Senin, 07 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Monday, March 7, 2011

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Human activity displaces predators more than prey (March 7, 2011) -- Prey species have an advantage over predators in wilderness areas subject to human disturbance related to recreation and resource development, according to a study conducted in the Rocky Mountain foothills near Calgary. ... > full story

Stem cell study could aid motor neuron disease research (March 7, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new way to generate human motor nerve cells in a development that will help research into motor neuron disease. Scientists have created a range of motor neurons -- nerves cells that send messages from the brain and spine to other parts of the body -- from human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. ... > full story

Hawaiian volcano crater floor collapse followed by eruption in fissue along Kilauea's east rift zone (March 7, 2011) -- A fissure that opened on Kilauea's east rift zone after the March 5 collapse of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor continues to erupt lava. Activity along the fissure was sporadic overnight and throughout the following day, with periods of quiet punctuated by episodes of lava spattering up to 25 meters (80 feet) high. ... > full story

A misunderstanding leads to method for making nanowells (March 7, 2011) -- A safe, simple, and cheap method of creating perfectly etched micron and smaller size wells in a variety of substrates has been developed. Similar patterned surfaces are currently made using complex and expensive photolithography methods and etch processes under clean room conditions and used in the fabrication of many optical, electrical, and mechanical devices. ... > full story

Depression and anxiety differentially influence physical symptom reporting (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers have for decades hypothesized that negative emotions lead to inflated reports of common physical symptoms, like headaches or an upset stomach. But a new study suggests that two negative emotions -- depression and anxiety -- influence symptom reporting in different ways. ... > full story

The scars of impacts on Mars (March 7, 2011) -- ESA's Mars Express has returned new images of an elongated impact crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars. Located just south of the Huygens basin, it could have been carved out by a train of projectiles striking the planet at a shallow angle. ... > full story

Life-saving blood test for fungal meningitis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries (March 7, 2011) -- A new, rapid blood test that could lead to early diagnosis and potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people stricken with fungal meningitis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries, is getting closer to market with a recent collaboration of researchers. ... > full story

Large forest animals contribute to plant diversity (March 7, 2011) -- Over several decades, the growth in deer, roe deer and wild boar populations has spread to all of France. Researchers have shown that in spite of the damage caused, notably to bushes and young trees in forests and to crops, these animals also help in increasing plant diversity. ... > full story

Boron neutron capture therapy is effective in advanced head and neck cancer, study suggests (March 7, 2011) -- The years of work done on developing and clinically testing of BNCT -- or Boron Neutron Capture Therapy -- are now paying off. BNCT-based treatment has been successfully used to treat patients with advanced head and neck cancer who have not responded to previous treatments and generally have poor prognosis. ... > full story

Speedy generic approval may not benefit consumers as much as expected, mathematical model shows (March 7, 2011) -- Faster approval times for generic drugs will get them into consumers' hands quicker, but may not make the price any better, a pricing and marketing researcher has found. A mathematical model shows that fewer firms enter the marketplace because the chances of getting there first and commanding the best profits are dramatically smaller when drug approval times are shorter. ... > full story

Racial identity tied to happiness, study finds (March 7, 2011) -- African American people who identify more strongly with their racial identity are generally happier, according to a study by psychology researchers. ... > full story

No such thing as a dormant volcano? Magma chambers awake sooner than thought (March 6, 2011) -- Until now it was thought that once a volcano's magma chamber had cooled down it remained dormant for centuries before it could be remobilized by fresh magma. A theoretical model was tested on two major eruptions and completely overturned this hypothesis: the reawakening of a chamber could take place in just a few months. This research should lead to a reassessment of the dangerousness of some dormant volcanoes. ... > full story

Possible role of damaged DNA in tumor development (March 6, 2011) -- DNA provides the instruction manual for all life forms. Occasionally, instructions are not carried out properly, and bad messages are sent leading to the creation of mutant proteins and possible tumor development. ... > full story

Human cues used to improve computer user-friendliness (March 6, 2011) -- Researchers want computers to understand inputs from humans that go beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse. They have now developed ways to provide information to a computer based on where a user is looking as well as through gestures or speech. ... > full story

Cadmium in children’s jewelry: 100 times recommended maximum exposure if mouthed or swallowed (March 6, 2011) -- Young children who mouth or swallow jewelry containing cadmium may be exposed to as much as 100 times the recommended maximum exposure limit for the toxic metal, according to new research. The study measured bioavailability, or how much cadmium leached out of the jewelry. The research also found that damaged pieces of jewelry in some cases leached up to 30 times more cadmium than undamaged pieces. ... > full story

Fast laser could revolutionize data communications (March 6, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that a surface emitting laser – a cheaper and more energy-efficient type of laser for fiber optics than conventional lasers – can deliver error-free data at a record speed of 40 Gbit/s. The breakthrough could lead to faster Internet traffic, computers and mobile phones. ... > full story

Does Guinness beer taste better in Ireland? (March 6, 2011) -- Does Guinness beer taste better in Ireland than other parts of the world? Over a period of one year, four researchers traveled to 14 countries and visited 71 Guinness serving establishments in 33 cities to collect data for 103 tastings. ... > full story

