Selasa, 25 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

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Faster early development might have its costs, study in salamanders suggests (January 25, 2011) -- Fast development is often perceived as an advantage, as it enables better harmony with one's environment and readiness to cope with the challenges that it poses. However new research found that the acceleration of developmental rate incurs potentially lethal physiological costs for the developing individual. ... > full story

Smoking may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer (January 25, 2011) -- Smoking before menopause, especially prior to giving birth, may be associated with a modest increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study. ... > full story

Monk seal and hump-backed dolphin are threatened by fishing activities off coast of Mauritania (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain have studied the marine trophic network in Mauritania, on the north west coast of Africa, which is an extremely heavily exploited fishing area, as well as being home to two of the world's most threatened species of marine mammal -- the monk seal and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin. The results of the study show that industrial and traditional fishing activities along the coast are putting these mammals and local marine ecosystems at great danger. ... > full story

Weight loss plus walking essential for older, obese adults (January 25, 2011) -- Walking more and losing weight can improve mobility as much as 20 percent in older, obese adults with poor cardiovascular health, according to a new study. ... > full story

Nanoscale transistors used to study single-molecule interactions (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have figured out a way to study single-molecule interactions on very short time scales using nanoscale transistors. Researchers show how, for the first time, transistors can be used to detect the binding of the two halves of the DNA double helix with the DNA tethered to the transistor sensor. ... > full story

New mortgage design would minimize home foreclosures (January 25, 2011) -- With mortgage loan defaults on the rise yet again, two mortgage researchers are proposing a new type of mortgage contract that automatically resets the balance and the monthly payment based on the mortgaged home's market value. ... > full story

Out of mind in a matter of seconds: Surprising rate at which neuronal networks in cerebral cortex delete sensory information (January 25, 2011) -- The dynamics behind signal transmission in the brain are extremely chaotic, scientists in Germany have found. In addition, the researchers calculated, for the first time, how quickly information stored in the activity patterns of the cerebral cortex neurons is discarded. At one bit per active neuron per second, the speed at which this information is forgotten is surprisingly high. ... > full story

Lowering blood pressure in middle-aged women reduces heart disease risk (January 25, 2011) -- Middle-aged women worldwide lowering their blood pressure could prevent a substantial amount of cardiovascular disease, according to new research. High systolic blood pressure is the most powerful predictor of heart disease in these women, followed by high cholesterol and smoking. Diagnosing and treating high blood pressure in midlife could improve their health and quality of life. ... > full story

Sensors to detect explosives, monitor food being developed (January 25, 2011) -- Monitoring everything from explosives to tainted milk, materials for use in creating sensors for detection devices have been developed by a team of chemists. ... > full story

Medication dosing errors for infants and children (January 25, 2011) -- Preparing small doses of medication from syringes may be inaccurate and can result in crucial dosing errors for infants and children, according to a new study. ... > full story

Industrial pollutants found in Eastern Lake Erie carp (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have documented elevated levels of two industrial pollutants in carp in eastern Lake Erie, adding to the body of scientific work demonstrating the lasting environmental effects of human activity and waste disposal on the Great Lakes. ... > full story

Egg donation: The way to happy motherhood, with risks and side effects (January 25, 2011) -- Women who have become pregnant after egg donation should be categorized as high-risk patients. Why that is the case, and which consequences egg donation may have for women is the subject of a new review article. ... > full story

Runaway star plows through space (January 24, 2011) -- A massive star flung away from its former companion is plowing through space dust. The result is a brilliant bow shock, seen as a yellow arc in a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The star, named Zeta Ophiuchi, is huge, with a mass of about 20 times that of our sun. In this image, in which infrared light has been translated into visible colors we see with our eyes, the star appears as the blue dot inside the bow shock. ... > full story

Deep brain stimulation may help hard-to-control high blood pressure (January 24, 2011) -- Researchers were surprised to discover what may be a potential new treatment for difficult-to-control high blood pressure, according to a newly reported case. ... > full story

Spiders adjust courtship signals for maximum effect (January 24, 2011) -- Male wolf spiders produce multiple courtship signals -- vibrations and visual cues -- to attract females. New research shows that when courting, these males can modify their mating signals depending on the environmental surface (soil, rock, wood, leaves) in order to ensure that their message gets through. ... > full story

