Senin, 21 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Monday, February 21, 2011

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Manipulating molecules for a new breed of electronics (February 21, 2011) -- Scientists have demonstrated a clever way of controlling electrical conductance of a single molecule, by exploiting the molecule's mechanical properties. ... > full story

Floating spores kill malaria mosquito larvae (February 21, 2011) -- There are over 200 million cases of malaria each year and, in 2009, malaria was responsible for 781,000 deaths worldwide. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes which breed in open water and spend much of their larval stage feeding on fungi and microorganisms at the water surface. New research presents a method of dispersing pathogenic fungi as a means of preventing the spread of malaria. ... > full story

Testing the limits of where humans can live (February 21, 2011) -- On an isolated segment of islands in the Pacific Ring of Fire, residents endure volcanoes, tsunamis, dense fog, steep cliffs and long and chilly winters. Researchers have studied the history of human settlement on the Kuril Islands. Understanding how residents survived the islands' severe environment could inform how we adapt to modern vulnerabilities, including climate change. The findings also have implications for how we rebound from contemporary catastrophes. ... > full story

Common hip disorder can cause sports hernia (February 21, 2011) -- Sports hernias are commonly found in individuals with a mechanical disorder of the hip and can be resolved with surgery to fix the hip disorder alone in some cases, according to a recent study. ... > full story

Spent nuclear fuel is anything but waste (February 21, 2011) -- Failure to pursue a program for recycling spent nuclear fuel has put the US far behind other countries and represents a missed opportunity to enhance the nation's energy security and influence other countries. ... > full story

Callous-unemotional traits, conduct problems in children can lead to antisocial behavior in pre-teens (February 21, 2011) -- Researchers stress the importance of callous-unemotional traits in identifying children at risk of antisocial behavior and other adjustment problems. ... > full story

Trichinosis parasite gets DNA decoded (February 21, 2011) -- Scientists have decoded the DNA of the parasitic worm that causes trichinosis, a disease linked to eating raw or undercooked pork or carnivorous wild game animals, such as bear and walrus. ... > full story

Personalized medicine comes within reach (February 21, 2011) -- A team of biologists, clinical oncologists, pathologists and information scientists has established a strategy for identifying biomarkers. If a particular pattern of these biomarkers can be detected in the blood, this indicates a cancerous disease. An interdisciplinary research breakthrough that opens many doors. ... > full story

Groundbreaking technology will revolutionize blood pressure measurement (February 21, 2011) -- Pioneering new technology will lead to better treatment decisions and better outcomes for patients, researchers say. ... > full story

Large study of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair reveals some surprises (February 21, 2011) -- Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is highly effective and provides durable results five years after surgery, according to a large, prospective study. The study also surprisingly revealed that the rotator cuff has the ability to heal even when early imaging studies have found a defect at the site of repair. ... > full story

New assessment of black carbon and tropospheric ozone's role in climate change (February 21, 2011) -- Specific measures could already have a positive impact on climate protection and public health. These measures do not replace those related to carbon dioxide, and their full implementation could reduce global warming by 0.5 degrees C. ... > full story

Look after your brain (February 21, 2011) -- As the average life span becomes longer, dementia becomes more common. Swedish scientists have shown that everyone can minimize his or her risk of being affected. Factors from blood pressure and weight to the degree of physical and mental activity can influence cognitive functioning as one gets older. ... > full story

Physicists build bigger 'bottles' of antimatter to unlock nature's secrets (February 20, 2011) -- Once regarded as the stuff of science fiction, antimatter -- the mirror image of the ordinary matter in our observable universe -- is now the focus of laboratory studies around the world. While physicists routinely produce antimatter with radioisotopes and particle colliders, cooling these antiparticles and containing them for any length of time is another story. One scientists is constructing what he hopes will be the world's largest antimatter container. ... > full story

Stretching before a run does not necessarily prevent injury, study finds (February 20, 2011) -- Stretching before a run neither prevents nor causes injury, according to a new study. However, runners who typically stretch as part of their pre-run routine and were randomized not to stretch during the study period were far more likely to have an injury. ... > full story

Why innocent suspects may confess to a crime (February 20, 2011) -- Why would anyone falsely confess to a crime they didn't commit? It seems illogical, but according to The Innocence Project, there have been 266 post-conviction DNA exonerations since 1989 -- 25 percent of which involved a false confession. A new study may shed light on one reason for those false confessions. ... > full story

Role of helmets in reducing skull fractures incurred by children in skiing and snowboarding accidents (February 20, 2011) -- New research reviews skull fractures incurred by young skiers and snowboarders and the role helmets play in reducing these head injuries. Severe head trauma is the most frequent cause of death and severe disability in skiers and snowboarders and accounts for about 15 percent of all skiing and snowboarding related injuries. Although helmet use is apparently increasing, it remains far from universal. Researchers found compelling evidence that skull fractures sustained by children in skiing and snowboarding pose serious risk. ... > full story

