Kamis, 03 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Thursday, March 3, 2011

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Scientists show how men amp up their X chromosome (March 3, 2011) -- Vive la différence? Not at the level of DNA. Men must increase gene expression on their lone X chromosome to match the two X's possessed by women. A new study explains just how men manage to do that. ... > full story

Blood protein in lung cancer could improve diagnosis and treatment (March 3, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting discovery of a protein in the blood of lung cancer patients that could be used in a test for the disease -- difficult to diagnose in its earliest and most treatable stages -- and to develop drugs that stop lung cancer from spreading. ... > full story

Clouds amplify ecological light pollution (March 3, 2011) -- The brightness of the nightly sky glow over major cities has been shown to depend strongly on cloud cover. In natural environments, clouds make the night sky darker by blocking the light of the stars but around urban centers, this effect is completely reversed, according to a new study. ... > full story

Women get short shrift in many heart device studies, despite requirement (March 3, 2011) -- Despite a longstanding requirement for medical device makers to include women in the studies they submit to the Food and Drug Administration for device approval, very few include enough women or separately analyze how the devices work in them. Devices may be on the market without adequate data on their safety and effectiveness in women. ... > full story

New software 'lowers the stress' on materials problems (March 3, 2011) -- Before you can build that improved turbojet engine, before you can create that longer-lasting battery, you have to ensure all the newfangled materials in it will behave the way you want. Now computer scientists have improved software that can take much of the guesswork out of tough materials problems like these. ... > full story

Rich and poor, UK youth are happy after all? (March 3, 2011) -- Young people in the UK are very satisfied with their lives with 70 per cent rating themselves as happy or very happy. The findings indicate there is little difference between the average life satisfaction score of those children living in the household with the bottom fifth income and those children living in households in the top fifth income bracket. ... > full story

Arctic blooms occurring earlier: Phytoplankton peak arising 50 days early, with unknown impacts on marine food chain and carbon cycling (March 3, 2011) -- Warming temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic may be behind a progressively earlier bloom of a crucial annual marine event, and the shift could hold consequences for the entire food chain and carbon cycling in the region. ... > full story

How ovarian cancer resists chemotherapy (March 3, 2011) -- Researchers have zeroed in on a genetic process that may allow ovarian cancer to resist chemotherapy. ... > full story

What wasps can tell us about sex (March 3, 2011) -- Whether an individual parasitoid wasp reproduces sexually or asexually is determined by a single gene, researchers have discovered. This new finding could help to answer a central question of evolutionary biology – and could also be of interest for biological pest control. ... > full story

How much can a cell uptake? (March 3, 2011) -- Immunological research has revealed a critical component in the "decision-making" process of white blood cells that play a role in the healing process from bacterial inflammation. ... > full story

Diversifying crops may protect yields against a more variable climate (March 3, 2011) -- Farmers could protect crop yields against pest and pathogen outbreaks likely to become more common as climate changes if they used modeling techniques to evaluate the potential of crop diversification. ... > full story

Freedom to choose leisure activities benefits people with autism (March 3, 2011) -- Free time is not always a fun time for people with autism. Giving them the power to choose their own leisure activities during free time, however, can boost their enjoyment, as well as improve communication and social skills, according to an international team of researchers. ... > full story

Florida could be 10 to 15 million years older than previously believed, pollen study shows (March 2, 2011) -- A new study of 45-million-year-old pollen from Pine Island west of Fort Myers has led to a new understanding of the state's geologic history, showing Florida could be 10 million to 15 million years older than previously believed. ... > full story

Protein identified that serves as a switch in a key pathway of programmed cell death (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have identified how cells flip a switch between cell survival and cell death that involves a protein called FLIP. ... > full story

New role found for cancer protein p53 (March 2, 2011) -- The gene for the protein p53 is the most frequently mutated in human cancer. It encodes a tumor suppressor, and traditionally researchers have assumed that it acts primarily as a regulator of how genes are made into proteins. Now, researchers show that the protein has at least one other biochemical activity: controlling the metabolism of the sugar glucose, one of body's main sources of fuel. ... > full story

Two new crustaceans discovered in Iberian Peninsula, Spain (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have now described two cladocerous crustaceans, which could be endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, and which were found in two lagoons, one in the lower basin of the Guadalquivir river, and the other in the grasslands of Extremadura. Both of these arthropods may today inhabit more areas in the Mediterranean region. ... > full story

