Senin, 28 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Monday, February 28, 2011

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Brain's 'reward' center also responds to bad experiences (February 28, 2011) -- The so-called reward center of the brain may need a new name, say scientists who have shown it responds to good and bad experiences. The finding may help explain the "thrill" of thrill-seeking behavior or maybe just the thrill of surviving it, according to scientists. ... > full story

Why chemotherapy causes more infertility in women than in men (February 28, 2011) -- For a long time a relationship between infertility and chemotherapeutic agents has been assumed. Now, the mechanism has been elucidated. Mainly women are affected because the quality control in the oocytes is different from male germ cells. As biosicentists in Germany have found out, tetramer and dimer structures in the p53 protein family play a key role. ... > full story

Shining a light on trypanosome reproduction (February 28, 2011) -- Compelling visual evidence of sexual reproduction in African trypanosomes, single-celled parasites that cause major human and animal diseases, has been found. ... > full story

Ultrasound fusion imaging provides comparable accuracy for bone, soft tissue tumors (February 28, 2011) -- Biopsies using ultrasound fusion imaging for detecting bone and soft tissue cancers are safe, effective and just as accurate as conventional biopsy methods, according to a new study. ... > full story

Running on a faster track: Researchers develop scheduling tool to save time on public transport (February 28, 2011) -- Researchers have developed the "Service Oriented Timetable," an application to intelligently manage the variables involved in metropolitan train travel. In simulations on the Israel Railway, the application shaved 12 minutes off a typical 60-minute journey. ... > full story

Stress and tension do not stop fertility treatment from working, study finds (February 28, 2011) -- Women undergoing IVF or other assisted reproduction therapy can be reassured that emotional distress caused by their infertility or other life events will not prevent the treatment from working, according to new research. ... > full story

Markedly higher vitamin D intake needed to reduce cancer risk, researchers say (February 28, 2011) -- Researchers have reported that markedly higher intake of vitamin D is needed to reach blood levels that can prevent or markedly cut the incidence of breast cancer and several other major diseases than had been originally thought. ... > full story

Novel methods for improved breast cancer survival (February 28, 2011) -- A quarter of all women who suffer from breast cancer are at risk of metastasis – a recurrence of the cancer. In recent years, researchers have developed a technique that can identify in advance which patients belong to this risk group. Within the next two years the method will be tested in Swedish hospitals. In the future, the technique may also be used in hospitals in other countries. ... > full story

Meningitis: Neisseria meningitidis disseminates itself by sending out 'scouts' (February 28, 2011) -- Although, in the majority of cases, the localized presence of Neisseria meningitidis in the throat has no consequence, it can sometimes lead to meningitis or septicaemia. Scientists have recently discovered how this bacterium disseminates, leaving the throat to pass into the bloodstream. ... > full story

Hip, thigh implants can raise bone fracture risk in children (February 28, 2011) -- Children with hip and thigh implants designed to help heal a broken bone or correct other bone conditions are at risk for subsequent fractures of the very bones that the implants were intended to treat, according to new research. ... > full story

Turning forests into fuel: Promise and limits of biomass energy in Northeastern U.S. (February 28, 2011) -- In targeted applications, the heat generated by locally-grown biomass can reduce dependence on fossil fuels and support local economies," said Dr. Charles D. Canham, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute and co-author of the report. "But each forested landscape is different, and regional variation in forest conditions and energy infrastructure means there is no one-size-fits-all solution." ... > full story

Strong link found between victimization, substance abuse (February 28, 2011) -- A strong link between victimization experiences and substance abuse has been discovered by researchers. ... > full story

Asymmetric supernovae: Not all stellar explosions expand spherically (February 27, 2011) -- Stars are balls of glowing gas, with a nearly spherical shape. Accordingly, one would expect that when some stars explode as supernovae at the end of their lives, the resulting colossal fireballs should share this spherical symmetry. However, recent investigations are revealing that some of these events are not round. New data gathered at Calar Alto Observatory reinforce this surprising finding. ... > full story

PCBs may affect in vitro fertilization outcomes (February 27, 2011) -- Serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at concentrations found in the general U.S. population are associated with the failure of fertilized embryos to implant in the uterus after in vitro fertilization (IVF). This study may help explain earlier reports of impaired reproduction and increased time to pregnancy among women exposed to PCBs. ... > full story

‘Round-the-clock’ lifestyle could disrupt metabolism, brain and behavior (February 27, 2011) -- In Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud argued that modern society was hard on human psychology, forcing people to get along in unnaturally close quarters. Now newly published research points out a different discontent in the developed world, namely, the disruption of our natural sleep cycles, thanks to the ubiquity of electric lighting. Experiments on mice found that throwing off their evolutionarily ancient circadian rhythms by artificially altering the length of their days has a substantial impact on the body and the brain. The work suggests that our modern, round-the-clock lifestyle could disrupt metabolism, interfere with learning and impact behavior in ways that we're just beginning to understand. ... > full story

