Jumat, 18 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Friday, March 18, 2011

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A new evolutionary history of primates (March 18, 2011) -- A robust new phylogenetic tree resolves many long-standing issues in primate taxonomy. The genomes of living primates harbor remarkable differences in diversity and provide an intriguing context for interpreting human evolution. The phylogenetic analysis was conducted by international researchers to determine the origin, evolution, patterns of speciation, and unique features in genome divergence among primate lineages. ... > full story

Scientists ID possible biomarker to gauge Alzheimer's prognosis, effect of therapies (March 18, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a new biomarker that could help them track how effectively the immune system is able to clear the brain of amyloid beta, which forms the plaques considered one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. The pilot study demonstrates how the immune gene MGAT3, which is essential in clearing amyloid beta, is expressed differently in different Alzheimer's patients. The finding may be useful in providing more highly individualized disease prognoses in the future. ... > full story

Tying the knot with computer-generated holograms: Winding optical path moves matter (March 18, 2011) -- In the latest twist on optical knots, physicists have discovered a new method to create extended and knotted optical traps in 3-D. This method may one day help enable fusion energy as a practical power source, according to researchers. ... > full story

Survival matching should be used to allocate donated kidneys to transplant recipients, experts urge (March 18, 2011) -- Providing kidney transplants to patients with the best probability of longer survival would reduce repeat transplant operations and improve life span after kidney transplant. ... > full story

Intervention offers 'best chance' to save species endangered by climate change, expert argues (March 18, 2011) -- A scientist is proposing a radical program of "assisted colonization" to save species endangered by climate change. He says the strategy is applicable across the world, and he suggests Britain as a potential haven for species such as the Iberian lynx, the Spanish Imperial Eagle, the Pyrenean Desman and the Provence Chalkhill Blue butterfly. ... > full story

Life expectancy rising in UK and Europe despite obesity epidemic (March 18, 2011) -- Life expectancy in Europe keeps increasing despite the obesity epidemic, with people in Britain reaching an older age than those living in the US, according to an analysis of trends over the last 40 years. ... > full story

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft begins historic orbit around Mercury (March 18, 2011) -- NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft successfully achieved orbit around Mercury at approximately 9 p.m. EDT Thursday. This marks the first time a spacecraft has accomplished this engineering and scientific milestone at our solar system's innermost planet. ... > full story

Vitamin A plays key role in the human body, study suggests (March 18, 2011) -- In a recently published study mapping the structure and function of the so-called "orphan" nuclear receptor TR4, investigators suggest that vitamin A may play a more direct role than was previously known in certain physiological functions including sperm cell formation and the development of the central nervous system. ... > full story

How breast cell communities organize into breast tissue (March 18, 2011) -- A new study has shown how communities of different types of breast cells self-organize into breast tissue. This work helps explain how the processes of stem cell differentiation and tissue architecture maintenance are coordinated, and might lead to a better understanding of what goes wrong in cancer. ... > full story

Gardening linked to increased vegetable consumption in older adults (March 18, 2011) -- A study of older adults has revealed some interesting nutritional benefits to gardening. Researchers compared fruit and vegetable consumption of older gardeners and non-gardeners, and investigated differences in fruit and vegetable consumption of long-term gardeners compared with newer gardeners. The results suggested that offering gardening "intervention" programs for older adults could be an effective way to improve vegetable and fruit consumption in the population. ... > full story

New testing device may help to 'seal the deal' for building owners (March 18, 2011) -- Just as a chain is as strong as its weakest link, a building is as secure against the environment as its most degraded joint sealants, about 50 percent of which fail in less than 10 years after installation. The upshot for U.S. homeowners is that moisture damage due to failed sealants is responsible for much of the billion to billion they collectively shell out for house repairs annually. Researchers are now assembling a toolkit of measurement devices and scientific data that will help manufacturers of sealants systematically improve the protective performance of their products. ... > full story

Experimental philosophy opens new avenues into old questions (March 18, 2011) -- A philosophy professor examines the notions of free will and determinism through test methods used in social sciences. Experimental philosophy can likely help address other conundrums as well. ... > full story

Biodiversity conservation: Zoos urged to breed animals from threatened populations (March 17, 2011) -- Zoological gardens breed animals from threatened populations and can thus make a greater contribution towards biodiversity conservation. ... > full story

Convenient blood test not as effective for diagnosing diabetes in children, study shows (March 17, 2011) -- Because of rising rates of childhood obesity, more attention is being given to testing children for diabetes. But what's the right test for kids? A new study shows an increasing popular, convenient blood test is not reliable for finding cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes in children. ... > full story

3-D printing method advances electrically small antenna design (March 17, 2011) -- Omnidirectional printing of metallic nanoparticle inks offers an attractive alternative for meeting the demanding form factors of 3-D electrically small antennas. This is the first demonstration of 3-D printed antennas on curvilinear surfaces. ... > full story