Parents rationalize the economic cost of children by exaggerating their parental joy (March 2, 2011) -- Any parent can tell you that raising a child is emotionally and intellectually draining. Despite their tales of professional sacrifice, financial hardship, and declines in marital satisfaction, many parents continue to insist that their children are an essential source of happiness and fulfillment in their lives. A new study suggests that parents create rosy pictures of parental joy as a way to justify the huge investment that kids require. ... > full story

New kind of optical fiber developed: Made with a core of zinc selenide (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have developed the very first optical fiber made with a core of zinc selenide -- a light-yellow compound that can be used as a semiconductor. The new class of optical fiber, which allows for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light, promises to open the door to more versatile laser-radar technology. Such technology could be applied to the development of improved surgical and medical lasers, better countermeasure lasers used by the military, and superior environment-sensing lasers such as those used to measure pollutants and to detect the dissemination of bioterrorist chemical agents. ... > full story

Protein's elusive role in embryo and disease development unravelled (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have determined that a single protein called FADD controls multiple cell death pathways, a discovery that could lead to better, more targeted autoimmune disease and cancer drugs. ... > full story

Combined molecular study techniques reveal more about DNA proteins (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes. Two physics professors combined their expertise in single-molecule biophysics -- fluorescence microscopy and optical traps -- to create a unique instrument that measures both a DNA-regulating protein's motion and conformational changes as it acts. ... > full story

Joint pain in children: Is it just a sore knee, or could it be juvenile idiopathic arthritis? (March 2, 2011) -- While lab tests and imaging can sometimes help diagnose juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a physical examination and thorough patient history are the most valuable tools in identifying this disease. ... > full story

Effectiveness of wastewater treatment may be damaged during a severe flu pandemic (March 2, 2011) -- Existing plans for antiviral and antibiotic use during a severe influenza pandemic could reduce wastewater treatment efficiency prior to discharge into receiving rivers, resulting in water quality deterioration at drinking water abstraction points, according to a new article. ... > full story

Dude, you throw like a crybaby! (March 2, 2011) -- A new study of baseball tosses has found that body language is more likely to be judged as masculine when it seems to convey anger and as feminine when is seems to convey sadness. ... > full story

Solar mystery of missing sunspots explained (March 2, 2011) -- The sun has been in the news a lot lately because it's beginning to send out more flares and solar storms. Its recent turmoil is particularly newsworthy because the sun was very quiet for an unusually long time. Astronomers had a tough time explaining the extended solar minimum. New computer simulations imply that the sun's long quiet spell resulted from changing flows of hot plasma within it. ... > full story

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could be caused by a retrovirus, study suggests (March 2, 2011) -- A retrovirus that inserted itself into the human genome thousands of years ago may be responsible for some cases of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gherig's disease. The finding may eventually give researchers a new way to attack this universally fatal condition. ... > full story

Good fungi might prove even better for plant, human health (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have come closer to understanding how a common fungus "makes its living in the soil," which could lead to its possible "career change" as a therapeutic agent for plant and human health. ... > full story

Researchers predict age of T cells to improve cancer treatment (March 2, 2011) -- The effectiveness of the cancer therapy known as adoptive T cell transfer is limited by the cells' finite lifespan. Researchers have now addressed this limitation by accurately predicting cell age and quality. Infusing only young functional cells into a patient should improve the therapeutic outcome. ... > full story

Hair dyeing poised for first major transformation in 150 years (March 2, 2011) -- Technological progress may be fast-paced in many fields, but one mundane area has been almost left in the doldrums for the last 150 years: The basic technology for permanently coloring hair. That's the conclusion of an analysis of almost 500 articles and patents on the chemistry of permanent hair dyeing, which foresees much more innovation in the years ahead, including longer lasting, more-natural-looking dyes and gene therapy to reverse the gray. ... > full story

Facing the Facebook mirror can boost self-esteem (March 2, 2011) -- A new study has found that Facebook can have a positive influence on the self-esteem of college students. ... > full story

Bacteria can communicate with each other through nanotubes, researchers discover (March 2, 2011) -- A pathway whereby bacteria communicate with each other has been discovered. The discovery has important implications for efforts to cope with the spread of harmful bacteria in the body. ... > full story

Shift work may be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer (March 2, 2011) -- Melatonin is known to have cancer-protective properties, and shift work can induce desynchrony of the circadian system, reducing melatonin production. Shift work has been thought to have important health impacts, with evidence linking shift work to an increased risk of several cancers including breast, endometrial, prostate and colorectal, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In a recent study, researchers found that shift work may be associated with a reduced risk of skin cancer in women. ... > full story

New 'thermometer' helps scientists accurately measure rock formation (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers have used magnesium isotopes to determine the temperature at which rocks form, which will allow scientists to better study the formation of Earth's crust and mantle as well as the formation of meteorites. ... > full story

