Selasa, 01 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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Parts of brain can switch functions: In people born blind, brain regions that usually process vision can tackle language (March 1, 2011) -- When your brain encounters sensory stimuli, such as the scent of your morning coffee or the sound of a honking car, that input gets shuttled to the appropriate brain region for analysis. The coffee aroma goes to the olfactory cortex, while sounds are processed in the auditory cortex. That division of labor suggests that the brain's structure follows a predetermined, genetic blueprint. However, evidence is mounting that brain regions can take over functions they were not genetically destined to perform. ... > full story

Genes associated with binge drinking identified (March 1, 2011) -- Researchers have identified two genes associated with binge drinking that may open doors to new, more effective treatments for excessive alcohol drinking. The scientists found that manipulating two receptors in the brain, GABA receptors and toll-like receptor 4, "caused profound reduction" of binge drinking for two weeks in rodents that had been bred and trained to drink excessively. ... > full story

New hope for one of the world’s rarest chameleons (March 1, 2011) -- Conservationists have discovered a new population of Madagascar’s Belalanda chameleon. The discovery took place just days after the team hosted an international conference to assess the conservation status of all Madagascar’s reptiles, three of which, including the Belalanda, are already very close to extinction and have been classified as Critically Endangered. ... > full story

Rituximab and fludarabine produce long-term remissions in some chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients, study suggests (March 1, 2011) -- New research shows that a combination of the targeted agent rituximab and the chemotherapeutic drug fludarabine can produce long-term remissions in some chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients without increasing the risk of later therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome. After nearly 10 years of follow-up, 13 percent of patients had remissions lasting more than seven years. ... > full story

Increase in microearthquakes in California found after Chilean quake (March 1, 2011) -- By studying seismographs from the earthquake that hit Chile last February, Earth scientists have found a statistically significant increase of microearthquakes in central California in the first few hours after the main shock. The observation provides an additional support that seismic waves from distant earthquakes could also trigger seismic events on the other side of the Earth. ... > full story

The influence of advertising on drug recommendations (March 1, 2011) -- A medical journal's revenue source can affect drug recommendations, with free journals positively recommending specific drugs while journals funded solely by subscriptions usually recommending against the use of the drugs, states a new study. ... > full story

Dry lake reveals evidence of southwestern 'megadroughts' (March 1, 2011) -- There's an old saying that if you don't like the weather in New Mexico, wait five minutes. Maybe it should be amended to 10,000 years, according to new research. Scientists report that the Southwest region of the United States undergoes "megadroughts" -- warmer, more arid periods lasting hundreds of years or longer. ... > full story

Free radicals may be good for you (March 1, 2011) -- Fear of free radicals may be exaggerated, according to new research. A new study shows that free radicals act as signal substances that cause the heart to beat with the correct force. ... > full story

Acupressure effective in helping to treat traumatic brain injury, study suggests (March 1, 2011) -- A new study indicates an ancient form of complementary medicine may be effective in helping to treat people with mild traumatic brain injury, a finding that may have implications for some US war veterans returning home. ... > full story

New marker found for Sanfilippo disease (March 1, 2011) -- Researchers have described the build-up of a novel secondary metabolite in Sanfilippo disease, a discovery that could improve understanding of the pathology of Sanfillippo disease and refine diagnostic techniques. ... > full story

Smartphones: Overcoming loss of connectivity (March 1, 2011) -- New research has highlighted the problems of reduced sensitivity in wireless communications, along with developing new solutions to overcome the loss of connectivity. ... > full story

Storytelling program improves lives of people with Alzheimer's (March 1, 2011) -- Participation in TimeSlips, a creative storytelling intervention, improves communication and facilitates positive emotions in persons with dementia, researchers find. In the study a nursing researcher found that TimeSlips participants had increased expressions of pleasure and initiation of social communication. ... > full story

Scientists track great hammerhead shark migration (February 28, 2011) -- A new study details the first scientific research to successfully track a great hammerhead shark using satellite tag technology. ... > full story

New pathogen connected to severe early childhood caries identified (February 28, 2011) -- Researchers have made a significant discovery about the nature of childhood dental disease. They have identified a new pathogen connected to severe early childhood caries (cavities). This bacterium, Scardovia wiggsiae, was present in the mouths of children with severe early childhood caries when other known pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans were not detected. This research may offer the potential to intervene and halt the progression of disease. ... > full story

Antioxidants in pecans may contribute to heart health and disease prevention (February 28, 2011) -- New research shows that after eating pecans, gamma-tocopherol levels in the body doubled and unhealthy oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood decreased by as much as 33 percent. ... > full story

