Jumat, 01 April 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Friday, April 1, 2011

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Economic importance of bats in the 'billions a year' range (April 1, 2011) -- Researchers analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be in the .7 to billion a year range. A single colony of 150 big brown bats eat nearly 1.3 million insects a year -- insects that could potentially be damaging to crops. ... > full story

Link found between DNA damage and immune response (April 1, 2011) -- Researchers offer the first evidence that DNA damage can lead to the regulation of inflammatory responses, the body's reaction to injury. The proteins involved in the regulation help protect the body from infection. ... > full story

Hidden elm population may hold genes to combat Dutch elm disease (April 1, 2011) -- Scientists may have discovered "the map to El Dorado" for the American elm -- a previously hidden population of elms that carry genes for resistance to Dutch elm disease. The disease kills individual branches and eventually the entire tree within one to several years. ... > full story

Patients in their 50s with diabetes have nearly double the risk for developing 'geriatric' ailments, study finds (April 1, 2011) -- Middle-aged adults with diabetes are much more likely to develop age-related conditions than their counterparts who don't have diabetes, according to a new study. ... > full story

Scientists reach beyond the clouds with a mobile phone app to explore the outer atmosphere (April 1, 2011) -- Engineering scientists have reached above the clouds in a first-of-its-kind experiment to develop new technologies that probe the stratosphere using an unmanned vehicle. ... > full story

What choice do we have? (April 1, 2011) -- Too much choice can be a bad thing -- not just for the individual, but for society. Thinking about choices makes people less sympathetic to others and less likely to support policies that help people, according to a new study. ... > full story

Advance toward making biodegradable plastics from waste chicken feathers (April 1, 2011) -- In a scientific advance literally plucked from the waste heap, scientists have described a key step toward using the billions of pounds of waste chicken feathers produced each year to make one of the more important kinds of plastic. ... > full story

First report on bioaccumulation and processing of antibacterial ingredient TCC in fish (April 1, 2011) -- In the first report on the uptake and internal processing of triclocarban (TCC) in fish, scientists have reported strong evidence that TCC -- the source of environmental health concerns because of its potential endocrine-disrupting effects -- has a "strong" tendency to bioaccumulate in fish. ... > full story

Insight into lignin biosynthesis (April 1, 2011) -- A new study furthers our understanding of lignin formation in the model plant Arabidopsis. Two laccase genes are shown to play a major role in lignin deposition. ... > full story

Novel form of ubiquitin protein characterized: New insights into inflammation and cell death (April 1, 2011) -- Researchers in Germany have characterized a novel form of the regulatory protein ubiquitin, involved in inflammation and cell death. ... > full story

Molar power: Milk teeth wanted for stem cell palace art project (April 1, 2011) -- Children across Britain are being asked to donate their milk teeth to create “Palaces”, a spectacular glittering sculpture made from crystal resin and decorated with retired pearly whites. The project is a part of an art-science collaboration that aims to inspire the nation with the regenerative potential of adult stem cells. ... > full story

Study finds surprising gender differences related to sexual harassment (April 1, 2011) -- Sexual harassment may have become so commonplace for women that they have built up resistance to harassing behavior they consider merely "bothersome," suggests a provocative new study. ... > full story

Fruit fly's response to starvation could help control human appetites (March 31, 2011) -- Biologists have identified the molecular mechanisms triggered by starvation in fruit flies that enhance the nervous system's response to smell, allowing these insects and presumably vertebrates -- including humans -- to become more efficient and voracious foragers when hungry. Their discovery of the neural changes that control odor-driven food searches in flies could provide a new way to potentially regulate human appetite. ... > full story

Aimless proteins may be crucial to disease (March 31, 2011) -- A supposedly inactive protein actually plays a crucial role in the ability of one the world's most prolific pathogens to cause disease and could also be important to other such pathogen-based diseases as malaria. ... > full story

First non-trivial atom circuit: Progress toward an atom SQUID (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers have created the first non-trivial "atom circuit," a donut-shaped loop of ultracold gas atoms circulating in a current analogous to a ring of electrons in a superconducting wire. ... > full story

Study suggests a relationship between migraine headaches in children and a common heart defect (March 31, 2011) -- Roughly 15% of children suffer from migraines, and approximately one-third of these affected children have migraines with aura, a collection of symptoms that can include weakness, blind spots, and even hallucinations. Although the causes of migraines are unclear, a new study suggests a connection between migraine headaches in children and a heart defect called patent foramen ovale, which affects 25 percent of people in the US. ... > full story

Micro-RNA blocks the effect of insulin in obesity (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers in Germany have discovered a new mechanism that leads to the development of type 2 diabetes in obesity. ... > full story

