Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Thursday, January 27, 2011

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'Hidden plumbing' helps slow Greenland ice flow: Hotter summers may actually slow down flow of glaciers (January 27, 2011) -- Hotter summers may not be as catastrophic for the Greenland ice sheet as previously feared and may actually slow down the flow of glaciers, according to new research. ... > full story

Mediator of blood pressure regulation in the liver identified; Pressor reflex triggered simply by drinking water (January 27, 2011) -- For 60 years, scientists have puzzled over the possibility of a hepatic osmoreceptor that influences blood pressure regulation. Now, researchers in Germany have discovered a new group of sensory neurons in the mouse liver which mediates the regulation of blood pressure and metabolism. This peripheral control center outside of the brain is triggered simply by drinking water and leads to an elevation of blood pressure in sick and elderly people. ... > full story

How strong is the weak force? New measurement of the muon lifetime (January 27, 2011) -- A new measurement of the muon lifetime - the most precise determination of any lifetime - provides a high-accuracy value for a crucial parameter determining the strength of weak nuclear force. ... > full story

DMP1 protein inhibits angiogenesis, could lead to new treatments against cancer and other diseases (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers in Belgium have demonstrated that the DMP1 protein has previously unsuspected anti-angiogenic activities which could be used for the development of new treatments against cancer, but also against diseases in which angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) plays a major role, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetic retinopathy. ... > full story

Hardware, software advances help protect operating systems from attack (January 27, 2011) -- The operating system (OS) is the backbone of your computer. If the OS is compromised, attackers can take over your computer -- or crash it. Now researchers have developed an efficient system that utilizes hardware and software to restore an OS if it is attacked. ... > full story

Highly interactive training helps workers in dangerous jobs avoid deadly mistakes (January 27, 2011) -- Hands-on safety training for workers in highly hazardous jobs is most effective at improving safe work behavior, according to psychologists who analyzed close to 40 years of research. However, less engaging training can be just as effective in preparing workers to avoid accidents when jobs are less dangerous. ... > full story

Chemists turn gold to purple -- on purpose: Color change confirms a new way to harvest energy from sunlight (January 27, 2011) -- Chemists suspected that a common protein could potentially react with sunlight and harvest its energy -- similar to what chlorophyll does during photosynthesis. ... > full story

How pathogenic bacteria hide inside host cells (January 27, 2011) -- A new study into Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for severe chronic infections worldwide, reveals how the bacteria have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments. The research demonstrates how 'phenotype switching' enables bacteria to adapt to their environmental conditions, lie dormant inside host cells and become a reservoir for relapsing infections. ... > full story

NASA's new robotic lander prototype skates through integration and testing (January 27, 2011) -- NASA engineers successfully integrated and completed system testing on a new robotic lander recently. The lander prototype will aid NASA's development of a new generation of small, smart, versatile landers for airless bodies such as the moon and asteroids. The lander's design is based on cutting-edge technology, which allows precision landing in high-risk, but high-priority areas, enabling NASA to achieve scientific and exploration goals in previously unexplored locations. ... > full story

Molecular network influences development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (January 27, 2011) -- The three most common chromosome changes seen in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) disrupt a molecular network that includes several important genes and strongly influence the outcome of the disease. The study provides important new information about how CLL develops and could improve CLL diagnose, and it identifies new molecular targets for the development of new treatments. ... > full story

Waterhemp rears its ugly head ... again (January 27, 2011) -- Waterhemp has done it again. Researchers have just confirmed that waterhemp is the first weed to evolve resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides. ... > full story

Pay-for-performance does not improve patient health, finds UK hypertension study (January 27, 2011) -- A large UK-based study involving nearly 500,000 patients and spanning seven years found that in cases of hypertension, patient health did not improve under a pay-for-performance program. ... > full story

No leftovers for Tyrannosaurus rex: New evidence that T. rex was hunter, not scavanger (January 26, 2011) -- Tyrannosaurus rex hunted like a lion, rather than regularly scavenging like a hyena, new research reveals. The findings end a long-running debate about the hunting behavior of this awesome predator. ... > full story

Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks, experts argue (January 26, 2011) -- Highly-caffeinated energy drinks -- even those without alcohol -- may pose a significant threat to individuals and public health, say researchers. In a new commentary, they recommend health providers educate patients, voluntary disclosures by manufacturers and new federal labeling requirements. ... > full story

An astronomer's field of dreams: New radio telescope array to harness power of more than 13,000 antennas (January 26, 2011) -- An innovative new radio telescope array under construction in central New Mexico will eventually harness the power of more than 13,000 antennas and provide a fresh eye to the sky. The antennas, which resemble droopy ceiling fans, form the Long Wavelength Array, designed to survey the sky from horizon to horizon over a wide range of frequencies. ... > full story

