Jumat, 04 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Friday, March 4, 2011

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New kinds of superconductivity? Physicists demonstrate coveted 'spin-orbit coupling' in atomic gases (March 4, 2011) -- Physicists have for the first time caused a gas of atoms to exhibit an important quantum phenomenon known as spin-orbit coupling. Their technique opens new possibilities for studying and better understanding fundamental physics and has potential applications to quantum computing, next-generation "spintronics" devices and even "atomtronic" devices built from ultracold atoms. ... > full story

Potential mechanisms for future anti-obesity drugs identified (March 4, 2011) -- Scientists have identified the neurological and cellular signaling mechanisms that contribute to satiety -- the sensation of feeling full -- and the subsequent body-weight loss produced by drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes. More comprehensive knowledge of these mechanisms could form the basis for anti-obesity medications. ... > full story

Flood-tolerant rice plants can also survive drought (March 4, 2011) -- Sensitive to drought due to its high water requirement, rice is particularly vulnerable to how global climate change is altering the frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts. Now plant scientists have made a discovery that can greatly benefit rice growers and consumers everywhere. The researchers have demonstrated in the lab and greenhouse that rice that is flood tolerant is also better able to recover from a drought. ... > full story

Obesity may increase risk of triple-negative breast cancer (March 4, 2011) -- New findings confirm the risk of breast cancer among women who are obese and not physically active, and suggests additional mechanisms beyond estrogen. ... > full story

Nanofabrication tools may make silicon optical chips more accessible (March 4, 2011) -- In an effort to make it easier to build inexpensive, next-generation silicon-based electro-optical chips, which allow computers to move information with light and electricity, scientists are developing design tools and using commercial nanofabrication tools. ... > full story

Older patients confused about multiple drug dosing (March 4, 2011) -- Many older patients, who take an average of seven medicines a day, are so confused by the vague instructions on prescription bottles they don't realize they can combine their medications to take them more efficiently. A new study shows patients thought they had to take seven medicines at least seven and up to 14 separate times a day. Researchers recommend a standardized universal medication drug schedule at morning, noon, evening and bedtime. ... > full story

California islands give up evidence of early seafaring: Numerous artifacts found at late Pleistocene sites on the Channel Islands (March 4, 2011) -- Evidence for a diversified sea-based economy among North American inhabitants dating from 12,200 to 11,400 years ago is emerging from three sites on California's Channel Islands. ... > full story

New clue to controlling skin regeneration, as well as skin cancer (March 4, 2011) -- Researchers have now found a regulator of gene activity that tells epidermal stem cells when it's time to grow more skin, as well as a "crowd control" molecule that can sense cell crowding and turn the growth off. ... > full story

Taking the heat: Silver-diamond composite offers unique capabilities for cooling powerful defense microelectronics (March 4, 2011) -- Researchers are developing a solid composite material to help cool small, powerful microelectronics used in defense systems. The material, composed of silver and diamond, promises an exceptional degree of thermal conductivity compared to materials currently used for this application. ... > full story

New findings on drug tolerance in TB suggest ideas for shorter cures (March 4, 2011) -- A study of host-pathogen responses in tuberculosis elucidates molecular mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance in tuberculosis and further suggests a strategy for shortening curative therapy (currently six months) using a class of drugs -- efflux pump inhibitors -- that are already approved for treating high blood pressure and angina, and available for use in people. ... > full story

Ultrasound and algorithms could lead to better breast cancer screening (March 4, 2011) -- New research holds the promise of becoming a powerful new weapon in the fight against breast cancer. His complex computational research has led to a fast, inexpensive new method for using ultrasound and advanced algorithms to differentiate between benign and malignant tumors with a high degree of accuracy. ... > full story

Fear of side effects shapes older patients' willingness to take heart medication (March 4, 2011) -- Faced with the risk of developing side effects, even ones as mild as fatigue, nausea and fuzzy thinking, many older patients are willing to forego medications that provide only average benefit in preventing heart attack, according to a new article. ... > full story

Oldest objects in solar system indicate a turbulent beginning (March 3, 2011) -- Scientists have found that calcium, aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), some of the oldest objects in the solar system, formed far away from our sun and then later fell back into the mid-plane of the solar system. The findings may lead to a greater understanding of how our solar system and possibly other solar systems formed and evolved. ... > full story

Susceptibility factor for bipolar disorder identified (March 3, 2011) -- A new study provides fascinating insight into the genetic basis of bipolar disorder, a highly heritable mood disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. The research identifies a previously unrecognized susceptibility factor for bipolar disorder. ... > full story

Easy, accurate way to predict food allergies developed, study suggests (March 3, 2011) -- An on-line calculator that predicts, within seconds, the presence of the three major food allergies in children has been developed. The new calculator gives 96% accuracy compared to current methods that are 61% -81% accurate. ... > full story

