Rabu, 02 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

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New conditions for life on other planets: Tidal effects change 'habitable zone' concept (March 2, 2011) -- Tides can render the so-called "habitable zone" around low-mass stars uninhabitable, according to new research. Until now, the two main drivers thought to determine a planet's temperature were the distance to the central star and the composition of the planet's atmosphere. ... > full story

Tonsillectomy linked to excess weight gain in kids (March 2, 2011) -- Tonsillectomy is the most common major surgical procedure performed in children. Children who undergo the surgical removal of their tonsils (tonsillectomy), with or without the removal of their adenoids (adenoidectomy), are at increased risk for becoming overweight after surgery, according to new research. ... > full story

Tanning bed exposure can be deadly when complicated by medication reactions (March 2, 2011) -- Use of tanning beds to "self-treat" skin eruptions can be dangerous when complicated by medication reactions according to a new study. ... > full story

Key step in the development of a norovirus treatment (March 2, 2011) -- With the number of norovirus infection cases rising across the country, scientists have successfully crystallized a key norovirus enzyme, which could help in the development of a norovirus treatment. ... > full story

Scientists synthesize long-sought-after anticancer agent (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have synthesized for the first time a chemical compound called lomaiviticin aglycon, leading to the development of a new class of molecules that appear to target and destroy cancer stem cells. ... > full story

Popular psychology theories on self-esteem not backed up by serious research, study finds (March 2, 2011) -- Low self-esteem is associated with a greater risk of mental health problems such as eating disorders and depression. From a public health perspective, it is important for staff in various health-related professions to know about self-esteem. However, there is a vast difference between the research-based knowledge on self-esteem and the simplified popular psychology theories that are disseminated through books and motivational talks, reveals new research from Sweden. ... > full story

Algae converted to butanol; Fuel can be used in automobiles (March 2, 2011) -- Chemical engineers have developed a method for converting common algae into butanol, a renewable fuel that can be used in existing combustible engines. The green technology benefits from and adds greater value to a process being used now to clean and oxygenate U.S. waterways by removing excess nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer in runoff. ... > full story

Findings on pollution damage to human airways could yield new therapies (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers have identified how nanoparticles from diesel exhaust damage lung airway cells, a finding that could lead to new therapies for people susceptible to airway disease. The scientists also discovered that the severity of the injury depends on the genetic make-up of the affected individual. ... > full story

New technique for improving robot navigation systems (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers in Europe have developed an antonym-based technique for building maps for mobile robots. This technique can be applied to improve current robot navigation systems. Another advantage of the technique is that the low-cost ultrasonic sensors that it uses are built into almost all robotic platforms and produce a smaller volume of data for processing. ... > full story

Biochemists offer first 3-D model of asthma-causing inflammation enzyme (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have developed the first 3-D model of Human 5-Lipoxygenase, or 5-LOX, the molecule responsible for creating inflammatory compounds that provoke asthma. This model will serve as a target for the design of new, more effective asthma medication. ... > full story

Pakistan floods last summer could have been predicted, experts say (March 2, 2011) -- Five days before intense monsoonal deluges unleashed vast floods across Pakistan last July, computer models at a European weather-forecasting center were giving clear indications that the downpours were imminent. Now, a new scientific study that retrospectively examines the raw data from these computer models, has confirmed that, if the information had been processed, forecasters could have predicted extremely accurate rainfall totals 8-10 days beforehand. ... > full story

Unemployment: A health risk (March 2, 2011) -- Compared to people in employment, men and women who are unemployed suffer more often and longer from both physical and emotional complaints. Why should the unemployed have more health problems? ... > full story

Analysis of bread mold genomes demonstrates 'reverse-ecology' tool (March 1, 2011) -- In a demonstration of "reverse-ecology," biologists have shown that one can determine an organism's adaptive traits by looking first at its genome and checking for variations across a population. The study offers a powerful new tool in evolutionary genetics research, one that could be used to help monitor the effects of climate change and habitat destruction. ... > full story

More than allergies: Histamine may be a possible drug target for multiple sclerosis (March 1, 2011) -- If you think histamines are your nemesis during allergy season, here's something that might change your perspective. New research shows that histamine could be an important molecule to developing new treatments for multiple sclerosis. In the study, the scientists analyzed the role of histamine in an animal model of multiple sclerosis and found that histamine plays a critical role in preventing MS or lessening its effects. ... > full story

'Social-IQ score' for bacteria developed (March 1, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a "Social-IQ score" for bacteria -- and it may lead to new antibiotics and powerful bacteria-based "green" pesticides for the agricultural industry. ... > full story