Home urine test measures insulin production in diabetes (February 27, 2011) -- A simple home urine test has been developed which can measure if patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are producing their own insulin. The urine test replaces multiple blood tests in hospital and can be sent by post as it is stable for up to three days at room temperature. Avoiding blood tests will be a particular advantage for children. ... > full story

Bisphenol A exposures lower in Canadians compared to Americans (February 27, 2011) -- Health Canada's declaration that bisphenol A is a health hazard makes it unique in the world, but it must now follow through with legislation to protect people from exposure. That's the conclusion of a new analysis that found concentrations of bisphenol A in Canadians are lower than for Americans, although the reason for the difference is unknown. ... > full story

Using math to navigate the Beatles 'Strawberry Fields Forever' (February 27, 2011) -- The whimsical music of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever was made possible using production and editing techniques that were groundbreaking for its time. Beatles' fans probably wouldn't have even noticed that two takes of differing pitch and speed were spliced together until a math professor -- a veritable Sherlock of Rock -- went in to investigate. ... > full story

Scientists find gene responsible for color patterns in mice (February 27, 2011) -- Scientists are moving closer to answering some age-old questions. How did the leopard get its spots? How did the zebra get its stripes? The answer may be a gene called Agouti, which the scientists have found governs color patterns in deer mice, the most widespread mammal in North America. ... > full story

Discovery of killer cells has potential for targeted cancer therapies (February 27, 2011) -- Scientists have made an important discovery concerning how fledgling cancer cells self-destruct, which has the potential of impacting on future cancer therapies. ... > full story

Arctic environment during an ancient bout of natural global warming (February 27, 2011) -- Scientists are unraveling the environmental changes that took place around the Arctic during an exceptional episode of ancient global warming. Around 56 million years ago there was a period of global warming called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, during which global sea surface temperatures increased by approximately 5°C. The warming of the oceans led to profound ecological changes, including the widespread extinction of many types of foraminifera, tiny single-celled organisms with distinctive shells. ... > full story

Heparin a key role player in allergy and inflammatory reactions (February 27, 2011) -- Heparin plays a key role in allergic and inflammatory reactions driven by mast cells, scientists show. The study sheds some new light on the biological function of heparin. ... > full story

Reducing one's 'nitrogen footprint': New Web-based tool helps people make sustainable living choices (February 27, 2011) -- People who want to eat healthy and live sustainably have a new way to measure their impact on the environment: a Web-based tool that calculates an individual's "nitrogen footprint." ... > full story

High-quality care associated with lower cost in trauma (February 27, 2011) -- High-quality hospitals deliver lower-cost care to trauma patients, according to new research. The study found high-quality hospitals have death rates that are 34 percent lower, while spending nearly 22 percent less on trauma patient care than average-quality hospitals, suggesting high quality can coexist with lower cost. The reason is not clear, though. ... > full story

Placebo effect works both ways: Beliefs about pain levels appear to override effects of potent pain-relieving drug (February 27, 2011) -- Poor expectations of treatment can override all the effect of a potent pain-relieving drug, a brain imaging study has shown. In contrast, positive expectations of treatment doubled the natural physiological or biochemical effect of the opioid drug among the healthy volunteers in the study. ... > full story

Protein and microRNA block cellular transition vital to metastasis (February 27, 2011) -- Like a bounty hunter returning escapees to custody, a cancer-fighting gene converts organ cells that change into highly mobile stem cells back to their original, stationary state, researchers report. ... > full story

Clues about grasshopper population explosions (February 27, 2011) -- Biologists are examining what can limit grasshopper populations and the role played by grasshoppers in prairie ecosystems. ... > full story

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can affect quality of life even when thyroid gland function is normal (February 27, 2011) -- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT), an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, but a study has suggested that even when thyroid function is normal, HT may increase symptoms and decrease quality of life. ... > full story

Floating solar panels: Solar installations on water (February 27, 2011) -- Most of the solar energy systems on the market today bare two major weaknesses: they require vast land areas in order to be built, and the costs related to solar cells fabrication and maintenance are high. A new technology is about to overcome these challenges and many more: floating solar power plants. ... > full story

Planning and visualization lead to better food habits (February 27, 2011) -- If you want to improve the way you eat, the best way to do so is to both make an action plan and visualize yourself carrying it out, according to researchers. ... > full story

Transgenic fungi may be able to combat malaria and other bug-borne diseases (February 26, 2011) -- New findings indicate that a genetically engineered fungus carrying genes for a human anti-malarial antibody or a scorpion anti-malarial toxin could be a highly effective, specific and environmentally friendly tool for combating malaria, at a time when the effectiveness of current pesticides against malaria mosquitoes is declining. ... > full story

New technology pinpoints genetic differences between cancer and non-cancer patients (February 26, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a new technology that detects distinct genetic changes differentiating cancer patients from healthy individuals and could serve as a future cancer predisposition test. ... > full story

Coral 'network' can protect Asia-Pacific fish stocks, study suggests (February 26, 2011) -- Researchers have established that the richest marine region on Earth -- the Coral Triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines -- depends vitally for its diversity and resilience on coral and fish larvae swept in from the South China Sea and Solomon Islands. ... > full story