Cost to treat heart disease in United States will triple by 2030 (January 24, 2011) -- The cost of treating heart disease in the United States will triple by 2030, according to new projections. The 5 billion increase is due in part to an aging population. The skyrocketing financial burden makes it urgent to implement effective strategies to prevent heart disease and stroke. ... > full story

Humans has been provoking climate change for thousands of years, carbon history shows (January 24, 2011) -- The Roman Conquest, the Black Death and the discovery of America -- by modifying the nature of the forests -- have had a significant impact on the environment. These are the findings of scientists in Switzerland who have researched our long history of emitting carbon into the environment. ... > full story

Unrealistic optimism appears common in early cancer trials and may compromise informed consent (January 24, 2011) -- Can optimism be ethically problematic? Yes, according to a new study, which found unrealistic optimism prevalent among participants in early-phase cancer trials and suggested that it may compromise informed consent. ... > full story

Humans' critical ability to throw long distances aided by an illusion, study finds (January 24, 2011) -- New research shows how humans, unlike any other species on Earth, readily learn to throw long distances. This research also suggests that this unique evolutionary trait is entangled with language development in a way critical to our very existence. Findings suggest the size-weight illusion is more than just curious or interesting, but a necessary precursor to humans' ability to learn to throw -- and to throw far. ... > full story

Gene mutated in one in three patients with common form of renal cancer (January 24, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a gene that is mutated in one in three patients with the most common form of renal cancer. The gene -- called PBRM1 -- was found to be mutated in 88 cases out of 257 clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC) analysed, making it the most prevalent to be identified in renal cancer in 20 years. ... > full story

Climate change threatens many tree species (January 24, 2011) -- Global warming is already affecting the earth in a variety of ways that demand our attention. Now, new research indicates that many tree species might become extinct due to climate change if no action is taken in time. ... > full story

Breakthrough in understanding hereditary emphysema (January 24, 2011) -- Researchers in Ireland have made a breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms behind the most severe form of hereditary emphysema and how protein treatments can improve the condition. The findings of this study may also lead to new treatments for patients with smoker’s emphysema. ... > full story

Nanoworld in color: Tiny lens arrays can record or project sharp images (January 24, 2011) -- Researchers in Germany have developed microscopically small nanostructured arrays of lenses that can record or project amazingly sharp images in brilliant colors. ... > full story

How does anesthesia disturb self-perception? (January 24, 2011) -- Scientists were interested in studying the illusions described by many patients under regional anesthetic. In their work, the researchers demonstrated that anesthetizing an arm affects brain activity and rapidly impairs body perception. ... > full story

Blocking rogue gene could stop spread of cancer, new research suggests (January 24, 2011) -- Scientists in the UK have discovered a rogue gene involved in the spread of cancer in the body. By blocking the gene, they believe, cancer could be stopped in its tracks. ... > full story

Anti-estrogen medication reduces risk of dying from lung cancer, study finds (January 24, 2011) -- A new study has found that tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen breast cancer medication, may reduce an individual's risk of death from lung cancer. The study supports the hypothesis that there is a hormonal influence on lung cancer and that estrogen levels play a role in lung cancer patients' prognosis. ... > full story

Aquatic food web tied to land: Some fish are made out of maple leaves (January 24, 2011) -- A distant relative of shrimp, zooplankton are an important food source for fish and other aquatic animals. Long characterized as algae feeders, a new study reports that nearly a third of zooplankton diets are supported by material that originates on land in lake watersheds. ... > full story

Study predicts risk of memory loss in healthy, older adults (January 24, 2011) -- The combined results of a genetic blood test and a five-minute functional MRI done by researchers successfully classified more than three-quarters of healthy older adults, many of whom were destined to develop cognitive decline within 18 months of testing. ... > full story

A new way to control 'superweeds': Two bacterial enzymes confer resistance to common herbicide (January 24, 2011) -- They pop up in farm fields across 22 states, and they've been called the single largest threat to production agriculture that farmers have ever seen. They are "superweeds" -- undesirable plants that can tolerate multiple herbicides -- and they cost time and money because the only real solution is for farmers to plow them out of the field before they suffocate corn, soybeans or cotton. Researchers may now have a new weapon on the horizon to eliminate superweeds. ... > full story