Neuroscientists learn how channels fine-tune neuronal excitability (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new mechanism that nerve cells (neurons) use to fine-tune their electrical output. The discovery provides new insights about how the activity of the nervous system is regulated at the cellular level ... > full story

Nanotech milling produces dramatic increase in thermoelectric performance of bulk semiconductor (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers report achieving thermoelectric performance gains in a bulk semiconductor material, which could pave the way for harvesting power from a range of heat sources -- from the sun to car exhaust systems. ... > full story

Eyewitnesses are not as reliable as one might believe (January 26, 2011) -- Eyewitnesses play a key role in police investigations. But how likely is it that they remember correctly? Today the police place far too much emphasis on eyewitness accounts, according to experts. ... > full story

Jupiter scar likely from Titanic-sized asteroid (January 26, 2011) -- A hurtling asteroid about the size of the Titanic caused the scar that appeared in Jupiter's atmosphere on July 19, 2009, according to new research. ... > full story

New way to prevent infections in dialysis patients (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that a drug used to treat dialysis catheter malfunction in kidney dialysis patients may now also help prevent both malfunction as well as infections. ... > full story

Food-borne bacteria causes potentially fatal heart infection (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have found that particular strains of a food-borne bacteria are able to invade the heart, leading to serious and difficult to treat heart infections. ... > full story

Shockable cardiac arrests are more common in public than home, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- Cardiac arrests that can be treated by electric stimulation, also known as shockable arrests, were found at a higher frequency in public settings than in the home, according to a new study. ... > full story

Fishy consequences of transplanting trout, salmon, whitefishes: Some fish do not respond well to relocation (January 26, 2011) -- Not all trout are created equal. Those swimming up the streams of the United States might resemble their cousins from Canada, yet their genetic makeup is regionally affected and has an impact on how they reproduce, grow and react to environmental stressors. ... > full story

Eating poorly can make you blue: Trans-fats increase risk of depression, while olive oil helps avoid risk (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that trans-fats increase the risk of depression, and that olive oil helps avoid this risk. ... > full story

Most distant galaxy candidate yet seen: Hubble sees farther back in time than ever before (January 26, 2011) -- Astronomers have pushed NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to it limits by finding what they believe to be the most distant object ever seen in the universe -- at a distance of 13.2 billion light years, some 3% of the age of universe. This places the object roughly 150 million light years more distant than the previous record holder. The observations provide the best insights yet into the birth of the first stars and galaxies and the evolution of the universe. ... > full story

New anti-HIV gene therapy makes T-cells resistant to HIV infection (January 26, 2011) -- An innovative genetic strategy for rendering T-cells resistant to HIV infection without affecting their normal growth and activity is described in a new research paper. ... > full story

Discovery of a biochemical basis for broccoli's cancer-fighting ability (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential biochemical basis for the apparent cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and its veggie cousins. They found for the first time that certain substances in the vegetables appear to target and block a defective gene associated with cancer. ... > full story

Infiltrating cancer's recruitment center: How beneficial cells are subverted to support cancer growth (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists have shown for the first time that the fibroblasts can be "recruited" to support inflammation and stimulate tumor growth. The researchers hope their work will lead to better cancer drugs, and to a deeper understanding of the long-suspected link between inflammation and cancer. ... > full story

Genetic archaeology finds parts of human genome more closely related to orangutans than chimps (January 26, 2011) -- In a new study, in coordination with the publication of the orangutan genome sequence, scientists have presented the surprising finding that although orangutans and humans are more distantly related, some regions of our genomes are more alike than those of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. ... > full story

Sharing child caregiving may increase parental conflict, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- Parents who share caregiving for their preschool children may experience more conflict than those in which the mother is the primary caregiver, according to a new study. Results showed that couples had a stronger, more supportive co-parenting relationship when the father spent more time playing with their child. But when the father participated more in caregiving, like preparing meals for the child or giving baths, the couples were more likely to display less supportive and more undermining co-parenting behavior toward each other. ... > full story

Orangutan DNA more diverse than human's, remarkably stable through the ages (January 26, 2011) -- An international team of scientists has decoded the DNA of a Sumatran orangutan. With this genome as a reference, the scientists then sequenced the genomes of five additional Sumatran and five Bornean orangutans, they report in the journal Nature. The research reveals intriguing clues about the evolution of great apes, including humans, and showcases the immense genetic diversity across and within Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. ... > full story

Growth-factor-containing nanoparticles accelerate healing of chronic wounds (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a novel system for delivery of growth factors to chronic wounds such as pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcers. The team fabricated nanospheres containing keratinocyte growth factor fused with elastin-like peptides. When suspended in a fibrin gel, the nanoparticles improved the healing of deep skin wounds in diabetic mice. ... > full story

First study of dispersants in Gulf spill suggests a prolonged deepwater fate (January 26, 2011) -- To combat last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead nearly one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, chemists report that a major component of the dispersant itself was contained within an oil-gas-laden plume in the deep ocean and had still not degraded some three months after it was applied. ... > full story