Cancer patients' partners become ill themselves, Swedish study shows (March 3, 2011) -- People who are married to or cohabiting with a cancer patient suffer more illness in the year following their spouse or partner’s cancer diagnosis, according to recent research from Sweden. ... > full story

Scalable method for making graphene (March 3, 2011) -- New research demonstrates a more consistent and cost-effective method for making graphene, the atomic-scale material that has promising applications in a variety of fields, and was the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. ... > full story

Women who miscarry continue to have mental health problems, even after healthy birth (March 3, 2011) -- The depression and anxiety experienced by many women after a miscarriage can continue for years, even after the birth of a healthy child, according to a new study. ... > full story

Liver, not brain, may be origin of Alzheimer’s plaques (March 3, 2011) -- Unexpected results from a new study could completely alter scientists' ideas about Alzheimer's disease -- pointing to the liver instead of the brain as the source of the "amyloid" that deposits as brain plaques associated with this devastating condition. The findings could offer a relatively simple approach for Alzheimer's prevention and treatment. ... > full story

New method allows human embryonic stem cells to avoid immune system rejection (March 3, 2011) -- A short-term treatment with three immune-dampening drugs allowed human embryonic stem cells to survive and thrive in mice. ... > full story

Solving the puzzle of Henry VIII (March 3, 2011) -- The numerous miscarriages suffered by the wives of Henry VIII could be explained if the king's blood carried the Kell antigen. If Henry also suffered from McLeod syndrome, a genetic disorder specific to the Kell blood group, it would finally provide an explanation for his dramatic mid-life shift in both physical form and personality. ... > full story

Potassium levels possible key to racial disparity in Type 2 diabetes (March 3, 2011) -- Lower potassium levels in the blood may help explain why African-Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as whites, according to a new study. ... > full story

Mapping human vulnerability to climate change (March 3, 2011) -- Researchers already study how various species of plants and animals migrate in response to climate change. Now, a researcher has taken the innovative step of using the same analytic tools to measure the impact of climate change on human populations. They found that if populations continue to increase at the expected rates, those who are likely to be the most vulnerable to climate change are the people living in low-latitude, hot regions of the world. ... > full story

The more secure you feel, the less you value your stuff (March 3, 2011) -- People who feel more secure in receiving love and acceptance from others place less monetary value on their possessions, according to new research. ... > full story

Human ancestors lived on shaky ground (March 3, 2011) -- Our earliest ancestors preferred to settle in locations that have something in common with cities such as San Francisco, Naples and Istanbul -- they are often on active tectonic faults in areas that have an earthquake risk or volcanoes, or both. An international team of scientists has established a link between the shape of the landscape and the habitats preferred by our earliest ancestors. ... > full story

New drug regimens cut HIV spread from mother to infant (March 3, 2011) -- Pregnant women who are unaware that they have HIV miss the chance for drug treatment that can benefit not only their own health, but could also prevent them from transmitting the virus to their infants. When HIV is not diagnosed until women go into labor, their infants are usually treated soon after birth with the anti-HIV drug zidovudine, to prevent the infants from becoming infected with the virus. ... > full story

New developments in quantum computing (March 3, 2011) -- Quantum computers are computers that exploit the weird properties of matter at extremely small scales. Many experts believe that a full-blown quantum computer could perform calculations that would be hopelessly time consuming on classical computers, but so far, quantum computers have proven hard to build. Researchers have planned an experiment that, if it worked, would offer strong evidence that quantum computers can do things that classical computers can't. Although building the experimental apparatus would be difficult, it shouldn't be as difficult as building a fully functional quantum computer. ... > full story

New findings challenge view of key part of immune defense (March 3, 2011) -- The natural killer cells of our immune defense are activated for an extended period after the acute infection, which challenges the prevailing view that the elevation and activation of cells quickly pass. This is shown in a study regarding vole fever. ... > full story

Using artificial, cell-like 'honey pots' to entrap deadly viruses (March 3, 2011) -- Researchers have designed artificial "protocells" that can lure, entrap and inactivate a class of deadly human viruses -- think decoys with teeth. ... > full story

Who's the best tennis player of all time? Ranking of top male tennis players produces some surprises (March 3, 2011) -- Fans may think of Jimmy Connors as an "old school" tennis player, but according to a new ranking system developed using network analysis, Connors is best player in the history of the game. ... > full story

New observations of the giant planet orbiting beta Pictoris (March 3, 2011) -- New observations have been made of the giant planet around beta Pictoris. Discovered in 2009, this planet, called beta Pictoris b, has now been detected again with the NaCo instrument on the VLT. Astronomers find that the planet is moving around the star. They have also measured the mass and the effective temperature of beta Pic b. ... > full story

