Rabu, 26 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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Van-der-Waals force up close: Physicists take new look at the atom (January 26, 2011) -- Physicists have discovered a new way to measure how single atoms interact with a surface. Their findings help develop nanotechnology and test new theories about the internal structure of atoms. ... > full story

New TB vaccine provides stronger, longer-lasting protection (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have found that a new vaccine strategy tested in mice provides stronger, more long-lasting protection from tuberculosis infection than the vaccine currently used in humans, known as BCG. ... > full story

Chemists document workings of key staph enzyme -- and how to block it (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have determined the structure and mechanism of dehydrosqualene synthase (CrtM), an enzyme that performs the crucial first step in the formation of cholesterol and a key virulence factor in staph bacteria. The researchers already knew what CrtM looked like and its end product, but they didn't know how the enzyme did its job. Uncovering the mechanism of action will enable scientists to design better inhibitors, and even tailor them to other targets. ... > full story

Genetic diversity found in leukemic propagating cells (January 26, 2011) -- Cancer scientists have found that defective genes and the individual leukemia cells that carry them are organized in a more complex way than previously thought. ... > full story

Shining new light on air pollutants using entangled porous frameworks (January 26, 2011) -- Certain types of pollution monitoring may soon become considerably easier. Scientists have shown that a newly-formulated entangled framework of porous crystals (porous coordination polymers, or PCPs) can not only capture a variety of common air pollutants, but that the mixtures then glow in specific, easily-detected colors. ... > full story

Parental divorce linked to suicidal thoughts (January 26, 2011) -- Adult children of divorce are more likely to have seriously considered suicide than their peers from intact families, new research suggests. ... > full story

Biologists' favorite worm gets viruses: Finding means C. elegans may aid studies of human infections (January 26, 2011) -- A workhorse of modern biology is sick, and scientists couldn't be happier. Researchers have found that the nematode C. elegans, a millimeter-long worm used extensively for decades to study many aspects of biology, gets naturally occurring viral infections. The discovery means C. elegans is likely to help scientists study the way viruses and their hosts interact. ... > full story

Unfolding pathogenesis in Parkinson’s: Breakthrough suggests damaged proteins travel between cells (January 26, 2011) -- The misfolding of abnormal proteins in brain cells is a key element in Parkinson's disease development. A recent study suggests that the sick proteins slowly move between cells, eventually triggering the destruction of the new host cell. The discovery could potentially lead to new therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases aimed at blocking the spread of protein misfolding throughout the brain. ... > full story

'Green' chemistry extraction method developed for hot capsicum fruit (January 26, 2011) -- Used in processed foods and cosmetics, the red pigments in Capsicum (chile pepper) are important sources of non-toxic red dyes. The common method for extracting pigments from dried Capsicum uses hexane as the extraction solvent. Researchers have now developed a "green chemistry" process for extracting red pigments that recovers 85 percent or greater of the pigmented carotenoids from dried Capsicum and reduces hazardous waste and environmental risks associated with traditional extraction methods. ... > full story

HIV-positive head and neck cancer patients benefit from radiation therapy, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- HIV-positive head and neck cancer patients respond well to radiation therapy treatments and experience similar toxicity rates as non-HIV-positive patients, despite prior reports to the contrary, according to new study. ... > full story

No longer just a spectator, silicon oxide gets into the electronics action on computer chips (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists are documenting that one fundamental component of computer chips, long regarded as a passive bystander, can actually be made to act like a switch. That potentially allows it to take part in the electronic processes that power cell phones, iPads and other products. In a new report, the scientists document the multiple ways in which silicon dioxide, long regarded simply as an electric insulator, gets involved in the action. ... > full story

Migraines and headaches present no risk to cognitive function, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- Significant and repetitive headaches are associated with a greater prevalence of small lesions in the brain, which are detectable by MRI imaging. However, they do not increase the risk of cognitive decline. This reassuring conclusion, reached by researchers in France, is based on a survey of a cohort of 780 individuals, over 65 years old. ... > full story

Human-made DNA sequences made easy: New method for rapidly producing protein-polymers (January 25, 2011) -- Bioengineers have developed a new method for rapidly producing an almost unlimited variety of human-made DNA sequences. ... > full story

Exercise improve symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome (January 25, 2011) -- Physical activity improves symptoms in patients with IBS and is protective against symptom deterioration, according to new research. ... > full story

Safety concerns about experimental cancer approach: Widespread vascular tumors, massive hemorrhage and death reported in mice (January 25, 2011) -- A new study has raised safety concerns about an investigational approach to treating cancer. The strategy takes aim at a key signaling pathway, called Notch, involved in the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumor growth. When researchers targeted the Notch1 signaling pathway in mice, the animals developed vascular tumors, primarily in the liver, which led to massive hemorrhages that caused their death. ... > full story

