Selasa, 05 April 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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When African animals hit the hay: Fossil teeth show who ate what and when as grasses emerged (April 5, 2011) -- Fossil teeth of African animals show that during the past 10 million years, different plant-eating critters began grazing on grass at different times as many switched from a salad-bar diet of tree leaves and shrubs, a new study has found ... > full story

Pneumonia death rate lower among people who take statins, study suggests (April 5, 2011) -- Taking statins could help prevent people dying from pneumonia, according to a new study. ... > full story

Call of the riled: Stress signal in cancer cells triggers similar response in other cells, aiding tumor growth (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers say a "stress response" mechanism used by normal cells to cope with harsh or demanding conditions is exploited by cancer cells, which transmit the same stress signal to surrounding cells, triggering an inflammatory response in them that can aid tumor growth. ... > full story

Measuring oxidative stress can predict risk of atrial fibrillation (April 5, 2011) -- Measuring oxidative stress may help doctors predict the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, the most common heart beat irregularity. Research has identified a connection between oxidative stress and enlargement of the heart's left atrium, which leads to atrial fibrillation. ... > full story

Oxygen sensor invention could benefit fisheries to breweries (April 5, 2011) -- Monitoring oxygen levels in water has applications for oil spills, fish farming, brewing beer and more -- and a researcher is poised to help supply that need. The concept of oxygen sensors isn't new. The challenge, however, has been manufacturing one that can withstand fluctuations in temperature, salinity, carbon dioxide, phosphates and biological wastes. Physicist Ruby Ghosh was able to overcome those obstacles as well as build one that provides real-time data and is relatively inexpensive. ... > full story

Caterpillars aren't so bird-brained after all: Clever behavioral strategies help them outwit predators (April 5, 2011) -- Caterpillars that masquerade as twigs to avoid becoming a bird's dinner are actually using clever behavioral strategies to outwit their predators, according to a new study. ... > full story

Autism: Exceptional visual abilities explained (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers have determined that people with autism concentrate more brain resources in the areas associated with visual detection and identification, and conversely, have less activity in the areas used to plan and control thoughts and actions. This might explain their outstanding capacities in visual tasks. ... > full story

Early work indicates drug used to treat alcoholism may help those with Fragile X and autism (April 5, 2011) -- In small, early clinical trials, adults and children with autism and Fragile X syndrome have shown improved communication and social behavior when treated with acamprosate, according to new research. ... > full story

Mars in Spain: Subterranean springs in central pre-Pyrenees of Catalonia pose new questions for planetary geomorphology (April 5, 2011) -- A new study on the origin and evolution of peculiar morphologies created by ancient subterranean springs in the central pre-Pyrenees of Catalonia (Spain) pose new questions for planetary geomorphology research. Similar to small volcanoes, these formations until now had only been described in Australia and closely resemble gigantic forms found on Mars. The study may shed new light on the origin of these formations and the search for water on the Red Planet. ... > full story

Tumors resistant to radiation therapy may be controlled by the MET oncogene (April 5, 2011) -- Ionizing radiation treats many cancers effectively, but in some patients a few tumor cells become resistant to radiation and go on to cause relapse and metastasis. A growth factor-receptor protein called MET may be a key player in these cells' resistance to radiation, and drugs targeting MET may help to prevent radiation-induced metastasis, according to a new study. ... > full story

Novel compounds for fighting against parasitic diseases (April 5, 2011) -- Parasites of the Trypanosomatidae family cause a number of serious human diseases. Researchers have now published the identification of novel anti-parasitic compounds targeting an enzyme unique to the parasites. These compounds are promising for the development of drugs with fewer side-effects than current medical treatments. ... > full story

Partner controlling behaviors appear to be associated with relationship violence (April 5, 2011) -- Having a significant other who exhibits controlling behaviors appears to be associated with increased physical and sexual relationship violence, according to a new study. However, young women experiencing these behaviors are more hesitant to answer questions about relationship violence. ... > full story

Declining rainfall is a major influence for migrating birds (April 4, 2011) -- Instinct and the annual increase of daylight hours have long been thought to be the triggers for birds to begin their spring migration. Scientists, however, have now found that that may not be the case. Researchers have focused on how warming trends in temperate breeding areas disrupt the sensitive ecology of migratory birds. This new research shows that changes in rainfall on the tropical wintering grounds could be equally disruptive. ... > full story

Dangerous blood pressure increases during exercise can be blocked, researchers find (April 4, 2011) -- Researchers have identified one reason people with hypertension experience an even greater increase in their blood pressure when they exercise, and they've learned how to prevent the rise. ... > full story

Chemists produce first high-resolution RNA 'nano square' (April 4, 2011) -- Chemists have produced the first high resolution structure of a nano-scale square made from ribonucleic acid, or RNA. ... > full story