Two knee replacements may be better than one, study finds (February 28, 2011) -- Replacing both knees in one surgery, or simultaneous total knee replacement was associated with significantly fewer prosthetic joint infections as well as other revision knee operations within one year after surgery, compared with total knee replacements performed in two separate procedures. However, simultaneous replacement was associated with a moderately higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes within 30 days, according to a new study. ... > full story

Physicists develop potent packing process (February 28, 2011) -- Physicists have developed a method for packing microscopic spheres that could lead to improvements in commercial products ranging from pharmaceutical lotions to ice cream. ... > full story

First aid training for children under five years old (February 28, 2011) -- One of the reasons often given by people for not attempting first aid in emergency situations is a lack of confidence and a fear of doing more harm than good. Yet a Norwegian study on four and five year olds shows that even young children are able to learn and perform basic first aid. ... > full story

Binge eaters' dopamine levels spike at sight, smell of food (February 28, 2011) -- A brain-imaging study reveals a subtle difference between ordinary obese subjects and those who compulsively overeat, or binge: In binge eaters but not ordinary obese subjects, the mere sight or smell of favorite foods triggers a spike in dopamine -- a brain chemical linked to reward and motivation. The findings suggest that this dopamine spike may play a role in triggering compulsive overeating. ... > full story

More evidence that Alzheimer's disease may be inherited from your mother (February 28, 2011) -- Results from a new study contribute to growing evidence that if one of your parents has Alzheimer's disease, the chances of inheriting it from your mother are higher than from your father. ... > full story

Learning from old bones to treat modern back pain (February 28, 2011) -- The bones of people who died up to a hundred years ago are being used in the development of new treatments for chronic back pain. It is the first time old bones have been used in this way. ... > full story

Close linkage between a rare, deadly lung condition and blood cell abnormalities (February 28, 2011) -- A new study reveal a close relationship between pulmonary arterial hypertension -- exceedingly high blood pressure in the arteries carrying blood from the heart to the lungs -- and abnormalities of the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. ... > full story

Climate change causing demise of lodgepole pine in western North America (February 28, 2011) -- Lodgepole pine, a hardy tree species that can thrive in cold temperatures and plays a key role in many western ecosystems, is already shrinking in range as a result of climate change -- and may almost disappear from most of the Pacific Northwest by 2080, a new study concludes. ... > full story

Lottery winners do not want their winnings to change them (February 28, 2011) -- There are many notions about what happens when someone has won a big prize. We often hear about winners who have spent all their money, incurred debts and become lonely and unhappy. But these are exceptional cases, new research shows. In the vast majority of cases the winners claim to carry on living their normal lives with prudent consumption. ... > full story

Stronger than steel, novel metals are as moldable as plastic (February 28, 2011) -- Imagine a material that's stronger than steel, but just as versatile as plastic, able to take on a seemingly endless variety of forms. For decades, materials scientists have been trying to come up with just such an ideal substance, one that could be molded into complex shapes with the same ease and low expense as plastic but without sacrificing the strength and durability of metal. ... > full story

Human stem cells from fat tissue fuse with rat heart cells and beat (February 28, 2011) -- If Dr. Doolittle is famous for talking to animals, then here's a story that might make him hold his tongue: According to new research, scientists have successfully fused human stem cells derived from subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue with muscle cells from rat hearts. Not only did these cells "talk" to form new muscle cells altogether, but they actually beat. ... > full story

Minimally invasive surgeries: Laser suturing (February 28, 2011) -- Surgeries with the endoscope are exacting and require special capabilities of the surgeon. The suturing of the tissue and the setting of the knots, in particular, is very complicated due to the lack of space for movement. A new, minimally invasive suturing tool simplifies the procedure. In the future, the suture material will no longer be knotted, but welded with a laser. ... > full story

Hearing loss rate in older adults climbs to more than 60 percent in national survey (February 28, 2011) -- Nearly two-thirds of Americans age 70 and older have hearing loss, but those who are of black race seem to have a protective effect against this loss, according to a new study. ... > full story

Stretched rubber offers simpler method for assembling nanowires (February 28, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a cheap and easy method for assembling nanowires, controlling their alignment and density. The researchers hope the findings will foster additional research into a range of device applications using nanowires, from nanoelectronics to nanosensors, especially on unconventional substrates such as rubber, plastic and paper. ... > full story

Being 'mindful' can neutralize fears of death and dying (February 28, 2011) -- Death can be terrifying. Recognizing that death is inescapable and unpredictable makes us incredibly vulnerable, and can invoke feelings of anxiety, hatred and fear. But new research shows that being a mindful person not only makes you generally more tolerant and less defensive, but it can also actually neutralize fears of dying and death. ... > full story

Willingness to listen to music is biological, study of gene variants suggests (February 28, 2011) -- Our willingness to listen to music is biological trait and related to the neurobiological pathways affecting social affiliation and communication, suggests a recent study. This is one of the first studies where listening to music has been explored at molecular level, and the first study to show association between arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A) gene variants and listening to music. ... > full story