Mimicking photosynthesis path to solar-derived hydrogen fuel (February 20, 2011) -- Inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis, according to a materials chemist, but a number of problems need to be solved first. ... > full story

US will no longer dominate science and research, expert predicts (February 20, 2011) -- A shift in the global research landscape will reposition the United States as a major partner, but not the dominant leader, in science and technology research in the coming decade, according to one researcher. However, the US could benefit from this research shift if it adopts a policy of knowledge sharing with the growing global community of researchers. ... > full story

Continent-wide telescope extends cosmic 'yardstick' three times farther into universe (February 20, 2011) -- New observations with the Very Long Baseline Array have made the farthest direct distance measurement ever, a key step toward understanding the mysterious Dark Energy that constitutes some 70 percent of the Universe. Other observations are redrawing the map of our home Galaxy and promise to revise our understanding of extrasolar planets. ... > full story

Universal flu vaccine study yields success in mice (February 20, 2011) -- Researchers have taken a step closer to the development of a universal flu vaccine, with results of a recent study showing that a vaccine delivered by a simple nasal spray could provide protection against influenza. ... > full story

Cassini to sample magnetic environment around Saturn's moon Titan (February 20, 2011) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to skim close to Saturn's moon Titan on Feb. 18, to learn about the interaction between Titan and Saturn's magnetosphere, the magnetic bubble around the planet. ... > full story

Anti-aging hormone Klotho may prevent complications in chronic kidney disease, research suggests (February 20, 2011) -- Low levels of the anti-aging hormone Klotho may serve as an early warning sign of the presence of kidney disease and its deadly cardiovascular complications, according to new findings. ... > full story

Storm-chasing weather radar used to track bat populations (February 20, 2011) -- Scientists are using mobile storm-chasing radars to follow swarms of bats as they emerge from their caves each night to forage on insects. ... > full story

Infants raised in bilingual environments can distinguish unfamiliar languages (February 20, 2011) -- Infants raised in households where Spanish and Catalan are spoken can discriminate between English and French just by watching people speak, even though they have never been exposed to these new languages before, according to new research. ... > full story

New high-resolution method for imaging below the skin using a liquid lens (February 20, 2011) -- New optical technology provides unprecedented images under the skin's surface. The aim of the technology is to detect and examine skin lesions to determine whether they are benign or cancerous without having to cut the suspected tumor out of the skin and analyze it in the lab. ... > full story

Deep brain stimulation helps severe OCD, but pioneer advises caution (February 20, 2011) -- For patients most severely afflicted with obsessive-compulsive disorder, electrical stimulation of a brain network can re-balance their emotional state, helping them respond to conventional therapy when it never worked before. New long-term results show that patients' improvements remain if the treatment continues. But, as with other OCD treatments, DBS is not a cure and can have side effects. ... > full story

Climate projections show human health impacts possible within 30 years: Potential increases in waterborne toxins and microbes (February 20, 2011) -- A panel of scientists unveiled new research and models demonstrating how climate change could increase exposure and risk of human illness originating from ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems, with some studies projecting impacts to be felt within 30 years. ... > full story

Only one person out of over 1,900 met AHA's definition of ideal heart health, study finds (February 20, 2011) -- Only one out of more than 1,900 people evaluated in a recent study met the American Heart Association definition of ideal cardiovascular health, according to researchers. ... > full story

Frequent, severe fires turn Alaskan forests into a carbon production line (February 20, 2011) -- Alaskan forests used to be important players in Mother Nature's game plan for regulating carbon dioxide levels in the air. It's elementary earth science: Trees take up carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. But now, American and Canadian researchers report that climate change is causing wildfires to burn larger swaths of Alaskan trees and to char the groundcover more severely, turning the black spruce forests of Alaska from repositories of carbon to generators of it. And the more carbon dioxide they release, the greater impact that may have in turn on future climate change. ... > full story

Depression symptoms increase over time for addiction-prone women (February 20, 2011) -- While alcohol problems and antisocial behavior tend to decrease in women as they age, depression increases, a new study finds. ... > full story

One Health: From ideas to implementation, rhetoric to reality (February 20, 2011) -- The convergence of people, animals, and our environment has created a new dynamic in which the health of each group is inextricably and globally interconnected, without borders. It is against this background that One Health has emerged as a multidisciplinary effort to attain optimal health of humans, animals and our environment. ... > full story

Higher-temperature superconductivity (February 20, 2011) -- An Iowa State theoretical physicist recently described the latest ideas in high-temperature superconductivity. ... > full story

Family planning programs have success in developing countries but need to be expanded, expert argues (February 20, 2011) -- While many researchers generally credit the desire for smaller families for the decline in fertility rates in developing, low-income countries, new research suggests that prevention of unwanted births may actually be a larger factor. The advent of safe and more effective birth control means that people have better control of when and if they have children, says one expert. ... > full story

Water, water, everywhere ... but is it safe to drink? (February 20, 2011) -- New research examines society's efforts to reverse and stop groundwater pollution, and the effectiveness of bioremediation technologies -- using microbes to clean up organic contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons (oil, gasoline or diesel) or chemicals used in the electronics or transportation industries. ... > full story