Cholera vaccination beneficial, post-outbreak (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers newly report evidence that vaccination against cholera can be beneficial even after an outbreak has begun. ... > full story

Time machine for climate scientists: Earth's extreme weather events since 1871 reanalyzed (January 25, 2011) -- From the hurricane that smashed into New York in 1938 to the impact of the Krakatoa eruption of 1883, the late 19th and 20th centuries are rich with examples of extreme weather. Now an international team of climatologists have created a comprehensive reanalysis of all global weather events from 1871 to the present day, and from Earth's surface to the jet stream level. ... > full story

The language of young love: The ways couples talk can predict relationship success (January 25, 2011) -- We know that people tend to be attracted to, date, and marry other people who resemble themselves in terms of personality, values, and physical appearance. However, these features only skim the surface of what makes a relationship work. The ways that people talk are also important. A new study finds that people who speak in similar styles are more compatible. ... > full story

'Breast on a chip': Researchers create 'engineered organ' model for breast cancer research (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have reproduced portions of the female breast in a tiny slide-sized model dubbed "breast on-a-chip" that will be used to test nanomedical approaches for the detection and treatment of breast cancer. The model mimics the branching mammary duct system, where most breast cancers begin, and will serve as an "engineered organ" to study the use of nanoparticles to detect and target tumor cells within the ducts. ... > full story

Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications (January 25, 2011) -- Give caffeine to cells engineered to produce viruses used for gene therapy and the cells can generate three- to eight-times more virus, according to a new paper. ... > full story

Debris on certain Himalayan glaciers may prevent melting (January 25, 2011) -- A new scientific study shows that debris coverage -- pebbles, rocks and debris from surrounding mountains -- may be a missing link in the understanding of the decline of glaciers. Debris is distinct from soot and dust, according to the scientists. ... > full story

Dynamic systems in living cells break the rules (January 25, 2011) -- There is considerable interest in understanding transport and information pathways in living cells. It is crucial for both the transport of, for example, medicine into cells, the regulation of cell life processes and their signaling with their environment. New research shows surprisingly that the transport mechanisms do not follow the expected pattern. ... > full story

Spiral galaxy: First Light for VIRUS-W spectrograph (January 25, 2011) -- A new observing instrument VIRUS-W saw "first light" on Nov. 10, 2010. Its first images of a spiral galaxy about 30 million light-years away where an impressive confirmation of the capabilities of the instrument, which can determine the motion of stars in near-by galaxies to a precision of a few kilometers per second. ... > full story

People aren't born afraid of spiders and snakes: Fear is quickly learned during infancy (January 25, 2011) -- There's a reason why Hollywood makes movies like Arachnophobia and Snakes on a Plane: Most people are afraid of spiders and snakes. A new article reviews research with infants and toddlers and finds that we aren't born afraid of spiders and snakes, but we can learn these fears very quickly. ... > full story

New materials may bring advanced optical technologies, cloaking (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers are developing a new class of "plasmonic metamaterials" as potential building blocks for advanced optical technologies, including ultrapowerful microscopes and computers, improved solar cells, and a possible invisibility cloak. ... > full story

Vaccines for plague and bacterial pneumonias? (January 25, 2011) -- There is no licensed plague vaccine in the United States. Researchers are now working to develop a vaccine that will protect members of the armed services and public from a "plague bomb." ... > full story

Asian tiger numbers could triple if large-scale landscapes are protected (January 25, 2011) -- The tiger reserves of Asia could support more than 10,000 wild tigers -- three times the current number -- if they are managed as large-scale landscapes that allow for connectivity between core breeding sites, a new study finds. The study is the first assessment of the political commitment made by all 13 tiger range countries last November to double the tiger population across Asia by 2022. ... > full story

New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers recently tested the merits of two new dishware sanitizers, and found them more effective at removing bacteria from restaurant dishes than traditional sanitizers. The two new sanitizers reflect the industry's recent efforts to develop more effective germ killers that are also environmentally friendly. ... > full story

Mathematicians use cell 'profiling' to detect abnormalities -- including cancer (January 25, 2011) -- Mathematicians are finding ways to tell the difference between healthy cells and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells, based on the way the cells look and move. They are creating mathematical equations that describe the shape and motion of single cells for laboratory analysis. ... > full story

Bartenders may have role in assisting troubled war veterans (January 25, 2011) -- For troubled war veterans, a friendly bartender can be the source of more than just drinks and a sympathetic ear. A pilot study suggests that some bartenders may be in a good position to identify veterans in need of mental health services and help connect them to the appropriate agency. ... > full story

Rogue storm system caused Pakistan floods that left millions homeless (January 25, 2011) -- Last summer's disastrous and deadly Pakistan floods were caused by a rogue weather system that wandered hundreds of miles farther west than is normal for such systems, new research shows. ... > full story