Essential oil pill prevents PMS, study suggests (March 1, 2011) -- A pill containing a mix of essential oils has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Researchers tested the tablets by carrying out a randomized, controlled trial in 120 women. ... > full story

Florida citrus industry: Mechanical harvesting creates up to 250 percent more debris than hand harvesting, study finds (March 1, 2011) -- Harvesting can account for as much as 50 percent of the production cost for Florida's citrus crops. In a recent research study debris samples were collected from three harvesting systems; results indicated that mechanical harvesting increased debris per load by as much as 250 percent compared with hand-harvested fruit. The study results will aid growers in evaluating the costs and benefits of mechanical harvesting techniques as well as engineers who design debris elimination systems for mechanical harvesting. ... > full story

Best friends can make a child more physically active (March 1, 2011) -- Boys and girls who take part in physical activity with their best friend in the neighborhood where they live have higher levels of physical activity, new research by academics in the UK have found. ... > full story

Happiness improves health and lengthens life, review finds (March 1, 2011) -- A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found "clear and compelling evidence" that -- all else being equal -- happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers. ... > full story

Signaling path in brain may prevent that 'I'm full' message (March 1, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a signaling pathway in the brain that's sufficient to induce cellular leptin resistance, a problem that decreases the body's ability to "hear" that it is full and should stop eating. ... > full story

Technique for measuring methane gas from cattle flatulence (March 1, 2011) -- Recently, scientists developed a methane release measuring technique as way of tracking the discharge of the gas without disrupting the regular management of the herd. ... > full story

Surgeons predict the future of nanomedicine in practice (March 1, 2011) -- A new review explores how nanotechnology may provide powerful new tools that could have a marked impact on the therapeutic and diagnostic measures available to surgeons. ... > full story

New generation of optical integrated devices for future quantum computers (March 1, 2011) -- Scientists have demonstrated the quantum operation of new components that will enable compact circuits for future photonic quantum computers. ... > full story

Higher job performance linked to people who are more honest and humble (March 1, 2011) -- The more honesty and humility an employee may have, the higher their job performance, as rated by the employees' supervisor. A new study that found the honesty-humility personality trait was a unique predictor of job performance. ... > full story

Rare 89-million-year-old flying reptile fossil from Texas may be world's oldest pteranodon (March 1, 2011) -- Fossil bones discovered in Texas are from the left wing of an ancient flying reptile that died 89 million years ago, representing what may be the world's earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature Pteranodon, says paleontologists. If the reptile is pteranodon, it would be the first of its kind discovered as far south as Texas within the ancient Western Interior Seaway. ... > full story

New CPR method increases survival rate by 50 percent, study suggests (March 1, 2011) -- A five-year clinical trial has led to a new method of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that improves long-term survival rates with good brain function by 50 percent. ... > full story

New hope for solving Parkinson's disease puzzle (March 1, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a protein pathway that may hold the secret to understanding Parkinson's disease. They have been working to understand the complex mechanisms of the disease for more than a decade and believe this recent discovery offers hope for the cure. ... > full story

Large proportion of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented, study suggests (March 1, 2011) -- A large proportion of the 141,000 cases and 49,000 deaths from colorectal cancer expected in the United States this year could be prevented by increasing the use of established screening tests and by applying existing knowledge about colorectal cancer prevention, researchers say. ... > full story

Surgical instruments with electronic serial numbers (March 1, 2011) -- Gone are the days of having to compromise on surgeons' demands because of the limitations associated with metal processing: Laser melting has abolished production-related restrictions on surgical instruments. The technique permits customized tools to be manufactured in a single step and also allows the integration of additional new functions such as RFID. Researchers have now developed a surgical instrument with an integrated electronic chip. ... > full story

Beyond tender loving care: 'TLCs' promise health and happiness (March 1, 2011) -- Lifestyle changes -- such as getting more exercise, time in nature or helping others -- can be as effective as drugs or counseling to treat an array of mental illnesses, according to a new article. ... > full story

Sugar-sweetened drinks associated with higher blood pressure (March 1, 2011) -- Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages such as fruit drinks are associated with higher blood pressure levels, according to a new study. Adults with higher sodium intake had a stronger association between sugar-sweetened beverages and high blood pressure. ... > full story

Vitamin D linked to lung cancer survival, study suggests (March 1, 2011) -- Recent research suggests vitamin D may be able to stop or prevent cancer. Now, a new study finds an enzyme that plays a role in metabolizing vitamin D can predict lung cancer survival. ... > full story