New microscope produces dazzling 3-D movies of live cells (March 6, 2011) -- Scientists have invented a new microscope that uses an exquisitely thin sheet of light -- similar to that used in supermarket bar-code scanners -- to peer inside single living cells. The images they obtained reveal the three-dimensional shapes of cellular landmarks in unprecedented detail. ... > full story

Novel mechanism for control of gene expression revealed (March 6, 2011) -- Scientists have recently discovered a novel, evolutionarily conserved mechanism for the regulation of gene expression. Normal cell growth, embryonic development, and responses to stress, require proper spatial and temporal control of gene expression. Studies on control of transcription (RNA biosynthesis) are typically centered on understanding how the RNA polymerase is recruited to the promoter, the control region of a gene. However, new work has revealed the existence of a second level of control in a yeast model system. ... > full story

Bone-creating protein could improve dental implant success (March 6, 2011) -- Using a bone-creating protein to augment the maxillary sinus could improve dental implant success, according to new research. ... > full story

Weight-loss surgery successful in treating overweight adolescents, study suggests (March 6, 2011) -- Bariatric surgery can result in significant weight loss in severely obese adolescents. ... > full story

Environmental impact of animal waste: Disposal of animal waste in large-scale swine production examined (March 6, 2011) -- Scientists examined a series of commercial, anaerobic, swine wastewater lagoons in North and South Carolina for genes involved in the nitrogen cycling process. ... > full story

Happy Hour linked to pub violence, UK study finds (March 6, 2011) -- A new study has established a link between pub violence and happy hour-style drinking promotions. The findings also show that pub staff themselves need to do more to stop heavily intoxicated customers from continuing to drink. ... > full story

Has Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived? (March 5, 2011) -- Researchers have delved into the fossil record to compare past animal extinctions, in particular the five "mass extinctions" that occurred within the past 540 million years, with today's extinctions. They find that, while the rate of extinctions today is higher than during past mass extinctions, we haven't yet lost too many animal species. Efforts to conserve threatened species could avoid the tipping point toward a sixth mass extinction. ... > full story

Jekyll and Hyde: Cells' executioner can also stave off death (March 5, 2011) -- An enzyme viewed as an executioner, because it can push cells to commit suicide, may actually short circuit a second form of cell death, researchers have discovered. The finding could shift drug discovery efforts, by leading scientists to rethink how proposed anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs that target the enzyme, called caspase 8, are supposed to work. ... > full story

Reviving 100-year-old resting spores of diatoms (March 5, 2011) -- Diatoms account for a large proportion of the phytoplankton found in the water, and live both in the open sea and in freshwater lakes. By reviving 100-year-old spores that had laid buried and inactive in bottom sediment, researchers have shown that diatoms are also genetically stable and survival artists. ... > full story

Decline in cerebral palsy diagnoses in premature infants suggests improvements in perinatal care (March 5, 2011) -- Cerebral palsy is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects motor function, more often in children born prematurely. Because cerebral palsy is a result of brain injury received shortly before, during, or soon after birth, the number of infants being diagnosed with the condition is a good indicator of the quality of perinatal and neonatal care. Rates of cerebral palsy have declined dramatically in the past 15 years. ... > full story

Invasive species widespread, but not more than at home range (March 5, 2011) -- Invasive plant species have long had a reputation as being bad for a new ecosystem when they are introduced. As it turns out, they aren't any more abundant away from home than they are at home. ... > full story

Mean girls and queen bees: Females threatened by social exclusion will reject others first (March 5, 2011) -- Many studies have suggested that males tend to be more physically and verbally aggressive than females. According to a new study, it may not be the case that women are less competitive than men -- they may just be using a different strategy to come out ahead. Specifically, women may rely more on indirect forms of aggression, such as social exclusion. ... > full story

Mutations found in human induced pluripotent stem cells (March 5, 2011) -- Ordinary human cells reprogrammed as induced pluripotent stem cells may revolutionize personalized medicine by creating new and diverse therapies unique to individual patients. But important and unanswered questions have persisted about the safety of these cells, in particular whether their genetic material is altered during the reprogramming process. A new study finds that the genetic material of reprogrammed cells may in fact be compromised, and suggests that extensive genetic screening of hiPSCs become standard practice. ... > full story

Prostate cancer: Targeted therapy shrank tumors up to 74 percent in cells in mice (March 5, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a potential target to treat an aggressive type of prostate cancer. The target, a gene called SPINK1, could be to prostate cancer what HER2 has become for breast cancer. ... > full story

Clean fuel worsens climate impacts for some vehicle engines (March 5, 2011) -- A pioneering program by one of the world's largest cities to switch its vehicle fleet to clean fuel has not significantly improved harmful vehicle emissions in more than 5,000 vehicles -- and worsened some vehicles' climate impacts -- a new study finds. ... > full story

