Senin, 24 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Monday, January 24, 2011

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Light touch transforms material into a superconductor (January 24, 2011) -- A non-superconducting material has been transformed into a superconductor using light, researchers report. ... > full story

CT scanning aids rapid diagnosis, treatment planning for abdominal pain (January 24, 2011) -- The use of CT scanning to evaluate abdominal pain in emergency departments can help physicians arrive at a diagnosis quickly and decisively. The new study also finds that information provided by CT scans changed treatment plans for almost half the patients studied and significantly reduced probable hospital admissions. ... > full story

Fat associated with chemical changes in DNA that may help explain obesity-related disease (January 24, 2011) -- Fat appears to associate with some distinctive chemical changes in the DNA -- a finding that may help explain why obesity can increase the risk for chronic problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers report. The finding may one day help identify those at risk and reduce it. ... > full story

Coronary imaging enhances ability to identify plaques likely to cause future heart disease (January 24, 2011) -- Results from the PROSPECT clinical trial shed new light on the types of vulnerable plaque that are most likely to cause sudden, unexpected adverse cardiac events, and on the ability to identify them through imaging techniques before they occur. ... > full story

Thwarting attacks on cell phone mesh networks (January 24, 2011) -- A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) or cell phone mesh network uses software to transparently hook together numerous active cell phones in a location to provide greater bandwidth and better network connections by allowing users to share "spare" resources while they use their phones, making data transfers faster and smoother. However, the usefulness of such ad hoc networks can be offset by vulnerabilities. Now researchers have developed a computer algorithm that runs on the network and rapidly identifies when a DDoS is initiated based on the new, unexpected pattern of data triggered by an attack. ... > full story

Obesity linked to economic insecurity (January 24, 2011) -- A new study suggests that people living in countries with 'free market' regimes are more likely to become obese due to the stress of being exposed to economic insecurity. ... > full story

Creating simplicity: How music fools the ear (January 24, 2011) -- What makes music beautiful? The best compositions transcend culture and time -- but what is the commonality which underscores their appeal? New research suggests that the brain simplifies complex patterns, much in the same way that "lossless" music compression formats reduce audio files, by removing redundant data and identifying patterns. ... > full story

Fighting the fight for healthy teeth (January 24, 2011) -- It is known that teeth can protect themselves, to some extent, from attack by bacteria but that inflammation within a tooth can be damaging and, in extreme cases, lead to abscess or death of the tooth. New research shows that odontoblast cells are part of the immune system and fight to protect teeth from decay. ... > full story

Delving into the past of a big cat: Clouded leopard redefined (January 24, 2011) -- Using genetic and morphological analyses, researchers have recently demonstrated that the clouded leopard (Neofelis) should not only be classified into two species, but that one of which even comprises two distinct subspecies. ... > full story

Study of nutrition, Alzheimer's links hampered by research approach (January 24, 2011) -- Research is trying to determine whether Alzheimer's disease might be slowed or prevented with nutritional approaches, but a new study suggests those efforts could be improved by use of nutrient "biomarkers" to objectively assess the nutrient status of elderly people at risk for dementia. ... > full story

Real-world graphene devices may have a bumpy ride (January 24, 2011) -- New measurements by researchers may affect the design of devices that rely on the high mobility of electrons in graphene -- they show that layering graphene on a substrate transforms its bustling speedway into steep hills and valleys that make it harder for electrons to get around. ... > full story

Light controls a worm's behavior: Scientists commandeer organism's nervous system without wires or electrodes (January 23, 2011) -- Physicists and bioengineers have developed an optical instrument allowing them to control the behavior of a worm just by shining a tightly focused beam of light at individual neurons inside the organism. ... > full story

Beyond improving Parkinson's symptoms, does deep brain stimulation stall their progression? (January 23, 2011) -- Does DBS make a long-term difference in the motor symptoms of Parkinson's patients, even after the device has been turned off and medications discontinued? ... > full story

Contagious cancer thrives in dogs by adopting host's genes (January 23, 2011) -- A curious contagious cancer, found in dogs, wolves and coyotes, can repair its own genetic mutations by adopting genes from its host animal, according to a new study. ... > full story

Gene mutation play a major role in one cause of kidney disease (January 23, 2011) -- Mutations in a gene called INF2 are by far the most common cause of a dominantly inherited condition that leads to kidney failure, according to a new study. The results may help with screening, prevention, and therapy. ... > full story

Could oysters be used to clean up Chesapeake Bay? (January 23, 2011) -- Chronic water quality problems caused by agricultural and urban runoff, municipal wastewater, and atmospheric deposition from the burning of fossil fuels leads to oxygen depletion, loss of biodiversity, and harmful algal blooms. This nutrient pollution is prevalent in many coastal marine and estuarine ecosystems worldwide. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America and although many efforts have been taken to improve its water quality, nutrient pollution still keeps it at unacceptable levels. In a new study, biologists have measured the nutrient removal capacity of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. ... > full story

Unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war,' study suggests (January 23, 2011) -- Heavy lobbying, lurid language and poor analysis are inhibiting government planning for cyber protection, according to a new report. ... > full story

Long-distance migration may help reduce infectious disease risks for many animal species (January 23, 2011) -- It's a common assumption that animal migration, like human travel across the globe, can transport pathogens long distances, in some cases increasing disease risks to humans. In some cases, animal migrations could actually help reduce the spread and prevalence of disease and may even promote the evolution of less-virulent disease strains, according to new research. ... > full story

Kidney gene implicated in increased heart failure risk (January 23, 2011) -- Scientists have identified the first DNA sequence variant common in the population that is not only associated with an increased risk of heart failure, but appears to play a role in causing it. The variant, a change in a single letter of the DNA sequence, impairs channels that control kidney function. ... > full story

How to tame hammering water droplets (January 23, 2011) -- A water hammer can occur when a valve is suddenly opened or closed in a pipe carrying water or steam, causing a pressure wave to travel down the pipe with enough force that it can sometimes cause the pipes to burst. Now, new research shows that a similar effect takes places on a tiny scale whenever a droplet of water strikes a surface. ... > full story

Why do some diabetics escape complications? (January 23, 2011) -- Much research has been carried out on why diabetics develop complications. Now researchers are asking the question the other way around. They want to know why some diabetic patients do not develop complications. What is it that protects them? The PROLONG study could provide the answer. ... > full story

Scientists successfully use sedation to help disentangle North Atlantic right whale (January 23, 2011) -- Scientists have successfully used at-sea chemical sedation to help cut the remaining ropes from a young North Atlantic right whale on January 15 off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla. The sedative given to the whale allowed the disentanglement team to safely approach the animal and remove 50 feet of rope which was wrapped through its mouth and around its flippers. ... > full story

Apologies aren't as good as people imagine they'll be (January 23, 2011) -- We all want an apology when someone does us wrong. But a new study finds that people aren't very good at predicting how much they'll value an apology. ... > full story

Global pacts like REDD ignore primary causes of destruction of forests, new study suggests (January 23, 2011) -- A new study by some of the world's top experts on forest governance finds fault with a spate of international accords, and helps explain their failure to stop rampant destruction of the world's most vulnerable forests. The report suggests that global efforts have too often ignored local needs, while failing to address the most fundamental challenge to global forest management -- that deforestation usually is caused by economic pressures imposed from outside the forests. ... > full story

Cracking a tooth: 3-D map of atoms sheds light on nanoscale interfaces in teeth, may aid materials design (January 22, 2011) -- Using a highly sophisticated atomic-scale imaging tool on a sea creature's tooth, two researchers have peeled away some of the mystery of organic/inorganic interfaces that are at the heart of tooth and bone structure. They are the first to produce a three-dimensional map of the location and identity of millions of individual atoms in the complex hybrid material that allows the animal to literally chew rock. ... > full story

Genetic code for form of pancreatic cancer cracked (January 22, 2011) -- Scientists have deciphered the genetic code for a type of pancreatic cancer, called neuroendocrine or islet cell tumors. The work shows that patients whose tumors have certain coding "mistakes" live twice as long as those without them. ... > full story

Defense mechanism against bacteria and fungi deciphered (January 22, 2011) -- To defend microbial attacks, the human body naturally produces a group of antibiotics, called defensins. An interdisciplinary team of biochemists and medical scientists has now deciphered the mechanism of action of a defensin, hitherto looked upon as exhibiting only minor activity. Their results might be useful in future drug development for inflammatory and infectious diseases. Nature now presents their findings online ahead of the print publication. ... > full story

Mammograms: Detecting more than breast cancer, may help assess heart risk in kidney disease patients (January 22, 2011) -- Routine mammograms performed for breast cancer screening could serve another purpose as well: detecting calcifications in the blood vessels of patients with advanced kidney disease, according to a new study. ... > full story

Islands in the sky: How isolated are mountain top plant populations? (January 22, 2011) -- Do mountain tops act as sky islands for species that live at high elevations? Are plant populations on these mountain tops isolated from one another because the valleys between them act as barriers, or can pollinators act as bridges allowing genes to flow among distant populations? ... > full story

Gulf grows between research practice and participant preferences in genetic studies (January 22, 2011) -- Obtaining consent for genetic studies can be an opportunity for researchers to foster respectful engagement with participants, not merely to mitigate risk. Participants are interested in research and feel themselves to have an investment in the studies. A policy forum in the journal Science recommends ways to build trusting relationships between researchers and study participants. ... > full story

New device may revolutionize computer memory (January 22, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a new device that represents a significant advance for computer memory, making large-scale "server farms" more energy efficient and allowing computers to start more quickly. ... > full story

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes mellitus: Unfolding amyloid secrets (January 22, 2011) -- Scientists have made a fundamental step in the search for therapies for amyloid-related diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes mellitus. By pinpointing the reaction that kick-starts the formation of amyloid fibers, scientists can now seek to further understand how these fibrils develop and cause disease. ... > full story