Safer CT scanning for children developed in Sweden (April 4, 2011) -- A research team in Sweden has developed a method that allows the lowest possible dose of radiation for children having a CT scan while still obtaining good image quality. ... > full story

'In-depth' radar: Seeing what lies beneath the surface (April 4, 2011) -- Where do the water pipes and electric cables lie? Could valuable cultural artefacts be hidden here? And how high is the salt concentration on the road today? A georadar can reveal what lies below the surface, providing information that can be extremely useful to industry. A Norwegian researcher wants to evaluate how georadar could be utilized. ... > full story

Low income associated with mental disorders and suicide attempts, study finds (April 4, 2011) -- Low levels of household income are associated with several lifetime mental disorders and suicide attempts, and a decrease in income is associated with a higher risk for anxiety, substance use, and mood disorders, according to a new study. ... > full story

Algae that live inside the cells of salamanders are the first known vertebrate endosymbionts (April 4, 2011) -- A species of algae long known to associate with spotted salamanders has been discovered to live inside the cells of developing embryos, say scientists from the US and Canada. This is the first known example of a eukaryotic algae living stably inside the cells of any vertebrate. ... > full story

Prevalence of 'flattened head' in infants and young children appears to be increasing (April 4, 2011) -- The prevalence of plagiocephaly, a condition marked by an asymmetrical, flattening of the skull, appears to be increasing in infants and young children, according to a new study. ... > full story

The Art of Making Stars (April 4, 2011) -- It might look like an abstract painting, but this splash of colors is in fact a busy star-forming complex called Rho Ophiuchi. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, captured the picturesque image of the region, which is one of the closest star-forming complexes to Earth. ... > full story

Repetitive, high-impact sports linked to stress fractures in girls (April 4, 2011) -- Children are urged to participate in sports at younger and younger ages and at greater levels of intensity. While weight-bearing activity is generally thought to increase bone density, a new study finds that for preadolescent and adolescent girls, too much high-impact activity can lead to stress fractures. If these are detected too late in children and adolescent athletes, they pose a risk of true fracture, deformity or growth disturbance requiring surgical treatment, say the researchers. ... > full story

Leatherback sea turtle nests increasing in Florida (April 4, 2011) -- The number of endangered leatherback sea turtle nests at 68 beaches in Florida has increased by 10.2 percent a year since 1979, according to a new study. ... > full story

Teens who choose music over books are more likely to be depressed, study finds (April 4, 2011) -- Adolescents who spend more time listening to music are far more likely to have major depressive disorder, while young people who spend more time reading books are far less likely to have such a diagnosis, according to a new study. ... > full story

Formaldehyde: Poison could have set the stage for the origins of life (April 4, 2011) -- Formaldehyde, a poison and a common molecule throughout the universe, is likely the source of the solar system's organic carbon solids -- abundant in both comets and asteroids. Scientists have long speculated about the how organic, or carbon-containing, material became a part of the solar system's fabric. New research shows that these complex organic solids were likely made from formaldehyde in the primitive solar system. ... > full story

Common variant of p53 tumor suppressor gene linked to increased inflammatory responses (April 4, 2011) -- New findings link a common variant of the powerful anticancer gene p53 to increased inflammatory responses following DNA damage. The results may help explain why African Americans, who more frequently possess this variant, tend to be more susceptible to certain kinds of inflammation-related diseases and cancers, such as type II diabetes and colorectal cancer. ... > full story

High dose of oxygen enhances natural cancer treatment, researchers find (April 4, 2011) -- An environment of pure oxygen at three-and-a-half times normal air pressure adds significantly to the effectiveness of a natural compound already shown to kill cancerous cells, according to new research. ... > full story

New role for cilia protein in mitosis (April 4, 2011) -- Researchers have described a previously unknown role for the cilia protein IFT88 in mitosis, the process by which a dividing cell separates its chromosomes containing the cell's DNA into two identical sets of new daughter cells. This newly discovered function for IFT88 suggests a possible alternative or contributory cause for cilia-related diseases such as primary ciliary dyskinesia, and polycystic kidney disease. ... > full story

Twitter analysis provides stock predictions (April 4, 2011) -- Economists have developed a website that predicts individual stock trends. To this end, economists are using automatic text analysis methods to evaluate thousands of daily Twitter microblog messages, so-called "tweets". ... > full story

Got up on the wrong side of the bed? Your work will show it (April 4, 2011) -- A new study of telephone customer service representatives shows just how important it is for employees to start the workday in a good mood. Researchers found that employees' moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers' moods. ... > full story

Tree growth and fecundity affected more by climate change than previously thought (April 4, 2011) -- An 18-year study of 27,000 individual trees finds that tree growth and fecundity -- the ability to produce viable seeds -- are more sensitive to climate change than previously thought. ... > full story