To bring effective therapies to patients quicker, use the team approach (March 5, 2011) -- The current clinical trial process in the US is on shaky ground. In this era of personalized medicine, patient populations for new therapies grow smaller and smaller. Coupled with skyrocketing costs and expanding regulatory requirements, the completion of trials is extremely difficult. Researchers propose a new model to ensure effective treatments become available more quickly and at a lower cost -- collaborative clinical trials, in which companies team up and share costs to test new therapies. ... > full story

Simulating breaking waves (March 5, 2011) -- The SWAN (Simulating WAves Nearshore) wave prediction model predicts the distribution of wave heights close to the shore. It was recently expanded to include the SWASH (Simulating WAves till SHore) model, which enables the modeling of wave behavior right up to the shore, including how they break and overflow. ... > full story

Certain parts of the brain activated in people who heard tailored health messages and quit smoking (March 5, 2011) -- People who demonstrated a stronger brain response to certain brain regions when receiving individually tailored smoking cessation messages were more likely to quit smoking four months after, a new study found. ... > full story

Every five minutes someone dies from a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis (March 5, 2011) -- Each year between 100,000-180,000 Americans die as the result of pulmonary embolism, a complication from blood clots in the lungs. The Vascular Disease Foundation urges Americans, especially women, to learn about the risks of venous blood clots to help prevent these deaths. While men and women are at equal risk, the risk for deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots, varies depending on where a woman is in her lifecycle, her hormone levels, and if she has a family history of clotting disorders. ... > full story

Fossils of horse teeth indicate 'you are what you eat' (March 4, 2011) -- Fossil records verify a long-standing theory that horses evolved through natural selection. Scientists arrived at the conclusion after examining the teeth of 6,500 fossil horses representing 222 different populations of more than 70 extinct horse species. ... > full story

New non-surgical autopsy technique set to revolutionize post-mortem practice (March 4, 2011) -- A new non-surgical post-mortem technique that has the potential to revolutionize the way autopsies are conducted around the world has been pioneered by forensic pathologists and radiologists. ... > full story

Observing Arctic ice-edge plankton blooms from space (March 4, 2011) -- Ongoing climate-driven changes to the Arctic sea-ice could have a significant impact on the blooming of tiny planktonic plants (phytoplankton) with important implications for the Arctic ecosystem, according to new research, ... > full story

Possible new treatment strategies for pancreatic cancer (March 4, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a protein that can be modified to improve the effectiveness of one of the most common drugs used to treat pancreatic cancer. ... > full story

Feet first? Old mitochondria might be responsible for neuropathy in the extremities (March 4, 2011) -- The burning, tingling pain of neuropathy may affect feet and hands before other body parts because the powerhouses of nerve cells that supply the extremities age and become dysfunctional as they complete the long journey to these areas, scientists suggest in a new study. The finding may eventually lead to new ways to fight neuropathy, a condition that often accompanies other diseases including HIV/AIDS, diabetes and circulatory disorders. ... > full story

Can you predict your mate will cheat by their voice? (March 4, 2011) -- When choosing a partner, women believe the lower the man's voice, the more likely he's going to cheat. Conversely, men think a woman with a higher voice is more likely to be unfaithful, researchers have found. The study is the first to examine the link between voice pitch and perceived infidelity and offers insight into the evolution of the human voice and how we choose our mates. ... > full story

Rising carbon dioxide is causing plants to have fewer pores, releasing less water to the atmosphere (March 4, 2011) -- As carbon dioxide levels have risen during the last 150 years, the density of pores that allow plants to breathe has dwindled by 34 percent, restricting the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere, report scientists. ... > full story

How long do stem cells live? (March 4, 2011) -- A unique computer model calculates how long a blood stem cell will live, information that could predict the outcome of bone marrow transplants. ... > full story

Nanotechnology: New 'frozen smoke' may improve robotic surgery, energy storage (March 4, 2011) -- A spongy substance that could be mistaken for packing material has the nanotechnology world buzzing. Scientists have engineered the world's lightest carbon material in such a way that it could be used to detect pollutants and toxic substances, improve robotic surgery techniques and store energy more efficiently. ... > full story

Some overweight adolescents may be at risk for weak bones (March 4, 2011) -- Overweight adolescents already struggling with risk factors such as insulin resistance may need to add weak bones to their list of health concerns, researchers report. A study of 143 overweight 14- to 18-year-olds showed those with risk factors such as the precursor for diabetes and low levels of the blood-vessel protecting HDL cholesterol have less bone mass -- an indicator of bone strength -- than their overweight but otherwise healthy peers, according to new research. ... > full story

New system can warn of tsunamis within minutes (March 4, 2011) -- Seismologists have developed a new system that could be used to warn future populations of an impending tsunami only minutes after the initial earthquake. The system, known as RTerg, could help reduce the death toll by giving local residents valuable time to move to safer ground. ... > full story

Constant race-based discrimination can lead to 'racial battle fatigue' for African-Americans (March 4, 2011) -- Just as the constant pressure soldiers face on the battlefield can follow them home in the form of debilitating stress, African-Americans who face chronic exposure to racial discrimination may have an increased likelihood of suffering a race-based battle fatigue, according to researchers. ... > full story

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