Stroke incidence higher among patients with certain type of retinal vascular disease (March 17, 2011) -- Patients with a disease known as retinal vein occlusion (RVO) have a significantly higher incidence of stroke when compared with persons who do not have RVO, according to a new report. ... > full story

Bio-inspired sensors hold promise (March 17, 2011) -- Scientists are using insights from nature as inspiration for both touch and flow sensors -- areas that currently lack good sensors for recording and communicating the senses. ... > full story

Three in four domestic violence victims go unidentified in emergency rooms, new study shows (March 17, 2011) -- Although nearly 80 percent of female victims of intimate partner violence visit emergency departments for medical complaints, as many as 72 percent are not identified as victims of abuse. Of those who are, very few are offered adequate support, according to new research. ... > full story

Cassini sees seasonal rains transform surface of Saturn's moon Titan (March 17, 2011) -- As spring continues to unfold at Saturn, April showers on the planet's largest moon, Titan, have brought methane rain to its equatorial deserts, as revealed in images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This is the first time scientists have obtained current evidence of rain soaking Titan's surface at low latitudes. ... > full story

Heart damage improves, reverses after stem cell injections in a preliminary human trial (March 17, 2011) -- Researchers have shown in a small study that stem cell therapy can reverse heart damage in patients with enlarged hearts due to heart attacks. The benefit from stem cell injections was up to three times better than that offered by current medical treatments: heart size decreased, scar tissue decreased and heart function improved. The treatment is experimental and needs to be tested in larger trials, but it is promising for heart patients. ... > full story

New tool to monitor coral reef 'vital signs' (March 17, 2011) -- Scientists have created a new tool to monitor coral reef vital signs. By accurately measuring their biological pulse, scientists can better assess how climate change and other ecological threats impact coral reef health worldwide. ... > full story

Daily home dialysis makes 'restless legs' better (March 17, 2011) -- For dialysis patients, performing daily dialysis at home can help alleviate sleep problems related to restless legs syndrome (RLS), according to a new study. Restless legs syndrome is a common and troublesome problem for dialysis patients, affects hemodialysis patients about four times as often as people in the general population. ... > full story

Electric grid reliability: Increasing energy storage in vanadium redox batteries by 70 percent (March 17, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that the vanadium redox battery's performance can be significantly improved by modifying its electrolyte solution. The finding could improve the electric grid's reliability and help connect more wind turbines and solar panels to the grid. ... > full story

Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder score high in creativity (March 17, 2011) -- Young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder showed more creativity compared with those who did not have ADHD, a new study shows. ... > full story

E. coli engineered to produce record-setting amounts of alternative fuel (March 17, 2011) -- Scientists have produced 15 to 30 grams per liter of n-butanol by constructing a biochemical pathway and adding a driving force to E. coli, setting a record beyond current production practices. ... > full story

New treatment for thrombosis? (March 17, 2011) -- Scientists have announced a breakthrough in understanding how to control blood clotting which could lead to the development of new treatments and save the lives of thousands of people each year. ... > full story

Scientists control light scattering in graphene (March 17, 2011) -- Scientists have learned to control the quantum pathways that determine how light scatters in graphene. A sheet of carbon just a single atom thick, graphene's extraordinary crystalline structure gives rise to unique electronic and optical properties. Controlling light scattering not only provides a new tool for studying graphene but points to practical applications for managing light and electronic states in graphene nanodevices. ... > full story

Why are the elderly so vulnerable to pneunomia? (March 17, 2011) -- Scientists are providing insight into why the elderly are so vulnerable to pneumonia and other bacterial infections. ... > full story

NASA's Prolific Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reaches five-year mark (March 17, 2011) -- NASA's versatile Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which began orbiting Mars five years ago, has radically expanded our knowledge of the Red Planet and is now working overtime. ... > full story

Breastfed children do better at school, study suggests (March 17, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that breastfeeding causes children to do better at school. The study found that as little as four weeks of breastfeeding for a newborn baby has a significant effect on brain development, which persists until the child is at least 14 years old. ... > full story

Fossils record reveals ancient migrations, trilobite mass matings (March 17, 2011) -- Fossilized snapshots are providing paleontologists with new insights into the behavior of ancient marine creatures. Like modern crabs and lobsters, trilobites appear to have gathered in large groups for protection when they shed their protective exoskeletons. During molting, there was safety in numbers. And, like their modern cousins, trilobites seem to have used these molting gatherings as opportunities for mating. ... > full story

Scientists create stem cells from schizophrenia patients (March 17, 2011) -- Using skin cells from adult siblings with schizophrenia and a genetic mutation linked to major mental illnesses, researchers have created induced pluripotent stem cells using a new and improved "clean" technique. ... > full story

