- Portable laser scanning technology allows researchers to tote a fossil discovery from field to lab in the form of digital data on a laptop. But standard formats to ensure data accessibility of these "digitypes" are needed, say paleontologists. They field-scanned a Texas dinosaur track, then back at the lab created an exact 3-D facsimile to scale. ... > full story

Kids with ADHD much more likely to develop substance abuse problems as they age, study finds (February 12, 2011) -- Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, or ADD) are two to three times more likely than children without ADHD to later develop serious substance abuse problems in adolescence and adulthood, report psychologists. ... > full story

Firefly glow: Scientists develop a hydrogen peroxide probe based on firefly luciferin (February 12, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a probe for monitoring hydrogen peroxide levels in mice that enables them to track the progression of cancerous tumors or infectious diseases without harming the animals or even having to shave their fur. This new probe is based on luciferase, the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. ... > full story

Compound blocks brain cell destruction in Parkinson's disease; Findings may open door to first protective therapy (February 12, 2011) -- Scientists have produced the first known compound to show significant effectiveness in protecting brain cells directly affected by Parkinson's disease, a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. ... > full story

Superhalogens: New class of magic atomic clusters discovered (February 12, 2011) -- An international team of researchers has discovered a new class of magnetic superhalogens -- a class of atomic clusters able to exhibit unusual stability at a specific size and composition, which may be used to advance materials science by allowing scientists to create a new class of salts with magnetic and super-oxidizing properties not previously found. ... > full story

Leptin resistance may prevent severe lung disease in patients with diabetes (February 12, 2011) -- Resistance to leptin, a protein that plays a key role in regulating metabolism and appetite, may help prevent the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and acute lung injury (ALI) in individuals with type II diabetes, according to a study conducted by researchers in Chicago. The study indicates leptin resistance, a common characteristic of diabetes, may help prevent the formation of inflexible, fibrous tissue that develops in ALI and ARDS. ... > full story

Scientists hope to cut years off development time of new antibiotics (February 12, 2011) -- Eliminating tens of thousands of manual lab experiments, researchers are working toward a method to cut the development time of new antibiotics. A computerized modeling system they're developing will speed up the often decade-long process. Pharmacy professors and engineering professors are focusing on dosing regimens to reveal which ones are most likely to be effective in combating infection and which are not worth pursuing. ... > full story

In online dating, blacks more open to romancing whites than vice versa, study finds (February 12, 2011) -- Has Valentine's Day become post-racial? Not yet, it seems. New research suggests that when it comes to dating, cyberspace is as segregated as the real world. Data gathered from more than 1 million profiles of singles looking for love online show that whites overwhelmingly prefer to date members of their own race, while blacks, especially men, are far more likely to cross the race barrier in hopes of being struck by Cupid's arrow. ... > full story

New view of family life in the North American nebula (February 11, 2011) -- Stars at all stages of development, from dusty little tots to young adults, are on display in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This cosmic community is called the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles the North American continent, with the most striking resemblance being the Gulf of Mexico. But in Spitzer's infrared view, the continent disappears. Instead, a swirling landscape of dust and young stars comes into view. ... > full story

New drug treatment possibilities for Alzheimer's (February 11, 2011) -- Scientists have made a discovery that has the potential for use in the early diagnosis and eventual treatment of plaque-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes. ... > full story

New way to attack pathogens: RNA recycling system gone awry brings MRSA to a halt (February 11, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new way to attack dangerous pathogens, marking a hopeful next step in the ever-escalating battle between man and microbe. By stopping bacteria's ability to degrade RNA -- a "housekeeping" process crucial to their ability to thrive -- scientists were able to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA both in the laboratory and in infected mice. The approach shows promise against the most severe strains of the bacteria as well as MRSA biofilms. ... > full story

Experts urge even greater caution in use of X-rays during pregnancy and infancy (February 11, 2011) -- Clinicians should be careful about using X-rays on pregnant women and infants because of the potential for a slight increase in the risk of children developing cancer, concludes a new study. ... > full story