Better learning through handwriting (January 24, 2011) -- Writing by hand strengthens the learning process. When typing on a keyboard, this process may be impaired. Neurophysiologists have examined research which goes a long way in confirming the significance of these differences. When writing by hand, our brain receives feedback from our motor actions, together with the sensation of touching a pencil and paper. These kinds of feedback is significantly different from those we receive when touching and typing on a keyboard. ... > full story

Salty evolution: Previously unknown central metabolic pathway in microorganisms discovered (January 24, 2011) -- Microbiologists in Germany have discovered a previously unknown central metabolic pathway in microorganisms. The life forms use this pathway to survive under extremely salty conditions, such as in the Dead Sea. ... > full story

Unexpected find opens up new front in effort to stop HIV (January 24, 2011) -- HIV adapts in a surprising way to survive and thrive in its hiding spot within the human immune system, scientists have learned. The the finding helps explain why HIV remains such a formidable foe after three decades of research, and it offers scientists a new, unexpected way to try to stop the virus. ... > full story

Function of novel molecule that underlies human deafness revealed (January 24, 2011) -- New research has revealed that the molecular mechanism underlying deafness is caused by a mutation of a specific microRNA called miR-96. The discovery could provide the basis for treating progressive hearing loss and deafness. ... > full story

NFL linemen recover from back surgery, and so can you (January 24, 2011) -- If NFL linemen can recover from back surgery and return to their spine-bruising careers, so can you get back into your "game." A new study that found 80 percent of NFL lineman -- whose spines are especially vulnerable to degeneration -- were able to return to play many more games after herniated disc surgery. The study is encouraging to average people who are often fearful of becoming physically active after the surgery. ... > full story

Curved carbon for electronics of the future (January 24, 2011) -- A new scientific discovery could have profound implications for nanoelectronic components. Researchers have shown how electrons on thin tubes of graphite exhibit a unique interaction between their motion and their attached magnetic field -- the so-called spin. The discovery paves the way for unprecedented control over the spin of electrons and may have a big impact on applications for spin-based nanoelectronics. ... > full story

Dangerous environments 'make parents more caring,' researchers find (January 24, 2011) -- Changes in the environment that put the lives of adults at risk drive parents to invest more in caring for their offspring, scientists have found. ... > full story

Genetic sequencing alone doesn't offer a true picture of human disease, research suggests (January 24, 2011) -- Despite what you might have heard, genetic sequencing alone is not enough to understand human disease. Researchers have shown that functional tests are absolutely necessary to understand the biological relevance of the results of sequencing studies as they relate to disease, using a suite of diseases known as the ciliopathies which can cause patients to have many different traits. ... > full story

Culprit found for increased stroke injury with diabetes (January 24, 2011) -- Strokes that involve intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) are especially deadly, and there are no effective treatments to control such bleeding. Moreover, diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) are associated with increases in bleeding during hemorrhagic stroke and worse clinical outcomes. But researchers now have identified one key player that contributes to the increased bleeding. ... > full story

Persistent drought to linger across southern United States (January 24, 2011) -- While wet and snowy weather has dominated the western U.S., persistent drought conditions are likely to linger in the Southern Plains and Southeast through mid to late spring, according to NOAA's National Weather Service. La Niña has kept storms and most of their precipitation in the north, leaving the South drier than normal. ... > full story

Stroke rate rises for patients with HIV infection (January 24, 2011) -- While the overall hospitalization rate for stroke has declined in recent years, the numbers have jumped dramatically for patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, suggesting they may be up to three times more likely to suffer a stroke than people uninfected by the virus that causes AIDS. ... > full story

New math theories reveal the nature of numbers (January 24, 2011) -- Mathematicians are unveiling new theories that answer famous old questions about partition numbers, the basis for adding and counting. They have devised the first finite formula to calculate the partitions of any number. ... > full story

Awake despite anesthesia (January 24, 2011) -- Out of every 1000 patients, two at most wake up during their operation. Unintended awareness in the patient is thus classified as an occasional complication of anesthesia—but being aware of things happening during the operation, and being able to recall them later, can leave a patient with long-term psychological trauma. How to avoid such awareness events, and what treatment is available for a patient who does experience awareness, is the subject of a new report. ... > full story

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

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