New tool debuts for measuring indoor air pollutants (March 17, 2011) -- A promising new approach for checking the accuracy of measurements of hazardous indoor air pollutants may soon be ready for prime time, researchers report. The measurement tool, a reference sample for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), would be a boon to testers of indoor air quality and to manufacturers of paints, rugs, cleaners and other building products. ... > full story

Marathon runners can suffer allergic reactions (March 17, 2011) -- As almost 40,000 runners get set to take part in this year’s London Marathon, a new study has found that one in three will suffer from allergies after the event. Researchers have shown how far symptoms such as itchy eyes, a runny nose and congestion can be attributed to allergic reactions. ... > full story

New technique enables much faster production of inexpensive solar cells (March 17, 2011) -- Researchers have demonstrated that the speed at which inexpensive solar cells are produced can be increased by a factor of 10 -- and that this can be achieved without any detriment to the energy yield of the cells. This will almost certainly result in a further reduction in the price of the cells, which are made of amorphous silicon. ... > full story

Psychological impact of Japan disaster will be felt 'for some time to come' (March 17, 2011) -- The psychological impact of natural disasters such as the Japan earthquake can be revealed in the way people inherently respond to unpredictable situations, according to a psychology expert. ... > full story

New laser technique opens doors for drug discovery (March 17, 2011) -- Researchers have demonstrated that a new laser technique can be used to measure the interactions between proteins tangled in a cell's membrane and a variety of other biological molecules. These extremely difficult measurements can aid the process of drug discovery. ... > full story

Gene therapy reverses symptoms of Parkinson's disease (March 17, 2011) -- A gene therapy called NLX-P101 dramatically reduces movement impairment in Parkinson's patients, according to results of a Phase 2 study. The approach introduces a gene into the brain to normalize chemical signaling. ... > full story

Not so eagle eyed: New study reveals why birds collide with human-made objects (March 17, 2011) -- From office block windows to power lines and wind turbines, many species of bird are prone to colliding with large human-made objects, many of which appear difficult not to notice to human eyes. A new study outlines a new approach to understanding how birds see the world and why they find pylons and turbines so hard to avoid. ... > full story

Comparison of wiping away bacteria with disinfectant wipes or a tissue moistened with saline (March 17, 2011) -- If you have time to quickly swipe your pager or cell phone three times, that would be your best bet to get rid of most of the bacteria. And a simple tissue moistened with saline would do the trick. But if you only have time for a single swipe of a 'dirty' phone -- you'd be better off reaching for a disinfectant wipe. ... > full story

Quantum cryptography? Physicists move closer to efficient single-photon sources (March 17, 2011) -- A team of physicists has taken a giant step toward realizing efficient single-photon sources, which are expected to enable much-coveted completely secure optical communications, also known as "quantum cryptography." ... > full story

Saint Patrick didn’t have it easy ... but at least the food wasn’t bad (March 17, 2011) -- Shipped to Ireland as a slave, it must have been a cold, hungry journey for Patrick. But through her researches, an Irish food expert has been able to recreate the diet available in 5th century Ireland to a young saint-in-the-making. ... > full story

Newborn stars wreak havoc in their nursery (March 17, 2011) -- A new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope gives a close-up view of the dramatic effects new-born stars have on the gas and dust from which they formed. Although the stars themselves are not visible, material they have ejected is colliding with the surrounding gas and dust clouds and creating a surreal landscape of glowing arcs, blobs and streaks. ... > full story

Developing a universal flu vaccine? (March 17, 2011) -- A vaccine that helps against all types of influenza -- for several years? If all goes right for one Norwegian company, such a vaccine could exist within a few years. ... > full story

Sounds of Japan earthquake and aftershocks from underwater observatories (March 17, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain have recorded the sound of the earthquake that shook Japan on Friday, March 11. The recording, now available online, was provided by a network of underwater observatories located on either side of the earthquake epicenter, close to the Japanese island of Hatsushima. ... > full story

Breaking the mucus barrier unveils cancer cell secrets (March 17, 2011) -- Measuring the mechanical strength of cancer cell mucus layers provides clues about better ways to treat cancer, and also suggests why some cancer cells are more resistant to drugs than others, according to new research. Healthy tissues naturally secrete mucus to protect against infection. Cancer cells, however, produce far more mucus than healthy cells. ... > full story

Researchers gain new insight into the foreign exchange market (March 17, 2011) -- Physicists have developed a mathematical model to describe the timing of price changes of currencies and the overall dynamics of the Foreign Exchange (FX) market. ... > full story

Does your name dictate your life choices? (March 17, 2011) -- What's in a name? Letters. And psychologists have posited that the letters -- particularly the first letter of our names -- can influence decisions, including whom we marry and where we move. The effect is called "implicit egotism." ... > full story

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