How sunlight may reduce the severity of multiple sclerosis (March 3, 2011) -- New research into the neurodegenerative disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) offers new insight into the link between sunlight, vitamin D3, and MS risk and severity. The research studies the relationship between the sunlight-dependent vitamin D3 hormone, immune cells, and the risk and severity of autoimmunity in an experimental model. ... > full story

Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories: Transplanted enzyme pathway makes E. coli churn out n-butanol (March 3, 2011) -- While ethanol is today's major biofuel, researchers aim to produce fuels more like gasoline. Butanol is the primary candidate, now produced primarily by Clostridium bacteria. Chemists have now transplanted the enzyme pathway from Clostridium into E. coli, replaced two of five genes with enzymes from other microbes, and gotten the bacteria to churn out 10 times more n-butanol than competing microbes, close to the level needed for industrial scale production. ... > full story

Researcher seeks to use electrical stimulation to give voice to stroke patients (March 3, 2011) -- A researcher is seeking a new way to help those who are unable to speak to find their voice. He wants to help bring back the voice of stroke patients and others who have suffered paralysis of the vocal folds, through electrical stimulation. ... > full story

Shrinking tundra, advancing forests: how the Arctic will look by century's end (March 3, 2011) -- A shifting of climate types in the Arctic will mean tundra in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Asia giving way to trees and plants typical of more southerly climates, according to climatologists. ... > full story

Brain's 'autopilot' provides insight into early development of Alzheimer's disease (March 3, 2011) -- Watching the brain's "autopilot" network in real time may help determine the onset of cognitive decline and potentially aid in making an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers. ... > full story

Spinal cord injury: Human cells derived from stem cells restore movement in animal models (March 3, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered that a specific type of human cell, generated from stem cells and transplanted into spinal cord injured rats, provide tremendous benefit, not only repairing damage to the nervous system but helping the animals regain locomotor function as well. The study focuses on human astrocytes -- the major support cells in the central nervous system -- and indicates that transplantation of these cells represents a potential avenue to treat spinal cord injuries. ... > full story

New hope for lowering cholesterol (March 3, 2011) -- A promising new way to inhibit cholesterol production in the body has been discovered, one that may yield treatments as effective as existing medications but with fewer side effects. ... > full story

Four new species of Zombie ant fungi discovered in Brazilian rainforest (March 3, 2011) -- Four new Brazilian species in the genus Ophiocordyceps have been discovered. The fungi belong to a group of "zombifying" fungi that infect ants and then manipulate their behavior, eventually killing the ants after securing a prime location for spore dispersal. ... > full story

Smoking increases risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, study shows (March 3, 2011) -- Postmenopausal women who smoke or used to smoke have up to a 16 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have never smoked, new research finds. ... > full story

Solving the riddle of nature’s perfect spring (March 3, 2011) -- Scientists have unravelled the shape of the protein that gives human tissues their elastic properties in what could lead to the development of new synthetic elastic polymers. ... > full story

Cannabis use precedes the onset of psychotic symptoms in young people, study finds (March 3, 2011) -- Cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood increases the risk of psychotic symptoms, while continued cannabis use may increase the risk for psychotic disorder in later life, concludes a new study. ... > full story

Black holes: A model for superconductors? (March 3, 2011) -- Black holes are some of the heaviest objects in the universe. Electrons are some of the lightest. Now physicists have shown how charged black holes can be used to model the behavior of interacting electrons in unconventional superconductors. ... > full story

Type 2 diabetes linked to single gene mutation in one in ten patients (March 3, 2011) -- For individuals of white European descent, certain variations of the gene HMGA1 are associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a new study. ... > full story

Eastern cougar is extinct, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concludes (March 3, 2011) -- Although the eastern cougar has been on the endangered species list since 1973, its existence has long been questioned. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a formal review of the available information and, in a new report, concludes the eastern cougar is extinct and recommends the subspecies be removed from the endangered species list. ... > full story

Six-month drug regimen cuts HIV risk for breastfeeding infants, study finds (March 3, 2011) -- Giving breastfeeding infants of HIV-infected mothers a daily dose of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine for six months halved the risk of HIV transmission to the infants at age 6 months compared with giving infants the drug daily for six weeks, according to preliminary clinical trial data. ... > full story

'A little off the top' helps map cells with submicrometer resolution (March 3, 2011) -- In an effort to identify the early-onset, subtle chemical changes occurring in a cell heading toward malignancy, researchers have developed a technique that slices off the top of a cell and makes the structures accessible to spectroscopic examination of their chemical "signatures." ... > full story

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may help stave off dementia, research suggests (March 3, 2011) -- Experts agree that long-term alcohol abuse is detrimental to memory function and can cause neurodegenerative disease. However, according to a new study, there is evidence that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may decrease the risk of cognitive decline or dementia. ... > full story

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