Molecular mechanism links stress with predisposition for depression (January 26, 2011) -- A new study provides insight into how stress impacts the brain and may help to explain why some individuals are predisposed to depression when they experience chronic stress. The research reveals complex molecular mechanisms associated with chronic stress and may help to guide new treatment strategies for depression. ... > full story

'Undead' may influence biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions (January 26, 2011) -- Dormant microbes are less like zombies and more like hibernating bears. What isn't known, however, is how large numbers of dormant microorganisms affect the natural environments when they act as microbial seed banks. A new review examines the cellular mechanisms that allow microbes to hibernate and addresses the implications they can have on larger ecosystems such as soil, oceans, lakes and the human body. ... > full story

Centuries of sailors weren't wrong: Looking at the horizon stabilizes posture (January 26, 2011) -- Everybody who has been aboard a ship has heard the advice: if you feel unsteady, look at the horizon. For a new study, researchers measured how much people sway on land and at sea and found there's truth in that advice; people aboard a ship are steadier if they fix their eyes on the horizon. ... > full story

Evolution by mistake: Major driving force comes from how organisms cope with errors at cellular level (January 26, 2011) -- A major driving force of evolution comes from mistakes made by cells and how organisms cope with the consequences, biologists have found. Their discoveries offer lessons for creating innovation in economics and society. ... > full story

Hot flushes are linked with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- Women who have experienced hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause may have a 50 percent lower risk of developing the most common forms of breast cancer than postmenopausal women who have never had such symptoms, according to a recent study. ... > full story

Practical full-spectrum solar cell comes closer (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have demonstrated a new solar cell design that can not only convert the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical energy, it is also practical to make using common manufacturing techniques in the semiconductor industry. ... > full story

Use of antidepressant associated with reduction in menopausal hot flashes (January 26, 2011) -- Women who were either in the transition to menopause or postmenopausal experienced a reduction in the frequency and severity of menopausal hot flashes with the use of the antidepressant medication escitalopram, compared to women who received placebo, according to a new study. ... > full story

Armchair nanoribbons made into spintronic device (January 26, 2011) -- A new advance may soon revolutionize handheld electronics, flat-panel displays, touch panels, electronic ink, and solar cells. Physicists in Iran have created a spintronic device based on "armchair" graphene nanoribbons that could one day replace more expensive indium tin oxide. ... > full story

Soldiers’ brains adapt to perceived threat during mission (January 26, 2011) -- A study of soldiers who took part in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2010 has found that their brains adapt when they are continuously exposed to stress. The perceived threat appears to be the major predictor of brain adaptation, rather than the actual events. In other words, if a roadside bomb goes off right in front of you, the degree to which you perceive this as threatening is what counts. This is what determines how the brain and the stress system adapt. Between 2008 and 2010 the researchers studied a group of 36 soldiers. Before and after taking part in the mission, the soldiers’ brain activity was measured and compared with the brain activity of a control group of equal size who stayed at home. Unique to this study is that it is the first to use a control group. This control group, which stayed behind in the barracks in the Netherlands, had received similar combat training. ... > full story

Mathematical model could help predict and prevent future extinctions (January 26, 2011) -- In an effort to better understand the dynamics of complex networks, scientists have developed a mathematical model to describe interactions within ecological food webs. The work illustrates how human intervention may effectively aid species conservation efforts. ... > full story

New method attacks bacterial infections on contact lenses (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a new method to fight bacterial infections associated with contact lenses. The method may also have applications for bacterial infections associated with severe burns and cystic fibrosis. ... > full story

Genetic origin of cultivated citrus determined: Researchers find evidence of origins of orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, other citrus species (January 26, 2011) -- Even with a documented history of cultivation spanning more than 4,000 years, the exact genetic origins of cultivated Citrus species such as sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit have remained obscure. Chinese researchers used a combination of analyzed amplified fragment length polymorphism and Chloroplast DNA data to identify the exact genetic origin of cultivated citrus. The molecular evidence presented the most convincing data to date in support the origin of lime. ... > full story

Imaging procedure can identify biomarker associated with Alzheimer's disease (January 26, 2011) -- Preliminary research suggests that use of a type of molecular imaging procedure may have the ability to detect the presence of beta-amyloid in the brains of individuals during life, a biomarker that is identified during autopsy to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. ... > full story

Mercury in Bay Area fish a legacy of California mining (January 26, 2011) -- Mercury contamination, a worldwide environmental problem, has been called "public enemy No. 1" in California's San Francisco Bay. ... > full story

Preschool kids know what they like: Salt, sugar and fat (January 26, 2011) -- A child's taste preferences begin at home and most often involve salt, sugar and fat. And, researchers say, young kids learn quickly what brands deliver the goods. ... > full story

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