Livestock boom risks aggravating animal 'plagues,' poses threat to food security and world's poor (February 11, 2011) -- Increasing numbers of domestic livestock and more resource-intensive production methods are encouraging animal epidemics around the world, a problem that is particularly acute in developing countries, where livestock diseases present a growing threat to the food security of already vulnerable populations, according to new assessments. ... > full story

JPEG for the mind: How the brain compresses visual information (February 11, 2011) -- Scientists take the next step in next step in understanding how the brain compresses huge "files" of visual information down to the essentials. ... > full story

Quest for extinct giant rats leads scientists to ancient face carvings (February 11, 2011) -- Ancient stone faces carved into the walls of a well-known limestone cave in East Timor have been discovered by a team searching for fossils of extinct giant rats. ... > full story

Scientists combine targeted agents to kill multiple myeloma cells (February 11, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a novel treatment strategy for multiple myeloma that pairs two targeted agents to kill cancer cells. ... > full story

Root cause of blood vessel damage in diabetes discovered (February 11, 2011) -- Diabetes researchers have identified a key mechanism that appears to contribute to the blood vessel damage that occurs in people with diabetes. Blood vessel problems are a common diabetes complication. Many of the nearly 26 million Americans with the disease face the prospect of amputations, heart attack, stroke and vision loss because of damaged vessels. ... > full story

Reduced levels of an important neurotransmitter found in multiple sclerosis patients (February 11, 2011) -- Researchers show for the first time that damage to a particular area of the brain and a consequent reduction in noradrenaline are associated with multiple sclerosis. ... > full story

Identifying large hurricanes through seismology (February 11, 2011) -- Storm-generated seismic signals may allow seismologists to detect large hurricanes at sea and track their intensity, adding useful data to the discussion of whether anthropogenic global warming has increased the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, including ones that don't reach land. ... > full story

Young children choose to share prizes after working together (February 11, 2011) -- Grownups have a good sense of what's fair. Research now shows that this is true for young children, too. Three-year-old children shared with a peer after they worked together to earn a reward, even in situations where it would be easy for one child to keep all of the spoils for himself. ... > full story

New view of human evolution? 3.2 million-year-old fossil foot bone supports humanlike bipedalism in Lucy's species (February 11, 2011) -- A fossilized foot bone recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, shows that by 3.2 million years ago human ancestors walked bipedally with a modern human-like foot. These findings support the hypothesis that A. afarensis was primarily an upright walker, as opposed to a more versatile creature that also moved through the trees. ... > full story

New hybrid drug, derived from common spice, may protect, rebuild brain cells after stroke (February 11, 2011) -- Whether or not you're fond of Indian, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern food, stroke researchers think you may become a fan of one of their key spices. The scientists created a new molecule from curcumin, a chemical component of the golden-colored spice turmeric, and found in laboratory experiments that it affects mechanisms that protect and help regenerate brain cells after stroke. ... > full story

Making a point: Method prints nanostructures using hard, sharp 'pen' tips floating on soft polymer springs (February 11, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a new technique for rapidly prototyping nanoscale devices and structures that is so inexpensive the "print head" can be thrown away when done. Hard-tip, soft-spring lithography rolls into one method the best of scanning-probe lithography -- high resolution -- and the best of polymer pen lithography -- low cost and easy implementation. The new method could be used in the areas of electronics, medical diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, among others. ... > full story

Study seeks new way to enhance neuron repair in spinal cord injury (February 11, 2011) -- If researchers could determine how to send signals to cells responding to a spinal cord injury, they might be able to stop one type of cell from doing additional damage at the injury site and instead, coax it into helping nerve cells grow. That is the theory behind new research at Ohio State University, where scientists are trying to determine how to simultaneously stop damage and promote neuron growth with a single, targeted signal. ... > full story

LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds (February 11, 2011) -- Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional light bulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to new research. ... > full story

Looking at a tough hill to climb? Depends on your point of view (February 11, 2011) -- People tend to overestimate the steepness of slopes -- and psychologists studying the phenomenon have made a discovery that refutes common ideas about how we perceive inclines in general. ... > full story

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