Different genes influence smoking risk during adolescence and adulthood (March 31, 2011) -- There is growing evidence that the risk factors for addiction change throughout the lifespan. The risk factors for developing addiction in adolescence are the most intensively studied because this life phase is associated with the highest addiction risk. Traits linked to addiction risk during adolescence include pleasure-seeking, behavioral disinhibition, and devaluation of the future negative consequences of behavior. In contrast, the development of substance use among adults is more commonly associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. ... > full story

Astronomers take a look inside red giant stars (March 31, 2011) -- Astronomers have used data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft to see into the core of red giant stars. The scientists said the discovery will help astronomers learn more about red giants. Our sun will evolve into a red giant in about 5 billion years. ... > full story

US cancer death rates in decline: Annual report focuses on brain tumors (March 31, 2011) -- Lung cancer death rates in women have fallen for the first time in four decades, according to an annual report on the status of cancer. The drop comes about 10 years after lung cancer deaths in men began to fall, a delay that reflects the later uptake of smoking by women in the middle of the last century. ... > full story

Scat reveals an immigrant in Isle Royale wolves' gene pool (March 31, 2011) -- Until recently scientists studying the wolves of Isle Royale National Park thought they'd been totally isolated on the Lake Superior island for more than half a century. Now, by analyzing droppings, they've found the DNA of a fairly recent immigrant wolf from Canada. ... > full story

Blood simple circuitry for cyborgs (March 31, 2011) -- Could electronic components made from human blood be the key to creating cyborg interfaces? Circuitry that links human tissues and nerve cells directly to an electronic device, such as a robotic limb or artificial eye might one day be possible thanks to the development of biological components. ... > full story

US troops exposed to polluted air in Iraq, researchers report (March 31, 2011) -- Military personnel and contractors stationed in Iraq risk not only enemy gunfire, suicide bombers, and roadside bombs, but the very air they breathe often is polluted with dust and other particles of a size and composition that could pose immediate and long-term health threats, scientists report. ... > full story

Having trouble achieving work-life balance? Knowing your strategies is key (March 31, 2011) -- Essays are being written, final exams are looming and classes are reaching their busy conclusion. With conflicting demands from work, home and the classroom, this hectic time of year can be filled with stress. But according to new research, a little self-reflection could do us all a world of good. ... > full story

Fossil is best look yet at an ancestor of buttercups (March 31, 2011) -- Scientists from the United States and China have discovered the first intact fossil of a mature eudicot, a type of flowering plant whose membership includes buttercups, apple trees, maple trees, dandelions and proteas. The 125-million-year-old find reveals a remarkably developed species. ... > full story

Human embryonic stem cells provide new insight into muscular dystrophy (March 31, 2011) -- Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is the most common inherited muscular dystrophy in adults. New research uses human embryonic stem cells to make a clinically important contribution to the understanding of this disease, and highlights the incredible potential that embryonic stem cells hold for unraveling the complex molecular mechanisms involved in a variety of human conditions. ... > full story

Repulsive smell could combat bed bugs (March 31, 2011) -- Bed bugs are an increasingly common pest that necessitates extensive decontamination of homes. Researchers in Sweden have now discovered that young bed bugs produce a smell that repels other bed bugs. It is hoped that these findings could contribute to more effective control of the blood-sucking insects. ... > full story

Hands-free electronic water faucets found to be hindrance in infection control; Manual faucets work better, study shows (March 31, 2011) -- A study of newly installed, hands-free faucets at The Johns Hopkins Hospital shows they were more likely to be contaminated with one of the most common and hazardous bacteria in hospitals compared to old-style fixtures with separate handles for hot and cold water. ... > full story

Engineer studies how to reduce impact of power tools vibrations (March 31, 2011) -- The study of work-vibrations exposure is a relatively new in North America, although it has been a subject of significance in Europe. ... > full story

Superwoman: A hard act to follow (March 31, 2011) -- Exposure to attractive, aggressive, female leads in films affects how men and women think about who women ought to be in real life. Women have high standards for other women, and expect them to be both stereotypically feminine and masculine i.e. beautiful and aggressive rather than beautiful and passive. ... > full story

Mysterious 'ribbon' of energy and particles that wrap around solar system's heliosphere isolated (March 31, 2011) -- Scientists have isolated and resolved the mysterious "ribbon" of energy and particles discovered in the heliosphere -- the huge bubble that surrounds our solar system and protects us from galactic cosmic rays. ... > full story

Rare genetic variants most likely to influence disease (March 31, 2011) -- New genomic analyses suggest that the most common genetic variants in the human genome aren't the ones most likely causing disease. Rare genetic variants, the type found most often in functional areas of human DNA, are more often linked to disease, genetic experts report. ... > full story