Bone drug zoledronic acid may help prevent spread of early lung cancer (February 26, 2011) -- A drug that is currently used to help treat bone metastases in patients with lung cancer could also be useful at an earlier stage of treatment, to prevent the cancer from spreading in the first place, researchers have found. ... > full story

Etched quantum dots shape up as single photon emitters (February 26, 2011) -- Like snowflakes or fingerprints, no two quantum dots are identical. But a new etching method for shaping and positioning these semiconductor nanocrystals might change that. Tests confirm that etched quantum dots emit single particles of light, boosting prospects for powering new types of devices for quantum communications. ... > full story

Making the 'irrelevant' relevant to understand memory and aging (February 26, 2011) -- Age alters memory. But in what ways, and why? These questions comprise a vast puzzle for neurologists and psychologists. A new study looked at one puzzle piece: how older and younger adults encode and recall distracting, or irrelevant, information. The results can help scientists better understand memory and aging. ... > full story

Atomic antennas transmit quantum information across a microchip (February 26, 2011) -- New research suggests a fundamentally novel architecture for quantum computation. They have experimentally demonstrated quantum antennas, which enable the exchange of quantum information between two separate memory cells located on a computer chip. This offers new opportunities to build practical quantum computers. ... > full story

Nanotechnology may lead to new treatment of liver cancer (February 26, 2011) -- Nanotechnology may open a new door on the treatment of liver cancer, according to researchers. They used molecular-sized bubbles filled with chemotherapy drugs to prevent cell growth and initiate cell death in test tubes and mice. ... > full story

Tweeting teenage songbirds reveal impact of social cues on learning (February 26, 2011) -- In a finding that once again displays the power of the female, neuroscientists have discovered that teenage male songbirds, still working to perfect their song, improve their performance in the presence of a female bird. ... > full story

Model for managing asthma in preschoolers leads to dramatic drop in ER visits and hospitalizations (February 26, 2011) -- Nearly one in 11 preschool children in the US has been diagnosed with asthma, yet few asthma management programs are designed for parents of preschool children. A new program offers educational activities to families as well as training to community pediatric providers. Following participation in the program, 85 percent of parents reported reducing their child's asthma triggers; visits to ER departments declined sharply, as did asthma-related hospitalizations. ... > full story

New way to design metal nanoparticle catalysts (February 26, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a new strategy for fabricating metal nanoparticles in catalysts that promises to enhance the selectivity and yield for a wide range of structure-sensitive catalytic reactions. ... > full story

Happy children make happy adults (February 26, 2011) -- Being a "happy" teenager is linked to increased well-being in adulthood, new research finds. ... > full story

New form of sulfur discovered in geological fluids (February 25, 2011) -- Sulfur is the sixth most abundant element on Earth and plays a key role in many geological and biological processes. Scientist have now identified a novel form of sulfur present in geological fluids: the S3(-) ion. The discovery calls existing theories about the geological transport of sulfur into question, and could provide ways of identifying new deposits of precious metals such as gold and copper. ... > full story

Targeting T cells effectively blocks multiple sclerosis in mice (February 25, 2011) -- In an effort to develop therapeutic remedies for multiple sclerosis, scientists debate two possible interventional approaches -- but they're on opposite sides of the spectrum. Researchers however, think they have now reached a definitive conclusion as to which approach is correct, putting an end to a long-disputed issue. They found that targeting white blood cells of the immune system known as T cells is the effective approach to block the disease in an animal model of MS. ... > full story

Bamiyan Buddhas once glowed in red, white and blue (February 25, 2011) -- The monumental Buddhas of Bamiyan once shone in glowing colors. Restorers have analyzed hundreds of fragments of the statues that were blow up by the Taliban. They have, for the first time, been able to reliably date the period in which they were sculpted, and have also studied the technically brilliant method of construction. A new process could stabilize the porous rock, paving the way for a reconstruction. ... > full story

Scientists find a new way insulin-producing cells die (February 25, 2011) -- Diabetes researchers discover another way that insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas can be destroyed -- by the secretions of neighboring alpha cells. ... > full story

Rare, unique seeds arrive at Svalbard Vault, as crises threaten world crop collections (February 25, 2011) -- The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrated its third anniversary Feb. 24 with the arrival of seeds for rare lima beans, blight-resistant cantaloupe, and progenitors of antioxidant-rich red tomatoes from Peru and the Galapagos Islands. The arrival of these collections, including many drought- and flood-resistant varieties, comes at a time when natural and human-made risks to agriculture have reinforced the critical need to secure all the world's food crop varieties. ... > full story

Staring contests are automatic: People lock eyes to establish dominance (February 25, 2011) -- Imagine that you're in a bar and you accidentally knock over your neighbor's beer. He turns around and stares at you, looking for confrontation. Do you buy him a new drink, or do you try to out-stare him to make him back off? New research suggests that the dominance behavior exhibited by staring someone down can be reflexive. ... > full story

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