NASA readies for world's largest can crusher test (March 1, 2011) -- Place a soda can on the floor in an upright position and then stand on it -- gradually applying weight -- until the can ripples and collapses. It's similar to what a team of NASA engineers will do to an immense aluminum-lithium rocket fuel tank in late March; their hope is to use data from the test to generate new "shell-buckling design factors" that will enable light-weight, safe and sturdy "skins" for future launch vehicles. ... > full story

Researchers develop curious snapshot of powerful retinal pigment and its partners (March 1, 2011) -- Scientists have uncovered surprising new details about a key protein-protein interaction in the retina that contributes to the exquisite sensitivity of vision. Additionally, they say, the proteins involved represent the best-studied model of how other senses and countless other physiological functions are controlled. ... > full story

Scientists identify new implications for perennial bioenergy crops (March 1, 2011) -- Scientists have found that converting large swaths of land to bioenergy crops could have a wide range of effects on regional climate. ... > full story

Inability to shake regrets can have effects on physical health (March 1, 2011) -- Although Edith Piaf defiantly sang, "Non, je ne regrette rien," most people will have their share of regrets over their lifetime. Indeed, anyone who seeks to overcome disappointments should compare themselves to others who are worse off -- rather than looking up to folks in more enviable positions -- according to a new study. ... > full story

Mating mites trapped in amber reveal sex role reversal (March 1, 2011) -- In the mating game, some female mites are mightier than their mates, new research suggests. The evidence comes, in part, from 40 million-year-old mating mites preserved in Baltic amber. ... > full story

New personalized therapy causes cancer cells to kill themselves (March 1, 2011) -- A physician-researcher has developed a personalized therapy to treat a wide range of cancers. The treatment is based on a naturally occurring human enzyme that has been genetically modified to fool cancer cells into killing themselves. ... > full story

Boiling bubbles are cool in space (March 1, 2011) -- It may seem illogical, but boiling is a very efficient way to cool engineering components and systems used in the extreme environments of space. An experiment to gain a basic understanding of this phenomena launched to the International Space Station on space shuttle Discovery Feb. 24. The Nucleate Pool Boiling Experiment, or NPBX, is one of two experiments in the new Boiling eXperiment Facility, or BXF. ... > full story

Compound useful for studying birth defects may also have anti-tumor properties (March 1, 2011) -- In an interesting bit of scientific serendipity, researchers have found that a chemical compound useful for studying the origins of intestinal birth defects may also inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous tumors. ... > full story

One terabit per second data rate on a single integrated photonic chip (March 1, 2011) -- With worldwide Internet data traffic increasing by 50 percent each year, telecommunications companies that handle this digital torrent must be able to economically expand the capacities of their networks while also adapting to new, more-efficient data-handling technologies. Now a development team has achieved data rates of one terabit per second. ... > full story

Full bladder, better decisions? Controlling your bladder decreases impulsive choices (March 1, 2011) -- What should you do when you really, really have to "go"? Make important life decisions, maybe. Controlling your bladder makes you better at controlling yourself when making decisions about your future, too, according to a new study. ... > full story

More than 4,000 components of blood chemistry listed (March 1, 2011) -- After three years of exhaustive analysis, the list of known compounds in human blood has exploded from just a handful to more than 4,000. ... > full story

Neural circuits used in processing basic linguistic phrases identified (March 1, 2011) -- Researchers have isolated neural activity that reflects basic mechanisms used by the brain to combine elementary pieces of language in order to construct complex ideas. ... > full story

Key to safer remote detection of dangerous materials (March 1, 2011) -- Scientists have demonstrated a promising technique that employs sound waves to boost the distance from which researchers can use terahertz technology to remotely detect hidden explosives, chemicals, and other dangerous materials. ... > full story

Gene variant affects stroke prognosis in humans (March 1, 2011) -- A small difference in DNA sequence predicts the degree of disability after a stroke, according to a new article. Stroke, the consequence of disturbed blood flow to the brain, can impair speech, movement and vision, but it is currently difficult for clinicians to predict the severity of these side effects or the long-term prognosis. ... > full story

'Stupid strategies' could be best for the genes (March 1, 2011) -- Blindly copying what your parents did -- no matter how stupid it may seem -- could be the best strategy for the long-term success of your genes, according to new research. ... > full story

Brain imaging provides window into consciousness (March 1, 2011) -- Using a sophisticated imaging test to probe for higher-level cognitive functioning in severely brain-injured patients provides a window into consciousness -- but the view it presents is one that is blurred in fascinating ways, say researchers. ... > full story

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