Through the looking glass: Research into brain's ability to understand mirror-image words sheds light on dyslexia (March 31, 2011) -- Human beings understand words reflected in a mirror without thinking about it, just like those written normally, at least for a few instants. Researchers in Spain have shown this in a study that could also help to increase our understanding of the phenomenon of dyslexia. ... > full story

Remove children's catheters as soon as possible to prevent bloodstream infections (March 31, 2011) -- Hospitals can reduce the risk of life-threatening bloodstream infections in children with peripherally inserted central venous catheters by assessing daily the patient's progress and removing the device as early as possible, according to a new study. ... > full story

Archaeologists explore Iraqi marshes for origins of urbanization (March 31, 2011) -- The first non-Iraqi archaeological investigation of the Tigris-Euphrates delta in 20 years was a preliminary foray by three women who began to explore the links between wetland resources and the emergence and growth of cities last year. ... > full story

Being in a good mood may lead to poor memory (March 31, 2011) -- Most people have had trouble remembering something they just heard. Now, a researcher found that forgetfulness may have something to do with being in a good mood. She found that being in a good mood decreases your working memory capacity. ... > full story

Astrophysicist: White dwarfs could be fertile ground for other Earths (March 31, 2011) -- Hundreds of planets have been discovered outside the solar system in the last decade. Now an astrophysicist is suggesting that the best place to look for planets that could support life is around dying stars called white dwarfs. ... > full story

Promising new treatment for childhood leukemia (March 31, 2011) -- An experimental drug lessens symptoms of a rare form of childhood leukemia and offers significant insight into the cellular development of the disease, according to new findings. The mouse model research could spearhead the development of new leukemia therapies and paves the way for future clinical trials in humans. ... > full story

Gesture-controlled microscope developed by Finnish researchers (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers in Finland have created a hand-and-finger gesture-controlled microscope. The method is a combination of two technologies: web-based virtual microscopy and a giant-size multitouch display. ... > full story

Combination of two hormones increases height in girls with Turner syndrome (March 31, 2011) -- Giving girls with Turner syndrome low doses of estrogen, as well as growth hormone, years before the onset of puberty, increases their height and offers a wealth of other benefits, say a team of researchers. ... > full story

Fast-recharge, lithium-ion battery could be perfect for electric cars (March 31, 2011) -- The next-generation battery, like next-generation TV, may be 3-D, scientists say. They have described a new lithium-ion battery, already available in a prototype version, with a three-dimensional interior architecture that could be perfect for the electric cars now appearing in auto dealer showrooms. ... > full story

Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children (March 31, 2011) -- The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it's normal, according to a new study. Unfortunately, the more they think violence is normal, the more likely they are to engage in aggression against others. ... > full story

Common yellow lab dye profoundly extends lifespan in healthy nematodes (March 31, 2011) -- Basic Yellow 1, a dye used in neuroscience labs around the world to detect damaged protein in Alzheimer's disease, is a wonder drug for nematode worms. Thioflavin T extended lifespan in healthy worms by more than 50 percent and slowed the disease process in worms bred to mimic aspects of Alzheimer's. The research -- involving protein homeostasis -- could open new ways to intervene in aging and age-related disease. ... > full story

Vaccine to cure asthma brought on by house dust mite allergies? (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers are working on a vaccine that could completely cure asthma brought on by house dust mite allergies. ... > full story

Seeing below the surface: Engineers devise a new way to inspect advanced materials used to build airplanes (March 31, 2011) -- Many airplane manufacturers have started building planes from advanced composite materials, which consist of high-strength fibers, such as carbon or glass, embedded in a plastic or metal matrix. Such materials are stronger and more lightweight than aluminum, but they are also more difficult to inspect for damage. A professor of aeronautics and astronautics has devised a new way to detect that internal damage, using a simple handheld device and heat-sensitive camera. ... > full story

Worm research defines role of multiple disease genes at base of cilia (March 31, 2011) -- An international collaboration has outlined how cilia disease gene products regulate important aspects of early cilium formation and the integrity of the ciliary transport gate. ... > full story

Open-source software designed to minimize synthetic biology risks (March 31, 2011) -- A software package designed to minimize the potential risks of synthetic biology for the nation's defense and security is now available to the gene synthesis industry and synthetic biology community in an open-source format. ... > full story

Melanoma diagnosis in women associated with higher socioeconomic status (March 31, 2011) -- The incidence of melanoma appears higher in non-Hispanic white adolescent girls and young women living in higher socioeconomic neighborhoods than those living in lower socioeconomic areas, according to a new study. ... > full story

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