Montrealers are feeding fish Prozac; Research shows influence on brain activity while long-term consequences are unclear (January 22, 2011) -- Around one in four Montrealers take some kind of anti-depressant, and according to new research, the drugs are passing into the waterways and affecting fish. The findings are internationally significant as the city's sewage treatment system is similar to that in use in other major cities. ... > full story

Cell binding discovery brings hope to those with skin and heart problems (January 22, 2011) -- New research has revealed the mechanism that binds skin cells tightly together. The discovery may lead to new treatments for painful and debilitating skin diseases and also lethal heart defects. ... > full story

With cloud computing, the mathematics of evolution may get easier to learn (January 22, 2011) -- An innovative, educational computing platform hosted by the cloud (remote, high-capacity, scalable servers) is helping university students understand parts of evolutionary biology on an entirely new level. Soon, high-school and middle-school students will benefit from the same tool as well. ... > full story

Intrafamilial medically assisted reproduction (January 22, 2011) -- A new position paper related to intrafamilial medically assisted reproduction has been published. This particular type of assisted reproduction can raise various ethical and controversial issues, due to the involvement of a family member as a third party. ... > full story

Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in eight weeks (January 21, 2011) -- Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. A new study is the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain's gray matter. ... > full story

HEPA filters reduce cardiovascular health risks associated with air pollution, study finds (January 21, 2011) -- Using inexpensive air filters may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk that results from exposure to air pollution, according to researchers from Canada, who studied healthy adults living in a small community in British Columbia where wood burning stoves are the main sources of pollution. The researchers found that high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters reduced the amount of airborne particulate matter, resulting in improved blood vessel health and reductions in blood markers that are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. ... > full story

New melt record for Greenland ice sheet; 'Exceptional' season stretched up to 50 days longer than average (January 21, 2011) -- New research shows that 2010 set new records for the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in coming decades. ... > full story

Vitamin E may increase the life expectancy of males who have high dietary vitamin C intake and smoke less than a pack per day (January 21, 2011) -- Depending on the level of smoking and dietary vitamin C intake, vitamin E supplementation may extend the life-span of restricted groups of men, according to a new study. Several large randomized trials of humans found that vitamin E supplementation does not reduce mortality. However, depending on the level of smoking and dietary vitamin C intake, vitamin E supplementation may extend the life-span of restricted groups of men. ... > full story

Single photon management for quantum computers (January 21, 2011) -- The quantum computers of tomorrow might use photons, or particles of light, to move around the data they need to make calculations, but photons are tricky to work with. Two new papers point to ways to build reliable sources of single photons for use in photon-based quantum computers. ... > full story

Study examines risk factors of a mass shooting (January 21, 2011) -- It's easy for American society to label young killers as simply crazy. But new research suggests that a complex array of factors -- from bullying to lack of parental support to ineffective mental health services -- are potentially involved when a student turns to violence. ... > full story

Swift survey finds 'missing' active galaxies (January 21, 2011) -- Seen in X-rays, the entire sky is aglow. Even far away from bright sources, X-rays originating from beyond our galaxy provide a steady glow in every direction. Astronomers have long suspected that the chief contributors to this cosmic X-ray background were dust-swaddled black holes at the centers of active galaxies. The trouble was, too few of them were detected to do the job. An international team of scientists using data from NASA's Swift satellite confirms the existence of a largely unseen population of black-hole-powered galaxies. ... > full story

Red blood cell hormone modulates the immune system (January 21, 2011) -- New research reveals that a hormone best known for stimulating the production of red blood cells can modulate the immune response. The study finds that erythropoietin (EPO) has contrasting influences on infectious and inflammatory diseases and may be useful in the design of new therapeutic strategies. ... > full story

Study maps process used by T cells to discriminate pathogens from the body's own cells (January 21, 2011) -- Researchers have for the first time mapped the complex choreography used by the immune system's T cells to recognize pathogens while avoiding attacks on the body's own cells. ... > full story

Environmental contaminants in breast milk decrease over lactation time (January 21, 2011) -- The levels of environmental contaminants in a mother's body decrease during breast-feeding. After a year of lactation, the levels of a number of environmental contaminants in breast milk drop by 15-94 percent, according to a recent study. ... > full story

Go figure: Math model may help researchers with stem cell, cancer therapies (January 21, 2011) -- Researchers have devised an algorithm to track the rates at which somatic and cancer stem cells divide. The method may rev up efforts to develop stem cell therapies for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases. It may also help get to the root of the cancer-stem cell theory, which puts forth the idea that a tiny percentage of loner cancer cells gives rise to tumors. ... > full story

Learning science : Actively recalling information from memory beats elaborate study methods (January 21, 2011) -- Put down those science text books and work at recalling information from memory. That's the shorthand take away message of new research that says practicing memory retrieval boosts science learning far better than elaborate study methods. ... > full story

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