Herpes linked to Alzheimer's disease: 'Cold sores' connected to cognitive decline (April 4, 2011) -- New research using a new technique to observe herpes simplex virus type 1 infections inside cells, finds that re-activation and growth of HSV1 infections contribute to cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease. ... > full story

Physicists create tap-proof waves (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists in Austria have developed a method to steer waves on precisely defined trajectories, without any loss. This way, sound waves could be sent directly to a target, avoiding possible eavesdroppers. ... > full story

Potassium channel gene modifies risk for epilepsy (April 4, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a new gene that can influence a person's risk for developing epilepsy. The findings could improve molecular diagnostic tools and point to novel therapeutic targets for epilepsy. ... > full story

NASA airborne radar set to image Hawaiian volcano (April 4, 2011) -- The Kilauea volcano that recently erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii will be the target for a NASA study to help scientists better understand processes occurring under Earth's surface. ... > full story

Sleeping through danger: The dormouse approach to survival (April 4, 2011) -- Amid the general rejoicing over the first signs of spring, spare a thought for the humble dormouse, which is about to embark on the most dangerous period of its life. This is the surprising finding of a long-term study of dormouse survival rates in five different countries in Europe. ... > full story

West and Central African lions are genetically different from those in East and southern Africa (April 4, 2011) -- New findings of genetic research on lions reveals a remarkable difference between lions in West and Central Africa and lions in East and southern Africa. ... > full story

Nurturing newborn neurons sharpens minds in mice (April 4, 2011) -- Adult mice engineered to have more newborn neurons in their brain memory hub excelled at accurately discriminating between similar experiences -- an ability that declines with normal aging and in some anxiety disorders. Boosting such neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus also produced antidepressant-like effects when combined with exercise. The study pinpointed effects of enhanced adult neurogenesis by creating mice lacking a gene required for programmed cell death of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus. ... > full story

New type of particle accelerator beams its way to a world first (April 4, 2011) -- A new technology that promises a range of applications from treating cancer to powering safer nuclear reactors has reached another world first in its development. Scientists have successfully started up the pioneering EMMA accelerator, which is set to impact fundamental science and change the way such particle accelerators across the world are designed and built in the future. ... > full story

New hope for tiny hearts (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists are making advances in imaging methods for both ultrasound and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. One benefit will be an enhanced ability to discover heart defects in newborns. ... > full story

Researchers electrify polymerization (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists are using electricity from a battery to drive atom transfer radical polymerization, a widely used method of creating industrial plastics. The environmentally friendly approach represents a breakthrough in the level of control scientists can achieve over the ATRP process, which will allow for the creation of even more complex and specialized materials. ... > full story

The Population Bomb: How we survived it (April 4, 2011) -- World population will reach 7 billion this year, prompting new concerns about whether the world will soon face a major population crisis. ... > full story

Search for advanced materials aided by discovery of hidden symmetries in nature (April 4, 2011) -- A new way of understanding the structure of proteins, polymers, minerals, and engineered materials has been discovered. The discovery, a new type of symmetry in the structure of materials, greatly expands the possibilities for discovering or designing materials with desired properties. The research is expected to have broad relevance in many development efforts involving physical, chemical, biological, or engineering disciplines, including the search for advanced ferroelectric ferromagnet materials for next-generation ultrasound devices and computers. ... > full story

'Last resort' antibiotics use on the rise, study suggests (April 4, 2011) -- A study of antibiotic use demonstrates increased use of carbapenems, over the last five years. These drugs are often considered the last treatment option for severe infections with multi-drug resistant pathogens. The increased carbapenem use is alarming because carbapenem-resistant bacteria are becoming more common. ... > full story

First broad-scale maps of life on Australia's sea-shelf (April 4, 2011) -- Marine scientists from five research agencies have pooled their skills and resources to compile a directory of life on Australia's continental shelf. ... > full story

Magnesium deficiency: Not always a nutritional problem (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a genetic cause for magnesium deficiency. The study ascertained changes in a gene which is involved in the regulation of magnesium processes involved in the kidney. This research opens the way for possible future medicinal treatment of genetically caused magnesium deficiencies. ... > full story

Microreactors: Small scale chemistry could lead to big improvements for biodegradable polymers (April 4, 2011) -- Using a small block of aluminum with a tiny groove carved in it, scientists are developing an improved "green chemistry" method for making biodegradable polymers. A prime example of the value of microfluidics, a technology more commonly associated with inkjet printers and medical diagnostics, to process modeling and development for industrial chemistry. ... > full story

Lambs provide crucial link in understanding obesity (April 4, 2011) -- The question of whether children born to obese mothers will become obese themselves is one step closer to being answered as a result of new research which studied lambs born to overweight sheep. ... > full story

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