Nitric oxide does not appear to improve treatment of sickle cell pain-attacks (March 2, 2011) -- Among patients with sickle cell disease, treatment of a vaso-occlusive crisis (characterized by episodes of severe pain) in the hospital with inhalation of nitric oxide gas for up to 3 days did not result in a shorter time to resolution of the pain, compared to patients who received placebo, according to a new study. ... > full story

Cements that self-repair cracks and store latent heat energy? (March 2, 2011) -- Cement (and derivatives thereof) is one of the materials most commonly used in construction, given its good performance at low cost. Over recent years, one part of scientific and technological research is aimed at incorporating additional functions into these materials. Researchers have studied the possibility of adding capacities to the cement such as the self-repair of cracks as well as the storing of latent heat energy. ... > full story

Just like me: Online training helpers more effective when they resemble students (March 2, 2011) -- Opposites don't always attract. A new study shows that participants are happier -- and perform better -- when the electronic helpers used in online training programs resemble the participants themselves. ... > full story

World's most powerful optical microscope: Microscope could 'solve the cause of viruses' (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have produced the world's most powerful optical microscope, which could help us understand the causes of many viruses and diseases. ... > full story

New cell therapy a promising atherosclerosis treatment (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers have shown in a new study on mice, that cell therapy can be used to reverse the effect of "bad" LDL cholesterol and reduce the inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis. The new cell therapymcan open the way for new therapies for stroke and myocardial infarction if the results prove translatable to humans. ... > full story

Songbird's strategy for changing its tune could inform rehab efforts (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered that the male Bengalese finch uses a simple mental computation and an uncanny memory to create its near-perfect mate-catching melody. ... > full story

Fluorescent peptides help nerves glow in surgery (March 2, 2011) -- Accidental damage to thin or buried nerves during surgery can have severe consequences, from chronic pain to permanent paralysis. Scientists may have found a remedy: injectable fluorescent peptides that cause hard-to-see peripheral nerves to glow, alerting surgeons to their location even before the nerves are encountered. ... > full story

Nanotechnology used to prolong machine and engine life (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a way to use nanotechnology to reduce friction in automobile engines and machines. ... > full story

Meditation beats dance for harmonizing body and mind (March 2, 2011) -- The body is a dancer's instrument, but is it attuned to the mind? A new study suggests that professional ballet and modern dancers are not as emotionally in sync with their bodies as are people who regularly practice meditation. ... > full story

Scientists unravel the mysterious mechanics of spider silk (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists now have a better understanding of why spider silk fibers are so incredibly strong. Recent research describes the architecture of silk fibers from the atomic level up and reveals new information about the molecular structure that underlies the amazing mechanical characteristics of this fascinating natural material. ... > full story

HIV vaccine impacts the genetic makeup of the virus (March 2, 2011) -- An AIDS vaccine tested in people, but found to be ineffective, influenced the genetic makeup of the virus that slipped past. This is the first evidence that vaccine-induced cellular immune responses against HIV-1 infection exert selective pressure on the virus. The findings suggest new strategies for developing HIV vaccines that put selective pressure in a controlled manner that debilitates the virus and that avoids selecting for strains that can escape immune defenses. ... > full story

Mini or massive? For turtles and tortoises, it all depends on where you live (March 2, 2011) -- Life scientists report the first quantitative evidence for an evolutionary link in turtles and tortoises between habitat and body size. ... > full story

Head injury can blight survival up to 13 years later (March 2, 2011) -- A head injury can blight the chances of survival up to 13 years after the event, especially among younger adults, finds new research. ... > full story

Plug-and-play multi-core voltage regulator could lead to 'smarter' smartphones, slimmer laptops and energy-friendly data centers (March 2, 2011) -- To promote energy-efficient multitasking, a graduate student has developed and demonstrated a new device with the potential to reduce the power usage of modern processing chips. The advance could allow the creation of "smarter" smartphones, slimmer laptops and more energy-friendly data centers. ... > full story

Herbal teas may provide health benefits (March 2, 2011) -- Those who enjoy the caffeinated lift that comes from drinking traditional coffees and teas may tend to overlook the benefits of drinking herbal infusions. Now, the idea that herbal teas may provide a variety of health benefits is no longer just folklore. ... > full story

New conditions for life on other planets: Tidal effects change 'habitable zone' concept (March 2, 2011) -- Tides can render the so-called "habitable zone" around low-mass stars uninhabitable, according to new research. Until now, the two main drivers thought to determine a planet's temperature were the distance to the central star and the composition of the planet's atmosphere. ... > full story

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