Rising indoor winter temperatures linked to obesity? (January 25, 2011) -- Increases in winter indoor temperatures in the United Kingdom, United States and other developed countries may be contributing to rises in obesity in those populations, according to new research. ... > full story

Rhythmic vibrations guide caste development in social wasps (January 25, 2011) -- Future queen or tireless toiler? A paper wasp's destiny may lie in the antennal drumbeats of its caretaker. While feeding their colony's larvae, a paper wasp queen and other dominant females periodically beat their antennae in a rhythmic pattern against the nest chambers, a behavior known as antennal drumming. ... > full story

Ultrasound and a blood test can increase survival after myocardial infarction (January 25, 2011) -- Two relatively simple methods, an ultrasound investigation and a blood test to measure the level of a substance known as BNP, can predict survival and future heart failure following acute coronary syndromes. ... > full story

Voiding defects: New technique makes LED lighting more efficient (January 25, 2011) -- Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are an increasingly popular technology for use in energy-efficient lighting. Researchers have now developed a new technique that reduces defects in the gallium nitride (GaN) films used to create LEDs, making them more efficient. ... > full story

Workers most invested in their jobs have highest stress levels (January 25, 2011) -- A workplace's key employees may be at the greatest risk of experiencing high levels of work stress, according to a new study. ... > full story

First single-fingered dinosaur discovered (January 25, 2011) -- A new species of parrot-sized dinosaur, the first discovered with only one finger, has been unearthed in Inner Mongolia, China. ... > full story

Research into synthetic antibodies offers hope for new diagnostics (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have demonstrated a simple means of improving the binding affinity of synthetic antibodies, composed of random peptides. They also used random peptide sequences spotted onto glass microarray slides to mine information concerning the active regions or epitopes of naturally occurring antibodies. ... > full story

First-ever global map of surface permeability informs water supply, climate modelling (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have produced the first map of the world outlining the ease of fluid flow through the planet's porous surface rocks and sediments. ... > full story

Biomarker test shows promise for melanoma diagnosis (January 25, 2011) -- A new study shows that a test of biomarkers for DNA methylation is technically feasible and could aid in earlier, more precise diagnosis of melanoma. Researchers tested whether DNA methylation profiling could be accomplished on melanoma and mole tissues that had been preserved in fixatives for typical pathology examination after biopsy. ... > full story

Accelerated evolution used to develop enzymes that provide protection against nerve gas (January 25, 2011) -- Protection against nerve gas attack is a significant component of the defense system of many countries around the world. Nerve gases are used by armies and terrorist organizations, and constitute a threat to both the military and civilian populations, but existing drug solutions against them have limited efficiency. Scientists have now succeeded in developing an enzyme that breaks down nerve agents efficiently before damage to nerves and muscles is caused. ... > full story

Chopin's hallucinations were probably caused by epilepsy, study suggests (January 25, 2011) -- The composer Frederic Chopin, who regularly hallucinated, probably had temporal lobe epilepsy throughout his short life, a new study suggests. Hallucinations typically feature in seizure disorders, researchers say. ... > full story

World's biggest extinction event: Massive volcanic eruption, burning coal and accelerated greenhouse gas choked out life (January 25, 2011) -- About 250 million years about 95 per cent of life was wiped out in the sea and 70 per cent on land. Researchers now believe they have discovered evidence to support massive volcanic eruptions burnt significant volumes of coal, producing ash clouds that had broad impact on global oceans. ... > full story

Cell death pathway linked to mitochondrial fusion (January 25, 2011) -- New research provides insight into why some body organs are more susceptible to cell death than others and could eventually lead to advances in treating or preventing heart attack or stroke. ... > full story

Mathematical model explains how complex societies emerge, collapse (January 25, 2011) -- The instability of large, complex societies is a predictable phenomenon, according to a new mathematical model that explores the emergence of early human societies via warfare. Capturing hundreds of years of human history, the model reveals the dynamical nature of societies, which can be difficult to uncover in archaeological data. ... > full story

Uncovering the trail behind growing too old, too soon (January 25, 2011) -- Scientists have produced the world's first human cell model of progeria, a disease resulting in severe premature aging in one in four to eight million children worldwide. This model has allowed them to make new discoveries concerning the mechanism by which progeria works. ... > full story

New microscopy method opens window on previously unseen cell features (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have pioneered a new technique capable of peering into single cells and even intracellular processes with unprecedented clarity. ... > full story

Childhood self-control predicts adult health and wealth (January 25, 2011) -- A long-term study has found that children who scored lower on measures of self-control as young as age 3 were more likely to have health problems, substance dependence, financial troubles and a criminal record by the time they reached age 32. ... > full story

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