Oldest fossils of large seaweeds, possible animals tell story about oxygen in an ancient ocean (February 19, 2011) -- Almost 600 million years ago, before the Cambrian explosion, a community of seaweeds and worm-like animals lived in a quiet deep-water niche under the sea near what is now Anhui Province of South China. Then they simply died, leaving some 3,000 nearly pristine fossils preserved between beds of black shale deposited in oxygen-free waters. Scientists report the discovery of the fossils and the mystery. ... > full story

Asthma tied to bacterial communities in the airway (February 19, 2011) -- Asthma may have a surprising relationship with the composition of the species of bacteria that inhabit bronchial airways, a finding that could suggest new treatment or even potential cures for the common inflammatory disease, according to a new study. ... > full story

Mind over matter: EECoG may finally allow enduring control of a prosthetic or a paralyzed arm by thought alone (February 19, 2011) -- A biomedical engineer is developing brain-computer interfaces based on grids of electrodes that lie beneath the skull but outside the dura mater, the protective membrane that covers the brain. His next project is to slip a thin 32-electrode grid he designed with a colleague under a macaque's skill and to train the monkey to control -- strictly by thinking about it -- a computational model of a macaque arm. ... > full story

Efficacy of tuberculosis vaccine enhanced thanks to new research (February 19, 2011) -- Researchers in Belgium have improved the efficacy of the vaccine for tuberculosis. The new vaccine affords, as already demonstrated in mice, better protection against the disease. The development of a new tuberculosis vaccine is a priority in the fight against the disease, which claims the lives of 1.7 million people each year. The current vaccine provides only partial protection. ... > full story

Biologists use GPS to 'map' bat teeth to explore evolutionary adaptations to diet (February 19, 2011) -- In a clever use of GPS technology, biologists have "mapped" the topography of bat teeth as if they were uncharted mountain ranges, in order to better understand how toothy ridges, peaks and valleys have evolved to allow different species to eat everything from hard-shelled insects to blood and nectar. ... > full story

Women are better at forgiving, Spanish study finds (February 19, 2011) -- A new study into the emotional differences between the sexes and generations in terms of forgiveness has found that parents forgive more than children, while women are better at forgiving than men. ... > full story

Conventional wisdom of how neurons operate challenged: Axons can work in reverse (February 19, 2011) -- Neurons are complicated, but the basic functional concept is that synapses transmit electrical signals to the dendrites and cell body, and axons carry signals away. In one of many surprise findings, scientists have discovered that axons can operate in reverse: they can send signals to the cell body, too. They also found axons can talk to each other and that neural computations performed in axons are thousands of times slower than those occurring in dendrites. ... > full story

Research predicts future evolution of flu viruses (February 19, 2011) -- New research is beginning to crack the code of which strain of flu will be prevalent in a given year, with major implications for global public health preparedness. ... > full story

Augmented reality system for learning chess (February 19, 2011) -- Students in Spain have designed an innovative augmented reality system for learning to play chess. The system architecture, which combines augmented reality, computer vision and artificial intelligence, includes an application that tracks the movements of each piece, generates an audible description of each move, saves games automatically and can broadcast matches online, making it ideal for a wide range of users, including the visually impaired. ... > full story

Scheduled deliveries raise risks for mothers, do not benefit newborns, study finds (February 19, 2011) -- Inducing labor without a medical reason is associated with negative outcomes for the mother, including increased rates of cesarean delivery, greater blood loss and an extended length of stay in the hospital, and does not provide any benefit for the newborn, according to a new study. As the number of scheduled deliveries continues to climb, it is important for physicians and mothers-to-be to understand the risks associated with elective induction. The new findings only apply to women having their first child, and may not pertain to women having their second or third child. ... > full story

Fishing down food web leaves fewer big fish, more small fish in past century (February 19, 2011) -- Predatory fish such as cod, tuna and groupers have declined by two-thirds over the past 100 years, while small forage fish such as sardine, anchovy and capelin have more than doubled over the same period, according to researchers. ... > full story

How couples recover after an argument stems from their infant relationships (February 19, 2011) -- When studying relationships, psychological scientists have often focused on how couples fight. But how they recover from a fight is important, too. According to a new study, couples' abilities to bounce back from conflict may depend on what both partners were like as infants. ... > full story

Study shows young patients may benefit from microfracture knee procedures (February 19, 2011) -- Surgical treatment using microfracture for pediatric knee injury repair may improve activity outcomes, according to new research. The study shows patients are able to regain function and return to a normal activity level following surgery and rehabilitation ... > full story

Hamstring grafts prove more effective in ACL knee reconstruction, study says (February 19, 2011) -- Patients receiving anterior cruciate ligament knee reconstruction with a hamstring tendon graft rather than a knee tendon graft were less likely to suffer from pain and mobility issues 15 years after surgery, say researchers. ... > full story

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