Drug to fight tumors also fights the flu and possibly other viruses (February 28, 2011) -- Ever get a flu shot and still get the flu? If so, there's new hope for flu-free winters in the years to come thanks to a new discovery by researchers who found that a drug called DMXAA, originally developed as anti-tumor agent, enhances the ability of flu vaccines to ward off this deadly virus. ... > full story

Scientists generate pluripotent stem cells from horses (February 28, 2011) -- Pluripotent stem cells have now been generated from horses. The findings will help enable new stem-cell based regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine, and because horses' muscle and tendon systems are similar to our own, aid the development of preclinical models leading to human applications. ... > full story

Breast cancer incidence rates no longer declining in US women (February 28, 2011) -- A sharp decline in breast cancer incidence rates among non-Hispanic white women in the US after a dramatic drop in the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy did not continue through 2007, according to a new study. ... > full story

This microbe's for you: Brewery waste becomes scientific fodder for producing liquid biofuels (February 28, 2011) -- Gaining new insight into how efficiently the microbes in large bioreactors produce methane from brewery waste, scientists hope to use their new knowledge to shape these microbial communities to produce liquid biofuels and other useful products. ... > full story

Napping may help with blood pressure management (February 28, 2011) -- A daytime sleep could have cardiovascular benefits according to new research. A new study, looking at the effect of a daytime nap on cardiovascular recovery following a stress test, found that those participants who slept for at least 45 minutes during the day had lower average blood pressure after psychological stress than those who did not sleep. ... > full story

Migrating sea turtles have magnetic sense for longitude (February 28, 2011) -- From the very first moments of life, hatchling loggerhead sea turtles have an arduous task. They must embark on a transoceanic migration, swimming from the Florida coast eastward to the North Atlantic and then gradually migrating over the course of several years before returning again to North American shores. Now, researchers have figured out how the young turtles find their way. ... > full story

Immune molecule regulates brain connections (February 28, 2011) -- The number of connections between nerve cells in the brain can be regulated by an immune system molecule, according to a new study. ... > full story

Drier conditions projected to accelerate dust storms in the southwest (February 28, 2011) -- Drier conditions projected to result from climate change in the Southwest will likely reduce perennial vegetation cover and result in increased dust storm activity in the future, according to a new study. ... > full story

Given prior to loud noise, two drugs protect hearing better than one (February 28, 2011) -- Whether on a battlefield, in a factory or at a rock concert, noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common hazards people face. Researchers have identified a low-dose, two-drug cocktail that reduces hearing loss in mice when given before they are exposed to loud noise. ... > full story

Powerful microscope reveals chemical structure of fossils (February 28, 2011) -- Surprising new research shows that, contrary to conventional belief, remains of chitin-protein complex--structural materials containing protein and polysaccharide--are present in abundance in fossils of arthropods from the Palaeozoic era. ... > full story

Advanced degrees add up to lower blood pressure (February 28, 2011) -- An analysis of thousands of people shows that the more years of higher education people pursue, the lower their blood pressure readings will be for decades afterward, especially among women. Increasing educational access, argues the lead author, could improve public health. ... > full story

Subtle shifts, not major sweeps, drove human evolution (February 28, 2011) -- The most popular model used by geneticists for the last 35 years to detect the footprints of human evolution may overlook more common subtle changes, a new study finds. A computational analysis reveals that selective sweeps may have been rare, with little influence on the history of our species. ... > full story

Nanomedicine: Gene fuelled transporter causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct (February 28, 2011) -- Scientists have shown that they can deliver a gene directly into breast cancer cells causing them to self-destruct, using an innovative, miniscule gene transport system, according to new research. ... > full story

Collisions of protein machines cause DNA replication derailment (February 28, 2011) -- Scientists have published results that will forever change the way researchers view the interplay between gene expression, DNA replication and the prevention of DNA damage. ... > full story

Potential treatment for Chikungunya discovered (February 28, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered two new fully human monoclonal antibodies which could battle Chikungunya, a disease that currently has no available vaccine or specific treatment. ... > full story

Mystery about recognition of unfolded proteins solved: The lock shapes the key (February 28, 2011) -- Proteins normally recognize each other by their specific 3-D structure. If the key fits in the lock, a reaction can take place. However there are reactions at the onset of which the key does not really have a shape. Chemists have now shown how this might work. ... > full story

Most medical devices recalled because of serious risks did not undergo clinical trials (February 28, 2011) -- Most medical devices recently recalled by the Food and Drug Administration because of very serious risks were initially approved through an expedited process or were exempt from regulatory review, according to a new article. ... > full story

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